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Co-Presidents’ Inaugural Address

David asks, and Kim Dacres ’08 delivers, just six hours later:

Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2007 21:02:09 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Co-Presidents Inaugural Address

HELLO WILLIAMS! Morgan Goodwin and I would like to thank you for electing us student body presidents. Our main goals for this year will focus around:

1. Student Leadership
2. Diversity Initiative
3. Sustainability
4. Club Sports

We look forward to hearing feedback from you in order to accomplish these goals and any other projects you want to see accomplished. With that said look out for a Suggestion Box in Paresky.

College Council will begin to have Office Hours Sunday-Thurs 8pm-10pm in the College Council Office -203c Organizations Suite.

Office hours are an official time for anyone to drop by and ask questions about the inner workings of the college, make suggestions, and just simply talk. We’ll do our best to answer all questions and generally try to direct you in the right direction.

We’re looking forward to this upcoming term as CC Co-Presidents. And we’re ready to work for you! WORD IS BOND.

Morgan & Kimbo


Honor and Discipline Report

To: Faculty, Staff, and Students:
The Honor and Discipline Committees report to the College twice each year about the nature of the cases heard, the judgments made, and the penalties and sanctions that were decided. This report covers the meetings of the Committee that reviewed cases that occurred during Fall of 2006 and Winter Study of 2007. Following this report is a report on disciplinary decisions of the Dean’s Office.

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Paresky Update 3/1

Today’s latest update:

Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2007 17:48:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Paresky Update 3/1

Hello once again everyone. Here are some more updates – thanks for being patient with all of my emails.

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Rock Paresky

Below the break is an e-mail about partying in Paresky this week-end. Kudos to all involved. If you go, tell us about it! If the College could turn Paresky into a partying place, with dancing and entertainment every Friday and Saturday, it would radically alter (in a good way!) the social life of the College. Here’s hoping.

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Paresky updates

This is today’s message from Doug Schiazza.

Date: Fri, 23 Feb 2007 10:12:45 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Paresky Updates 2/23

Greetings. Below are more updates – some are responses to suggestions and inquiries I received from the last message that was sent. I hope this will help to clarify some things.

(And I’m sorry to keep flooding your inboxes – for the time being, it seems like this is the best way to communicate these things with the entire campus, since it potentially affects the entire campus. Thanks for your patience and understanding.)

The full message is below.

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Runoff in co-pres election

From Jose:

Candidate:                           2007:       2008:       2009:       2010:       Overall:       Comments:
Bagna Braestrup & Jonathan Prigoff   59 (38.56%) 82 (31.18%) 83 (35.62%) 127 (38.48%) 351 (35.85%) Run-Off
Emily Siegel & John Greenwald        14 (9.15%)  67 (25.48%) 34 (14.59%) 33 (10.00%)  148 (15.12%) Not-Elected
Kimberly Dacres & Morgan Goodwin     74 (48.37%) 114(43.35%) 114(48.93%) 169 (51.21%) 471 (48.11%) Run-Off

Sorry the formatting is a little bit bad. Strange that there was no announcement of this, not even “log into Jose to see the election results.” Again, I learned on Facebook.


Paresky Center opens today

As the Record put it in their front-page headline, “Heart of campus beats again.” The Paresky Center opens this morning, with the Snack Bar and Marketplace Servery offering free samples of their food. This is set to coincide with Winter Carnival (full schedule of events here (pdf).

It looks just about how they planned that it would. Here is the architect’s rendering of how it would look:

And here is the same view as of yesterday:
(Unrelated question: Why is there a flagpole in the artist’s rendering, when there is none in real life? Has there ever been a flagpole there? Was there one there when Baxter was there, and they removed it during construction, or does it just make the picture look better? By the way, the college flag that was at half-mast for Nate Krisoff ’03 was the one on Sawyer Lawn, near Hopkins Hall.)

In a previous thread, I mentioned that I had heard that Paresky wanted to remain anonymous, with his name not appearing on the building. Other people had not heard this, but it turns out to be true. A February 9, 2007 press release makes this clear:

In 2004, the Pareskys made a multi-million dollar gift – one of the largest contributions the college has ever received – to The Williams Campaign in support of Williams’ endowment and financial aid program. In recognition of their generosity, the Board of Trustees voted to name the new student center in the Pareskys’ honor.


When they initially made their gift, the Pareskys asked to remain anonymous. “I am glad they have agreed that we can now celebrate this contribution publicly,” said Schapiro, “something they’ve allowed us to do not because they require any recognition but because they hope to inspire others to be generous to Williams and our ambitious strategic plan.”

The Paresky Center is being constructed on the site of Williams’ former student union, Baxter Hall, named for the college’s 10th president, James Phinney Baxter, 3rd, Class of 1914. To carry on Baxter’s name, Paresky requested that the central gathering place in The Paresky Center be called Baxter Hall. “This is precisely the sort of graceful gesture Dave Paresky would think to make,” said Schapiro.

After spring break, students will have their mailboxes in the new student center, and will no longer need the Building 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, A, B, C, or D (depending on the year) on their mail. The mailboxes will be larger, but they will still turn first to the left, rather than to the right.

It remains to be seen whether the student center will work so well as to deserve the press release’s title of “the college’s first true student center,” or if, as Frank Uible advises, no one will eat at a place called Marketplace Servery.

Also see the floorplans which (if you click for the large version) clearly detail which organization gets which space in the building.

See the extended entry for Doulas Schiazza’s e-mail yesterday about the opening.

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This post is for Williamstown EphBlog readers and for any interested Williams people whom I did not contact by e-mail. I will have my boat in Laselle (the old basketball court, at the crew Ergathon) from 6-8 pm tonight. If you are interested in seeing it in person, come by. If you are not interested, stay away. Thanks.


CC co-pres candidates advertise on Facebook

Our author Morgan Goodwin ’08 has teamed up with another JA, Kimbo Dacres ’08, to run for the college council co-presidency. This was “announced,” if you will, by creating a group and inviting people to join. A screenshot is below. Edit: Screenshot of a competing co-presidential ticket, that of Bagna Braestrup and Jon Prigoff, added below. Edited again: Third presidential ticket, Greenwald and Siegel, screenshot added.




It may be noted that the winning president, vice president, and secretary for the Class of 2007 all had groups of this nature, with instructions on how to vote (the Alumni Office did not make it particularly user-friendly), while those who lost the election (including me) did not. It is unlikely that anyone who runs for an office in the near future will make this mistake again. It is also kind of sad that this is how campaigning is done, although it is cheap and good in a campaign-finance-reform sort of way.


Karen Merrill offered position of Dean

To the Williams Community,

I am delighted to report that, after consulting with the Faculty
Steering Committee, I have offered the position of Dean of the
College to Karen Merrill of the History Department and she has accepted.

In addition to Karen’s distinguished work as a teacher and award-
winning scholar she has administrative experience as Director of the
Center for Environmental Studies. She also has served on the
College’s Committee on Academic Standing, the Committee on Pedagogy
and Evaluation, and the Stetson-Sawyer Planning Committee.

This was emailed to the campus today by President Schapiro.

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Lightbulb Exchange

This fall, Greensense and the Thursday Night Group have begun a campus wide CFL (compact flourescent lightbulb) exchange. The project is funded by facilities, who bought 1000 bulbs for the first round. The bulbs were purchased because the college will save more on electric bills than it cost to buy the bulbs since CFLs use 1/4 the electricity of normal incandescent bulbs. On average, students have 2-3 lightbulbs in their room in addition to the school provided (CFL) bulb.

About 900 of our first thousand bulbs have been exchanged in the freshman dorms, the Dodd quad and Currier cluster. There have been a couple complaints about the light being too blue/white in the new bulbs an we realize that the type of CFL we bought (cool white) is not as nice as the type that the next thousand will be (soft white). The new ones should be indistinguishable from normal, 60w incandescants.


Recipes from home

On what must be a slow news day, the AP covers the trend of college dining halls serving meals based on parents’ recipes:

At Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., barbecued salmon and Thai eggplant dishes had their start in students’ homes, as did the Ukrainian apple nut squares and whole-wheat cheddar buns.

Every semester or so for the last few years, Dining Services has been soliciting recipes from students – the best ones are selected for a special “recipes from home” meal, and some of the items (presumably) stay on in the regular menu cycle.

The idea sounds great in principle, but past experience of these meals has been underwhelming. I suspect that a lot gets lost in translation – while I’m sure the recipes are great in their original context, Dining Services usually only manages to serve up a not-very-appetizing facsimile.


First Days for Chris Murphy

As detailed in today’s Washington Post, Chris Murphy and other freshman members of the House are receiving their orientation to their new jobs this week. I like articles like these that remind me that even those we vest with great power have to learn a number of little things, much in the same way we all went through First Days seminars, job training, evacuation plans, and other mundane rituals that still feel charged with importance when they prepare you for a role you are eager to step into.

The Post article shares a “here I am” moment for each of some of the new members, and lucky for Ephblog, our own Chris is one:

Chris Murphy ducked out of the day-long orientation session in the Cannon Office Building and lingered in a hallway with a cellphone against his ear as he returned calls from a list of phone messages that filled four pages. “I still have thank-you calls to make,” said Murphy, 33, a state lawmaker from Connecticut who drew national attention by defeating 12-term Rep. Nancy L. Johnson (R).

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Do it in the dark

The Do it in the dark contest is garnering some nice publicity for Williams. ABC News talks about it in some detail, and Tom Friedman mentions it at the beginning of his editorial “The Greenest Generation” (subscription link, Lexis-Nexis version here).

You can read contest details in this flyer, and even check on weekly meter readings (both links go to PDFs). Congratulations to Bryant, Carter, and Goodrich so far…but I wonder what’s going on in Hubbell and Parsons?

(Hat-tip to Morgan Goodwin ’08, Alan Cordova ’06, and Katherine Craig ’08.)


Berkshire Idol

If you ask me, there’s nothing more American than an “American Idol” knockoff. The mass reproduction of a winning concept, democracy in action, boob tube-ism … it’s great. Unfortunately for some, the Chinese authorities seem to have had the same idea.

But there’s no problem with Idol-like ventures around these parts. In an event designed to raise money for a pair of local charities, Berkshire Idol auditions are scheduled to begin April 1 in North Adams, with a final event set for April 29 at Drury High School.

And the slate of celebrity judges is nothing short of outstanding. Williamstown pop sensation Ananda Rose and Williams College stalwart Bernice Lewis are on board, as is Williamstown Theatre Festival artistic director Roger Rees, this year’s Baccalaureate speaker. The latter has the potential to bring a non-deranged, benevolent Simon Cowell vibe to the proceedings, which I think we can all agree is a good thing.

I’m tempted to go all Diddy on everyone and start throwing “Vote or Die” references around, but I won’t. If you’re in the area, you should check it out.


There are some really cool WSP programs out there…

… so let’s hear about them! If you are currently engaged in an interesting, unique, or otherwise great Winter Study class/project (which we hope they all are!) everyone at EphBlog would love to read about them. You can write a daily or weekly update of what you are doing, or just a one-time synopsis of something interesting that’s happened; anything you want to do is fine.

If you are already an author, blog away! Otherwise e-mail Eric Smith ’99 and ask him to set you up as an author, or just send your post via e-mail to me and I will post it for you.


Ephs Fundraising for Tsunami Relief

Around the world people are coming together in one way or another to try to help out with the Tsunami. Amazon and Apple both made the front pages of their sites dedicated to ways to contribute towards the related relief efforts and agencies coordinating them.

I received an e-mail today from Zahie El Kouri (sorry, the alumni search page yielded no class info Class Secretary for ’93) today which describes an Eph effort to raise money for the disaster.
The e-mail was a forward from someone named “Pete” Pete Kirkwood ’93. Pete and Liz Rosan Kirkwood ’94 are environmental lawyers who moved to Thailand a few years ago.

I am a Williams alum, class of ’93 and for the last two years my wife (Liz Rosan Kirkwood, ’94) and I have lived and worked in Thailand- she as a consultant in environmental policy in Bangkok and me as a property developer in the village of Kamala, Phuket (one of the areas in Thailand hardest hit by the recent tsunami). We chanced to have been in the US for the holidays when the waves hit, and by some miracle our home and my project ( were both untouched by the destruction. Many of our neighbors, however, were not so lucky (see,for example: As you will have seen on the news, many lost their homes, many lost all of their possessions, and many lost their loved ones or even their lives.

Upon hearing the news of the tragedy, Liz and I, like most others, were at first paralyzed by the enormity of it all. Then we thought of rushing back to join in the relief efforts. But then, in the face of a huge outpouring of support and concern from friends, colleagues, family and even complete strangers, we realized that we have a unique opportunity to turn that support and concern into concrete assistance for our devastated neighbors.

So we began an online fundraising campaign. Since we began that campaign about four days ago, we have raised over $15,000. When I return to Phuket on Thursday, I will immediately begin using these funds to offer hands-on aid to the injured and bereaved. But I’d like to do more than $15,000 enables me to do, so it occurred to me to give Williams alums the chance, if they are so inclined, to take part in this campaign, and to help maximize the impact of my efforts.

On Phuket (and nearby areas of the mainland), I can mobilize vehicles for transporting supplies and the injured, and I have access to houses for sheltering the displaced. I speak Thai, I know the island, I understand Thai culture, and I will personally see to it that all funds donated to the Shawnee Institute have maximum real-world impact. The large aid organizations are doing excellent work in the affected areas, and we look forward to working hand-in-hand with them, but our efforts will be special, personal, and particularly effective: we are residents of the area, we are accustomed to getting things done Phuket-style, and we have no organizational overhead- every dollar will go directly where it’s most needed. Because I speak Thai, English, Spanish, and French, I know that I can provide invaluable help both to local families and to stranded and bereaved tourists.

If you are inclined to give, our secure online donation site is here:

If you want to pass the message on to friends, this page enables you to do that:

If you just want to drop me a line, my email address is:

In any case, please know that we are safe and that the people of Thailand are showing their indomitable spirit- pulling together, focusing on the future, and working hard to put their lives back together. Despite the destruction, Thailand is still a warm and beautiful place, and the economy needs your dollars So don’t cancel next year’s Siamese vacation- and if you weren’t planning one, then I suggest you start! Despite the sensational news reports you have probably seen, many hotels and resorts have come through the destruction practically unscathed. It is by and large Thailand’s working people- fishermen and villagers living in humble houses- that have been harmed and displaced, and it is these people that the Shawnee Institute is focused on helping.

I donated to the American Red Cross International Relief Fund a few days ago via Amazon’s One-Click system, mainly due to its convenience. Incidentally, any discussion of American tax dollars already going towards the efforts should probably be held off for another time/place since that could likely lead to more of an argument and less constructive efforts.


Eph Engagement

In what may be a historic first, a Williams sophomore and senior got engaged in the Driscoll Dining Hall. With many loyal Odd-Quadders looking on, Jake Manley ’07 proposed to Suzanne Walsh ’05, who happily accepted. They plan to marry in 2008, after graduate school.


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