Currently browsing posts filed under "NESCAC"
The official Colby College magazine covered the topic of free speech on campus.
A flood of incidents at institutions ranging from huge land-grant universities to small liberal arts colleges is growing into a conflict between “politically correct” culture and freedom of speech. The swift reaction has been passionate. Some warn of suppression of speech, while others welcome the shift toward a more sensitive culture as a needed adjustment in an increasingly intolerant world. Still others complain that such increased “tolerance” is itself a form of intolerance.
A recent national survey revealed that while most college students believe their campus environment should expose them to diverse viewpoints, a large majority also believes that schools should be allowed to restrict intentionally offensive language. And 54 percent of students recently surveyed by the Knight Foundation and Gallup said the climate on campus prevents some people from saying what they believe, because others might find it offensive.
But can colleges monitor and restrict slurs and hate speech while also protecting free speech and the give and take of ideas in what is, after all, an academic and intellectual space? In Colby’s tight-knit community, the conversation is just getting started. “We need to be very clear about our values when it comes to issues around freedom of speech and around respect and civility,” said President David A. Greene. “These things can coexist.”
Read the whole thing. Do you think that the Williams Magazine will cover the debate on this topic at Williams? I have my doubts. The Colby author writes:
As the conflict spread, Williams College canceled two right-wing speakers who were invited to campus as part of the college’s “Uncomfortable Learning” series.
1) It is interesting to see how (sympathetic!) observers portray the events of the last year at Williams. EphBlog readers know, of course, that “Williams College” did not really cancel two speakers. The students cancelled Venker and Falk banned Derbyshire. And yet, to Colby alumni, it will appear (correctly?) that there is less free speech at Williams than there is at any other NESCAC school.
2) At Colby there is a student Republican group. At Williams, there is not. Why? Should we be worried?
3) Always nice to see Robert Gaudino’s catchphrase, “Uncomfortable Learning,” get mentioned elsewhere.
4) Entire tenor of the article is remarkably restrictionist. They don’t quote — because they can’t find — a single faculty member or administrator who believes that speech at Colby should be at least as free as speech at the University of Maine.
So, I guess the answer to “Can we talk?” will be, in a few more years, “Only if you don’t say anything that upsets from from the right.” Or am I too pessimistic?
What is it about sombreros and NESCAC that generates such controversy? From the Washington Post:
On Saturday, two members of Bowdoin College’s student government will face impeachment proceedings. What heinous transgression did they commit? Theft, plagiarism, sexual assault?
Nope. They attended a party where some guests wore tiny sombreros.
Two weeks ago, some students threw a birthday party for a friend. The email invitation read: “the theme is tequila, so do with that what you may. We’re not saying it’s a fiesta, but we’re also not not saying that :).” The invitation — sent by a student of Colombian descent, which may or may not be relevant here — advertised games, music, cups and “other things that are conducive to a fun night.”
Those “other things” included the miniature sombreros, several inches in diameter. And when photos of attendees wearing those mini-sombreros showed up on social media, students and administrators went ballistic.
College administrators sent multiple schoolwide emails notifying the students about an “investigation” into a possible “act of ethnic stereotyping.”
1) It would be fun to read those e-mails. Could any Bowdoin readers copy and paste in the comments?
2) This is at least the third (!) sombrero-related controversy to hit NESCAC. The first was our own Taco Six. There was a similar “scandal” at Middlebury, although I am hazy on the details.
3) Never too late to create the Eph Style Guide!
Today, Williams looks to upset Amherst for the NESCAC title in both men’s and women’s tennis. Both Eph tennis squads are led by alumni, Alison Swain ’01 for the women and Dan Greenberg ’08 for the men. Swain has a fairly respectable start to her coaching career: three seasons, three national titles.
At 9:00 this morning at Middlebury, the third-seeded Williams men, fresh off upsetting defending national champion Middlebury thanks to a clinching comeback win from Zach Weiss ’13, looks to avenge a 5-4 regular-season loss to top seeded Amherst. Amherst has finished second nationally two years running, and is the favorite to win this year’s national title. The Ephs have a very young team — none of the top six singles players are upperclassmen — making this year’s run all the more impressive. Despite being two of the top ten teams in the country, Amherst and Williams are both looking to end long championship draughts due to Middlebury’s recent dominance: since 1992 for Amherst, and since 2003 for the Ephs.
The women’s tennis match, played at 1:00 at Amherst, features top-ranked (nationally) Amherst versus number two Williams. Amherst has dominated the NESCAC tourney in recent years (the Jeffs are looking for their seventh straight NESCAC crown), and has already beaten Williams twice this year, but oddly, the Ephs have had far more success in the NCAA tourney, including the aforementioned three straight national titles (and five total titles over the past decade). Williams cruised path number five (nationally) Tufts in the NESCAC semifinal.
From the Williams Athletics site:
Fifth seed Bowdoin College scored in every period in downing host and second seeded Williams College 5-2 to claim their first NESCAC title this afternoon in Lansing Chapman Rink.
WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Co-captain Matt Masucci’s overtime goal lifted the #2-seeded Williams College men’s hockey team (16-7-3) over the #8-seeded Wesleyan Cardinals (8-11-1) and sent the Ephs to their second NESCAC final in school history.
Forward Mark Lyons ’13 also stepped up big for the Ephs, adding the team’s other two goals.
This article from today’s New York Times Magazine features Trinity’s dominant squash team and gives Williams a few references, albeit in the rare sporting circumstance of being the vanquished rather than the victor. I suspect most of us will give them squash while we take, well, just about everything else.
The Williams College Sports site reports that Macklin Chaffee ’09 is the first-ever NESAC runner to hit sub-four. He turned in a 3:58:8 on February 12th at the Valentine Invitational sponsored by Boston University to finish 5th. The winning time was 3:57:11 by Eric Van Ingen of Binghamton with five of the eight in the heat coming in under 4.
Mitch Baker ’04, assistant track & field coach for Williams, has been his coach and advisor for the past four years. Baker says “I wanted to make sure that the people of Williams got news of this milestone in Williams athletic history”.
The marker was first broken in 1954 by Roger Bannister in 3:59.4. Since that date, the time has been lowered by almost 17 seconds and hovers at 3:43. Macklins’ time of 3:58.8 would have beaten Bannister 47 years ago!
Congratulations to Macklin Chaffee!
A big day of Eph sports up ahead:
- Women’s Tennis take on Amherst for the NESCAC Championship. 9:00 AM EDT (at Amherst)
- Men’s Tennis take on Middlebury for the NESCAC Championship. 1:00 PM EDT (at Amherst)
- Women’s Lacrosse to play Colby for the NESCAC Championship. 12 noon EDT (at Trinity). WATCH HERE (a video link for the championship game should appear before game time).
- Baseball team is in the NESCAC Tournament. They took on Tufts today, but the game was halted at the bottom of the 5th, with Tufts ahead 8-2. Winner advances to championship game.
- Softball team in the NESCAC Tournament. They beat Bowdoin today. I don’t understand how this works, but it looks like they’re in a good position:
Sam Epstein drove in four runs and Allee Beatty went 4 for 4 Saturday as Wesleyan University rallied from an early deficit to defeat Bowdoin, 12-6, in game four of the 2010 NESCAC Tournament.
Wesleyan improves to 22-15-1 with the win and advances to Game 6 of the tournament against the winner of Bowdoin-Williams Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Bowdoin fell to 31-11 overall. The Polar Bears face Williams at 9 a.m. Sunday for a spot in Game 6. There will be a Game 7 only if the Bowdoin-Williams winner defeats Wesleyan in Game 6.
So tune in tomorrow, starting at 9 AM. FREE webcast available here
d3wrestle.com has learned that Dan DiCenzo, head coach at Williams College, has resigned his position to become the Associate Head Coach for Wesleyan University football. DiCenzo was at Williams for six years and was Head Coach for three. In the last three seasons, Williams has compiled a 50-16-1 record and sent seven wrestlers to the NCAA championships, with three earning All-American honors. Williams won the 2009 and 2010 NEWA Championships and was the NWCA Scholar Team champion in each of the last three seasons.
No official announcement has been made, but d3wrestle.com will link to it as soon as it is posted.
Mike Whalen left for Wesleyan last month.
Head football coach Mike Whalen resigns from Williams to become associate athletic director and head coach at his alma mater, Wesleyan. Coach Whalen did a tremendous job for Williams, and leaves the program in very strong shape. Indeed, led by a deep and very talented group of rising seniors, Williams should have, next year, its most loaded squad since at least fall of 2006, the Ephs’ last undefeated season. Supposedly, the Ephs have a fantastic group of E.D. recruits already in the fold for next season as well (many have previously been noted here at Ephblog). Despite the unusual timing, there will be no shortage of candidates for the head coaching slot. Mike Bajakian ’96 immediately comes to mind, although I’d be surprised if he leaves a job as offensive coordinator at a BCS power. The Ephs also have several strong internal candidates.
Although I am sorry to see Whalen go, he should make the Little Three a lot more competitive, and a lot more fun, within a few years. As of now, Wesleyan games are usually non-events (at least from a football perspective). I imagine that will soon change.
Tufts now encourages prospectives who so desire to submit Youtube videos with their applications. Very cool idea! (And one that might make an admissions officer’s job a bit more fun, to boot). That’s one of two great reasons to apply to Tufts (the other, of course, being the chance to have Sam Sommers ’97 as a professor).
- Men’s Soccer defeated Bowdoin and will face Middlebury tomorrow at 12:00 PM – webcast is here.
- Volleyball defeated Conn. College and will take on the Jumbos tomorrow at 12:00 PM – webcast info is here.
- Football beat Wesleyan 34-7 and has a shot at a NESCAC co-championship, depending on what happens during homecoming next weekend.
- Field Hockey lost to Tufts after upsetting Middlebury last weekend.
- Women’s Soccer beat Tufts 4-2, will be taking on Middlebury tomorrow at noon, with yours truly providing the commentary.
From the homepage of Williams Sports Information:
- Both Men’s and Women’s Soccer won their respective NESCAC quarterfinals, so the Men’s team is headed to Wesleyan for the rest of the tournament, while the ladies will be hosting at Cole Field. Unlike in the regular season, the webcasts of the Williams/Tufts and Amherst/Middlebury games will be available for free at this link, provided you are willing to listen to my commentary.
- Wesleyan will be webcasting the away football game, which is also their homecoming match. See here, then look under the “webcast” column on the right for the feed.
- The NESCAC volleyball tournament at Tufts will be on Jumbocast. The Ephs are seeded second.
- Last, Trinity is hosting the NESCAC field hockey finals. See here for the games.
From the Salem News:
Williams College, one of the prestigious “Little Three” including Wesleyan and Amherst, has been ranked the top liberal arts school in America by U.S. News and World Report seven years running. It is one of the most selective and respected undergraduate institutions in the country.
It also had a darn good women’s soccer team — something recent Masconomet graduate Cait Clark is quickly finding out. […]
Just a month after she arrived on campus, it looks like the Williams program fits Clark like a glove.
“It was a little nerve wracking at first, but this is one of the most welcoming teams I’ve ever played with,” she said. “You feel right away like you’ve been part of the team forever. The transition’s easy.”
The rest of the article is here. Clark is part of a very talented freshman class on the team, which is already showing flashes of the brilliant passing I saw so much last season. I look forwards to broadcasting the rest of her season (though hopefully I’ll never slip up again and again identify Clark as Caitlyn Cain, a JA who plays softball). You can get the Sports Information Twitter feed here.
From Frank Uible ’57:
Today is a sad one for about two score young men, Williams College (which ought to hang its figurative head in shame), the other member colleges of New England Small College Athletic Conference and general pedagogy – as on this date each NESCAC football team pares its 2009 football roster to 75 players by cutting young men who desire to participate in small college intercollegiate football and each of whom his respective college has the capacity to accomodate in that desire without subtantial incremental expense – all in compliance with the wrong headed conspiratorial NESCAC Rule of 75, a glorious triumph of contemptible petty politics over the worthy educational principle of fostering extra-curricular participation by the student body. Men, as an alum of Williams College I humbly apologize.
Bravely wading through any number of potential pot-kettle issues, Gentlemen’s Quarterly presents to its readers a feature for the ages: “America’s 25 Douchiest Colleges.” You can see it here on GQ’s Web site in all its glory, or to get a look at how it ran in the magazine, check here.
The question isn’t whether you’re a douche bag when you go to college. We were all kind of douche bags when we went to college, if we’re going to be honest about it. No, the question for America’s youth is: What kind of douche bag do you aspire to be?
First of all, speak for yourself, GQ. Second, um, what? Most folks aspire to no such thing. (As always, there are some exceptions.)
Third, at the very least they got it right. Trinity cracks the list at No. 21, but the kicker is Amherst at No.7, though the rationale doesn’t exactly do us any favors.
Home of: The “I Went to a Small liberal-arts College in Massachusetts” Douche
Affectations: Quiet sense of superiority; intense desire to be surrounded by 1,700 people almost exactly like you; Choate soccer jacket.
In ten years, will be: Smart policy guy at State Department that no one listens to.
Douchey mascot: Lord Jeffrey Amherst.
Problem with douchey mascot: Distributed smallpox-infested blankets to Native Americans.
So, I attended Amherst’s Commencement this weekend … thought I’d share a few tidbits:
— Overall, like Williams, Amherst is incredibly well-run, and the school put on a memorable weekend for all involved.
— Common theme from every speaker throughout the weekend: predictably, the economy. Kind of got depressing after awhile, actually. I felt that, while certainly the collapse and its implications needed to be acknowledged, it was overemphasized. The only person who achieved the proper balance in my view was the student class speaker, who noted the economy but still made his speech primarily about the Amherst experience. (He is a tour guide, and employed a very clever framing device in which he reflected on truths and lies told on the Amherst tour. That also yielded the best line of his speech, something to the effect of, I’ve given the Amherst spiel so many times that I could almost recite it walking backwards …).
— Speaking of which, the seniors all listened to brief auditions for class speaker prior to voting on the winning orator. The winner was, I imagine not coincidentally, outstanding (despite noting that “Williams College is a horrible college,” a reference to a t-shirt I observed on more than one occasion on campus). This is an idea Williams should steal.
— On the topic of stealing ideas, Amherst stole Williams’ Olmstead Awards idea (Amherst has been awarding these for 12 years, Williams for 25). To add insult to injury, Amherst named its version of these awards for Zephenia Swift Moore. But, if Amherst is going to steal something, this is definitely something worth stealing.
— There is, however, no outside speaker, just the college President. That went, ummm, far less spectacularly. (The first ten minutes of the speech involved a Cliffs-notes recap of the financial crisis, followed by the President’s opining that individual greed rather than collective responsibility was responsible — yes, it really was that platitudinous. He officially lost the crowd about two minutes in ….).
— There is no equivalent to the student-centric Ivy Exercises, which I thought was a shame. Like Williams, Amherst does have a Baccalaureate Service (which, as one might expect from a NESCAC school, was sufficiently politically correct and featured a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Catholic, Jewish, Christian, Orthodox, and non-believer component).
— Random senior class tradition: each senior received a wooden walking cane for graduation — which led to the odd sight of a huge number of 22 year-olds employing those canes later that afternoon, not to mention the equally odd sight of bunch of canes going through metal detectors at the airport later that evening. Of course I am biased, but I think the watch-dropping kicks that particular tradition in the butt :) …
— Coolest thing by far at Amherst: its Museum of Natural History. The brand new building is spectacular (not to mention the only noteworthy contemporary building on campus), and the contents are even more spectacular. Definitely worth a visit if in the area. On the other hand, I’d skip the art museum, which (predictably) is far, far inferior to the WCMA.
— Most impressive thing about the physical plant: the dorms. All of the frosh dorms are newly renovated and are incredible, one in particular which used to house the prior incarnation of the Natural History Museum and resembles a ski lodge at Vail. Any tour going through the most newly-renovated frosh dorm is sure to come away impressed. Amherst has also recently constructed two huge, gorgeous upperclassmen dorms, both with spectacular views.
— Least impressive thing about the physical plant: everything else. Amherst is way, WAY behind Williams in terms of its non-dorm facilities. The Amherst student center is definitely looking worse for wear (stylistically, it reminded me of the interior and new addition to Hopkins — unsurprising considering the buildings were built at the same time — only a lot shabbier). Paresky absolutely destroys its interior, both aesthetically and in terms of functionality, and I actually prefer the Paresky exterior as well (the Amherst exterior is not nearly as daring or ostentatious as Paresky, so some might prefer it, but it is boring and the design is not aging well at ALL). There is, moreover, no Goodrich equivalent so far as I can tell. The main Amherst library is in even worse shape than Sawyer, believe it or not. The lone dining hall on campus doesn’t come close to matching Williams’ dining facilities / options. The science complex seems to approximate Williams’ science complex prior to the construction of the Unified Science Center. Other than the building that houses the Natural History Museum, none of the academic buildings struck me as particularly impressive. Amherst is in the middle of a fund raising drive, which I learned will support major renovations to its science and library complexes, but Williams is definitely WAY ahead in terms of physical plant needs in all areas but for dorms (and even when it comes to dorms, Williams is in MUCH better relative shape, as Williams has recently renovated most of its dorms, just not to the spectacular degree as Amherst). I imagine to do the job right, Amherst will have to spend nearly as much on renovating its library as Williams’ remaining obligation on the new Sawyer. And that still leaves Amherst with massive prospective outlays on crucial student life and science facilities if it hopes to keep up with the Williamses.
(*NB: I realize some on this blog have recently opined that physical plant expenditures contribute little to the educational experience; I am not trying to argue either way here, but rather simply make an observation. Also, I don’t think the different levels of physical plant outlays reflect a difference in philosophy between the institutions, but rather a difference in timing. Because the new buildings Amherst has constructed / gut-renovated are just as over-the-top luxurious as the newer buildings on the Williams campus).
— It would be very, very difficult to distinguish (without the aid of t-shirt slogans) a group of 20 random Amherst students vs. 20 random Williams students. The only SLIGHT difference I noted is that there seemed to be a bit more of a stark divide, both in appearance and socialization, between jocks and non-jocks at Amherst, while at Williams there might be a bit more of a continuum. But perhaps that observation was influenced by my preconceived notion on that point.
— Amherst’s senior class t-shirt: I Survived Swine Flu. Awesome.
— There is no single location on Williams’ campus that is nearly as gorgeous or memorable as Amherst’s enormous, impressive central quad. (Although I do believe Williams’ campus will at least finally have a similar true functional and aesthetic “center” between Stetson and Paresky once the Stetston-Sawyer project is completed). But the Williams campus feels larger and less cloistered, is more interesting / diverse in terms of architectural styles, and offers a far greater variety of noteworthy settings (Berkshire Quad, the row houses, the science quad, Mission Park area) than Amherst, which outside of the absolutely stunning main quad area, felt sort of like a closely-clumped and randomly arranged afterthought. Without a doubt, the difference in architectural styles mirrors the difference in mascots and school colors: the Williams campus feels open, quirky, and fun, whereas Amherst’s feels traditional, impressive, and stuffy. On the other hand, Amherst does not have to deal with Route 2, which is a huge plus. In terms of natural surroundings, Amherst features one jaw-droppingly gorgeous view. Williams, of course, features such views from almost everywhere on campus …
— Back on the topic of speakers, given that Clarence Otis is a businessman, his forthcoming address is expected to — and I am sure will — hit on the economy, but I hope that he and other speakers are not AS overwhelmingly focused on present economic conditions, and also discuss broader aspects of the Williams experience and the long-term future for graduates. The last thing everyone in attendance needs is yet another sobering reminder of just how much the graduates’ lives are about to suck.
Macpherson Field, Greensboro, ready for play
The day has finally arrived. The Williams women play the defending D3 National Champions, the Thunder from Wheaton College (IL), in the NCAA Final Four today at 5 PM EST.
UPDATE: Wheaton ahead 1-0 at the half (5:50 PM). Williams playing strong. Almost scored twice in the first 2 minutes. Wheaton answered at about 6 minutes in. Luck has not been with the Ephs so far, with two no goals and a slew of flyers over the bar. They are composed and look very good. GO EPHS!
2ND UPDATE: Weird tap in early in the 2nd gives Wheaton another point. Bad luck Let’s hope it turns soon.
3rd UPDATE: Gabby Woodson sneaks one in. With 30 min. left, it’s 2-1, Wheaton.
4th UPDATE: Wheaton scored again, about 6 min. left.
FINAL UPDATE: And there it ended for the Ephs. Both teams played well and cleanly and the game was much closer than the score indicated. Until that third Wheaton score, it could have gone either way. A big disappointment, but a glorious journey. Congratulations to our Ephs and their worthy opponents.
In Greensboro: Macpherson Stadium at Bryan Park (directions included)
6015 Townsend Road
Browns Summit, NC
In Williamstown: on the big screen at Paresky
Online: NCAA.com (remember to preload the Silverlight.2.0(2).dmg software )
And here’s another fun story about the team that gives a bit of flavor of what it’s like to be getting ready to play in the Final Four. Not mentioned in the article are the parents. I have no doubt that many (most?) of them are in Greensboro, that they are having a great time together, and that they and their daughters are enjoying spending a little (but probably not much) time together. From what I can tell, the parents form the core of a spirited, highly supportive fan section. If you can, join them in the cheering, whether at the field, in Paresky, or online.
Note that the Amherst men play today in the men’s Final Four.
Go Ephs! Go Lord Jeffs! Go NESCAC!
Congratulations to all of the Williams fall athletes. It has been, as Jeff points out, an extremely successful season on the playing fields, on the courses and courts, and on the water.
Special congratulations should go to those who received conference academic and/or sportsmanship honors.
Each season NESCAC honors scholar-athletes who
- are varsity letter winners,
- are juniors or seniors, and
- have a cumulative GPA of 3.35 or better.
This fall, 57 Eph scholar-athletes from nine teams were selected for this All-Academic honor (note that the list would be even longer if men’s and women’s crew and tennis, which have somewhat truncated fall seasons, were included). Many of the seniors on the list are repeat honorees, and many of the juniors will be repeat honorees.
Based on having done this exercise in years past, I can promise you that, when the 2009 and 2010 Commencement materials come out, if you cross-check these names (including those on the winter and spring season lists as well), you will find a pleasing overlap between some of these names and those on the PBK and math/science honor society, honors or high honors, Latin honors, and/or fellowship and other academic awards lists.
Lest you think that Williams, like many schools, has a two-tier system where a group of high-academic-stat but lesser skilled athletes warm the bench, boosting the team’s GPA, while lower-academic-stat athletes with sharper skills get all the playing time, look at the list. If you follow Williams sports, you’ll notice quite a few athletic stars’ and significant contributors’ names on the All-Academic list.
Nowadays, athletes who play even a single sport are expected to put in many hours of training all year long. In-season sports probably require at least 25 hours a week, and often more, especially for those who have leadership positions and for members of teams that travel a lot. Several sports (golf, tennis, and crew) have two seasons, and many athletes play two or even three sports. The various skiing teams (and squash?) seem to have exceptionally long seasons (as of course do teams that advance far through an extended multi-tier NCAA post-season tournament system, as the women’s soccer team has done this year). To excel academically while putting in such large amounts of time and energy for practice, playing, travel, and team organizational efforts (and often doing very well athletically) is quite an accomplishment and bodes very well for these scholar-athletes’ successes after Williams. If you follow campus activities at all, you’ll notice that quite a few of the scholar-athletes’ names also crop up as leaders in various other activities as well, making their achievements even more difficult but also even more commendable.
Each season, NESCAC honors one student from each team from each member school for his or her sportsmanship, both in athletics and in his or her daily life. Honorees are nominated by their teammates and coaches. Eight Williams students were honored this year, all seniors. Lauren Garcia, a soccer player and member of the NESCAC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, is a repeat honoree. Congratulations to all eight. From past experience, these are often the people who keep the play fun for everyone.
Currently browsing posts filed under "NESCAC"