Is Williams about to go woke? From twitter:

Answer: It might lose the support from the 20% (50%?) of the alumni who are either non-woke or prefer that their alma mater stay out of politics or are so awake that nothing Williams does will ever be woke enough. More detail:

Everyone who has the benefit of a Williams education is critical to this moment and can help us chart our collective future. Mindful to not overburden those already carrying weight, we invite alumni to submit your own stories about race and racism, how you are fighting for racial justice, supporting protests, pursuing justice reform, talking to your kids or simply surviving today. We especially hope to hear your thoughts on how we can galvanize the power of the Williams alumni community to effect change. We will share your stories, should you choose, in an effort to build understanding, create connections within our Williams family and, most importantly, amplify your voice.

1) This is not as bad, as partisan, as woke as it might be. Thank God for small favors. Am I the only one who thinks that Williams should stay out of politics? I am no more interested in Maud’s opinions about Black Lives Matters than I am in her opinions about Uyghur repression in China or the capital gains tax. Leave political issues out of the relationship between Williams and its alumni.

2) Would stories about Ephs who are trying to “effect change” in a conservative way be accepted and published? Or are only left-wing answers allowed? I don’t know! The College, under the wise guidance of Jim Reische has treated conservative voices fairly in the past, and at some cost to his own standing. But June 2020 is a different era than March 2018. Would Reische’s non-partisan approach prevail today?

3) Is there more to come? From the Record:

At a time when predominantly white institutions across the nation are responding to widespread protests denouncing police brutality and anti-Black racism, members of the Williams community — particularly students and alums — are placing increased pressure on the College administration to hold itself accountable for what they see as its delayed and limited support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

White Americans are a minority in the Williams student body. Is referring to Williams as “predominantly white” true? Is it helpful? Or is it one more step down the road to perdition? How long before white Americans start acting like just another aggrieved participant in the national conversation?

Upon meeting with various community members and receiving written statements critiquing the College’s response, President of the College Maud S. Mandel and Vice President for Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leticia S.E. Haynes ’99 will make an announcement on Monday about new commitments from the College aimed at supporting those fighting racial inequity.

There is a lot of interesting material in the article. Kudos to reporters Jeongyoon Han and Nigel Jaffe. The Record is so much better than it was a year or two ago. My advice to Williams:

1) Don’t embarrass yourselves. If you feel you need to give money to appease the mob, give it to a reputable organization, not to the fools and grifters at something like 8 Can’t Wait or Campaign Zero. Recall when Williams, in a similar fit of moral piety, gave money to scam outfits in the name of carbon offsets. Don’t make that mistake again.

2) If you have to give money, give it to organizations with a direct Eph connection. Such organizations are (obviously!) more likely to be trustworthy and effective. Such gifts are less likely to rise the ire of non-BLM supporting alums.

3) Avoid excessively partisan organizations as much as possible. Consider the Innocence Project, an organization which helps to free wrongly convicted prisoners, many of them Black. Even a right-winger like me is supportive of those efforts.

4) Don’t write checks, support students. I, and many other alums, hate it when the College takes our donations and then turns around and donates that money to some other non-profit. If we wanted out money to go to, say, MASS MoCA, we would donate to it directly. Don’t take our money — which is meant to support Williams students and faculty — and send it to your favorite charity.

Instead, provide students with funding to work for other non-profits. For example, I would be happy to see my alumni giving go to funding summer stipends for Williams students to work for, say, Professor Jen Doleac ’03 at the Justice Tech Lab. They do good work! The students would learn a lot. Of course, in a perfect world, I would prefer to provide summer funding which is more portable, which could be used by a student to do research at a (high quality!) organization of her choice. But, to the extent that Maud feels forced, on Monday, to give the mob a show, money spent on student research stipends to work with quality organizations on social issues is the least objectionable.

Any reader interest in parsing more details from the Record article? Anyone heard more rumors about what the College is planning?

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