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CARE Now Activist Says “I Want Anger.” 1 of 5

CARE Now activists at Williams College have participated in the heart-warming chant: “I love you, I love me, I love us, I love we.” They may need to change it after two of them unloaded their vile hatred on an unsuspecting group of white liberal students. Williams College president, Maud Mandel, may soon hear a new, more accurate chant: “I hate you, I hate me, I hate us, I hate we.”

To better understand the dysfunctional culture of Williams College, I thought it would helpful to review a transcript of the anti-white rant delivered by two prominent black student leaders at the April 9, 2019 College Council meeting. The title of this series refers to a comment made by a student activist who responds to the tears of the victims by saying, “Don’t look at us with tears. I don’t want that. I want anger.”

Alarmingly, one of these students serves on a college search committee for the next Director of Dining Services.

Although the details of this controversial video have so far eluded The Williams Record, they have been reported on and discussed at a number of on-line sites including  Anonymous Political Scientist, Big League Politics, Campus WatchEphblog, Free RepublicInstapundit, Legal InsurrectionTea Party and the national-level, student-reported The College Fix.

The Williams College Council attempted to suppress access to this disturbing video by taking it off of their Facebook page. Thankfully, alert students preserved a copy and posted it on YouTube. I have adjusted the start of this video so that it aligns with the transcript presented below. I’ll add in my commentary, as appropriate, over the course of the next five days.

I’ll start by saying that the female black activist creeps me out with her controlling, manipulative behavior. When I taught at Williams one of my area of focus was child abuse and neglect. I’m hypersensitive to verbal abuse. In the following exchange, SO calls the white students d***heads. Under normal circumstances, I would think one of the co-presidents should have warned her about her inappropriate language. If she persisted, they should have asked the sergeant-at-arms to escort her out of the meeting. Instead, the co-presidents allow her to verbally abuse the white students.

Start – 50:28

SO: And that’s valid too. Like, if you want to talk, you can talk. But seems like you’all…you…you had a lot to say. So where is it now?

WH: Thank you, guys. You should have gotten your money. You got money. Then I’m very happy if you got your money.

IB: Wow. Wow. That’s crazy.

SO: Say it to me.

Student Representative: I’m sorry this is so hard for you guys. I was just at the end. You know. (PAUSE) I don’t know what to say.

At this point, I can only assume that some of the white students in the room were tearing up as a consequence of the abusive language coming from IB and SO. The speakers apparently notice the tears and use the white student’s display of emotion to further their humiliation.

SO: This is white liberal s***.

IB: This is the s***, the tears…

SO: Because nobody wants to talk. Because you had a lot of questions. You had a lot of questions. And I’ve had classes with you. I know what kind of d***heads you are. I’ve had political science with you. It’s s*** that opens up all a yo white moderate f***ing liberal bullshit. I know the type of person you are. So what do you want to say?

WH: I haven’t taken a poly sci class here.

SO: I wasn’t talking to you.

WH: I’m sorry.

I like the way the white student, WH, pushes back on SO for making an inaccurate generalization. Her d***head comment is consistent with the suggestion that CARE Now activists are attempting rule Williams College through fear and intimidation. It will be interesting to see how, if at all, the Dean of the College or the Honor Committee take action to discipline these students. Even a modest sanction might improve what Maud Mandel has identified as a culture of open antagonism. At the very least, I don’t think either of these students should have a role in the hiring process at the school.

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College Council Meeting Notes

The College Council provides a solid archive of meeting notes, going back to 2009. Still, I am very sad that it does not go back further. Who else remembers the glorious notes of Jonathan Landsman ’05?

Sadly, CC refuses (?) to make the notes for current meetings publicly available, even to alumni and local residents. Pathetic. Fortunately, we have our sources!

The April 16 minutes are available to students. The central debate about WIFI is covered fairly well.

The April 23 minutes are not available for download, even to students. But our sources are clever, so they provided some screen shots. See below the break. Example:

A full zip archive of meeting notes since 2016 is here.

Key points:

1) It was stupid for the Falk administration to change the rules and force student groups to seek recognition from College Council even if they were not seeking funding. (Falk and Co did this to make life more difficult for dissident groups like Uncomfortable Learning.) Student organizations can be trusted with many important decisions — selecting JAs, distributing funding — but not with this one.

2) Excessive student powers will be used against all unpopular groups, not just those unpopular with the Administration. By the way, BDS has yet to hit Williams in a big way. What happens when it does?

3) If Maud is smart, she will change the Student Handbook this summer to allow any student group to be created by simply submitting a form with the Dean’s Office. This will allow the group access to all the basic tools — like room reservations — that it needs to function. CC does not need to fund it, but they can’t ban it.

4) There are plenty of rich Jewish alumni that Maud will try to raise money from over the next few years. What do you think their views are on this topic?

5) College Council should just make its meeting notes and livestream public. The truth will come out anyway and, perhaps more important, a public livestream encourages better behavior from your guests.

Screen shots of minutes for April 23:

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Inside the Purple Rubble

I had a chance to review the video of the April 16, 2019 College Council meeting. It looked like a bomb crater. Many of the young white men who were verbally abused by black student leaders at the April 9, 2019 meeting were notably absent. Without them, the College Council could not establish a quorum.

Williams College Council April 16, 2019

Their best idea? Reach out to the wounded members and let them know it was safe to come back? No. Not at all.

Instead, the representatives in the room jokingly recruited other students to serve as “proxies” for the missing white students. This, as any high school student would know, is not how proxies work. This scheme became even more problematic when they realized the students who have volunteered to be proxies are also the same people who will be asking for money – a clear conflict of interest.

NOTE: The Williams College Council has deleted the livestream of the appalling April 9, 2019 meeting. I’ve made a copy of the April 16, 2019 meeting. It would be great if someone would upload that to YouTube too along with a proper explanation of what is going on in it.

What was most troubling to me is there was absolutely no acknowledgement of the damage done. I saw no sense of corporate responsibility for the fact white students were basically boycotting the meeting.

One of the most cringe-worthy spectacles occurred when Bilal Ansari, the school’s first Muslim Chaplain and now the acting director of the Davis Center, addressed the students. Reading between the lines, it was clear to me that he knows Williams College would have been better off if the two black students vomiting out anti-white bigotry had worked through existing black- or minority-run campus groups instead of trying to create their own black preview events.

Ansari said that he understood the root causes of the student’s offensive tirade(s).

Nevertheless, he indicated (to the young white males who were not present) that he was there for them too. Bilal Ansari even added, as far as I can tell, they had every right to push back whenever they are targeted with racially charged verbal abuse.

I suppose that this should give well-meaning observers some comfort. If the school’s first Muslim Chaplain says it is okay for whites to resist anti-white hate speech, then perhaps no one should put up with it again.

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Williams Initiative for Israel

A student reports that “Apparently there was huge commotion at CC last [Tuesday] night. I expect this to be picked up by national news outlets as the details of what happened are revealed.” From the Record:

Last night, College Council (CC) voted 13–8 with one abstention to reject a request from the Williams Initiative for Israel (WIFI) to become a registered student organization. The vote came a week after the club’s request was tabled at a previous CC meeting, and the meeting involved nearly two hours of protracted and heated debate among both CC members and a large number of guests attending.

Before the debate began, numerous members and guests expressed concerns that publicly revealing the names of those speaking, as CC has previously done to some extent through livestreams on its Facebook page and published minutes accessible to students at the College, would make students feel unsafe and prevent them from fully expressing their opinions. Several members and guests cited national news coverage of College events in recent weeks, including cases where specific students were mentioned by name, as justification for these concerns. CC ultimately decided to publish anonymous minutes accessible only to students with College emails.

This is a developing story, occurring exceptionally close to our print deadline.

The minutes are here, but inaccessible to me. Could someone post them in a comment?

The video for last week has some interesting discussion starting at the 25 minute mark . . .

“The state of Israel, at least if it’s not completely illegal . . .”

It is one thing for leftist students on campus to attack random WASPs, especially WASPs who might be Republican. But when they go after mainstream (?) Jewish organizations, they may be treated very differently . . .

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“Why Aren’t You Listening?” — Full Livestream Reupload

For anyone who cares about the past, present, and future of Williams College, this video is a vital historical document of campus life in 2019. College Council’s decision to remove it from their Facebook page was, I assume, an unfortunate concession to student activist demands that all this stuff be kept under the table. I’m a current student who luckily saved a copy of the livestream from that meeting just before they took it down this weekend.

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The Left Eats Its Own Café

Over at The College Fix this morning, there is an article by Rory Walsh reporting on the  shocking livestream video posted on Facebook by the College Council.

Black students explode in anger at white students in vulgarity-laced rant (VIDEO)

In his article, Walsh provides us with redacted examples of the profane language used by I.B. as he called out liberal white student representatives for the way they dealt with an earlier request by S.O. for funding for a preview event for black students.

“… It’s time for you’all to figure this sh*t out and check yourself because I’m really losing it,” he said. “We are f***ing tired of having to come and beg and suck d***. And of course when we come and do it we face problems all the f***ing time.”

“… Every time to be here is like sucking white d*** every f***ing day,” he said. “Closing our mouths every f***ing day just to be here. And if we dare ask for a little bit of time, money and space we gotta suck some more d***. … It is so frustrating. It’s so tiring … to be here. To deal with you’all.”

“We keep our heads down, it don’t work,” he said. “We try to create space for us, it don’t work. We want some money to f***ing cook some fried f***king chicken and be n*****s for once, it don’t work. I just don’t get it.”

Walsh cites comments I made at my Anonymous Political Scientist blogsite too. He notes I had observed the video “…is an excellent example of the sort of political abuse that tore down Evergreen State College.”

Walsh reports that The College Fix attempted to reach several members of the College Council as well as administration for a statement. They have yet to respond.

The comments on Walsh’s article are generally adverse to the student activists.

Another tasty serving at The Left Eats Its Own Café.

What the Alt Left doesn’t understand is that white people aren’t out to get black people; they are just exhausted with them. They are exhausted by the social pathologies, the violence, the endless complaints, the blind racial solidarity, the bottomless pit of grievances, the excuses, and the reflexive animosity.

Williams is about as left wing as a functioning college can be. Blacks need to move across the river to SUNY Albany.

You’re not trying to create a community. You’re trying to create a segregated, black racist bubble. The campus in its entirety is your community, and if you don’t like it, you can always transfer.

Just for the record: I’m not Black and I love fried chicken.

According to his biography, Rory Walsh studies industrial labor relations, American politics, and business at Cornell University. He has interned for former New York Congresswoman Claudia Tenney. After completing his undergraduate degree he plans to study law and business.

 

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Why Aren’t You Listening? – Partial Transcript

I have loaded a partial transcript of some of the most offensive and extreme comments made at the CC meeting. I created it by leveraging the Word document posted on Ephblog and then reviewing the video. It is shocking stuff. There is evidence in this video of a lot of dysfunction including the efforts of one speaker to shame student representative Tristan Whalen for seemingly not listening respectfully enough to a stream-of-consciousness tirade of anti-white bigotry.

To his credit, Whalen defended himself. He requested that he be treated in a courteous manner as he responded to the attackers. He pointed out that he had been listening and that what he was writing up were his own notes on the attacker’s comments. At any rate, I will not post the transcript here. It is quite offensive. You can access it over at my Anonymous Political Scientist blogsite here.

The only other thing I would like to add to the discussion is the manner in which the speaker, Isaiah, is permitted, without any complaints, to use the N-word, use foul language, articulate racial stereotypes, and endlessly refer to ****-sucking. In Isaiah’s view, simply being polite and following normal procedures is tantamount to working as a cheap prostitute on a busy thoroughfare. My sense is this was all an expression of his power over the group. It is difficult, if not impossible, to imagine that a white student saying the exact same things would be given such deference.

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Why Aren’t You Listening?

Nishant writes:

Can we have a post on that crazy video that anon eph frosh posted? It needs multiple daily posts from David. I am serious.

Video here. (Is there a way to embed this? Or at least make it accessible for readers who don’t use Facebook?) The action starts, apparently, at the 30 minute mark. Here (doc) is a (heavily?) edited transcript.

Background seems to be a (successful attempt?) to get CC to partial fund some events at Previews this week which are focused on African-American admitted students. Alas, there were still some CC critics with more to say:

Isaiah: I know that the funding for this has already been supported, but I am appalled by how this was handled. *many expletives* I’m looking at this budget and I’m seeing all the ways white men are getting resources and community afforded to them, and whenever black students come and try to make spaces for students on this campus, we are stopped at every. single. Level.

Oluseyi: you, Tristan Whalen. Why aren’t you listening?

Isaiah: now we are writing. Every time we start speaking, ears close. *many more expletives* You have half a million dollars. How many % of the budget is black previews? .42% Every time we start talking to you we get shouted down by the white moderate, white liberals. You come here, you have $3billion dollars to your name. Why is CC not diverse? Because if we dare try to run, try to be in this space… we have to be with people like you. I just don’t get it. We keep our heads down. Yeah, we got the money, but we are tired of this. I refuse –– no more. You want to have free speech, you want to be racist, open your mouth now.

Since my fan club wants a series on this, a series is what you will be getting! Although probably not this week. What should the scandal controversy name be? “Black Previews”?

Could our readers tell us who the dramatis personae are?

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Following investigation, College Council votes to retain treasurer; censures co-presidents

From the Record, Nicholas Goldrosen reports:

Last night, College Council (CC) voted 12-7 to retain Treasurer Spencer Carrillo ’20 and mandated he attend educational sanctions to improve his performance. CC also voted 11-7 to censure CC Presidents Lizzy Hibbard ’19 and Moisés Roman Mendoza ’19 for raising the charges against Carrillo without placing it on the agenda or notifying CC before the Nov. 13 meeting.

I think many students expected disciplinary action against the Treasurer, but a surprise censure against the Co-Presidents was certainly unexpected! (and in my opinion, welcome.)

The vote followed a report by the Student Government Conduct Committee (SGCC), chaired by CC’s Vice President for Student Organizations Maria Heredia ’20 and Vice President for Community and Diversity Shane Beard ’20, which found Carrillo failed to meet some of his duties but recommended against removal. CC did not livestream or record the meeting – in contravention of its own bylaws – and made all votes taken during the meeting anonymous, asking CC members to close their eyes.

This is kind of childish. The meetings should be recorded and all votes should be public. This is the elected student council.

Hibbard and Roman Mendoza presented the case against Carrillo. They reported that he failed to close out CC’s accounts on time over the summer and delayed the College’s audit, failed to file vouchers – as noted by administrators in the Controller’s Office and the Office of Student Life – and communicated unprofessionally and unreliably with CC subgroup treasurers, the CC presidents and the Minority Coalition chairs.

During the summer and fall, Carrillo responded simply “No” or “No thank you” to numerous requests from Hibbard and Roman Mendoza to discuss his performance. “Moises and I tried reaching out to Spencer privately many times, spoke with multiple administrators, and brought this issue up at the CC executive meeting prior to discussing it in general Council,” Hibbard said. “We regret it had to rise to this level. As per the CC Constitution the presidents have the sole responsibility to ‘set the agenda for the College Council.’”

Indeed, these complaints are problematic. Do they warrant removal? I’m not so sure. I think with only a couple of weeks left in the term, the entire charade could have been avoided, but it is good to air grievances so that they may be avoided by future treasurers.

Carrillo defended his performance. Regarding the summer transfers, he wrote, “That error was not a result of my malpractice…it was clearly confirmed to me by a previous Treasurer that when I completed the transfers didn’t matter.” He also alleged that the submission of many vouchers was not his job, but the assistant treasurer’s, and defended his communication style: “If I am emailing someone who I know well or am friends with, I am not going to go through the tedium of drafting a formal letter to them.”

The Treasurer here appears to make excuses for himself, of which I am not particularly fond, but his overall point is clear: He was not trained properly, leading him to make these mistakes, and some of the charges were bogus tacked on to make the entire process seem more valid.

Other representatives called for consideration of the method by which Hibbard and Roman Mendoza brought the matter up on Nov. 13, which they percieved as inappropriate. “Any president bringing complaints forward in such a way, effectively lambasting a council member in public for what came off as personal reasons, is acting in a way that is distasteful, unwarranted, and unprecedented. It is something that cannot be tolerated by this or any Council moving forward,” said Representative Lance Ledet ’21.

Ledet’s comments are valuable. The President’s actions should certainly be condemned. Take a look at those minutes.

Thoughts on this debacle? The article, as well as the accompanying documents presented to CC, can be found here. 

UPDATE: Permanent pdf of the report, which is remarkably well-done.

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Montgomery Guide

This seems a worthwhile effort:

Montgomery Guide aims to collect experiences from every corner of the Williams community: faculty, staff, freshmen, seniors, and alumni. We named this collection of stories after R.A. Montgomery ’1958, who pioneered the famous Choose Your Own Adventure book series. Through Montgomery Guide, we share the experiences of those in our community so we can all use them for a little more guidance, solidarity, and ease in choosing our own adventure.

Kudos to all involved! Here is are some EphBlog’s thoughts.

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Run for College Council

If you are the sort of student who reads EphBlog, then you ought to run for College Council. First, you will be in a position to try to make Williams a little bit better. You aren’t going to change the world or make the Administration change its policies, but, on the margin, you can improve things for students. Second, you will learn a lot about life, committees and bureaucracies — valuable knowledge for wherever you go after college.

Perhaps the single most important skill in the corporate world is to get people to do things, especially people who don’t work for you. There are few better places to develop this talent than College Council.

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College Council Election Annulment

Big news on campus in the last week is the annulment of the College Council election results for CC co-presidents. Below the fold is the all-student e-mail which summarizes the main details. The Record provides excellent coverage here. Kudos to their live streaming via Twitter. Comments:

1) Nothing wrong with a little election controversy! It gets everyone involved and talking. We now have another election with a more competitive set of candidates.

2) Nice job by the Administration to stay (completely?) away from the issue. Administrators are always tempted to “step in” and fix things when student government spins out of control. Wise administrators know that it is precisely these out of control situations that provide the best learning experiences for students. So, the best course of action is to let the students figure things out themselves.

3) The Elections Supervisory Committee seems to have done a good job and handled their responsibilities in a mature fashion, giving no preferences to the CC insiders.

4) Credit is also due to the drafters (who? when?) of the current CC Constitution, who wisely provided a mechanism (which worked!) to handle election irregularities.

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College Council Election Controversy

The recent College Council elections have sparked controversy.

Last Saturday, on the last day of the 2015 Spring College Council (CC) elections, co-president elects Teddy Cohan ’16 and Meghana Vunnamadala ’16 made a last-minute campaign push, in which they claimed to have real-time inside election information. However, they did not actually have access to this classified information.

Vunnamadala and Cohan confirmed to the Record that they sent out multiple text messages on Saturday claiming the race was tight, though they initially said that those claims were purely speculative. “We had no access to information,” Cohan said. “The whole goal of everything we were doing was to just to make sure that people voted. We were just saying that the election was going to be close. It seemed like a lot of people were voting for Grant [Johnson ’17] and we wanted to make sure that everyone who wanted to vote for us voted … We had no idea whether we were winning or losing.” Vunnamadala added, “We said we might be losing, the polls were tight. It was all speculation.”

However, Vunnamadala later confirmed to the Record that she sent out a text message on Saturday to multiple people that explicitly claimed that she and Cohan had knowledge of election results. Vunnamadala confirmed that she sent a text that read: “I’m not supposed to know this so don’t tell people but teddy and I are losing rn.”

The Record editorializes:

We at the Record believe that College Council (CC) co-president elects Teddy Cohan ’16 and Meghana Vunnamadala ’16 violated the CC bylaws by deliberately misinforming the student population, in sending messages to multiple students claiming that they were losing the race on the final day of the election.

Although the candidates have since clarified that they did not, in fact, have premature inside information about the results, they still intentionally misled the community in order to garner additional votes and therefore failed to adhere to the election procedures and campaigning guidelines, as outlined by CC.

I doubt that there will be a new election since the arbiters are CC members who will be disposed to a) Not want to bother and b) Wish Cohan and Vunnamadala well since they are the establishment candidates.

What do readers predict will happen? What do readers think should happen?

Hat tip to Yik Yak which was buzzing about this controversy over the week-end.

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College Council Considers Social Honor Code

From Yik Yak:

image

Could a reader provide more details on the proposal? In the meantime, comments:

1) An Eph Style Guide, with no penalties for violation, is still an excellent idea.

What would be the key components of such a guide?

First, a clear and ringing affirmation of the central role played by unfettered intellectual inquiry at Williams. Freedom of thought and conscious must be protected and nurtured at all costs. Those who come to Williams from sheltered backgrounds may be unused to confronting radically different points of view, to having their ideas and beliefs challenged. They need to be reminded that intellectual honesty, saying what you believe and defending what you say, is the highest value at Williams, bar none. Freedom of speech does not stop at the top of Spring Street.

Second, such a guide could provide an overview of words and symbols that are simply beyond the pale. By all accounts, the KKK cookout controversy of last spring was an honest mistake. The author of the flyer did not realize that those three letters remain a potent symbol of hatred and injustice. An Eph Style Guide could make that clear. The existence of a guide, required reading for all members of the community, would remove ignorance as a defense.

Note that nothing in such a guide restricts speech in any way. It is a guide, not a code. If you want to advertise your flyer using the initials KKK, you are still free to do so. But your speech will be met with more speech. You will be called insensitive, because you are. You will be challenged, because you deserve to be. Yet honest mistakes will be made less likely.

Of course, an Eph Style Guide of limited length will need to make choices about what to include and what to exclude. KKK would be included, but “cakewalk,” a term with a viciously racist past, would probably not make the cut. Just the process of thinking harder, slowly and carefully, about what is offensive and why, is a valuable exercise for the College. I would expect the committee responsible for the guide to publish a series of drafts, hold (poorly attended) public meetings and actively seek comments from the broader community.

Third, a guide would make clear what is allowed, what difficult and controversial topics will be, indeed must be, discussed at Williams. For example, common culture affects individual decisions. American culture in the mid-19th century affected the decisions made by Abraham Lincoln just as Japanese culture of the 1920s and ’30s influenced Hirohito’s. To mau-mau Barnard over his claim that Hispanic culture influenced the behavior of specific contemporary baseball players, as some members of VISTA did last spring, is to misunderstand the sorts of conversations that must be allowed, even encouraged, at Williams.

Alas, I doubt that this is what CC is considering. (By the way, who are the key students pushing this idea?) Whoever they are, they almost certainly want the College to punish speech/behavior that they find offensive.

2) Before going to far down this path, College Council should try to learn from its own history. Read this for discussions of similar efforts in 2004 and 2008.

Do any readers think that a social honor code is a good idea?

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CC State of the Union: Dining and Summer (9/14/2010)

Williams Students,

To those who are returning from summers here, there, and everywhere welcome
back to our crazy school. To the new saucy first years, welcome home.

In an effort to increase transparency, a tradition was started last Spring to write
to you monthly with what your council has done, is doing, and is planning to do.

This Summer council worked on three main projects:

1. We formed a committee of students, faculty, staff, and administrators charged
with implementing the necessary changes to Williams Dining in response to the
closure of Greylock and Dodd last Spring. They met every week this summer and
did some incredible work.

2. As part of our Williams History Initiative, Council worked with the College
Archives to write, design, purchase, and install 18 bronze beautiful plaques in
18 entrances to dormitories across campus. Next time you walk into your dorm,
look around for the plaque, and take a second to actually read the thing. Come
on.

3. Council worked with Facilities, Dining Services, and the Student Body at-large
to completely redo the bottom floor of Paresky (the Lounge and 82′ Grille). The
new arcade games, the new tables, chairs, couches, and TV area in the Lounge
and the improvements to the Grille including the banners on the walls, the much
wider beer selection, new food items, and new tabletops and chairs are all
products of collaborative Council work.

4. A bunch of small things too like the new Picnic tables outside Paresky…and,
finally, after three years of trying, those two glass doors that have ALWAYS been
locked going from Whitmans’ to the outside world are finally unlocked starting
today! Victory!

Now, many of you have noticed that the Dining experience has changed at
Williams from last year. Changes have been made across the board. Everyone is
going through a period of adjustment right now. This includes us as students
in addition to the dining services staff. Yes, lines are long right now, but it is
important to give this new system a chance and some time to exist outside the
initial period of adjustment.
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College Council Meeting Notes

Huge props to College Council Technology Manager Andy Quinn ’13 for creating a useful new College Council website and, even better, organizing more than a decade’s worth of meeting minutes. Amazing stuff. Almost every topic of student concern at Williams has come up many times in the past. Current students should learn from that history.

Perhaps EphBlog’s summer project should be to devote one week of blogging to the events of each academic year since 1997 as seen through the College Council minutes of that year. Any interest?

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Let’s Get It On

Best College Council campaign video in Williams history?

Perhaps. But, I sure do wish that I had a copy of the video Andy Harris ’88 and I made (with help from future Emmy winner Mark Solan ’88 and other Eph theatreatti of that era) for our failed CC campaign. It was genius, pure genius . . .

Hat tip to Will Slack’s excellent WSO thread on the upcoming elections.

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The Once and Future Log

In what seems like a twice-per-decade occurrence, students are involved in an effort to revitalize The Log, which, apparently, has lay virtually dormant since 2007.  Sometimes these efforts will go strong for a year, but inevitably interest / enthusiasm seems to wane as the generation motivated enough to establish a new tradition (which oftentimes is quite popular) graduates.  More details, and a petition drive, can be located at the Willipedia page on point.

If President Falk wants to make an instant impact on campus, some creative thinking about how to better utilize one of the very best, if not the best, social spaces on campus would be a great place to start: in particular, some sort of mechanism to keep momentum and funding in place from year to year would be ideal … perhaps using The Log more during the early weeks of First Year, to establish its value early on in students’ tenure at Williams.  No student space has remotely the same character or history, not to mention a perfect location on Spring Street.

Fortunately, it seems like there is a lot of student enthusiasm and commitment behind this latest effort.  Maybe Ephbloggers with fond Log memories could share their thoughts on the best past uses of the The Log?  A history of what has worked, and what hasn’t, over the years at the Log might help guide current students in their efforts.  The biggest problem will, of course, always be the drinking age, which is what destroyed the Log as a central part of campus social life, to begin with.  Any viable plan for the Log HAS to feature a wide array of options that will be equally attractive whether or not alcohol is involved.

I believe that weekly Pub Trivia, mentioned in the WSO thread, is a great idea that would attract a lot of students to the Log.  In the fall, football and pizza / wings Sundays would likely be popular; so would, I imagine, a March Madness set-up.  Anyone else have thoughts for ideas that would attract those under and over 21 alike?

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Reports from Housing Forum?

There was a forum on housing last night at Williams. Were you there? Tell us what happened! There have been few more contentious issues at Williams over the last decade than housing and it would be interesting to know the latest developments. And, as always, kudos to CC Co-Presidents Lizzy Brickley and Mike Tcheyan for organizing these events. They have done a great job over the last year in organizing the campus conversation about this and other topics. Future CC Co-Presidents should do as they have done.

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Respect Our Diversity

Hilarious or insulting? Depends on your point of view.

A Petition from the Williams Students for More Clothing Coalition, the Williams Center for Genital Covering, and the Quaint Students for Underpants:

Decent and Honorable members of The Williams Community,

Today was scarred with the most morally degrading event in the history of Williams College and possibly all of human time. Four young adults, wearing nothing but their bare epidermis, sprinted through the final Psychology 101 lecture shouting like the rambunctious naked yahoos that they were. Any decent human being knows that impure bodily organs should only be revealed in private. They are not meant for the public sphere-that is why you can only see butts on cable or satellite. The flapping cocks and bouncing breasts that violated the morning of hundreds of Williams students today cannot be taken lightly.

On this occasion we are called to drastic action-SOUND THE ALARM- MAN THE BARRICADES! Starting tonight we will camp out in Chapin Hall until the college recognizes that the clothed community is under attack. In an act of recognition that they see us as a population under suppression, the college administration must give us our own gigantic lecture hall to complain constantly every time a woman reveals her ankles or a man takes off his shirt during a pick-up game of basketball in which neither team is designated skins. There is no possible way to stop the oppression of the clothed students at Williams except to seize a precious piece of campus property. In order for us to feel secure, we also issue the following demands:

1. A full-time Campus Undergarment Coordinator to preempt potential nudity.
2. Cameras in all bedrooms and shower stalls to ensure students remain clothed at all times-even in the most private of spaces.
3. A Human Shame and Clothing Major offered immediately. Why study worthwhile things at college like linguistics when we could have so much more fun sucking the life from the already dire school budget situation in order to retreat into a small-minded surcease of sorrow, immersed in the history of one superficial human characteristic?

Remember: the best way to start seeing people as individuals with equal rights is not to assess them based on the power of their intellect or the content of their character, but it is to dwell on the inconsequential differences that separate them from others. At Williams, we ought to devote our academics to that vision, and Women’s and Gender Studies cannot hold down the fort alone.

We have to deal with the uncomfortable reality that the clothing community has not yet been able to claim Williams as its own. Once we have our coordinator, major, and lecture hall, we feel that it will be physically impossible for anyone on campus offer the opposite and obviously incorrect view. They could never choose to sprint around in the nude or even whisper words like ‘gonad’ and ‘bollocks’ in passing. Our Underwear Coordinator and Clothing Major will be armed with magical force fields to protect us from any offensive behavior whatsoever. We ought to feel comfortable on this campus, and who is better suited to the task of protecting the weak than our representatives? We urge the College Council to be our protector, our cock block.

If you disagree with us, we respect the right of your opinion to exist, but we refuse to acknowledge its validity. We all have a right to free speech, but there is a hierarchy of rights as well, and the right to free speech must only flow from the right to not be offended.

Our freedom to speech has been endowed to us both legally and by the mere fact that we are rational, thinking creatures. This unlimited freedom is constrained by our obligation to forever remain politically correct. Since the clothing community has been offended first and loudest on this issue, the podium belongs to us and no one else. Because it is our view of moral truth, we have every right to demand that the whole campus subscribes to it.

Please respect our diversity.

Please.

Compare and contrast with the College Council’s letter in support of the Hardy House occupation and the original demands.

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Homophobic Graffiti in Dennett

From WSO:

The homophobic graffiti that was written on the walls of the Dennett Hall entry this past Saturday was an example of malicious and unacceptable behavior.

Williams is our home. Every single student deserves to feel safe during their time here. Each of us is responsible for creating this culture of respect.

While it is impossible to change people’s beliefs from the outside that change must come from within all Williams students must respect and hold one another accountable to a certain standard of behavior. Vandalism and inappropriate, discriminatory language do not fall within the bounds of acceptable conduct.

We encourage all Williams students to speak up and hold their fellow students accountable for any form of discriminatory behavior that intimidates, threatens, or endangers members of the Williams Community.

Join College Council tomorrow night, Wednesday, at 8:00 pm in Henze Lounge (2nd Floor Paresky) to discuss the discriminatory act that happened this past weekend as well as the structural reasons behind homophobic behavior. Nothing is off-limits in this discussion. We encourage you to join the dialogue.

Comments:

1) Can someone provide details about the graffiti? What, exactly, was written? When was it discovered? Is there any background story (like the intra-entry disputes in Williams E two years ago) that might provide useful context?

2) Kudos to College Council for organizing this event. The more discussions, the better for the Williams community. If you go, tell us about it. If you have thoughts, share them in the comments.

3) The last major (?) act of (alleged?) homophobia at Williams was the Queer Bash E-mail controversy of 6 years ago. I still like my (unused) theoretical defense for the students.

“I stand by the content of my original e-mail. Having been raised in a Christian home, I believe that there is a Heaven and a Hell and that certain people, because of the decisions that they make, are headed for the latter. Prior this controversy, I understood, because of my cultural background, the terms “faggot” and “queer” to be largely synonymous, both in terms of meaning and acceptability. It is since come to my attention that, for some people, the latter is much preferred to the former. If the Dean of the College provides me with a list of terms that are inappropriate for use on campus, either via e-mail or speech, I would be happy to adhere to it. It was not and is not my intent to harass any individual.”

“Williams make a strong claim to encouraging a diversity of viewpoints on its campus. This is an easy claim to make when all the viewpoints agree with your own. It is a much tougher to fulfill when the viewpoints expressed are ones that you find abhorrent. How Williams proceeds with a disciplinary action against me will tell us all a great deal about seriousness with which Williams undertakes its educational mission.”

I believe, but could never confirm, that at least one of the students involved (if not both) were required by Williams to take time off, although it may have been that other academic/disciplinary problems that they had were involved as well. (I don’t see any relevant cases in the Honor and Discipline Reports for 2003 and 2004.) So, I doubt if they were officially sanctioned. Does anyone know?

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The Great Idea Campaign

Hey Campus,

College Council is proud to announce:
CC’s Great Idea Campaign!

Do you have an idea to improve Williams student life? Need funding?

CC’s Great Idea Campaign is a competition looking for the best ideas for improving student life at Williams. Anyone with a great idea can win!

Submit a 200 word project proposal no later than Friday, November 13 to 10ebb at williams.edu, and you could win CC funding and support to get your project up and running.

What kinds of project ideas are acceptable? The project should be designed to improve some aspect of students’ lives at Williams, but the rest is up to you. Have an idea to improve dorm life? What about social programming? Some example projects from the past include: the textbook reserve program, the former bike share program, and concert funding.

Once again, please submit your 200 word proposal to (redacted for spam prevention) by November 13.

Let the games begin!

Sincerely,
Your College Council

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More Co-Ops

College Council C-President Michael Tcheyan ’10 asks:

What are your thoughts on a new Co-op? College Council is exploring the option of a new Co-op and we want your input!

Needless to say, the co-ops are one of the best aspects of Williams housing. Every student in the thread votes “Yes.” Comments:

1) My Vision for Williams Housing (pdf) would significantly improve housing at Williams. This evidence of co-op popularity supports my Assumption #2.

2) Back in the day, co-ops were less popular for, I think, two reasons. First, there was much more emphasis on the “co-op” part of the exercise. For example, co-op students were not allowed (at all?) to be on the meal plan. That is no longer true. (Are there any restrictions on co-op students?) Second, the failure of Neighborhood Housing has led to a dramatic (almost doubling?) increase in co-op applicants precisely because the single most important aspect of senior housing is having the chance to live with your best friends. Williams is almost over and you want to spend those last 9 months with the Ephs you hope/plan to be close to for the rest of your life. As Dave Moore notes:

One of the reasons co-ops are so valuable (and popular) is that they upset the neighborhood system by their very nature, by removing restrictions and allowing people to actually live with their friends.

Before the Neighborhood Housing, seniors could live with anyone they wanted to.

3) I am glad to see College Council focusing on this topic. Good for them!

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Sophomore Orientation

A good idea.

College Council Sophomore Orientation Proposal

From Willipedia

In the Winter Study of 2009, College Council created a subcommittee to look at the possibility of having a program that would address gaps in the Sophomore experience at Williams. That committee was chaired by Emanuel Yekutiel ’11 and the product of the committee was the proposal below.

After constructing this proposal and brainstorming for ideas about the programs, the subcommittee approached various administrators and community members to gather support for the programs. In the early Spring, the Dean of the College and the Dean’s Office decided to formally support the program for the Class of 2012.

Excellent. The best way to improve the Williams community is to introduce more people to each other. The more sophomores who know each other’s names, the better. Related idea here.

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On CC and the rest of Sunday

CC tabled at dining halls last Thursday to get information about the programs and departments they valued most. There were about 12-14 items on the sheet, which students could rank. The e-mail announcing the tabling also had a link to an electronic poll.

Also, CC has just appointed the four student members of the Neighborhood Review Committee, which will begin meeting this week. Take it to mean what you will, but most positions on committees aren’t incredibly selective, and CC had to turn down some great applicants. I hope that all students can contribute to this review, even if they, like me, did not apply.

Last, anyone who read my writ from Sunday morning can add an incredibly deep and soulful conversation that helped me discover new aspects of myself, catching up with a friend from last semester, watching several old episodes of a TV show on Hulu, attending the largest gathering of the Feast that I can remember, making cards to send to faculty members about Take Back The Night, helping out at the climbing wall, showing a piece to other musicians so that we could collaborate on performing it in two weeks, writing a song about Spring Break, and figuring out the details of a new project that I feel pretty good about. So that’s 66 hours at Williams for you.

For the letter from CC, click Read more

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The New Co-Presidents

As seen in the election results, our new student leaders are Mike Tcheyan ’10 and Lizzy Brickley ’10. Mike is a Water Polo player who coordinated the WOOLF program for two years. Lizzy is on the Crew team, a former CC class representative, a current JA, and one of two students representatives on the Presidential Search Committee. Both are members of the 114th delegation of Gargoyle. See their Self-Nomination and Platform by clicking…. Read more

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Spring CC Election Results

CC Campus

  • Co-Presidents: Lizzy Brickley ’10 and Mike Tcheyan’10
  • Secretary: Zach Evans ’12
  • Treasurer: Rachel Hudson ’10
  • Minority Concerns: Ifiok Inyang’11
  • Class of 2010 Rep: Joya Sonnenfeldt ’10
  • Class of 2011 Rep: Emanuel Yekutiel ’11
  • Class of 2012 Rep: Newton Davis ’12

CC Campus is comprised of the year long officeholders. It sets the College Council agenda and makes appointments to student-faculty committees.

Neighborhoods CC Reps

  • Currier: Christina Metcalf  ’10
  • Dodd: Cameron Nutting ’11
  • Spencer: Hilary Dolstad ’11
  • Wood: Lane Wang ’11

Please note that each neighborhood will also send a leadership board representative to College Council. These people will be Emily George ’09 of Currier, Christophe Dorsey ’10 of Dodd, Schulyer Hall ’10 of Spencer, and Francesca Barrett ’12 of Wood.

First-Year House Reps

  • Armstrong: Will Weiss ’12
  • Dennett: Austin Brown ’12
  • Mills: Carmen Vidal ’12
  • Pratt: Aven King ’12
  • Sage: Amanda Weatherhead ’12
  • Williams: Shara Singh ’12

Honor Committee

  • Anthony Nguyen ’10, replacing Charlie Crawford ’10, who I think is abroad.

Honorary Degrees Commitee

  • Nick Arnosti ’11
  • Will Slack ’11

The Honorary Degrees Committee seeks the names of suitable candidates for honorary degrees and presents those nominations to the President and Committee on Degrees of the Board of Trustees.

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Suggestion for CCI

Emily Spine ’11 and the other Ephs on the Committee on Community Interaction continue to do fine work. They are serious, thoughtful and — most importantly from a process point of view — transparent. Alas, their task is a hard one. How can we improve “the way people in this community interact with each other” at Williams?

My suggestion: Expand First Days (pdf) by one week.

Now, to be fair, the first part of CCI’s work is to determine if Williams has a problem. I think that too many people exaggerate the extent of, say, racism at Williams (c.f. the empty star chamber) but there is no doubt that a wonderful place can always be made more wonderful. Surely we can agree that the amount of drunken vandalism at Williams is suboptimal.

The key insight of organizations that try to change their members behavior (and even value systems) is that the best time to do so is at the very beginning. The Marine Corps places boot camp at the start of your service, not because it is critical to learn how to shine your boots the first week, but because that is the occasion for leaving behind your civilian values and replacing them with different ones. The same applies to religious cults. It is hard for the CCI to do anything which will significantly change the behavior of a Williams senior. He is what he is. You can try to change him, but don’t expect to succeed.

But the same student, as an 18 year-old first year, new to college and to Williams, having left behind the old landmarks of high school and family, trying to adjust to a new world with an unknown culture and foreign standards, that Eph is malleable. You can change his “heart and mind,” if not easily than with more ease than you can an older student, someone who has already found a place for himself at Williams.

Now, the exact mechanics of how we might make First Years better people, how we might change their values so that they are less likely to trash someone’s room or shout a racial slur, is a difficult topic. Yet we can all agree that that process takes time, that First Days are already too filled to accomplish much, that any effort to improve community interaction requires hours and hours of effort. Add a week to First Days and you have that time.

Imagine an extra week of First Days, a week that focuses almost completely on meeting your fellow Ephs, on learning their names, their dreams, their hopes and aspirations. Imagine a freshmen class in which every resident of Pratt knows, not just the names of everyone in her entry, but the names of every student in her dorm. Imagine a week cut off from Williams academics and Williams sports, a week spent focusing on your classmates, the students you will spend the next four years with and then stay connected with for decades thereafter.

If you want to improve “community interaction” then you need to strengthen the Williams community, and that begins by learning names and sharing meals. Such learning and sharing occurs in entries and during the school year, of course. But the more such connections are made, the stronger our community will become.

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CCI Update

Hello everyone,

It’s been a while since my last update and so I’d like to fill you all in on what CCI has been doing lately.  Two weeks ago, we decided that perhaps we should take the committee’s investigation in a different direction, and instead of interviewing countless groups of people and still missing out on the majority of the college, we should look at surveys.

At first, we thought about constructing our own survey to be distributed by Chris Winters, director of institutional research here at Williams, but after speaking with him, we have altered that idea a bit.  We are going to be looking at the results of certain surveys and picking out what data we want to analyze.  Now, I’m not a statistician, so I’m not exactly on top of the survey/data game, but if you need more explanation on what is included in the notes, please talk to Mac Stone (richard.m.stone@williams.edu) or Lindsay Moore (lindsay.m.moore@williams.edu); they definitely know more about the nitty-gritty details than I do.

In any case, as of right now, all interviews have been suspended until further notice (this is not saying they will not ever take place, however) and we will keep you updated with the committee’s progress!  We are looking to extend our deadline, since it was originally set at October 15 and it’s very clear that we are nowhere close to finishing.  Please feel free to throw out any suggestions, questions, etc. on the new direction.  The minutes from this week’s meeting will be up on the website quite soon, I just have to wait for Dave Senft to post them (definitely no later than Tuesday).  Again, the website can be found here.

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Fall CC Election Results

Neighborhoods CC Reps

  • Currier: Ifiok Inyang ’11
  • Dodd: Andrew Goldston ’09
  • Spencer: Keith Butts ’09
  • Wood: Jenny Danzi ’09

Freshmen House Reps

  • Armstrong: Tim Goggins
  • Dennett: Zach Evans
  • Mills: Runoff between Sam Jonynas and Mustafa Saadi
  • Pratt: Austin Davis
  • Sage: Newton Davis
  • Williams: Elizabeth Jimenez

Honor Committee

  • Andres Lopez ’09, Student Chair
  • Wes Johnson ’09
  • Charlie Crawford ’10
  • Mia DeSimone ’10
  • Cecelia Davis-Hayes ’11
  • Will Slack ’11
  • Matiullah Amin ’12
  • William Su ’12

Committee on Priorities and Resources

  • Jia Cui ’09

$35,000 (to be split between top 2)

  • First: 1914 Library
  • Second: ACE Concerts
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