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Here’s to Claiming Williams (From a Maverick Student)

Another year, another day that strains my patience.

Why claim Williams as your home, when it is clearly a resource you get the privilege (yes, privilege) to pay at least 10K a year for? Indeed, my first instinct is to think, “what can I do, as a humble servant to Williams, to better Williams?”

Instead, an entire day that could be spent on classes gets skipped to pander to a particularly phonetic party of privileged pretend rebels. Yes, keep telling me how Williams needs to do more to help the political agenda of minorities when we have more left-leaning student organizations than I can count, Williamstown is a de facto Sanctuary City, and I can walk to Rice House or the Jewish Religious Center in about five minutes.

Meanwhile, I, with my crazy views that Trump’s policies aren’t that bad, or that maybe we shouldn’t outright applaud someone who broke U.S. law and falsified legal documents, or that the students should be grateful they even got into this place before whining about all its foibles, get to sit quietly, and watch this exemplary campus slip further into leftist diploma mill.

Also, the cafeteria always sucks these days. Can’t I claim a decent meal in Claiming Williams Day?

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A Prediction on Political Discussions in Williams

As Williams enrolls Gen Zers, there’s going to be a resurgance of right-wing, populist views.

Not a dramatic paradigm shift, but a gradual gnawing away at the entrenched left-wing environment.

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This graph shows how Gen Z ‘voted’ in the 2016 election relative to voting adults. Trump’s platform focused mainly on nativism, and his incredible usage of online media complements Gen Z’s more tech-savvy nature.

The presence of the virgin Conservative Society is just the adumbration of this trend. The political atmophere in first year in this campus wouldn’t have even humored this organization.

Ultimately, I see what’s going to happen here as a microcosm of the Overton Window shifting across the nation. We won’t be seeing any varient of paleoconservatism on the rise here, because Trump’s ideology is one of mild reform, and that’s what makes him appealing to his supporters, but it’ll still be quite a sight to hear some now verboten topic echo throughout the halls and classrooms, as was the case not so long ago.

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Let’s Have Completely Blind Admissions

Williams College is currently a need-blind in its admission process for national students (not so for international students). That by itself is a good thing, but isn’t that still leaving space for the admissions office to discriminate against potential students through other factors–say, if they’re white or black, a legacy student, or from a nice family in North Adams?

I propose that Williams expand its blind admission policy to all factors that don’t immediately relate to an applicant’s academics and (certain) extracurriculars. The school wouldn’t know if the 1580 SAT score and 4.0 GPA comes from a white, upper class student from Los Angeles or a working class black student from Chicago. Whether you share a last name with a big donor of the campus goes unnoticed by the admissions office. You won an interscholastic competition? Great, that gets considered. But they won’t know or care if you’re president of the Asian students club of your high school.

Regarding international students, the policy will affect them in the same manner. All that will be known are their academics and their status as an international applicant.

This new policy has the potential to boost the already respectable academic achievement of the campus. High school GPA correlates with college GPA, and the SAT predicts for future academic success. It follows that a selecting for students who perform and score the best in high school will likely select for the students who will get the most out of college.

I leave this idea for you to entertain.

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“Williams Students are so Annoying!”

I chanced upon this complaint just the other day. Curious (and partially offended, as affection for one’s alma mater affects even me), I asked for some elaboration. The friend of mine, who attends another respected liberal arts college and didn’t know I attend Williams, responded:

“They’re arrogant. Whenever their team shows up to multi-school events, they think they can coast by on brand-name and being kinda smart. They’re so exclusive, too!”

or something like that.

I told them I was one of those students. The blush on their face was something to behold! I needn’t fear, they said, I’m not like the average student they had met.

Fair enough. But it got me thinking–do I really disagree with them? They’re not stupid, and the stereotype of the Williams jock had to emerge from somewhere. Personally, I do smell a scent of smugness in the purple bubble. I don’t think it’s a conscious thing. I get along well with the Williams marathoner, the mathematician, the musician, or any commingling of the personalities present. It’s more just a certain narrow-mindedness.  We appreciate how Williams College shapes the world, but we simultaneously neglect how much the world shapes Williams College.

I don’t think this mindset is as pronounced in other liberal arts campuses. That thought is subject to change, however.

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Williams College – Worth the Hassle?

Suppose you’re a middle-class student. Williams College accepts you, as do other prestigious institutes–and modest, but inexpensive ones. Your primary interest is establishing a base to build a stable, profitable career. Given these conditions, is going to Williams College or any other distinguished college the evidently preferable route?

I think not. An article by the prudent Marty Nemko I came across before my attendance of Williams presents a solid argument for attending the humble community college.

I ultimately chose Williams because of my financial circumstances and intetest in academia. Those students looking for a career, however, may desire to choose another path.

But what do you think?

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Welcoming the Newborn College Republicans

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I expected more of a celebration than this. A group of this sort could thrive from proactive advertising. A few posters in Paresky Center would have sufficed to put the first meeting of this promising group on the radar. Perhaps it’s just a rookie error.

Or perhaps there is intent in the subdued announcement. Considering right-wing views are to Williams College what mongooses are to snakes, the prudent path might be to first feel out for potential backlash. In any case, the organization garnered a modest group with its first meeting–now focus on growing that base.

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