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College Council Meeting Notes

The College Council provides a solid archive of meeting notes, going back to 2009. Still, I am very sad that it does not go back further. Who else remembers the glorious notes of Jonathan Landsman ’05?

Sadly, CC refuses (?) to make the notes for current meetings publicly available, even to alumni and local residents. Pathetic. Fortunately, we have our sources!

The April 16 minutes are available to students. The central debate about WIFI is covered fairly well.

The April 23 minutes are not available for download, even to students. But our sources are clever, so they provided some screen shots. See below the break. Example:

A full zip archive of meeting notes since 2016 is here.

Key points:

1) It was stupid for the Falk administration to change the rules and force student groups to seek recognition from College Council even if they were not seeking funding. (Falk and Co did this to make life more difficult for dissident groups like Uncomfortable Learning.) Student organizations can be trusted with many important decisions — selecting JAs, distributing funding — but not with this one.

2) Excessive student powers will be used against all unpopular groups, not just those unpopular with the Administration. By the way, BDS has yet to hit Williams in a big way. What happens when it does?

3) If Maud is smart, she will change the Student Handbook this summer to allow any student group to be created by simply submitting a form with the Dean’s Office. This will allow the group access to all the basic tools — like room reservations — that it needs to function. CC does not need to fund it, but they can’t ban it.

4) There are plenty of rich Jewish alumni that Maud will try to raise money from over the next few years. What do you think their views are on this topic?

5) College Council should just make its meeting notes and livestream public. The truth will come out anyway and, perhaps more important, a public livestream encourages better behavior from your guests.

Screen shots of minutes for April 23:

17 Comments (Open | Close)

17 Comments To "College Council Meeting Notes"

#1 Comment By anon On April 26, 2019 @ 7:46 am

CC to Williams: We are not saying that Israel has no right to exist, just that on this campus there is no right for officially recognized advocacy for Israel to exist where it does.

A non-distinction built to (attempt) avoid the elephant in the room.

This is a shameful vote. The CC just supported the destruction of the Israel. It’s that simple. Oh, sorry, to be accurate, it is a vote to not officially recognize a group advocating for Israel’s right to exist.

It’s not that we have anything against… wait no… it’s that the jewish state is illegal, immoral, “genocidal”, can’t exist where it currently is, must be destroyed in its current form, but that is not anti X because those (jews) who live in Israel are welcome to move elsewhere.

Those jews are not welcome to exist where they now live, however.

Sounds like Germany in 1938 to me.

#2 Comment By Whitney Wilson ’90 On April 26, 2019 @ 9:43 am

Its shocking to me that the College Council at Williams literally just voted to refuse to recognize a student group formed to support the existence of the State of Israel. There is no justification for such a decision. Regardless of one’s views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, BDS, etc., I can’t understand how the College Council can take a position that such a club cannot be recognized on campus. No one has asked the Council to endorse any of WIFI’s views, or even (I think) provide any money to the club. This is a tremendously disappointing story for the College.

#3 Comment By fendertweed On April 26, 2019 @ 10:13 am

Ironically, I’m in process of reconsidering /redrafting a significant gift to Wms based on other issues relating to nothing EphBlog has ever mentioned.

This incredible hamfisted shit show may lead me to delete several zeroes from the gift and just perhaps make it “0”.

#4 Comment By fendertweed On April 26, 2019 @ 10:16 am

P.s., I’d already decided to reduce annual giving, too.

Perhaps this may lead me to “zero out” that, too, with an explanation to Williams that allowing this kind of crap has real con$equence$ for William$.

#5 Comment By fendertweed On April 26, 2019 @ 10:17 am

…. otoh, it remains so tempting to endow my planned John Drew Chair for the Study of Diversity …

#6 Comment By Concerned Parent On April 26, 2019 @ 11:28 am

Glad I found this discussion. I’m a parent of a current student who was rattled by the vote and discussion on campus. My student is a proud Jew and supporter of Israel, but is now afraid to even discuss that on campus. The negative vote repressed alternative views and further marginalized a population who is 100% ignored on campus because the mainstream diversity viewpoint is that Jews are not marginalized. Further, the content of that transcript contains vile antisemitism, too much to list out here. One example, however, is a speaker who tries to whitewash antisemitism saying that Arabs are also semites. The argument dilutes the raw definition of antisemitism and is often made to insinuate that antisemitism is not unique to Jews — a statement in itself is pure antisemitism. Ironic that the purpose of the WIFI would be to educate the entire community in a non-political manner so that the uninformed and naive arguments made against the group would be refuted with fact not talking points. Without the group, misinformation will continue, false moral equivalence drawn, and further repression of alternative fact-based views will occur.

#7 Comment By ’11 On April 26, 2019 @ 1:29 pm

Israel is basically the most tolerant in terms of LGBT rights in the Middle East. That is the angle I would’ve gone for. Palestine is pretty bad on the LGBT front.

#8 Comment By Fragesteller On April 26, 2019 @ 2:35 pm

Does one not have a moral duty to speak about injustices?
How thin do the eggshell heads of current students need to be, to be ‘afraid to speak’ on the Williams College campus?

#9 Comment By Fragesteller On April 26, 2019 @ 2:37 pm

Is the People’s Republic of China’s treatment of ethnic minorities such as the Uyghurs, an example of “genocide?”

#10 Comment By Fragesteller On April 26, 2019 @ 2:45 pm

Is this kerfluffle merely about the registration and recognition of a group, not funding?

#11 Comment By Johnny On April 26, 2019 @ 3:54 pm

One of these days, it will be well known what a joke of a college this place has become.

#12 Comment By David Dudley Field ’25 On April 26, 2019 @ 5:09 pm

> Is this kerfluffle merely about the registration and recognition of a group, not funding?

Yes. Just recognition, which must proceed any request for funding.

#13 Comment By Williamstown Resident On April 26, 2019 @ 5:20 pm


Kurt Schlichter calls us non-woke folks “The Normals”. Unfortunately we Normals are hesitant to confront such bullying because the Woke are vicious and resistance is not tolerated, its steamrolled. So, for many of the same reasons you use a nom de guerre to comment on here, people choose to suffer in silence when faced with Public Displays of Extreme Wokeness.

#14 Comment By Nishant On April 29, 2019 @ 10:42 am

As a former member of CC for my entire college time, this is utterly shocking. CC should not, and in fact does not, take into account politics when recognizing a group. I am sure this vote in someway violates the by-laws and the constitution. If it doesn’t, it should.

#15 Comment By Greg On May 5, 2019 @ 10:35 pm

The Williams Record claims the April 23 minutes are available to “students and faculty with Williams emails.” You say students can’t download them. What’s the deal?

#16 Comment By Cat Vielma On May 10, 2019 @ 11:23 am

@Ephblog, I would be very cautious posting “unpublished screenshots” of college council meetings from a “source”. Were you able to confirm their accuracy with an unrelated third party? How did you verify these were accurate meeting notes?

Unfortunately, we live in an era where “news” is rapidly being manipulated by all sides – and sharing this kind of information without holding ourselves to journalistic standards spreads fears, inaccuracies, and does little to promote debate, which is arguably the heart of this issue.

I’ll also add that since this post there is now an anonymous “Defend Free Speech at Williams College” group – that is posting rather incendiary commentary on Facebook through targeted ads. I received a “sponsored ad” to view their Facebook page today.

We need to be mindful of news sources. I expect intelligent Williams alums to read any news source, whether pro or anti whatever, with caution if it isn’t from a top tier news source. *Especially* if a post is from an anonymous writer (the facebook group) or comes unverified through a screenshot/leak, etc.

#17 Comment By Current Student On May 10, 2019 @ 10:41 pm

Unrelated third party here–these screenshots are 100% accurate. I get where you’re coming from with this ‘Fake News’ bit, but it is what it is–only anonymous sources, and anonymous comment handles, from students at Williams College. My fear of retribution is greater than my desire totally ease your paranoia about the screenshots by providing a name, birthdate, SS number, and PIN.