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Maud Rescues WIFI

According to The College Fix, President Maud Mandel has toughened up her statement regarding the status of Williams Initiative for Israel (WIFI). Now, she refers to the benefits available to WIFI as “all” instead of “most.”

This was not the only difference.

Original

Even without CC approval, WIFI or any other non-CC organization can still access most services available to student groups, including use of college spaces for meetings and events.

Revised

Even without CC approval, WIFI or any other non-CC organization can still access all services available to student groups, including use of college spaces for meetings and events, and we are guaranteeing them exactly equal resources.

As I see it, Maud has nullified the College Council’s decision by asserting she will be guaranteeing WIFI “exactly equal resources.” It appears this new language is designed to shield Williams College from a Title VI discrimination charge which might cause it to lose federal funding.

Here’s the link to Maud’s newly revised statement.

The original statement is still preserved here at Ephblog.

This change comes on the heels of a failed attempt by radical students to rally the entire community to occupy Hollander Hall on May 10, 2019.

According to a student observer, known here as Caleb, the proposed occupation of Hollander Hall came and went with little impact on his life. So far, I’ve seen nothing at all about it on social media. Another student reported only about 20 students showed up to support the occupation of the Hollander building. The leaders of the proposed occupation were calling on “the entire community” to show up. It looks like they held an occupation and nobody came.

The invitation to this occupation significantly left out any mention of CARE Now. The invitation to the “occupation” mentioned Professor Kent had “enacted extreme hostility and aggression” at an Asian professor.

Occupy Hollander

In my view, the hypocrisy of the occupation organizers was galling given how the CARE Now leadership mistreated white students at the April 9, College Council meeting. As I recall, the innocent white students were called “d***heads” and “dumb a** n***gers.”

Meanwhile, one of the verbally abusive students – a highly visible leader of CARE Now – indicates he is feeling alienated and alone in a letter to the editor published in the Williams Record on May 8, 2019. It looks like his effort to minoritize and marginalize white men on campus backfired.

 

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17 Comments To "Maud Rescues WIFI"

#1 Comment By Johnny On May 11, 2019 @ 6:58 am

Good. Now, if I was a white man on the CC, such as the one who was told to stop looking away, I would file a Title VI complaint against the college. Racist verbal harassment should not be tolerated. If the races in the CC “d***heads” and “dumb a** n***gers” case were reversed, can you imagine what the college response would have been? It’s one thing to stand on a soapbox in a quad, expressing oneself to the general community, but another to trespass upon a private meeting and target individuals for a racist tirade filled with unfounded grievances.

#2 Comment By frank uible On May 11, 2019 @ 10:22 am

Wasn’t being College President more fun when all it involved was soliciting alums for donations and defeating Amherst once in a while in football?

#3 Comment By 0xEph On May 11, 2019 @ 1:47 pm

Johnny — Title VI protects students from the College, not from their fellow students. If you filed a Title VI complaint here asserting the above argument, it’d get immediately thrown out.

#4 Comment By Williamstown Resident On May 11, 2019 @ 2:25 pm

Plant corn, get corn. You reap what you sow. No matter how you say it, the current wave of SJW extremism is a self inflicted wound.

#5 Comment By John Drew On May 11, 2019 @ 4:11 pm

oxEph

I think you are greatly underestimating the extent to which the administration controls the college council.

I don’t think any judge would allow the school to get away with discriminating against Jewish students simply by delegating that discrimination to a student run organization.

The implausibility of your argument is evident in the fact Maud and – I assume – the college’s attorneys have decided they need to toughen up her presidential message and isolate the WIFI students from the harmful effects of the college council’s unprecedented, discriminatory decision.

I imagine the leadership of the college has a much better assessment of their risk for losing federal funding than you.

#6 Comment By 0xEph On May 11, 2019 @ 6:35 pm

JCD –

I mean this with all due respect, but I think you have zero idea how much the administration controls the college council, given that you have had zero association with William since you were fired, what, thirty years ago? As someone who attended Williams and served on College Council long after you were fired, I’m skeptical that you ever understood the relation between the two: few professors did.

Regardless, as a legal matter, even if CC was pretty directly under the thumb of the administration, this would not be a winning Title VI case. Proving such de facto control would be next-to-impossible and you would not find a non-politically motivated lawyer who would consider such a case, even with fairly strong circumstantial evidence (and there has been nothing that I would even describe as even “weak circumstantial evidence” illuminated here — to the contrary, there are many indications in this specific circumstance that CC and the current administration have misaligned interests and priorities, and that CC operates independent from the administration’s desires).

Finally, there are numerous other (and, IMO, much more plausible) explanations for Maud’s statements than concern over Title VI liability. But even if there was concern, liability minimization happens all of the time when there is no credible liability. I think there is an exceedingly low likelihood that Maud’s position was lawyer-driven, but if it were, it would be but one of many examples of overcautious lawyering.

#7 Comment By David Dudley Field ’25 On May 11, 2019 @ 6:51 pm

there are numerous other (and, IMO, much more plausible) explanations for Maud’s statements than concern over Title VI liability.

Such as? In many years of following Williams affairs very closely, I have never seen such a change in an already-issued presidential statement.

I have no idea whether Title VI specifically was the issue here, but this sure seems to a legal-system driven bit of wordsmithing . . .

#8 Comment By Anon On May 11, 2019 @ 8:48 pm

I wonder if Maud is regretting taking this job yet. It’s got to be such a bummer to be the president of Williams in 2019. There’s absolutely no way she can win when trying to arbitrate between the factions of the radical leftists and moderate leftists.

I can’t imagine this job is better than being a dean at Brown — a chill Ivy League in a nice city, with her actions being important but not subject to this level of irrational public scrutiny. She had a tidy salary and high status at a better institution, why would she ever make the transition to Williams? I’m curious if she’ll last more than five years here under the current campus political climate.

Falk was a genius to get out when he did, Williams is being turned into a toxic cesspool of vitriol by the far-left students and professors.

#9 Comment By 0xEph On May 11, 2019 @ 9:42 pm

I wouldn’t be surprised if this is public relations-driven but that’s very different. My best guess is that Maud has decided that she wants to afford WIFI the exact same benefits as other campus organizations and changed her statement to reflect that. Maud seems genuinely on the side of recognizing this group. Her statement on the subject was really pretty quick and really pretty forceful (more quick and more forceful than other similar statements that she has issued since arriving at Williams).

Also, from a legal perspective, changing the wording of such a statement post announcement has little-to-no effect. And I want to stress again–as someone with some real substantive basis for knowledge–that there isn’t a legal case here, assuming there isn’t some additional big reveal.

#10 Comment By John Drew On May 11, 2019 @ 11:55 pm

-oxEph

You’re looking at this like a layman…not a judge. The new wording is coming just in time to shield the school from a negative finding in a Title VI investigation.

If Mandel had gone any longer in delaying this statement she would have dramatically raised the stakes by allowing the WIFI students to experience even more substantive, discriminatory behavior.

In making a ruling, a competent judge would take into account procedural irregularities including the anti-Semetic statements made during the CC’s discussion of WIFI’s application, the secrecy of the discussion, the lack of accountability for the vote, and the Maud’s own statement that the CC had failed to follow its by-laws.

The record would show that WIFI is just about the only club in a decade to be denied RSO status. It would also be brought to the judge’s attention this is the only case which was decided by out-of-bounds political considerations and not the merits of their case or their technical eligibility.

Maud had to act. She had no choice. Millions of dollars of federal funding is at stake. Your naive suggestion that the school simply pass the blame off on the kids on the CC strikes me as foolish. It would certainly be seen as far too risky to entertain as a realistic alternative.

I wonder what else you’re wrong about? Oh. I know. I resigned from Williams with a year left on my contract. I think it makes more sense to say I lost a close election with a very small, biased, bigoted, and close-minded electorate, a majority of whom were hostile to seeing brilliant, courageous, charismatic young white conservative men competing for tenure in political science at Williams College.

As far as I can tell, this hostility still exists today. If anyone can provide evidence of structural racism at Williams College, then it is a white guy like me.

#11 Comment By 0xEph On May 12, 2019 @ 12:52 am

You’re looking at this like a layman…not a judge.

If you’re going to be condescending, at least wait until you know what you’re talking about. Or do, I don’t know, fifteen minute’s worth of research.

Put succinctly, as a legal matter, Title VI revolves around the College’s behavior. As a legal matter, CC is not the College. So even if it were possible to prove that CC acted in a discriminatory matter (based on procedural irregularities, statements made during debate, etc.), no Title VI liability for Williams would follow. It’s also worth noting that any discrimination-related effects stemming from CC’s decision appear to have been cured by the College.

Ironically, your take on this — very evidently a lay-person’s take — illustrates why the College may have seen a public relations need to take a stronger stance vis-a-vis WIFI.

#12 Comment By John Drew On May 12, 2019 @ 1:21 am

I can tell you don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

The College Council is not an independent non-profit organization. It is not even organized as a corporation. It doesn’t have articles of incorporation or – as far as I can tell – a separate EIN number.

You can, by the way, quickly research their status through running a tax exempt organization search over at the IRS website.

Tax Exempt Organization Search

The Williams College Council operates solely at the pleasure of the president and the board of trustees, just like the dining halls, the English department, and the libraries. The only reason the College Council has the power to discriminate against Jewish students is because the last president, Adam Falk, delegated that authority to them.

It can, just as easily, be revoked. Consequently, the college has no choice except to take responsibility for the actions of the College Council…which is exactly what is being done by Maud and her legal team right now.

Trust me. There isn’t a single person on Maud’s leadership team who would feel confident with your “just blame the kids” legal strategy.

#13 Comment By 0xEph On May 12, 2019 @ 2:39 am

JCD, please, just stop. “College Council is not an independent non-profit organization?” You didn’t go to law school and it shows. That’s just not how any of this works.

If you were a little less stuck up your own rear end, you’d realize that I’m not even disagreeing with you on what really matters here. But instead, I suspect you’ll continue to burn what little shred of credibility you have left in refusing to admit that you might possibly have been wrong about something where the broader stakes are basically zero.

#14 Comment By John Drew On May 12, 2019 @ 3:23 am

I’m starting to worry about your social IQ. I work with colleges, universities and non-profits in my consulting practice. (I just won two National Science Foundation grants.) I know exactly what I’m talking about. I’m also, by the way, a former business school professor too.

If you sincerely can’t figure out that I (and Maud, and her entire crack legal team) understand this issue and its risks better than you, then I fear for your vulnerable family and alarmed co-workers. I wonder how you safely back out of the garage every morning.

What you are suggesting is complete madness. Your uninformed comments remind me that very few people really understand even the basics of corporate law. Up until this minute, I didn’t appreciate why Maud was organizing a special program to teach the campus about governance.

Now, from looking at your benighted comments, I can understand why she has made grappling with governance a higher priority.

I could go on and on. I should probably do a brief article about the lack of knowledge and common sense I witnessed as I reviewed video of recent College Council meetings.

One of the funniest highlights was the secretary’s assertion that his minutes were provided on an “all or nothing” “take it or leave it” basis. What!?

The College Council members clearly did not understand the basics of parliamentary procedure either. For example, they allowed one of the abusive black student visitors to make a motion…a motion which then received a second. What!?

You seem to be trapped in an inflated view of your own power and importance as a College Council member in your late teens and early twenties. Your suggestion that adult college professors were somehow too dim, or too out of touch, to grasp the overpowering independence and greatness of the mighty College Council is simply evidence of your enduring fecklessness.

If you are sincerely relying on your naive impressions of your college era experience, then I feel deeply sorry for you. You have been living in an illusion for a long time now. I expect you will eventually see I’m doing you, and everyone around you, a favor by pointing this out.

#15 Comment By Rubber Duck ’91 On May 12, 2019 @ 8:58 am

I’m unimpressed by dredging out the employer/employee events of 30 years ago and pretending doing so is not insinuating. Half a decade ago didn’t look much different than today. Thirty years ago, Williams students were leading mob-efforts to secure tenure for popular profs; is tenure such an objective standard afterall?

The relevant consideration is the role of a college presidential. The presidents’ job is to look out for the financial and legal well-being of her institution, and this supports Dr. Drew’s arguments. Potential legal challenges with potential costs beyond defense are at least a moderate cause for intervention – or is it all about feelings?

#16 Comment By Williamstown Resident On May 13, 2019 @ 4:56 am

JD-

Thank you for posting the link to IB’s op ed from the Record. I’m struck with the thought that if a rational person intentionally set out to write the wildest, most nonsensical pile of horse manure possible and they ended up with what IB wrote, they might have felt the need to dial it back a bit. Like, I wanted to sound crazy, but not that crazy. What a total loon!

That’s what makes this SJW nonsense so frightening. There will be no reasoning with him ever. He’s totally bought in to the dogma. There’s no room for facts. You will never convince him that there isnt structural racism at Williams. He will forever see microaggressions everywhere. He’s damaged goods. Basically ruined by the victim culture before age 23. Grievance Studies nonsense in full effect. What a shame.

#17 Comment By Rena Klein On May 20, 2019 @ 12:04 pm

It’s so sad that Williams’ students don’t know history. Maybe they should have a required class because these “bright students” have no clue.