This is by no means an all-encompassing list; what did I leave off? Not listed in order of importance.

The educational mission of Williams College will be fine if classes are held remotely. The reason things were rough this semester was because it was a slapdash effort that caught everyone off guard halfway through a semester. With a summer to prepare and feedback from us students, professors can design online courses that will give us the Williams education we signed up for. If I’m being honest, 2 of my classes actually went alright online, and with some minor tweaking would’ve been pretty similar to what they would’ve been like on campus. Our Williams education will be fine–not great, but fine–if it’s online for a semester or two.

The educational mission+ of Williams College is severely compromised even if classes are held on-campus. What I have planned for the poor students going back is a discussion for tomorrow! But even if you don’t end up agreeing with me, the point is the same–Williams will look very different in the Fall, and you can be sure the administration is going to try to curtail all the fun activities that make our time at Williams so memorable (regardless of whether you agree with that course of action or not). A remote semester has no bandage for this wound and there’s no use pretending it does–the argument is that things aren’t going to be that much better on campus anyways, so students really won’t be losing all that much if remote learning was instituted.

The financial status of Williams will be fine if classes are held remotely. Look, $3 billion is a lot of money. It’s not all liquid, but Williams is one of the few colleges in the country that has the money to weather through this storm. And isn’t this what an endowment is for–to provide a measure of financial security during times of distress?

The financial damage to the surrounding community (and the people Williams employs) can be minimized. I will discuss this more on Day 4, since it’s part of my grand remote plan; basically, with targeted, intelligent fiscal policies from Williams—and county, state, and federal gov’ts as well, hopefully—Williams can keep a lot of staff employed and maintain businesses on Spring Street. I’m not sure what the exact situation is (it’s hard to run a business in the best of times) but I’ve heard Blue Mango, for example, is doing quite well with takeout orders.

Existing disparities in education can be minimized if classes are held remotely. Again, will discuss more on Day 4; the gist is that Williams can extend aid like housing to the most vulnerable while providing other resources (think Internet) to the slightly less vulnerable. This is not a crazy idea–it’s what they did this semester, and it worked out relatively well, especially for a rushed plan.

The virus is far too dangerous to bring people back to campusNot to the young, of course, but to the immunocompromised, people with preexisting conditions, staff, and faculty. It’s foolish to think that we can separate out high-risk and low-risk groups in a collegiate setting. Bringing back students, many of whom will be asymptomatic (as young, healthy people tend to be) will be a death sentence for a lot of people at Williams and the surrounding community. It’s hard to teach or run a business if you’re dead.

Williams cannot stop the spread of the virus. The opposite side of this argument comes up tomorrow, and it’s touched upon on Day 4, but the sentiment is pretty simple and self-explanatory. Williams, with all its might, is powerless against the virus’ spread. It has neither the resources (where are the testing kits?) nor the legal authority (it’s not a gov’t) to control or prevent the spread of the virus amongst students. Even well-funded federal governments are having trouble! (And no, I’m not thinking of the U.S.–I would be hard-pressed to say any country did well, since most/all basically decided a “shut everything down/don’t see people/stay home” approach would be all that would work). What can Williams do against such a foe? Nothing.

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