Three Pillars Emails will be in a separate post.

Important Housing Update – Please Read

Dear Students,
As the college continues to review & adjust its protocols, I’m writing in advance of the upcoming housing lotteries to make you aware of some adjustments. These are being made in order to ensure we can accommodate students if an unforeseeable situation arises in the future, where we’d need to accommodate more students than normal in campus housing.
Firstly, some terminology updates. The 45 current Flex Rooms will now be called Double-Singles. Secondly, we’ve identified 64 current large doubles that have at least 230 square feet – these will now be called Triple-Doubles.
So here’s how it’ll work. If we are in a housing emergency in the future, we have a stepped approach to address it, in this order:
  1. Firstly, we’ll use empty beds in regular housing. If we run out of those (not highly likely, but it could happen)…
  2. …we’ll then use Double-Singles as doubles (if they’re not already being used as doubles during a given year). If we run out of those (not likely, but still possible)…
  3. …we’ll then use the Triple-Double rooms as triples; if we get to this point, the college will add furnishings room-by-room as needed to accommodate a 3rd person. If we run out of those (really not likely, but just in case)…
  4. …we’ll then use short-term emergency rooms in Morgan Ground & Dennett Ground, which are typically held for urgent day-to-day situations that arise.
As we go into the upcoming housing lotteries for the 2020-2021 academic year,
  • Double-Singles will be offered as singles. This means that an individual student can select into one of these rooms by themselves. If you choose one of these rooms, be prepared to have a roommate if a housing emergency requires it. Double-Singles will always be set up with two sets of furnishings (for double occupancy), even if the room is only being used by one student.
  • Triple-Doubles will be offered as doubles. If you choose one of these rooms, be prepared for an additional roommate if a housing emergency requires it. Triple-Doubles will be set up with two sets of furnishings until there is a need to triple the room, at which point a third set of furnishings would be added.
The lists of Double-Singles and Triple-Doubles are included below for your reference as you make plans for your housing for next year. These details will be updated on the OSL website and in the Housing Portal soon. (Double-Singles are noted currently on the website as Flex Rooms.)
Questions? Contact Patty Leahey-Hays, Ana Azevedo, or myself. Thanks.

List of Double-Singles (currently called Flex Rooms)
  • Agard 203
  • Currier B1, B2
  • Dodd 203, 216, 221, 222, 304
  • East 105, 106, 115, 205, 206, 215, 305, 306, 315
  • Fayerweather 102, 107, 202, 207, 208, 302, 307, 308
  • Fitch 208, 308
  • Hubbell 105
  • Mark Hopkins 17B
  • Morgan 201, 202
  • Perry 12
  • Sewall 205
  • Thompson 104, 106, 202
  • West 207, 210, 212, 307, 310, 312, 407, 410, 412
List of Triple-Doubles
  • Agard 106, 108, 110, 201, 209, 213, 302, 303
  • Currier B11
  • Dodd 120, 206+206A, 211, 313B, 313C, 319, 321
  • Fayerweather 117, 217, 317
  • Fitch 101+101A, 109, 209, 211, 212, 309, 311, 312
  • Goodrich G1, 1, 7
  • Hubbell 102, 103, 106, 201, 204, 206
  • Mark Hopkins 17A
  • Morgan 402
  • Parsons 101, 102, 201, 203, 204
  • Perry 1, 4A+4B, 5A+5B, 13A+13B, 14A+14B
  • Sewall 103
  • Spencer 7, 10, 11, 12, 13
  • Thompson 114+115, 108, 209
  • Tyler 101, 102, 201, 203, 208, 209, 302


Update on coronavirus measures, week of February 25

Dear Williams faculty, students and staff,

Steve Klass and I are writing with this week’s update about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

As you may have heard, clusters of cases have now been confirmed in Italy, Iran, South Korea, and elsewhere. We’re continuing to monitor the situation and to make sure none of our people are affected.

Public health officials now say they expect the virus to reach the U.S. at some point. Earlier today, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said, “It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen in this country anymore, but a question of when this will happen.”

The college had already been preparing for such a possibility, and we’ll continue to plan while also continuing to address concerns about international travel. We also encourage everyone to take reasonable measures to protect yourselves. We realize this is an evolving situation and can be stressful, and we’re grateful to everyone for your efforts.

With regards to travel, we strongly encourage every faculty member, staff member or student who’s planning to go abroad on work or personal travel—including during spring break—to register your international travel plans with the college in advance, via our Google form. This includes planned side trips (e.g., visiting Italy for a weekend during a trip to France). Williams will need to have this information in order to support you if you need assistance during a trip. As we mentioned last week, all submissions will be treated as “need to know” according to Williams’ data classification rules, and will only be used for the stated purpose.

You should also register all college-related travel with International SOS. The service is free to faculty, staff and students for this purpose, and the organization will provide worldwide assistance and even evacuation services if needed.

We advise you to carefully weigh the necessity of any travel against the potential hazards. We’ll continue to review all proposed international college trips through the Study Away office, the Dean of Faculty’s office, and others, and may recommend revoking college support, canceling or shortening such trips if it becomes necessary for safety reasons.

Given the way events are unfolding, any international travel carries a risk that you could be quarantined or prevented from returning to the U.S. The safest option is to postpone your trip until the outbreak subsides. If you feel you must go now, please take extra precautions by registering with International SOS and using their service for pre-trip advice. We also suggest that you closely track and follow the relevant advisories from the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control.

Students, like we did last year we’ll again offer you the option of staying on campus over spring break if you choose. Dining options will be provided. We’ll include instructions on how to take advantage of this option in next Tuesday’s update.

In keeping with best practices, the college is developing plans for a variety of campus situations. We want students to know that it’s possible that we might need to convert singles for next fall, if the outbreak continues and study-away programs are canceled. It’s too early to make that decision now, but for transparency’s sake we want you to know that it’s being considered as we review our options.

Thank you for your attention to these updates, and your partnership to keep Williams healthy. We’ll send another update next Tuesday.

All best wishes,

Marlene and Steve


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