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Looking forward to our semester ahead

To the Williams community,

Welcome back! As you heard over the summer, this term will be my last at Williams, before I move to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in late December. I’ll miss a lot about this place, but what I think I’ll miss the most is our sense of community—the fact that everything we achieve we achieve together.

Even over this last summer, we’ve continued the work of building our community and strengthening support for it. To cite just a few examples, this fall we’re welcoming twenty-two new tenure-track faculty into one of the finest cohorts of teachers and scholars in the world. We’re also celebrating the most diverse entering class in Williams history, and one of the most highly-qualified. We’re approaching completion of the first phase of the Science Center project, a vital home for teaching, learning, and research. We’ve opened a bookstore that’s bringing new energy to Spring Street—as will the new Williams Inn when it opens in 2019. And we’re making tremendous progress on the Teach It Forward campaign, with more than $560M raised so far, and thousands of Ephs giving time as mentors, volunteers, and more.

As we start this semester, the energy on campus is palpable. But so is the uncertainty. We’re coming together after a summer that laid bare—in Charlottesville and elsewhere—troubling fault lines in our national community. Then, last month, Hurricane Harvey further tested America’s resilience. There were Williams people caught in both storms, or personally affected by them. My heart goes out to them, as I know yours does, too.

It turns out the Purple Valley isn’t really a bubble at all. What happens in the world affects us here. If the nature of that impact is not yet clear, then we should take this time to think ahead about who we’ll want to be, and how we’ll want to act, in those moments when our values will be tested.

One of the great strengths we can draw on in such work is our commitment to each other. That doesn’t mean we need to think alike. Williams is a place where we respect, explore, and engage with differences. When we disagree, we aim to do so intelligently, openly, and with integrity. But there’s one proposition that isn’t up for debate: that every member of this community is of equal worth and has an equal right to be here. This simple truth is the essential value on which our community rests. Williams accepts students of all backgrounds who are committed to higher learning, and strives to sends them into the world as thoughtful and effective and moral people. Especially in light of the events of the past year, we should recommit ourselves to this purpose as we gather anew this week. Let’s look at what has happened in the world and think about how we’re going to meet the challenges ahead.

Much will become possible if we work together. Williams is a place where every person can and should bring their fullest self to our community, and where we should aim to contribute as much to this place as we draw from it. That’s what I’m going to commit to making possible in my last semester in the Purple Valley. I hope you’ll join me.

 

Adam Falk

President
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Drop/Add is now open– It’s time to explore courses!

Greetings, Ephs!

Welcome to Fall 2017 Drop/Add period! This is an opportunity to think about all we can explore and learn in the upcoming semester as we prepare to begin classes.

It’s time to make the most of Your 32 courses.

Many of your professors and classmates––and even President Falk––have been changed by one course they took outside of their comfort zone. They made the most of their 32. You can hear their stories in this short video.

As you’re solidifying your courses for this fall, you may want to consider:

  1. Taking a class in every division. This help you complete your divisional requirements, and it will encourage you to have a diverse schedule.
  2. Taking a class in a discipline you have never studied before. There are so many departments at Williams, and all of them are incredible! Try something new––perhaps you’ll fall in love with astronomy, or theater, or sociology, or any other discipline.
  3. Taking a class that uses different teaching methods. Never taken a course with an experiential component? Always wanted to try a lab course? This fall could be your semester to take a course in a totally different format.

Your 32 courses are an incredible opportunity to explore interests, challenge yourself, and learn about incredible topics. Take a risk. Try something new.

And, email professors to learn more about their courses! Professors often welcome students who are “shopping” courses to drop by their class on the first day. If you are interested in exploring a course by attending the first class meeting, contact the professor ahead of time. There is even a handy guide to help you write these sometimes-daunting emails.

This advice, we hope, is as true for first-years as it is for seniors. It is never too late to try something new.

These are Your 32.

They are Your Chance to Explore.

Drop/Add ends on September 15th. Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments. We would love to hear from you!

Yours in a love of course exploration,

Arielle Rawlings ’18
College Council Vice President for Academic Affairs
Stephanie Caridad ’18
Student Chair to the Committee for Educational Affairs
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Coming Soon: New Williams Online Housing Portal

Dear Students,
Over the past year, OIT and OSL have been working with a company named StarRez, to build and produce a centralized, cloud-based mechanism for student housing data management & room assignment/selection processes. We plan to use it for student housing selection for the first time for the August Mini-Lottery, so I wanted to share a little bit about it with you now.
Access for students will take place via a portal on the OSL website, using your Williams sign-in (like PeopleSoft). On that site, you will be able to participate in eligible housing selection & change processes, submit Special Housing Considerations information, see building rosters, view floor plans, create or join pick groups, etc. Most future room selection processes will be conducted online via the portal rather than in-person – including the large room draw we’ve held in Greylock in April the past many years. This means that you’ll be able to select your new room from the comfort of your current room. Or from Paresky. Or Sawyer Library. Or Tunnel City. Or New York City. Or London. You get the picture – wherever you are, if you have an internet connection, you can access the portal and participate.
Most housing processes will have the same parameters as they have in the past. One notable exception is that during a room selection process, there will only be a start time for groups to select based on their pick order, and not a by-group end time. This means that if you have a 3:30pm selection time and you forget about it until 4:15pm, it’s OK, you can still go in and select a room (until that entire room selection process ends and the selection portal closes).
We expect to learn a lot as we use the new system this first year, and we ask in advance for your patience as we do so. There may be times that we reach out to you to help us assess aspects of the system as well.
For now, we just wanted to let you know that this is coming; more details will be shared with you as we get closer to the August Mini-Lottery, including a link to the portal and instructions on how to access & use it. In the meantime, we hope you’re having a wonderful summer break.
 

-Doug

 
Douglas J.B. Schiazza, Director
Office of Student Life, Williams College
pronouns: he/him/his
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Fellowships Office, Welcome Back & News

Summer Fellows

If you received a summer fellowship, remember that your written report is due tomorrow, August 31.  Send to me as an word document attachment to email following the guidelines sent earlier.
 Upcoming Fellowship Deadlines & Info sessions 
 
Fall is a busy time of year for applications from graduating seniors! You can see campus and national deadlines on our webpage https://fellowships.williams.edu/    Also please read the Daily Messages for calendar updates or additional info sessions to be scheduled.
Coming up soon:
September 5, 5pm – Info session about the Fulbright research grant, Hopkins Hall 105
September 7, 5pm – Info Session about the Fulbright English teaching assistantship, Hopkins Hall 105
September 7, 5:45 pm – Info Session about the Watson & Chandler Fellowships, Hopkins Hall 105
September 11 – campus deadline for Fulbright research & study grant applications
September 18 – campus deadline for Fulbright English teaching assistantship applications
September 18 – Fulbright recommendations and foreign language evaluations are due online
October 10 – Campus deadline for Watson and Chandler Fellowships.  For access to the online application contact Lynn Chick
October 10 – Campus deadline for the Luce Scholarship
October 11 – Gates-Cambridge Scholarship deadline for US citizens
October 16 – Campus deadline for the Churchill Scholarship
October 24 – deadline for the Dr. Herchel Smith (Cambridge) and Donovan-Moody (Oxford) fellowships
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Winter Study 99, Roche Fellowship and Winter Study Travel Courses

FRIENDLY REMINDER!

 

The deadline to submit a Winter Study 99 proposal, apply for a Roche Fellowship or Winter Study Travel Course is Thursday, 28 September. All pertinent forms can be found online.

 

Winter Study 99s

(Note: there will be a 99 Workshop at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, September 12th in Hopkins Hall 002.)

 

Roche Fellowship for Winter Study 99 Research Projects and Theses

For Winter Study, any upper class student who is pursuing independent research either through a Winter Study 99 research project, or through a thesis, is eligible to apply.

 

Preference will be given to juniors for whom a proposed Winter Study 99 research project will catalyze a full-year honors thesis and to seniors doing a thesis or for whom a proposed Winter Study 99 research project will be their last opportunity to undertake advanced independent research at Williams. Sophomores for whom the project might catalyze an independent study on the same or related topic are also eligible. Proposals are not limited to any specific academic discipline.

 

Winter Study Travel Courses

 

Financial Aid is provided for 10-100% of the travel course costs based on the student’s level of financial need. Students receive notification of the percentage of their eligibility via email in late September.
(Note: Most travel course instructors will be holding informational meetings before the registration deadline. If you are on leave for fall semester, you should contact the instructor directly as soon as possible to express interest in his/her course. If you plan to be on leave FALL and SPRING semesters, you are not eligible to participate in a travel course.)

 

IMPORTANT: you can only apply for 1 travel course OR 1 99. If you apply for a travel course and are not admitted, you will be expected to register for a regular winter study course. YOU CANNOT APPLY FOR A LATE 99. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding the registration process for Winter Study 99’s, the Roche Fellowship, and/or Winter Study Travel Courses.

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Information for Returning Students

Dear Students,
I hope you are having a wonderful summer.  We are busy planning for fall – just a few more weeks until the Class of 2021 arrives – and I’m very much looking forward to your return to campus and to our community.  There are many questions you may have brewing at this point – about keys and cars and transportation and room openings and many other things.  We have a website which we hope will offer most of the answers, here.  Of course, if none of the links there answer your questions, we are here and happy to talk and figure things out.
I’m wishing you a joyful remainder of your summer and safe travel back to Williamstown.
All best,
Marlene J. Sandstrom
Dean of the College and Hales Professor of Psychology
Williams College
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Looking Ahead – Fall 2017 Check-In for Housing at Williams

To the Classes of 2018, 2019, & 2020,
Though the summer is barely upon us, I write today…
  • to highlight a new check-in process that we’ll be piloting this fall,
  • to remind you of move-in dates for the upcoming fall semester, and
  • to remind you of how to access meals prior to the official start of the fall semester meal plan.
More information about moving in can be found at this link.
You can always find regular opening & closing dates for campus housing at this link. Dates are typically put out at least 18 months in advance (sometimes even earlier), so as always, please plan your travel accordingly.
Be sure to read everything below, and plan accordingly. Best wishes for a wonderful summer.
Doug Schiazza
Director, Office of Student Life
 
************************************
In-Person Check-In
When you arrive to campus to move in, you’ll be checking in with a member of the OSL staff to receive your room key/code along with some general housing information – be sure to have your Williams ID with you.
The schedule & location for both early arrivals and for regular arrivals are noted below.

Fall 2017 Regular Arrivals

All Check-ins are at the Office of Student Life, Paresky 2nd floor. All times listed are Eastern time.

Students not involved in one of the early arrival activities listed farther below do not need to return to campus until classes begin on Thursday, September 7.

You may move into campus housing as early as Wednesday, August 30 @ 2pm​–giving you several days before classes start for travel, as well as some extra time to settle into your room if you choose to do so.
 
So, to be clear: unless you’re involved in the various pre-semester activities listed farther below, you won’t have access to campus housing until after 2pm onWednesday, August 30. If you arrive before your day ​and ​time to move in, you need to make your own accommodations elsewhere off-campus.

August 30
Check-In for returning students from 2pm – 7:30pm

August 31 – September 6
Check-In for returning students from 9am – 7:30pm

 
 
Fall 2017 Early Arrivals

All Check-ins are at the Office of Student Life, Paresky 2nd floor, unless otherwise noted below. All times listed are Eastern time.

The names of the students involved in the early arrival activities noted below will be provided to the Office of Student Life by the offices overseeing the early arrival programs.

August 19
Summer Students depart by 12noon (approved summer-to-fall Transitional students remain in summer housing)

August 21
Check-In for JAs, JAAB, 1st Gen Orientation leaders, International Orientation leaders, Transitional students from 5pm – 11pm

August 22
Check-In for Neighborhood Directors from 2pm – 5pm

August 23
Check-In for House Coordinators & Neighborhood Reps from 2pm – 5pm

August 24
Check-In for OIT leaders from 2pm – 5pm

August 25
Check-In for 1st Gen and International Students in the Class of 2021 from 8am – 8pm

August 26
Check-In for WOOLF Directors from 8am – 9am
Check-In for WOOLF leaders, Ephventure leaders, and Football players (first-year and upperclass) from 2pm – 9pm

August 28
Check-In for the Class of 2021 and College Council Co-Presidents @ Paresky First Floor from 8am – 1:30pm

August 29
Check-In for upperclass Cross Country, Field Hockey, Soccer, and Volleyball players from 8am – 7:30pm

Access to Meals in Campus Dining Halls
 
Again, students not involved in one of the early arrival activities above do not need to return to campus until classes begin on Thursday, September 7. Meals are covered by dining plans beginning with dinner on Wednesday, September 6. Meals won’t be covered by dining plans for students who return before Sept. 6 (unless they’re required to return because they’re involved in the early arrival activities above). You’re welcome to eat in the dining halls using your student ID card, but each meal will be charged to your student account. Questions about this should be directed to Dining Services.
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