Today is Claiming Williams. Here is the schedule. (Copied below the break for future historians.) Comments:

1) This schedule is incompetent! Here is the committee, and the co-chairs are Tatiana McInnis and Gail Newman. Are they to blame?

The main trick to ensuring high attendance at Claiming Williams is to schedule a first event that hundreds of students will want to attend (or be cajoled into attending by their JAs). That event should feature people/items that are popular with students. Everyone loves singing groups! Invite several to perform. Everyone loves honeybuns! Serve them for free. In past years, the organizers have done exactly this, thereby getting lots of students out of bed and engaged. Once they attend the first event, it is easier to get them to go from that to another. There is nothing like that this year, nor was their last year, nor the year before that.

But this year seems especially weak! The only event before 11:00 AM is a film screening of TransMilitary. Not a topic which many students will find interesting! (Note that this is not a complaint about this film (which I have not seen), especially since it features an Eph as one of its subjects. Good stuff!) The complaint is that, if we are going to go through the trouble of cancelling classes for an entire day, we should schedule events that will engage the whole community throughout the day.

2) What a narrow selection of topics! Claiming Williams has always been (and will always be) filled with leftist sessions. Nothing wrong with that! But, in past years, other sessions, appealing to a different cross-section of the community, have generated large audiences. How about something about athletics at Williams and the athlete/non-athlete divide? What about a session on the drinking culture? A more competent committee would have created such sessions.

Again, nothing wrong with extreme leftists! Some of our closest friends are . . . But there is no excuse for not having (many!) events that come at these issues from other perspectives.

3) I love this session.

Expression at Williams

Expression and speech at Williams, and on college campuses more broadly, has come up time and time again. How do we balance constructive debate and exchange of ideas with respect and support? Speakers representing a range of campus communities are invited to engage with this question.

Good stuff! Kudos to Gargoyle for organizing it.

4) Canada Goose and Book Grants also looks interesting, and has a great title.

5) Could the Record please do a minimal amount of reporting and tell us, approximately, how many students attend at least two events? My sense (commentary welcome) is that the College likes to pretend like a large majority of students (1500?) attend more than one event. I bet that the actual number is closer to 500, and maybe as low as 300.

I interviewed 7 students last fall on a different topic. One was a first year. If we define “participation in Claiming Williams” as having attended at least two events, none of the other 6 participated. This is not a large sample and it was not randomly chosen, but, still! (On the other hand, 6 of the 7 had “participated” in Mountain Day, where participation is defined as going on at least one hike.) Mountain Day still merits cancelling classes. Does Claiming Williams?

I also asked the 6 students what their estimate was for student participation in Claiming Williams. The median estimate was 25%. If only a quarter of the students participate in Claiming Williams, then the College ought to cancel it next year.

6) If any readers attend Claiming Williams, please tell us about your experience in the comments.

Full schedule below

2019 Claiming Williams Schedule
“(How) Do you Claim Williams?”
Theme Statement

8:45 A.M. Welcome to the Day! ’62 Center MainStage

9:30 A.M. – 11:00 A.M. Morning Keynote: TransMilitary Film Screening, ’62 Center MainStage – Open to the Public

11:00 A.M. – 12:15 P.M. Community Forums

TransMilitary Discussion, ‘62 Center MainStage
The Walking Legacies of Student Activism at Williams, Luetkemeyer Lounge (downstairs Paresky)
A Seat at the Table: How do Staff Claim Williams? Faculty House Lounge (downstairs)
Expression at Williams, Goodrich Hall
Claim a Sustainable Future for Williams, Griffin 3

11:30 A.M. – 1:30 P.M. Lunch Service – Driscoll, Mission Park, Lee Snack Bar, ’82 Grill, Faculty House Main Dining Room

12:30 P.M. – 1:45 P.M. Lunchtime dialogues

Reflecting on Your Past to Ephluence Our Future: Design-Thinking Workshop with Admission & Financial Aid, Faculty House Lounge
Step Into the Circle, Driscoll Lounge
Coming Out as Atheist, Paresky 201 (former Reading Room)

2:00 P.M. – 3:30 P.M. Community Forums

4:00 The Divided Hour, Faculty House Main Dining Room
Canada Goose and Book Grants: Socioeconomic Inequality at Williams, Paresky 201 (former Reading Room)
Kicking It With Sensei, Dodd Living Room
Radical Lovin’ in the Time of the Damned, Faculty House Lounge
SERVED, One Year Later. Where Do We Go From Here? Baxter Hall?
Story Time, Griffin 3
Unpacking White Identity, Shapiro 129
Gender, Gaze, and the Photographic Canon, Clark Art – Open to the Public

3:45 P.M.- 5:15 P.M. Community Forums

Art as Change Maker in WCMA’s collection, Williams College Museum of Art
Boiling Under, Schow Library
Diversifying the Record: the Cornell Hip Hop Collection, Schapiro 129
MassADAPT Disability Rights, Paresky Auditorium
Radical Lovin’ in the Time of the Damned, Faculty House Lounge
Why Students of Color Don’t “Claim” Williams, Goodrich Hall

5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. Dinner Service – Whitman’s, Driscoll, Mission Park, Faculty House

Making Arepas with Dining Services Staff, Miguel and Reina Guitierrez, Paresky Bakeshop
Breaking the School to Prison Pipeline, Paresky 201 (former Reading Room)

7:30 P.M. Tarana Burke: ‘me to.’ Movement, Chapin Hall – Open to the Public

9:00 P.M.-12:00 A.M. Classic Hip Hop Lounge with Ben Ortiz of the Cornell University Hip-Hop Collection

9:00 P.M. 11:00 P.M. All-Campus Pizza Party!, Whitman’s Servery

All Day/Ongoing – Claim A Name

In front of Stetson Hall (Sawyer Library) and in Schow Library. Bad weather location — inside Stetson Hall.

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