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student support

Dear Students,

We understand that news of this weekend’s vandalism in Griffin Hall has hit many of you hard, and that it was especially troubling for this to happen during what was already a very fraught and difficult time for many members of our community.

I am writing to remind you that the deans, chaplains, members of the Davis Center staff, as well as members of the Psychological Counseling Services are all available to support students at any time. Please don’t hesitate to contact any of these people if you’d like to talk or are concerned about the well being of a friend. We all stand ready to help.

All best,

Dean Sandstrom

Marlene J. Sandstrom
Dean of the College and Hales Professor of Psychology
Williams College


Vandalism in Griffin Hall

To the Williams Community,

We write to share with you news of a disturbing incident of vandalism that occurred over the weekend in Griffin Hall. The vandalism was discovered and reported to the Williamstown Police Department around noon on Saturday by a visitor to campus.

Police determined that the vandalism, while abhorrent, did not create an immediate danger, nor did it constitute a specific threat toward any individuals or groups. Had there been a confirmed threat to our community we would have communicated with you about it immediately. We worried–without any information about the intent behind the act of vandalism–about the impact of an immediate campus-wide notification on our community, including the possibility that it would cause fear. We thought it important and responsible to wait until we investigated further, in the hope we would soon have more complete information to share.

Here’s what we know. Sometime on Saturday morning, what appears to be a wood-stain type substance was splattered down the stairs inside Griffin from the top to the first floor. The visitor who reported it to police described the stain as looking like blood. In addition, “AMKKK KILL” was written on the wall along the stairs in red paint. The same paint was found on some posters on the bulletin board outside Griffin 3.

WPD and Campus Safety and Security began an investigation, and WPD has notified the FBI and the Massachusetts State Police. Both WPD and CSS have continued an active investigation ever since, with CSS interviewing more than 40 individuals.

This vandalism is disturbing and intolerable, no matter what motivated it. In the current post-election climate, we have a heightened awareness for any actions or expressions that may be bias incidents. So far it has not been determined that this vandalism was a bias incident, but we will inform you if that changes, and we hope to report to you soon that the responsible person or people have been identified. If you have any information that might aid the investigation, we urge you to call CSS at X4444.


Adam Falk, President
Leticia S.E. Haynes, VP for Institutional Diversity and Equity
Steve Klass, VP for Campus Life
Marlene Sandstrom, Dean of the College


A Path Forward, Together

To the Williams Community,

Election night brought to a conclusion the most divisive American presidential campaign in recent memory. Many members of the Williams community, including—but not limited to—women; immigrants, both documented and not; people of color; Muslims, Jews, and other religious minorities; and LGBTQ people have felt directly and deeply the rhetoric of this campaign. The rhetoric was threatening and destructive both to the individuals at whom it was aimed and to our society’s most essential values.

Even before Election Day, there had been a deep worry—which I share—that the vitriol would continue beyond the campaign season. It is essential that we recommit ourselves today, as American society at large and as a Williams family here, to the fundamental respect and care for each other that underlie all healthy communities.

On the national, state, and local levels, this means engaging in politics, each of us working as hard as we can to ensure that the laws, policies, and practices of our government reflect concern for everyone in our world.

Here at Williams, it means renewing our commitment, as we should do every single day, to a fully inclusive, equitable community in which everyone can thrive. It means treating each other with deep respect, as we attend particularly to those who feel most vulnerable in this, or any, moment.

I’m inspired by the ways I see our community already seeking to unite this morning, and I’m reminded once more of the fundamental relevance of a Williams education. Our work—to educate global citizens who are informed and empowered to lead and who feel a responsibility to help create the community we all most fervently desire to live in—today seems more important than ever.


Adam Falk


In support of one another and our community

Dear Students, This election season has been one of the most fraught, divisive, and difficult in history, and has been challenging for all of us.  Many students (as well as faculty and staff) are feeling acutely upset, overwhelmed, and frightened this morning. Please take this opportunity to reach out to your classmates, to offer support, to be open to discussion, to be ready to listen, and to remind everyone you see on campus that our community stands ready to support all of us. In times of stress, one of the most helpful things we can do is come together and exchange our ideas, beliefs, fears, and plans for strategic action.  Please take the opportunity to do this, both inside and outside of the classroom.  Find ways to engage with each other, with faculty and staff, with your families and friends at home.  Above all, take good care of yourselves. In addition, there are many additional resources available to you, and I encourage you to use them.  Please come see us in the Dean’s Office, in the Davis Center, in the Chaplains Office, and in the Health Center.  We are here to talk, to problem solve, and to listen.  You don’t need to have a specific question or concern…..just a desire to connect and find support.  And if you are aware that a friend or classmate is struggling, please help them find their way to us.   All best wishes, Dean Sandstrom


All Day Today: Reflection and Conversation at The Davis Center

Good morning,


The Davis Center will be open throughout the day and evening to provide a space and place for reflecting, connecting and caring.  Members of the community should feel free to stop by at any time.  There will be food available.


Leticia Smith-Evans Haynes, Ph.D.

Vice President

Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity

Williams College | Williamstown, MA

(P) 413.597.4376


Call for Nominations for an Olmsted Prize

To the Class of 2017,

Did you have a teacher in high school who made a big difference in your life? Someone whose teaching inspired you and whose dedication helped you on your path? 

Now’s your chance to say thank you—with our help. Every year during Commencement Weekend, the college honors several teachers with the Olmsted Prize for Excellence in Secondary School Teaching. We bring the recipients to Williamstown and present them with the award and a $3,000 prize, and an additional $5,000 goes to each teacher’s school. They’re celebrated at a special dinner and during Ivy Exercises that weekend.

I can tell you that the teachers who receive these prizes are incredibly honored by the tributes from the students who’ve nominated them, and the weekend during which they’re celebrated stands out as one of the most memorable experiences of their lives. It’s also enormously meaningful for all of us on campus to meet and thank a few of the many devoted teachers whose work helped bring you to Williams. And as we do so, it’s a chance for Williams to honor teachers—and teaching—broadly and very publicly, on an occasion when the world is watching.

I write now to invite you to nominate a teacher who’s had a profound impact on your life. There’s more information—including guidelines and a nomination form—online. The deadline for submitting a nomination is Tuesday, January 3.

I hope you’ll take this opportunity to participate in one of Williams’ most wonderful traditions. 


Adam Falk


November Lyceum on 11/15/2016

Dear fellow Ephs,

Hope your midterms season is winding down because…it’s time for the second Lyceum dinner of the year!

The Nutting Family cordially invites you to ask a professor or staff member (administration, chaplains, health services, Davis Center, campus life, CSS, facilities, dining services, etc.) to a partially subsidized, three-course meal at the Faculty Club for this special dinner. This Lyceum Dinner will be held at the Faculty House at 6:45 pm on Tuesday, Nov. 15th, 2016

Due to popular demand and to accommodate everyone’s busy schedules, this dinner will be flexible in terms of how many people can be in each party. 1, 2, 3… up to 7 students may invite any ONE member of the faculty or staff to dinner. (We are trying this out still so things may revert in the future.)

Another important clarification: if selected to attend Lyceum, it WILL take away your meal swipe for dinner on 11/15/2016. That’s why we ask for your student ID’s on the registration form. Sorry for the confusion in the past and we hope this won’t deter you from signing up! The meal swipes help pay for a portion of dinner. The Nutting Fund pays for all of the faculty/staff guests’ Lyceum meals and for 1/2 of each Lyceum meal for students with meal plans. If you are a senior and not on a meal plan, don’t worry you can still attend! Just clarify on the form that you don’t have a meal plan and the Nutting Fund will also cover your meal!

Spaces are given on a first-come, first-served basis, with preferences given to:

1) those with parties of 4 (3 students and 1 faculty/staff)

2) those who have not yet attended a Lyceum dinner (still best chance for the class of 2020 out there yayy).

The entrée options for this dinner are:

-Salmon with maple-dijon glaze

-Chicken with sundried tomatoes and basil cream sauce

-Vegetable Strata

To register, please fill out the online form at:

As always, forward a confirmation email from your guest; your registration will not be considered until we receive the guest’s confirmation email.

The online registration form will close as soon as all spaces have been filled. If you have any questions, please email



Lyceum Coordinator


Pre-Registration is now open! It’s time to explore courses!

Greetings, Ephs!

Welcome to Spring 2017 Pre-Registration! This is an opportunity to think about all we can explore and learn in the upcoming semester.

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 choosing courses for the spring, 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 tutorial before? What about a course with an experiential component? Always wanted to try a lab course? This spring 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! 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.

Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments. We would love to hear from you!

Yours in a love of course exploration (and Halloween),
Jeffrey Rubel ‘17, Allegra Simon ‘18, and Alex Besser ’17

Committee on Educational Affairs and College Council

The Williams Honor Code

Dear Students,

As we begin the second half of the term, it seems like a good opportunity to remind everyone of our honor code and its importance.

The Williams Honor Code was created and is administered by students. It is meant to embody our shared values about the importance of academic honesty, and our commitment to abiding by a set of rules meant to insure that integrity.

And yet, in the midst of the semester, when students are feeling so many kinds of pressure, the temptation to cut corners, borrow work, or get help of a kind prohibited in a given course, can be overwhelming. We urge you to resist that temptation, even when you think it won’t be noticed, won’t cause any lasting damage, or will save you from a terrible or even failing grade. First, no grade is worth violating the trust of the community. Second, though you may think the chances of getting caught are slim, we can assure you that if you are reported to the committee and it is decided that you did indeed violate the honor code, the consequences are far worse than whatever grade you would have gotten on your own.

So please, as you launch into these next weeks of hard work, keep the honor code in mind. If you have any questions about what is or is not permitted in a given course, ask your professors. They expect such questions and are happy to have the chance to clarify their own specific rules for papers, projects and exams. If you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed about a particular assignment or your workload in general, remember that there are many good avenues for getting help (your professor, the Dean’s Office, the MSRC, the Writing Workshop, and others). Please reach out to those resources rather than compromising your commitment to academic integrity.


Susan Engel, Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Honor Committee
Walford Campbell ‘17, Student Chair of the Honor Committee
Marlene Sandstrom, Dean of the College


2017 Spring Break Out Trip (BOT) application now open!

Dear Students,

All current Williams students are invited to apply to one of the ten Break Out Trips (spring break service trips) being offered for 2017! Read about the wide variety of trip options at, and apply online at application deadline is Sunday, November 13th

Each trip’s leaders will host an informal Q&A session this week for interested participants as follows (the full schedule is also available at

Monday, October 31st

  • 7:30-8:30pm - New York City Youth Outreach (Paresky 210)
  • 8-10pm - Global Medical Training – Dominican Republic (Paresky 207)

Tuesday, November 1st

  • 7-8pm - Ghana ThinkTank: Strengthening Cultural & Environmental Sustainability in Detroit (Paresky 207)
  • 7-8pm - Sustainable Nutrition in the Ecuadorian Amazon (Paresky 210)
  • 8-10pm - Teaching English in China (Paresky 207)

Wednesday, November 2nd

  • 5-6pm - Chaplains’ Interfaith Service Team – Tuscaloosa, AL (Paresky 205)
  • 7-8pm TEED (Technology, Environment, Education & Dance) Program – Ghana (Paresky 210)
  • 8:30-9:30pm - Meaningful Mystic (Paresky 210)

Thursday, November 3rd

  • 7-8pm - ServeUP – New Orleans (Paresky 210)
  • 8-10pm - Berkshire Break Out Trip (Paresky 210)
Please note that you may apply to only one trip as your primary selection.  Upon submitting the online application form, it will be sent automatically to the organizers of the trip you have selected.  The organizers may then reply back to you with some trip-specific follow-up questions.  Please respond to these questions within 24 hours.

Remember that you are not obligated at this time to make a full commitment, financial or otherwise, to the trip.  Upon notification of your acceptance to a trip later in November, you will have another full week before your commitment form is due, and until at least early 2017 before any payments are required.

Break Out, Williams!

Colin Ovitsky, on behalf of the Break Out Trip Committee:

Paula Consolini, Center for Learning in Action
Mike Evans, Zilkha Center
Ben Lamb, Student Life
Sharif Rosen, Chaplains’ Office
Rick Spalding, Chaplains’ Office
Nora Lee ’17
Megan Maher ’17

Halloween, Costumes, & Cultural Appropriation

Happy Halloween!

As you are aware​ from Dean Sandstrom’s email from earlier this month​, ​the holiday can present some challenges with costumes and cultural appropriation​​​.​ P​​​lease read the following information as something to think about with Halloween parties scheduled throughout the weekend.

If you are planning a costume, it’s worth noticing the ways in which costumes can be harmful if they mock or caricature a culture. Before you put on someone else’s culture as a costume or as a joke, think about how your costume might be experienced by someone from that culture, especially if individuals from the culture have been subject to racism or discrimination.

For “A Short Guide to Cultural Appropriation,” click on the attachment (it was developed by Rhon Manigault-Bryant, ​Associate Dean of the Faculty, ​Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Faculty ​Affiliate in Religion). An excerpt:

Cultural appropriation is an aspect of human exchange that refers to the taking of someone else’s culture (expressions, dress, intellectual property, artifacts, knowledge, art forms, etc.) without “permission.” Cultural appropriation is very tricky to navigate as there are fine lines between attributing “ownership,” showing one’s appreciation for, and mocking or parodying another culture. The stakes are also heightened when aspects of culture are taken from minority groups or groups that have traditionally been oppressed or marginalized, and, as a result, those who take, borrow, or ‘exploit’ those aspects of culture benefit from them in terms of capital, power, prestige, and popularity. This benefit often occurs at the expense of the very group from which aspects of culture were appropriated.

Don’t hesitate to ask if you have questions​; ​staff at the Davis Center, Dean’s Office, Chaplains’ Office and Office of Student Life are all happy to help.

Wishing you a good, safe, and fun Halloween weekend.​ (And be sure to visit OSL on the 2nd floor of Paresky on Monday – we’ll have lots of treats to share!)​


Douglas J.B. Schiazza
Office of Student Life * Williams College
pronouns: he/him/his


The Career Center & Its Fabulous Successes

Did you know that 80% of first-years have met with someone at the Career Center already? We’re quite a special bunch, aren’t we? Let’s return, for the second time this week, to the Career Center singing our praises:


We leave you with an upbeat note from Mike O’Connor, Associate Director/Director of the Career Discovery Program…”Congratulations to the Class of 2020, who have been utilizing the Career Center at unprecedented levels! Nearly 80% of the class has met with a counselor already, which is truly impressive. Personally, I’ve been pleased with the number of students whom have already drafted college-appropriate resumes, as this leaves them better prepared to compete for summer job and internship opportunities. Well done, first-years!”


Gee, I wonder why that could be? Is Williams finally on the verge of creating a maximally careerist student body? Has Admissions finally got a handle on how to weed out all the would-be professors and regular ol’ burn-outs? This email from a few months ago is appended without comment — draw your own conclusions as to why frosh are “utilizing the Career Center at unprecedented levels”:

It’s with great pleasure that I welcome you to the Williams Career Family!   At Williams, Career Development as a four year process of exploring, defining, and achieving your life goals; all starting now!

€‹Fortunately, during the first three weeks of the Semester you’ll be meeting with your college Career Guidance Counselor to convert your high-school resume into a college format, learn about incredible internships, and begin thinking about how to make best use of your college years ahead.

All Class of 2020 incoming students are expected to Schedule an appointment immediately.  To do so…

  1. Log into Rt. 2 using your abbreviated email address as your username (e.g., and 7 digit Student ID Number without the W as your password (e.g., 1234567).
  2. Click “Schedule A Counseling Appointment” from the Shortcuts box on the right side of the page.
  3. For this first appointment, please follow these specific instructions. Select Appointment (In Person) under “Type”, and select Date Range as “2016-08-29″ to “2016-9-30″. You may choose your preferred time parameters in the “Time Range” field. Click the + icon underneath “Counselors” to select all available counselors, and choose the days that you’re available (our counselors are here Monday through Friday).
  4. Click “Check Availability” and select a day and appointment time by clicking on a counselor’s name.
  5. Type “Introductory Appointment” and any details you wish to share with your Counselor in the “Reason for Visit” box.
  6. Click “Submit Request” and you’re done!

To get even more out of your appointment €‹bring a draft of your resume modeled after the attached college template.

Enjoy your last few weeks of summer!  We can’t wait to meet you!



Michael O’Connor
Director of the Career Discovery Program
Williams College

(Bolding, pointedly, not mine.)

But since I’m just out of midterms and could really use a chuckle, here, for your enjoyment as much as mine, is the sample resume provided, the Williams student of the administration’s ideality: First_Year_Resume_Template_Updated (1)

Pretty much bang-on, if I do say myself. If you took all the students that get put in the promotional errata and stuck them in a blender, this is just about what you’d get: from NE, plays a sport, has enough gall to study something interesting (Arabic, in this case) but not enough to not major in Econ too, politically “active” (read: aimlessly volunteerist; actual political/social energy is bad, better to be “fostering discussions”) and does some kind of inexplicable thing with computers, “Java” or whatever that’s supposed to mean.

I don’t think I could do a better job of creating a stereotypical Williams student. If anyone in the comments would like to try, please, do.


Dean of Faculty Announcement

To the Williams Community,

I write to share with you news about the position of dean of faculty. As you know, Cluett Professor of Religion Denise K. Buell has served admirably as dean since July 2014. At its October meeting, the Board of Trustees approved a second full term for Denise, a term that will begin in July 2018. For the 2017-18 academic year, she will return to the faculty to take an earned sabbatical to work on a book project. During that period, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Chemistry Lee Park will serve as interim dean of faculty.

Lee has been a member of the Williams faculty since 1993, having earned a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and a PhD from MIT. She is on leave this year, following two years of service as associate dean of faculty. Lee has served the college in many capacities during her time at Williams, most recently as chair of the Committee on Educational Policy and as a member of the Committee on Appointments and Promotions.

I’m deeply grateful to Lee for agreeing to serve in this interim role and to Denise for her readiness to return to the position upon the completion of her sabbatical. My thanks as well to the Faculty Steering Committee, with whom I consulted closely on these appointments. The willingness of faculty to serve in key roles in the administration is at the heart of our system of shared governance—a critical contributor to the enduring excellence of our college.


Adam Falk


Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Search Forum – Thursday, November 3 (7:30PM-8:30PM at Goodrich Hall)

To the Williams Community,

As you may have heard, the process of creating and hiring for the new position of Dean of Admission and Financial Aid is underway. To help inform how we communicate with and assess candidates for this newly created position, the search committee would like to seek input from the college student community as a whole. As a part of this process, we would like to share that there will be a public forum, which will take place at Goodrich Hall on November 3rd at 7:30-8:30pm.

Members of the committee will be on hand to listen to your comments and feedback, as well as answer any questions you may have. Hearing from as many people as possible will give us the fullest possible picture in making our decisions. We plan on this being a round-circle discussion. If you cannot make it but would still like to offer your thoughts/ask questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Bum Shik at bsk3 or in person around campus at any time.

Thank you for your participation and assistance in this process, which is of great importance to Williams now and in the future. We hope to see you there.

On behalf of the Dean of Admission and Financial Aid Search Committee,
Bum Shik Kim, Class of 2019
Dukes Love, Provost and Professor of Economics


What’s new at the Career Center

A note from Don Kjelleren, Career Center Director

Welcome to the Williams Career Center’s inaugural Newsletter!

The semester is well underway, and the Career Center is in full gear. We offer a splendid array of opportunities for career exploration at Williams, and we hope students will take full advantage of them.

Our first issue opens with an invitation to the Fall Open House this Thursday, October 27th. We also recap our signature and newly-created autumn events: the Job and Internship Fair, the launch of Careers with Social Impact (CSI henceforth), and our First-Years initiative. It has been an incredibly stimulating semester, and we are only just beginning. In upcoming issues, you can expect a deeper dive into stories about our Williams students’ successes, events sponsored by the Center, and Career Community initiatives. We couldn’t be more excited!

Personally, it has been an extraordinary privilege and pleasure to work with the Williams community for the past 9 months. I can’t wait for the next!

Thanks for reading,

Career Center Fall Open House!
Thursday, October 27th, Mears House, 12:30 – 4pm

Enjoy cider donuts and other tasty treats while you learn about the resources we have to offer. The afternoon will feature specialized sessions to help you explore career areas specific to your interests, and career search strategy seminars. Learn more about the event and schedule here.

Read more


Halloween Celebrations

Dear Students,

I hope this email finds you all well, and that you are enjoying this beautiful beginning of fall. With fall comes the changing of leaves, crisp mornings, and of course, Halloween celebrations.

Halloween is traditionally a time for gathering with friends, donning costumes, slipping into a different persona for a few hours, and eating candy with wild abandon. There can be great joy in planning costumes, gatherings, and celebrations. In the midst of the excitement, however, students can lose sight of their usual sensitivity and good judgement about how their behavior will impact others. In particular, students sometimes choose costumes that misrepresent, marginalize, or poke fun at particular racial or cultural groups, religions, socioeconomic classes, sexual identities, or other groups. Although students who choose these costumes often do not intend to offend anyone, their costumes can make others feel offended or marginalized.

If you are planning to dress-up for Halloween, or will be attending any social gatherings planned for the weekend, please think carefully about your costume. Williams is committed to being a supportive and safe community for all of its members. So please do be safe and thoughtful, and have fun in a way that doesn’t impinge on the fun of others.

All best wishes,

Dean Sandstrom

Marlene J. Sandstrom
Dean of the College and Hales Professor of Psychology
Williams College
Phone: (413) 597-4261


A Call to Action

Hello Ephs,

We wanted to reach out to you all about an important upcoming event. As hopefully most of you know by now, the Board of Trustees will be on campus this upcoming weekend. They will be hosting an Open Forum for all students this Saturday from 1-2:30pm in Griffin 3. The aim of this event is to foster engagement between the student body and the Board of Trustees, and will allow opportunities for questions, storytelling, and listening. In sharing our personal experiences, we hope members of the Board will be able to better understand what Ephs need and want from our institution today.

This forum will be the first of three events hosted by the Board of Trustees for students this year. In order for CC to best represent you, we invite you to fill out this quick and anonymous survey. Additionally, you can find the Facebook event here.

In preparation for this event, we encourage you to think carefully about your time at Williams. This is a great opportunity for us to share our stories, and learn from one another about the issues and realities our classmates are facing. We urge all who are able to take this opportunity to strengthen our relationship with the Board and work towards positive and lasting change at Williams.

All the Best,

The College Council Executive Board

Michelle Bal and Caitlin Buckley
Alex Besser
VP for Academic Affairs
Ben Gips
VP for Student Affairs
Chetan Patel and Ava Anderson
VP for Student Organizations
Suiyi Tang
VP for Community and Diversity
Michael Rubel
VP for Communications
Web Farabow
Allegra Simon


what’s happening in the provost’s office

Dear Students,

I hope you’ve all had a great start to the fall semester. I know that this is a busy time for all, but I wanted to take a moment to let you know how excited I am to be starting my term as provost and to update you on some of the work going on in the Provost’s Office.

But first, what on earth does the provost actually do? Fundamentally, the provost is responsible for strategic planning and for allocating the resources of the college to advance our educational priorities. In practice, this means evaluating budget requests, taking part in discussions of current and proposed building projects, and generally making sure we’re making wise resource decisions in support of our mission. As an economist, this work is dear to my heart.

The provost is also responsible for eight critical functional areas of the college: the libraries, WCMA, the Science Center, OIT, the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives, admission, financial aid, and institutional research. These are all complex operations, and they are run by a talented and dynamic set of directors. It would take pages to provide even a thumbnail description of the full portfolio of activities across all of these areas, but it’s worth highlighting some the most visible and important changes that are currently taking place in these areas.
Read more


It’s Mountain Day!

The mountains call us
In their sun-dappled splendor.
Let’s get out and play!

Adam Falk
President and Professor
Williams College

From Scott Lewis, Director of the Outing Club:

Visit to see the list of hikes and on-campus events AND to check for any updates should the weather suddenly change!

A quick summary of the day:

10 a.m. – hike to Stone Hill for singing and donuts

11 a.m – 1 p.m. community picnic on Chapin Lawn
Administrative offices should consider closing for an hour to enjoy this campus-wide celebration.

12:30 p.m. – bus transportation to Stoney Ledge and Hopper trailheads (buses parked along Mission Park Drive behind Chapin Hall). Since the bus will not bring you directly to Stoney Ledge, please be prepared for changing weather and temperatures as you hike up AND down the mountain 2 miles each way. You should have hiking shoes for wet, muddy, slick terrain and bring a filled water bottle!

2:45 p.m. – performances by student groups, refreshments provided

4:45 p.m. – bus transportation from Stoney Ledge and Hopper trailheads to Mission Park Drive

Hope you can all seize the day and take a time out to be out!!


Notice of Availability – Williams College Annual Security and Fire Safety Report

To the Williams Community,

The College’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report was published on-line in September 2016 and can be viewed at –

The Annual Security Report discloses information concerning campus safety and security policies and procedures, as well as statistics regarding certain types of crimes reported to the campus and local law enforcement during the calendar year 2015.
This report includes:

Policies and procedures
Security awareness programs
Crime Prevention
Security of and access to College facilities
Campus Safety Authorities CSA
Possession, use and sale of alcoholic beverages and illegal drugs
Sex offenses and the sex offender registry
Violence Against Women Act VAWA
Reporting of crimes and emergencies
Emergency notification systems
Crime statistics for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015

The Annual Fire Safety Report includes:

Fire safety policies
Fire statistics for on-campus student residences 2013,2014 and 2015
Fire safety systems, alarm monitoring and sprinkler systems
Fire drills
Polices relating to portable electrical appliances
Evacuation procedures
Fire safety training

Together, these reports provide students, prospective students, employees, and prospective employees with key information regarding the security of the campus and surrounding areas, and ultimately, create a safer, more secure campus environment. To request a paper copy of the current Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, please contact our Associate Director for Clery Compliance and Training, Alison Warner at 413-597-4444 or by email at



[Editor — Permanent copy here (pdf).]


Supporting Each Other in the Midst of Tragic National Events – Tomorrow (Wednesday) at 6 PM in Hardy House

Dear Members of the Williams Community,

During the past few weeks our nation has again experienced a wave of tragic and disturbing events – events which are having a significant impact on our campus community.

Tomorrow evening, members of our community are invited to gather in a safe space where we can reflect, listen, speak and support each other.

Members of the Davis Center, Chaplains’ Office, Dean’s Office and other supportive staff are available – today, tomorrow evening as we gather, and in days ahead.

Those offices are open; students are always welcome to reach out. After hours, Campus Safety and Security can always help you connect with any of these supportive resources if you call 597-4444.


Leticia Smith-Evans Haynes
Vice President
Institutional Diversity and Equity

Molly Magavern
Interim Director
The Davis Center

Rick Spalding
Chaplain to the College


College Council Candidates #VoteVoteVote


College Council is excited to share this fall’s CANDIDATES FOR ELECTION! You can find the self-nominations packet here or at our website,

Some dates to note:

TONIGHT, Monday, in Baxter Hall, from 5:30 to 7:30, come meet your candidates for election
– Polls are open from this Thursday, September 22 at 4:00 PM until this Sunday, September 25 at 8:00 PM

Thank you for voting, and don’t forget that it’s never too late to get involved with CC. Even if you didn’t run, feel free to drop by one of our weekly meetings once our fall term starts in October.


Michael Rubel
VP for Communications

[Ed. — Permanent copy here.]


Our Work for a Sustainable Future

To the Williams Community,

Welcome to the start of a new academic year! With the arrival of the Class of 2020 and a fantastic cohort of new faculty members, the year ahead holds great promise. And I hope you’ll take these last few days of summer weather to enjoy the beautiful new (and car-free!) library quad, a space that I expect will become a new heart of the Williams community.

But before we dive into the semester, I’d like to spend some time updating you on the important work that’s been done over the past year to advance our sustainability goals and implement our plan for addressing climate change.

Last year at this time, the Board of Trustees and I announced an ambitious set of initiatives that are both symbolically and practically significant—commitments worthy of Williams and requiring broad financial investment as well as dedication by individuals and the entire community to help lead in the fight against climate change. I’m grateful for the work of so many over the past year to make meaningful progress, and happy to be able to share with you now details of our forward movement. As you’ll see from the length of this letter, I have a lot to report to you, and there’s much more to come.
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Start of Fall Semester

I hope you are looking forward to the start of fall semester which begins tomorrowThursday, 8 September!


A friendly reminder that there are one-time organizational meetings on Thursday evening (RORG) for courses that do not normally meet during the first two days of classes. There are also some one-time meetings on Friday, September 9th (FORG) for courses that normally have a Monday/Wednesday schedule.


Note: Instructors may drop students who do not attend the first class meeting; organizational meetings (RORG) and first Friday meetings (FORG) count as the first class meeting of those courses.


Barbara Casey


Williams College


Alcohol Policy

Welcome to a new year at Williams! As we delight in having you on campus, we want to do all we can to ensure your safety and provide for a healthy community. To that end, we want to share with you the college’s policies related to alcohol. Our aim with these policies is about following the law, of course, but it’s also—importantly—about reducing high-risk drinking behaviors.


Here are the main elements of our campus alcohol policies and Responsible Party Standards:


  • Hard alcohol and common source alcohol (kegs, punch, etc.) are prohibited
  • Providing alcohol to anyone under 21 is prohibited (and illegal)
  • Parties of more than 20 people must be registered
  • Party hosts must adhere to safe room capacity and safe drinking standards (no more than 120 servings of beer or wine permitted, or up to twice the room capacity, whichever is less)


Visit  for more details.
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Your 32. Your Chance to Explore. – Add-Drop Opens Tuesday!

Welcome to Add-Drop Period!

The start of the semester is your chance to explore and try something new. You have 32 courses at Williams; make the most of all of them! You just might learn the most when you take a course outside of your comfort zone. Take a risk. Try something new. (And, remember designating a course pass-fail is an option up until halfway through the semester).

Use the first two days of the semester to explore all the Williams curriculum has to offer! Do not limit yourself to the courses you pre-registered for. Go to the first class meetings of courses that look interesting — this is a great way for you to test out a class and see if you like it. Professors welcome students in the first class meeting of open courses (so long as you contact them ahead of time). During the first two days of the semester, you may want to go to five or six (or maybe even more) first class meetings.

This advice, we hope, is as true for first-years as it is for seniors. It is never too late to try something new. As a liberal arts college, there are incredible courses and professors across the three divisions; this is your opportunity to see what is out there in classrooms from Bronfman to Spencer to Hollander.

These are “Your 32.” They are “Your Chance to Explore.” Make the most of it!

Yours in a love of the liberal arts,

Jeffrey Rubel ‘17 and Allegra Simon ‘18

Student Chair of the Committee on Educational Affairs and College Council VP of Academic Affairs


Invitation to Convocation, Saturday 17-Sep-2016

Dear member of the class of 2017,

I invite you to participate in Fall Convocation, the ceremonial opening of the academic year.  Seniors and faculty march in academic dress, so please see the end of this message for information on when and where to pick up your cap and gown.

Details about Convocation may be found here.

Convocation will be held on the morning of Saturday, September 17, in Chapin Hall.  The senior class lines up in caps and gowns on the lawn of Morgan Hall at 10:15 a.m. under the direction of class marshals Velia Moran Olivas and Scott Shelton.  The procession steps off at exactly 10:40.  The ceremony starts at 11:00 and lasts about an hour.  There is a rain plan, but I’ll only alert you to the details if there is a chance of rain.

Convocation celebrates the senior class and its many accomplishments.  President Adam Falk and College Council Co-Presidents Michelle Bal and Caitlin Buckley welcome the seniors.  Sammi Stone and Gabe Morosky perform a musical number.  Vice President Steve Klass presents the Grosvenor Cup Award and Dean Marlene Sandstrom introduces the seniors elected to Phi Beta Kappa at the end of their junior year.

Bicentennial Medals are awarded to five distinguished alumni. Medalist Maxine Burkett gives the Convocation Address “Climate, Complexity, and Other Devils: James Garfield and the Seventh Generation.”

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support and resources

Dear Students,

I hope this note finds you well.  Many of you woke up this morning to hear the very sad news of Professor Leslie Brown’s passing.  Although this point in the summer is often a quiet time on campus, I wanted to assure you that there are resources in place for any students who would like some support in processing this loss to our community.  As you know, Rick Spalding has organized a gathering for students who would like to join together for support, reflection and solidarity; this will happen tomorrow evening (Tuesday) at 7 pm in Rice House.
In addition, students are also welcome, as always, to contact any member of the staff of the Dean’s Office, the Davis Center or the Chaplains’ Office for support.  We are all happy to be helpful in any way that we can.
Dean Sandstrom

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