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Reunion Musings

I’ve been getting emails recently about our upcoming 30-year reunion.  The people that organize the event deserve major kudos, as it can’t be easy keeping all of the trains running on time and to everyone’s satisfaction.  I remember our 15-year reunion when were based at Tyler (and boy was it hot!), and there were tons and tons of little kids, so the organizers made sure we had plenty of milk available for the kids to drink (thanks Megan!).

This will be our 6th reunion, and I’ve managed to make it to each one, except our 10-year, which conflicted with a trial I was involved in.  I make a significant effort every 5 years to go, because its the only time I can (or at least do) see many of my friends from Williams.  I am Facebook friends with many, but don’t often manage to see many of them.  It always surprises me (in a good way!) how easy it is, and how much fun I have, talking and spending time with people I haven’t spoken with in 5 years.  It seems as though we just pick up right where we left off at the last reunion, finding out what has been going on with our lives, and comparing notes as we “grow up.”

I’ve usually tried to stay on campus, though for recent reunions I’ve noticed more and more people staying elsewhere.  The rooms aren’t super comfortable (especially when its really hot out and the upper floors of the dorms feel like ovens), but I like being right there.  I’ll be curious to see how many people come this year.  I’m sure the College has statistics about average attendance for each of the years (5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, etc.), but I’m not aware that they are published anywhere.

While poking around on the Williams website, I did come across a document entitled “Reunion Code of Conduct,”  which starts off with:

Purpose

Williams College believes our community should be truly open for everyone. As such, we are committed to providing a friendly, safe, and welcoming environment for all, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, ethnicity, race, or religion.

This code of conduct outlines our expectations for participant behavior as well as the consequences for unacceptable behavior while on campus.

We invite all staff, volunteers, attendees, local community members, and other participants to help us realize a safe and positive Reunion for everyone.

The documents describes in some detail “Expected behavior,” “Unacceptable behavior,” “Consequences of Unacceptable Behavior,” as well as drug and alcohol policies.  I wonder if there was a specific incident which prompted the creation of this document.  I know there was at least one incident involving alcohol and possible sexual assault/misconduct in the past, but I don’t know if this had become a pervasive problem every year, or whether the single incident prompted creation of this document/policy.

In any event, I strongly recommend that everyone attend their reunions. You won’t regret it!

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