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Two Students Arrested

Freshmen do the stupidest things.

Two Williams College students have been arrested on felony vandalism charges after a series of overnight incidents in Williamstown.

According to Williamtown Police, 19-year-old Charles James of Los Angeles, Calif., and 19-year-old Samuel Marshall of Sun Prairie, WI, vandalized several buildings and cars on and off the Williams College campus early Sunday morning.

Police began to receive reports after midnight of buildings being struck with eggs, windows in houses being smashed and a college service van being struck by a large rock.

A fire was also set on West Field, though police haven’t made a definitive connection to James and Marshall.

James and Marshall were released and scheduled to return to court May 28.

Three other Williams College students are expected to receive court summonses for felony vandalism. Their names are not being released until they are formally charged.

Time to lawyer up. I recommend whoever did the good work with the Cole Field Bombers.


Students face drug charges

Basically two students had several ounces of pot each, and “material consistent with packaging for street-level distribution,” as well as single doses of other drugs like X/LSD/Percocet (painkiller)/Methylin (Ritalin). They were arrested.

What struck me was this part:

Security had discovered the drugs during the annual fire drills. The Security blotter notes that drugs were found in Bair’s room in Carter at 6:55 p.m. and in Morales’ room in Lambert at 8:45 p.m. on Monday, April 19. That same evening, the room checks also revealed bongs in Williams Hall F and Tyler…

… Upon receiving notification from Security, WPD proceeded to investigate the two rooms. The North Adams Transcript reported that WPD obtained a search warrant for Morales’ room, while Bair consented to a search. “It was a smooth process,” Johnson said.

So when exactly is security allowed to search your room?

Links to Record article and North Adams Transcript below.




A disturbing incident

A campus email has been sent, and can be read here.

(Note: this post has been edited multiple times by the author due to issues of privacy and copyright with the original posting(s). We apologize for any confusion caused.)


Of Misdemeanors and Criminal offences.

The Archives & Special Collections site referred to in the previous post also hosts a copy of The Laws of Williams College, 1795. Chapter III, “Of Misdemeanors and Criminal offences” is a thoroughly enjoyable read. Some of the more amusing laws are below: Read more


Credit Check

From Vicarious ’83:

Readers will recall David’s post of 11/6/09 about the recent theft of a laptop computer containing social security numbers.

From David’s post on 11/11/09 we have the actual public document that describe how Moore stole the identity, and obtained the official college transcripts of someone referred to as “KM.” “KM” was “a former associate” of Moore’s. This was a real person, who graduated from the Univ. of Puget Sound with a BS in mathematics. Using KM’s name and social, Moore got an $8,000 student loan in the mid 1980s. That loan still has not been paid back.

In the Plea Agreement, to which David also provided the link, we see that on 9/30/09, Moore agreed to:

. . . truthfully and accurately complete any paperwork necessary to correct the credit history of Kamau Mposi, an individual whose identity he appropriated for the purpose of applying for and receiving federal student aid [and to] provide any documentation to the relevant credit and reporting agencies that he was in fact the individual who incurred the obilgations that he obtained under Mr. Mposi’s name.

We now know, thanks to David, that there was an individual on campus at the time of the laptop theft who was skilled in the art of identiy theft, and that this person had just agreed to do whatever is asked of him to help restore a previous victim’s credit rating.

If the KM of the Statement of Fact, is in fact Kamau Mposi, then this guy has spent the last 20+ years of his life with a very messed up credit report.

To those of you who have received notice that yours was among the stolen social security numbers, I would, as someone who has worked a number of years in the business of consumer credit, urge you to take the letter excerpted in David’s post very seriously, and consider taking real steps to safeguard your identity and credit rating.

To the college administration, I urge you to put significant energy and resources to a thorough investigation of the theft of this laptop and any other possible breaches of security that may have occurred now that it is known that a person with the skills to use this information was on campus occupying a position of significant trust. I would also urge you to vigorously pursue filling and prosecuting any criminal charges tht might pertain to Mr. Moore’s specific dealings with Williams College.

Lastly, I urge the editorial staff at The Record to put links to these two public documents in its reports – also a suggestion that David Kane has already made to you directly.

Indeed. At the very least, the Administration could provide more details on the theft so that we might all better judge whether or not Moore had anything to do with it. (For example, if the theft occurred in some other city — perhaps as a college employee was attending a conference — then there would be less to worry about.)


It Would Be No Small Advantage …

if every college were thus located at the base of a marijuana-producing forest:

Omitted from the picture is the Bob Marley poster tacked to an adjacent tree.

OK, OK, it appears that these plants are not, ummm, a naturally-occurring part of the Hopkins Forest ecosystem …

I think this provides enough of a segue (together with the cow aspect) to share a recent courtroom story.   A defense attorney was arguing to a highly skeptical judge that his client, who tested positive for marijuana while on probation, could have simply been drinking milk, as according to this attorney, cows can graze on marijuana to a sufficient degree for a consumer of their milk to register as a user (this was a new one by me).   Without missing a beat, the judge responded “only if the cows are from San Francisco.”


How to respond to a Tom Friedman appearance

Notorious windbag and NYTimes columnist (yes, I realize that’s redundant) Thomas Friedman has a fond relationship with Williams College, appearing multiple times over the last few years, even delivering the commencement address in 2005. I can’t find a transcript of that address online, but if you’d like to know what he said, you can create a simulation of it here. Willipedia calls him “Williams College’s favorite columnist”, which I think is a base and vile slander against our school.

The two times I saw Tom Friedman at Williams, I left the hall feeling frustrated and impotent because I had not been able to express my feelings fully during the Q&A session. Fortunately, two Brown students have shown us the way. They have increased my respect for Brown tremendously – no longer will I refer to Brown primarily as an object of ridicule and pity; no, Brown University is an institution which breeds courageous benefactors of humanity.

I have been recently scolded for posting irrelevant videos, so here’s a link to the best thing you will see today (or your money back).


Reefer Madness

The Record highlights the consequences of a disturbing recent change in the College’s treatment of marijuana usage (emphases added):

Five Williams students will face court charges for marijuana possession on Thursday. These summons are in part due to a change in the College’s protocol regarding incidents of marijuana possession, which took effect last July.

Previously, the College dealt with matters internally, but its new “see it, smell it, report it” policy calls for Campus Safety and Security to report all marijuana incidents directly to the Williamstown Police Department (WPD). The WPD has recently seen an increase in charges against individual students. “From March 1 to date, we have criminally charged eight people with marijuana possession. All of these appear to have been students,” said Kyle Johnson, WPD Chief.

“Eight charges in a six week period appears to be more than usual,” he added, noting that the weekend before spring break, the charges were “dispersed around campus.”

Jean Thorndike, director of Security suggested that the temporary increase in incidents could be due to room inspections that took place during spring break.

Describing the consequences of being charged for marijuana possession, Johnson said, “A person arrested is brought to the police station for booking procedures. They then go to Northern Berkshire District Court for an arraignment in front of the judge. There are numerous options at this point: plea, trial, etc.”

“We’ll see how it goes,” said a student who has recently been charged with marijuana possession. “In court, I’ve heard that we’ll probably get a fine or probation,” the student, who wished to remain anonymous, said. “I don’t think it will go on our record.”

I suppose that, Williamstown being such a quiet little burg, the WPD and Security must find some way to spend those idle hours, or they might turn to drink. One can only hope that their unwonted zeal, bless their little hearts, does not leave a permanent black mark on the records of dozens of Ephs. Although it might stimulate the local lawyer economy, this sounds like a fantastically stupid use of tax and tuition dollars.


Second Annual offer of a Ride to Homecoming, and a Williams Car Story

A year ago I made my first Ephblog post offering a ride from Pennsylvania to Williamstown. This year, I repeat the offer, though with less advance notice (sorry) and a different point of origin: Ithaca, NY, leaving Thursday and returning Sunday.

When I bought my car junior year, I vowed to “pay forward” all the times I had depended on friends with cars in my previous years in college. Since then I have given many rides to Williams students and alums, many to people I had never met or spent real time with before. I regret only one; every other has led to a good experience, and sometimes a friendship.

Those seeking rides from these points or in between are welcome to email me. One Albany pickup and dropoff should be easy, if your timing is right.

That’s all you need to know if your sole purpose is a ride. But I figured as long as I’m posting, I’d tell a little Williams story associated with the acquisition of a car that is exactly my make and model, but which was acquired by a close friend. His story has been a favorite in our circle for years. The police are involved.

Read more


Johnson Marvels at Marcus

Newsday columnist Steve Marcus, apparently a member of some heretofore unknown temperance society out there on Long Island, flails around wildly in search of a rationale for continued bashing of the Duke lacrosse team. Reviewing the new book from fired Duke coach Mike Pressler: (Spoiler alert! Marcus didn’t think much of it!)

However, Yeager glosses over the match that lit the incendiary situation: That athletes from such a prestigious institution could do nothing better with a free spring night than engage in (mostly) underage drinking and sleazy entertainment more befitting the hard-up members of the population. Can’t Duke lacrosse players do better? Kids being kids doesn’t cut it. Yaeger also gives short shrift to a vile e-mail sent by one of the players as a pop culture reference that the un-hip didn’t understand. It was no more inexcusable than a Columbine joke.

First off, there’s nothing wrong with a well-crafted Columbine joke. Secondly … seriously, “no more inexcusable than?” It’s awful writing, and I think he has that backward there.

K.C. Johnson quite rightly takes issue with a different segment of the piece.

Read more



First the bomb-making, now this. Some people just have no sense of context or timing.

To the Williams Community,

Beginning at dinnertime today posters containing positive messages
about marijuana and Adolph Hitler appeared inside at least seven
campus buildings.

A student has admitted that she and a non-student friend are
responsible and that their intent was to encourage dialogue.

We certainly understand the pain and distress that these posters
inflict on members of the campus.

N Roseman

More details from WSO:

I would never post the picture. They have been turned into Security. It seems to be imitating the Holocaust Remembrance Day posters with quotations from Hitler, commemorating his birthday, and the words “Remember” on top.

Contrary to what the admissions viewbook might tell you, there are some astonishingly stupid people at Williams.


Domestic Violence Costs

To follow up a bit on our threads on Domestic Violence, I recently came across the main page for Tennessee’s Economic Council On Women:

Over the course of the past two years, the Economic Council on Women has undertaken research to determine the economic impact of domestic violence in Tennessee. In that time, there have been changes in two very telling statistics. First, we’ve gone from 7th in the Nation to 5th in the number of women who are murdered each year – usually by an intimate partner and usually with a gun. Also in that time, the Center for Disease Control has increased its estimation of the occurrence of domestic violence from 1 in 4 families to 1 in 3.

Does ECW mean that Tennessee is fifth in murders per year per capita? They do not. Sobering statistics, however we might question them, and I certainly have reason to doubt that Kentucky does much better.

It is a common public discourse to say that domestic violence is an ahistorical phenomenon, affecting all races, classes and regions equally. I might go so far as to say, “a part of patriarchy,” though I hope that will not alienate a key part of my audience.

It is not. David might go so far as to say, “only a fool” would not recognize that such phenomena impact Kentucky and Tennessee far more severly than Massachusetts and California.

Read more


Middlebury Stalker

One semester while I was at Williams, a person who would sneak into women’s rooms at night and watch them sleep. Very creepy. I believe the perp was eventually caught (and was a non-student resident of Williamstown — but my memory could be faulty).

It appears that last year Middlebury experienced a similar problem.

Read more


Illegal Library Seizure?

Here’s the rough outlines of the story of Amherst’s founding as I was told back in my freshman year: In 1820, half of the faculty felt Williamstown was too isolated and cold, so they walked off with half the library and founded Amherst in the more cosmopolitan Hampshire County.

This story always made we wonder a couple of things:
1) Why didn’t Williams ask for the library back? After 170+ years, a few of the books may be worth something;
2) Did the defecting faculty members take their 401K’s with them?
3) What made the defectors think Hampshire County would be any warmer? Was the college merely ridding itself of deadwood professors?
4) Who took the college’s NMR machine (given the state of the machine we used in lab, my guess is that Williams kept it)?

In looking for answers to these questions, I came upon this article on the history of Amherst: The piece is full of slanderous lies and misinformation. The author (an Amherst alum to be sure) argues:

A) The charters for Williams and Amherst were drawn up at the same time;
B) Most of the trustees for Williams were located in Hampshire County;
C) The defecting President was hired with the understanding that the college would be moving;
D) The board of trustees voted to move the college to central Massachusetts;
E) The Massachusetts legislature voted to move the college to central Massachusetts.

If such accusations are true, the intrepid professors who stayed behind (and kept half of the library) were the defectors! It also means that it was Williams who stole half of the library.

Were those chants of “DE-FEC-TORS … DE-FEC-TORS” aimed at the wrong team? Is my allegiance to the virtuous founders of our college (a man who lost a battle) ill-founded? Is my ire at the shiftless defectors of Amherst (Lord Jeff gave small-pox infected blankets to Natives) misplaced?

Read more


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