Williams student Zachary Wood ’18 testified (pdf) to United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing: “Free Speech 101: The Assault on the First Amendment on College Campuses.” (Also testifying (pdf) was former Brandeis President Frederick Lawrence ’77.) Let’s spend two weeks on this topic. Today is Day 6.

Fred Lawrence’s ’77 testimony included this story:

The second story took place took place at Williams College, where I was a Trustee. A Jewish student complained that a faux eviction notice had been placed on her dorm room door. “If you do not vacate the premises by tomorrow at 6PM, we reserve the right to demolish your premises without delay,” the notice read. “We cannot be held responsible for property or persons remaining inside. Charges for demolition will be applied to your student account.” The student understandably felt terrible. The President wanted my opinion on what should be done to those responsible.

Let me now return to the case that occurred at Williams College involving the
faux eviction notice that had been placed on a student’s dorm room, in imitation of the notices placed on Palestinian homes that are to be demolished by Israeli authorities due to the connection between residents and acts of terrorism. The College President asked what I thought should be done to those responsible for the notice. “This,” he said to me, is not just speech – this is actual conduct. Can we sanction these students?”

We talked about Virginia v. Black and the role of intent. “But how would we
know the student’s intent?” he asked. I suggested looking into the way the notices were posted. Were only the leaders or a Jewish student organization targeted? For that matter, were only Jewish students targeted? As it turned out, every student in that dorm regardless of affiliation received one. That the complaining student honestly felt intimidated is not the issue. The issue was the actual intent of those who posted the notices – to intimidate and threaten individual Jewish students or to make a dramatic statement about their views concerning the Israel – Palestine conflict.

1) When did this occur? If it was in the last 15 years, then how did EphBlog miss it? Apologies! Was there any coverage in the Record?

2) The most similar controversy was, of course, Mary Jane Hitler. Good times! Summary: Williams student and her creepy boyfriend post signs mocking Holocaust Remembrance Day:

poster2.gif

Campus goes crazy. But then-President Morty Schapiro keeps his head, calms everyone down, and does not punish the Williams student in any way. (Contrast this excellent performance with Adam Falk’s incompetence in dealing with the Jess Torres ’12 hate hoax and John Derbyshire.) Many readers think that EphBlog’s unmasking of the creepy boyfriend was our finest moment. Ah, memories . . .

3) Might Fred Lawrence be willing to serve as an interim president? He is a former Williams trustee and former Brandeis president, so he knows the ropes.

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(originally posted 19 Oct, 2009, Click COMMENT to see entire post)

 

(this is the 5th in a series of 16 posts)
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This article continues under the fold (more…)

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 Happy Fourth of July!

 

 

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Williams student Zachary Wood ’18 testified (pdf) to United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing: “Free Speech 101: The Assault on the First Amendment on College Campuses.” (Also testifying (pdf) was former Brandeis President Frederick Lawrence ’77.) Let’s spend two weeks on this topic. Today is Day 5.

Wood’s testimony is excellent:

Humanity is not limited to the views and values we admire. Humanity also encompasses the thought and action we resist. To gain a deeper understanding of humanity, I have made a concerted effort to understand as thoroughly as possible the visions and convictions of those whose arguments I diametrically oppose.


Bob Gaudino
would be proud that his spirit lives on at Williams, at least among a handful of students.

I have faced considerable backlash in addition to administrative obstacles. For inviting controversial speakers to campus, I’ve been labeled “a men’s rights activist,” “a sellout,” and “anti-Black,” among other things. I’ve also been the target of implicit threats. On Facebook, one student wrote that “they need the oil and the switch to deal with him [me] in this midnight hour.” Once, I even received a hand-written letter, slipped under my door, that read: “your blood will be on the leaves.”

1) We need a scan of that hand-written letter, if only for the use of future historians.

2) Can you imagine what the reaction of the Williams Administration would be similar threats directed against a more conventionally liberal student?

3) Recall Falk’s claim to Time magazine:

“Freedom of speech is a fundamental value of society, and it’s a fundamental value on our campuses. But we also have to create conditions where that speech is civil and the dialogue that it spawns is productive.”

The best way to increase civility at Williams is to punish the incivility directed at Wood. And the best way to punish that incivility is not to go after the students who attacked Wood, as satisfying as that might be. Instead, Falk should say something like:

I stand with Zach Wood. The incivility with which he has been treated by members of the Williams community is unconscionable. But, at Williams, we do not punish speech. So, instead, the College will be funding weekly speakers, chosen in conjunction with the student leaders of Uncomfortable Learning, who disagree with the views of the students/faculty who have attacked Zach. The first two speakers will be Suzanne Venker and John Derbyshire. Until the Williams community learns to accept that Ephs differ in their views and that those differences are not grounds for incivility, we will be providing them with some “uncomfortable learning,” just as Robert Gaudino did 50 years ago.

Odds of this happening? Zero.

What advice would you have for Falk (or the interim president or the next president) about how to decrease incivility at Williams?

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…from the Williams course catalogue

LEAD 285
The Revolutionary Generation: Galaxy of Leaders

Fall 2017 Cross-listed as HIST 354, PSCI 285

The American Revolution produced a galaxy of brilliant politicians, statesmen, and military leaders of extraordinary courage, intellect, creativity, and character: Washington, Hamilton, Jefferson, Madison, Adams. In this seminar, we will study their astounding accomplishments–

Alec:Wash

One can’t help but think of today’s incumbent in this perspective as we ready for Independence Day…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MPfG7wyflw&t=9s

 

 

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A loyal reader writes:

Be sure to spend more time on the testimony of Frederick Lawrence from the Senate hearings. It was telling that he did not contradict Sen. Kennedy in any way in the discussion of Falk’s unique approach to defending free speech (a la Ben Tre).

Will do, later this week.

Speculation regarding Falk’s departure is amusing, but the choice of the next president is a much more important issue. Some relevant questions: How does one communicate with the board of trustees, who will be on the hiring committee, etc. Is there any way Lawrence could end up on the committee? He is quite impressive.

1) The full search committee has not been announced yet, but trustee chair Michael Eisenson ’77 will be the chair. I think that I also read, but can’t find the link, that Isaacson, Miller has been hired to help, as they did in the last search. True?

2) It is unlikely that Fred Lawrence ’77 will be on the search committee, mainly because he does not live in Williamstown or Boston. A committee which draws all its members from those two locations will be much easier to manage. As I will discuss later this week, I like Lawrence for interim president. I wonder if he and Eisenson knew each other back in the day . . .

3) You will have many opportunities to communicate with the search committee. They will do a dozen or more meet-and-listens with various parts of the Williams community. They will solicit input from everyone. (How closely they will read the written comments they receive is unclear . . .)

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hqdefault

Former prestigious university president may be available soon!

Current position under fire. Familiar with press and branding.

Campus personal housing may have to be up-gilded.

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(originally published 15 Oct, 2009. To see full post click on COMMENTS)

(The 4th in a series of 16 posts)

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(This article continues below; from front page, please click “more”…) (more…)

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At 12:53 pm yesterday, just 19 minutes after Falk’s all campus email:

To the Williams Community,

I write, on behalf of the Williams College Board of Trustees and with mixed emotion, to officially confirm that Adam Falk will leave Williams at the end of 2017 to become president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The College has flourished under Adam’s leadership. We have sustained and, indeed, enhanced our position as a national leader in liberal arts education. We have maintained our commitment to providing access to the broadest possible spectrum of exceptional students, attracting ever increasing talent and diversity to our campus. We have had great success recruiting accomplished and highly sought-after new members to join our outstanding faculty ranks and, as well, Adam has built a deep and effective senior leadership team. Our campus is undergoing an ambitious, carefully-orchestrated renewal, with superb new facilities, including the Sawyer Library and a major new center for the sciences, positioning us for the next fifty years, while reflecting a purposeful commitment to managing our carbon footprint. Our alumni and friends have set the historic Teach It Forward campaign well on the path to achieving our ambitious goals, and the College’s finances are in all ways very sound.

Adam has been an exceptionally fine president for Williams. He has demonstrated a keen ability to appreciate and retain the best of Williams traditions, while encouraging the College to grow through a genuine openness to innovation, always with the education and wellbeing of our students foremost in mind. His departure will be a loss for the College and our community, and I will personally miss his wisdom, his friendship, and his deeply thoughtful and principled leadership. At the same time, he will be leaving at a time when the College is as strong, secure and thriving as it has ever been and the Board of Trustees is completely confident that Williams will attract another exceptional talent to lead us into the next decade.

Adam’s last day at Williams will be December 31, 2017. The Board has approved the formation of a search committee, and I have been appointed as its chair. In that capacity I will be back in touch later this Summer with information about the search process. We will organize various opportunities in the Fall for the community to thank Adam for his service and wish him well. In the meantime, please join me in congratulating Adam on his exciting next adventure and in making the most of his remaining time in the Purple Valley.

Best regards,
Michael Eisenson ’77
Chair, Williams College Board of Trustees

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Today at 12:34 pm:

To the Williams community,

I’m writing to share with you the news that, at the end of December, I will leave Williams to become president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in New York.

I arrived in the Purple Valley in April of 2010, and the ensuing years have been among the most gratifying of my career. It makes me genuinely happy, looking back, to see what together we’ve achieved. Williams is attracting even greater numbers of passionate, insightful and diverse students. We’re making this place accessible to people who couldn’t consider coming here otherwise. We’re renewing our campus and making major investments in its sustainability. We’re hiring and supporting the deeply committed faculty and staff who define this college. And our loyal alumni are giving and volunteering in ways that help students thrive at Williams and build successful and rewarding lives after graduation.

Why would anyone leave such a place, at such a time? There are few opportunities that could have drawn me away. But it’s a familiar irony that the best time for a school to recruit a new president isn’t during a period of stagnation or trial, but at a time of vitality and promise. When the Sloan Foundation approached me a short while ago to lead their extraordinary institution, I was only able to consider this invitation to pursue other passions of mine—science and graduate education, among them—because I knew I’d be leaving Williams at such a vibrant moment in its history.

There will be no coasting during my remaining months on the job: we have much to accomplish together. Among my goals for this fall are the successful conclusion of our decennial reaccreditation process, raising support for Williams through the Teach It Forward campaign, continuing to advance the Science Center project, and paving the way for a smooth transition for my eventual successor.

December will come soon enough. And when it does I’ll miss Williams, and all of you, deeply. Thank you for the affection this community has shown me, and for the good work we’ve all been able to do together over these eight years.

Sincerely,

Adam Falk
President, Williams College

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imgres

,,, boorish personal references to body and IQ. Is this ‘Presidential’? Is this the ‘New Normal’? God Help The United States of America!

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/29/business/media/trump-mika-brzezinski-facelift.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

 

Addendum. In a separate note READ THE email MESSAGE FROM THE COLLEGE … FALK RESIGNS!  

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Williams student Zachary Wood ’18 testified (pdf) to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing: “Free Speech 101: The Assault on the First Amendment on College Campuses.” (Also testifying (pdf) was former Brandeis President Frederick Lawrence ’77.) Let’s spend two weeks on this topic. Today is Day 4.

Continuing our examination of Falk’s “interview” in Time magazine:

Falk said universities across the country have been tested by “the toxic political culture that all of us are currently swimming in,” but he believes Williams has remained a welcoming place for public debate.

Paging George Orwell! Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Truth. And Williams is a “welcoming place for public debate.” Recall the official editorial position of the Williams Record:

Though Venker’s speech is legally protected, the College, as a private institution, has its own set of rules about what discourse is acceptable. In general, the College should not allow speech that challenges fundamental human rights and devalues people based on identity markers, like being a woman.

If the college paper wants to ban Suzanne Venker — or anyone who disagrees with feminist orthodoxy? — and the college president has no problem banning a speaker, then, whatever its other merits, that school is not “a welcoming place for public debate.”

Back to the Time interview:

“There are things in the broader culture that have changed. We are a much more combative political culture,” Falk said. “Our campuses are more civil than what you get when you turn on your TV or open your Twitter feed.”

Perhaps true, but mostly irrelevant. Falk is not responsible for the larger culture. But he does bear some responsibility for the culture at Williams, and that includes the fashion in which some Williams students treat other Williams students on-line. Recall the sort of abuse that Zach Wood and the other students behind Uncomfortable Learning were subject to:

When you bring a misogynistic, white supremacist men’s rights activist to campus in the name of ‘dialogue’ and ‘the other side,’ you are not only causing actual mental, social, psychological, and physical harm to students, but you are also—paying—for the continued dispersal of violent ideologies that kill our black and brown (trans) femme sisters. You are giving those who spout violence the money that so desperately needs to be funneled to black and brown (trans) femme communities, to people who are leading the revolution, who are surviving in the streets, who are dying in the streets. Know, you are dipping your hands in their blood, Zach Wood.

That this occurred on Facebook, rather than in person, does not disguise the fact that Williams is a college in which some students will attack other students in the most extreme fashion, for the simple sin of bringing a speaker to campus. The President of Williams ought to do something about that, other than blaming Twitter.

Back to Time:

During the hearing, as Senators debated First Amendment issues that have riled campuses from Middlebury to Berkeley this year, they continued to ask where the line should be drawn between speech that is protected and prohibited. Falk said visiting speakers should “contribute to a serious intellectual discussion of serious ideas,” adding that the college doesn’t have an obligation to host speakers, like Derbyshire, who aim only to provoke.

Falk’s mind-reading powers are impressive! How can he possibly know what is in John Derbyshire’s heart? It is true that there are figures on the right — Milo Yiannopoulos? Richard Spencer? — to whom the “aim only to provoke” attack might apply. But Derbyshire is not one of them. He is an straight-laced, non-shouting, hyper-reasonable intellectual, a published author with an impressive range of interests. He is certainly a “racist” — at least as Adam Falk would define that term — but he is every bit an intellectual as the average member of the Williams faculty.

“It has always been the responsibility of the administration at a university to foster an environment where discourse around a wide variety of ideas expressed by a wide variety of people is effective and flourishes. That’s part of what we do to run a college and university. And that work is much more complex than simply, in an indiscriminate way, giving a platform to anyone who wants to speak,” Falk said.

Williams, as an institution, does not give a “platform” to anyone. Specific people at Williams invite speakers. The question is: Can students (or faculty!) invite John Derbyshire, or anyone else that Falk disagrees with?

“Freedom of speech is a fundamental value of society, and it’s a fundamental value on our campuses. But we also have to create conditions where that speech is civil and the dialogue that it spawns is productive.”

Agreed. So why doesn’t Falk do his job and make this happen?

While state lawmakers are considering legislation to regulate student protesters and discipline hecklers, Falk said such measures are unnecessary.

“We do our best to manage these challenges,” he said. “But they’re not existential, they’re not unprecedented.”

Agreed. The last thing we right-wing Ephs want is a stronger federal government. Washington should leave Williams alone.

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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWo_3CIcTBQ

(It beats me why I can’t get this just to play. Watch it … new lyrics including TRUMP (The Eric Idle English Seaside setting premiered by the ENO)

… and who in addition to our Lord High Executioner is keeping such a list? And how has such a list of subtle changes to our basic democracy since his transport to DC become a viral hit?

The answer:

 Amy Siskind, from this article in the WAPO, 25, June 2107 ,“who lives just outside New York City, left Wall Street in 2008. Over a 20-year career, she’d become an expert in distressed-debt trading and, at one point, co-headed the trading department at Morgan Stanley and became the first female managing director at another firm.

www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/trump-won-and-amy-siskind-started-a-list-of-changes-now-its-a-sensation/2017/06/23/cdba2b12-575e-11e7-b38e-35fd8e0c288f_story.html?utm_term=.3e03bc327e4b

… and the list-in-progress:

https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-30-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-so-9705fea03cc9

God, what is the Williams link I hear you gnashing? Why whom else than …

Richard J. Miller, Jr. ’86

A highly successful New York attorney, Rich has also maintained an active career as a tenor, performing in many of the works of Gilbert & Sullivan and Victor Herbert, with professional and amateur companies, international festivals, and college organizations. In 2003, Mr. Miller was designated “Best Male Voice” at the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival in Buxton, England.  In 2013, he was the tenor soloist in the Williams College Choir performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah.  Rich currently serves as the President of the Metropolitan Opera Guild.

… from the Williams College list of grads in the world of music.

 

 

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Williams student Zachary Wood ’18 testified (pdf) to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing: “Free Speech 101: The Assault on the First Amendment on College Campuses.” (Also testifying (pdf) was former Brandeis President Frederick Lawrence ’77.) Let’s spend two weeks on this topic. Today is Day 3.

President Adam Falk provides a response, of sorts, to the call for his resignation (from Senator Kennedy) in this puffball Time interview:

The president of Williams College is defending his decision to cancel a controversial speech at the school last year, after he came under fire during a Senate hearing this week about the “assault on the First Amendment on college campuses.”

A perfectly good lede, although pendants will note that Falk did not merely “cancel” a speech; he banned John Derbyshire from ever speaking at Williams, on any topic. But, as always at EphBlog, we want the backstory. How did Falk decide to talk to Time rather than some other outlet? How did 24-year-old reporter Katie Reilly end up with the assignment?

Williams College President Adam Falk did not attend the Senate judiciary committee hearing on Tuesday, but Williams student Zach Wood did, and Wood testified about what he sees as a lack of politically and ideologically diverse speakers at the Massachusetts private school, where he said “the administration promotes social tolerance at the expense of political tolerance.”

Isn’t that exactly right? Williams, as an institution, is firmly committed to social tolerance, to all the appropriate progressive fashions. We get our pronouns and our bathrooms right! Falk is, obviously, not committed to political tolerance for anyone to the right of, say, George Bush.

Last year, Wood invited conservative writer John Derbyshire — who wrote a 2012 column for an online magazine that was widely criticized as racist, leading to his firing from the National Review — to speak on campus. Falk canceled the event, saying Derbyshire’s comments “clearly constitute hate speech.”

Falk’s reasoning was shallow, at best. But I have yet to provide a sentence-by-sentence exegesis. Save that for September?

More importanly, Derbyshire was not planning to speak on topics related to that controversy. Instead, his speech was going to be about immigration. Uncomfortably Learning informed Falk and the Administration about this. So, Falk’s position seems to be that if Speaker X ever says something hateful about Topic Y, then he will be banned from talking about Topic Z (or any other topic) at Williams. presumably forever. Falk doesn’t just want to ban hate speech. He wants to ban anyone who has ever uttered hate speech.

It is at this point that the careful reader starts to suspect a set up. Did Reilly ask any difficult questions? Did she have any follow ups? Did she speak with any of Falk’s critics, including Wood? I suspect not. Reilly is acting — perhaps in the best tradition of Time magazine? — as a stenographer to power. Her job is not to trouble Falk. Her job is to spin for him.

Responding to Wood’s testimony, Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy on Tuesday called Falk unfit to lead the school. “If the way you described it is accurate, then he should resign,” Kennedy said. “It’s just that simple — because he needs to explain to students and have them understand that they do not have a constitutional right in life not to be offended. They’re going to be offended plenty of times in life.”

Indeed. Even if Falk believes — and I have no reason to doubt his claims on this score — that Derbyshire, along with the rest of the Alt (or Dissident) Right, is guilty of hate speech, he is hardly doing Williams students any favors by barring that speech from campus. With Trump in the White House — and Miller/Bannon behind the scenes — the Alt-Right matters.

In an interview with TIME after the hearing, Falk defended himself, saying he believed Kennedy had misunderstood the situation.

If Falk really believes that, he is a fool. If he doesn’t, he is a knave. Wood provide Kennedy with an accurate summary of the facts: a student group invited Derbyshire and Falk banned him from speaking. The Record ought to follow up by calling Senator Kennedy’s office for more back-and-forth.

Perhaps more importantly: Who is advising Falk? There are politically smart ways out of the ditch he has dug for Williams (and himself). Implying that a US Senator is clueless is not the approach to take.

UPDATE: Instead, he should follow this advice from an EphBlog reader:

Praise Uncomfortable Learning. Point out the service they provide, commit to helping them continue, highlight the very respectful appearance and treatment of Charles Murray at Williams College, point out some of the other groups and faculty who have committed to expanding discussions on campus (Williams Forum, new College Republicans, the event with Scott Brown, etc.).

This is pretty simple PR. Add some money to the mix and write a piece for WSJ or NYT. Here is a similar piece from the Wesleyan president.

Exactly right. Odds on Falk doing so?

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screen shot 2017-06-27 at 44734 pm

   … a shot of the fake TIME cover proudly on display at Trump courses in the US and Scotland

James A Linen ’34 was one of the key figures in the expansion of TIME Inc after WWII. Nothing that this giant did was “fake”.

http://www.nytimes.com/1988/02/02/obituaries/james-linen-3d-75-ex-publisher-and-president-at-time-inc-dies.html

I would hope that readers of this Williams blog regardless of political bent would agree that Donald J. Trump is no gentleman.

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Williams student Zachary Wood ’18 testified (pdf) to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing: “Free Speech 101: The Assault on the First Amendment on College Campuses.” (Also testifying (pdf) was former Brandeis President Frederick Lawrence ’77.) Let’s spend two weeks on this topic. Today is Day 2.

When was the last time a US Senator called for the resignation of the president of Williams College? Last week!

I can’t figure out how to excerpt a portion of the video, but this is the key exchange, between Zach Wood ’18 and Senator Kennedy.

ken1

I am not sure that this is fair to Suzanne Venker, or to Adam Falk. First, Venker has never argued that women “should be kept at home.” She argues that the insistence, by some feminists, that women need to work outside the home is nuts. She is “anti-feminists” in the sense that she disagrees with many of the positions that most/all feminists take, not that she disagrees with everything they say. Of course, Zach is speaking off the cuff (in the Senate!), so we should cut him some slack.

Second, Falk had nothing to do with the Venker cancellation. (Zach knows this, of course, but probably felt that he was not well-placed to correct a Senator in mid-rant.) However, given Falk’s behavior in regards to Derbyshire, I am now annoyed about the Administration’s preening about how, of course, they were sad that the students themselves cancelled Venker in the face of the Facebook mob.

ken2

Good stuff! Can anyone provide a link that goes to directly to this part of the video? Can anyone remember the last time a US Senator discussed the performance of a Williams College president? We have already determined (?) that the last Williams president to ban a speaker was Mark Hopkins preventing Ralph Waldo Emerson from coming to campus 150 years ago. Let’s play another SAT analogy game:

Kennedy:Falk :: ?:?

Also, what advice do you have for Falk on how to handle this?

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trump-pinoccio-1

 A long list of lies from the lyin’ media …

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/23/opinion/trumps-lies.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-left-region&region=opinion-c-col-left-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-left-region&_r=0

There was an English Department offering that shed light on the use of puppets including the Disney favorite:

ENGL 162 Fall 2013 Uncanny Valley (W) 

From the Golem of Prague to Wall-E, puppets, robots and dolls show up in a huge variety of film, fiction, and art. Uncanny Valley will explore the complicated reactions that these simulacra inspire. Why this fascination with the lifelike? What can we learn from Pinocchio, the Velveteen Rabbit or John Malkovich that we can’t learn from our interactions with real humans? Works studied will include fiction by Poe, Kafka, Capek, and A. M. Homes, as well as films by Spike Jonze, Michel Gondry, and Tim Burton.

Well, “always let your conscionce be your guide”

 

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Williams student Zachary Wood ’18 testified (pdf) to the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing: “Free Speech 101: The Assault on the First Amendment on College Campuses.” (Also testifying (pdf) was former Brandeis President Frederick Lawrence ’77.) Let’s spend two weeks on this topic. Today is Day 1.

congress

Wood is on the left.

1) Will the College acknowledge this event? You can be certain that if Wood/Lawrence were testifying about climate change or some other Williams-approved topic, we would be getting tweets, updates in Eph Notes and even a big spread in the next issue of the Williams Magazine. So far, however, it is internet-silence from Williams. This is petty and embarrassing. Can’t we do better than tweets about Take Your Dog to Work Day? (Not that there is anything wrong with that!) Is Williams an intellectual institution or a finishing school?

2) Who is making the decision to ignore Wood’s and Lawrence’s testimonies? I have a great deal of faith in Director of Media Relations Mary Dettloff and Chief Communications Officer Jim Reisch. I bet that they would not object to at least noting this event. Is my faith misplaced? Has someone else told them to keep silent? Or are they (mistakenly?) assuming that Adam Falk would not want Williams to, officially, acknowledge the event?

3) When was the last time a Williams student testified to Congress? When was the last time two Ephs were testifying at the same hearing? I have no idea! This search does not seem to be what I am looking for. Can Eph historians help us out?

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When was the last time a sitting senator (!) called on a Williams College President to resign? In a Senate hearing?! Check out Time Magazine’s latest article on Williams, “Williams College President Rejects Claim That He Blocked Free Speech On Campus“.

Responding to Wood’s testimony, Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy on Tuesday called Falk unfit to lead the school. “If the way you described it is accurate, then he should resign,” Kennedy said. “It’s just that simple — because he needs to explain to students and have them understand that they do not have a constitutional right in life not to be offended. They’re going to be offended plenty of times in life.”

Emphasis mine.

And for that matter, when was the last time a Williams student took part in the investigations of a Senate judiciary hearing committee? Similar to the Washington Post piece from months ago, this piece reads like it was written by Falk’s worst enemies. Consider:

Williams College President Adam Falk did not attend the Senate judiciary committee hearing on Tuesday, but Williams student Zach Wood did, and Wood testified about what he sees as a lack of politically and ideologically diverse speakers at the Massachusetts private school, where he said “the administration promotes social tolerance at the expense of political tolerance.”

Is there anyone (except Falk) who still disagrees with this? I don’t!

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(The 3rd in a series of 16 posts) Click COMMENTS for full post
Chi Psi top copy
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Reader WA points out this absurd 2014 article by William Deresiewicz about problems in elite education.

When I speak of elite education, I mean prestigious institutions like Harvard or Stanford or Williams as well as the larger universe of second-tier selective schools, but I also mean everything that leads up to and away from them—the private and affluent public high schools; the ever-growing industry of tutors and consultants and test-prep courses; the admissions process itself, squatting like a dragon at the entrance to adulthood; the brand-name graduate schools and employment opportunities that come after the B.A.; and the parents and communities, largely upper-middle class, who push their children into the maw of this machine. In short, our entire system of elite education.

Good stuff! Every time Williams is mentioned in the same sentence as truly elite institutions like Harvard and Stanford, the better it is for the College’s brand.

The rest of the article, sadly, is mostly garbage.

Our system of elite education manufactures young people who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it.

1) Deresiewicz provides no evidence that non-elite education does a better job at these tasks. Do UMASS and Purdue have an excellent track record of creating “intellectual curiosity?” Hah! It would be one thing if he argued that all of higher education was broken. That might even be true. But to claim that elite is broken, while the third tier is not, is absurd.

2) Deresiewicz provides no evidence that elite education does a worst job at these tasks today than it did 10, 30, 50 or 100 years ago. Every graduating class at Williams has featured Ephs with insatiable intellectual curiosity and others less so blessed (or cursed). You don’t think there were any Ephs in the 1950’s who were “anxious, timid, and lost?” Hah!

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anonymous commented on the post “Do your Job” 19 June, 2017

Well, Falk has succeeded in placing Williams dead last in viewpoint diversity:

https://heterodoxacademy.org/resources/guide-to-colleges/top-50-liberal-arts-colleges/

while the African-American student that Falk unceremoniously shut down, Zach Wood, testifies on Capitol Hill:
https://www.thefire.org/senate-judiciary-committee-to-hold-public-hearing-tomorrow-on-campus-free-speech/

His will be a tough act to follow!

Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 11.44.26 AM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbM0RKeZYlQ

Indeed! The testimony should be interesting.

“Neither students or teachers shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District 393 U.S. 503 (1969)

https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/393/503/case.html 

The court’s 7–2 decision held that the First Amendment applied to public schools, and that administrators would have to demonstrate constitutionally valid reasons for any specific regulation of speech in the classroom. 

 

NB.  I just got a police warning  about Sunday parking in Portland so what do I know about the inclusion of the word ‘public’ in the Tinker judgement. I would think that support of the college from public/tax sources would meet the hopefully broad definition of the word.

 

Yet another poster note. The Daily Signal, the on-line publication of the Heritage Society cited in a comment below, has chosen a masthead name that has unfortunate echos:

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 1.01.09 PM

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Signal_(magazine)

As an olde propagandist/brandguy, I am interested in the typeface used for the masthead of Signal:

http://www.printmag.com/daily-heller/signal-magazine-typeface/

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Thanks to EphSports for pointing out this blog devoted to the men’s crew team trip to the Henley Royal Regatta. Good stuff!

1) If we have any readers on this trip, please let us know. EphBlog would love to cross-post your material.

2) How do the finances of this trip work? I assume that the College is not paying for the whole thing . . .

3) I especially like the reference to the “Williams American Expeditionary Force.” Extra credit if they can work in a reference to the two most (?) famous Eph members of that force: Charles White Whittlesey and Williams Bradford Turner.

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angrymob

Damn the flames! I’ll prime the pump!*

 

* I just made that pump thing up. Great!

NB.  I was just browsing  through Thomas Shadwell’s The Lancashire Witches and Tegue O Divelly the Irish Priest. London: Printed for John Starkey, 1682.

The range of books at the Chapin Library is truly amazing, particularly when relevance can be seen to current events! Who would have imagined a section on Witchcraft and Magic!

https://sawyerlibrary.williams.edu/

 

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.. originally published 1 October, 2008.

I am outraged that in all the in-depth discussion over a Williams distaff member of the press and her photo in Vanity Fair, not one word has been spoken about the obvious exploitation of Vanity Fair columnist and member of the class of 1949, Dominick Dunne.

Certainly the ‘bedroom eyes and come-hither look’ so flagrantly manipulated for purposes too base to be mentioned, are worthy of the indignation of ephblog readers. And appearing in shirt sleeves in the Whittlesley Room of the Williams Club. Shame! Shame!

As the new president of this organization, I had planned to write a thoughtful President’s Letter in a few weeks, but I am so upset by this exploitation of a revered member of the great class of 1949 that I have no choice but to protest.

Sincerely,

 

Rechtal Turgidley, Jr

President of Ephblog

Quark Island, Maine

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From The Weekly Standard:

So there I am Tuesday morning, wheezing away on my exercise bike, trying to stay alert to telltale signs of the inevitable coronary thrombosis, when, for the first time in many, many years, I switch on the TV to watch Morning Joe.

And what am I greeted with? Not Morning Joe’s handsome mug (I think it was Don Imus who first noticed Morning Joe’s eerie resemblance to the banjo-playing boy in Deliverance). Not Mika’s permafrost hairdo or that come-hither body language.

No. Instead I am greeted by a video of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus. They were shown at a cabinet meeting with President Trump the day before. Each of them, in brief remarks, was saying nice things about the boss. Really nice things, right in front of him.

Chao explained that when Trump visited her eyesore of an office building the week before, “hundreds and hundreds of people were just so thrilled.” Mnuchin said, “It was a great honor traveling with you … the last year and an even greater honor to be here serving in your cabinet.” Priebus laid it on with a trowel: “We thank you for the opportunity and the blessing … to serve your agenda.”

After this the camera went to Morning Joe and Mika back in the studio, sitting in what we were to take as stunned silence.

“Whoa,” said Morning Joe. “That was some sad stuff.”

“That was sick,” said Mika. “Am I allowed to say that?”

Yes, you are, Mika.

1) Do 50 year old Williams women like it or not like it if they are still perceived as having the ability to pull off a “come hither” look? Asking for a friend.

2) Read the whole article. Fake news at its finest!

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From the Eagle:

Williams College President Adam Falk has joined Williams College with hundreds of other entities committing to the Paris climate accords following President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the international agreement to cut carbon emissions.

Falk signed on to the “We Are Still In” statement last week, joining more than 1,200 governors, mayors, businesses, investors and higher education leaders from across the U.S. who declared their intent to continue to ensure that the U.S. remains a global leader in reducing carbon emissions.

The “We Are Still In” statement calls the Trump administration’s announcement to withdraw from the Paris agreement one that “undermines a key pillar in the fight against climate change [and a move which is] out of step with what is happening in the United States.”

The statement can be found at www.wearestillin.com.

Falk said Williams’ commitment to addressing climate change, outlined in a set of initiatives developed and approved by the board of trustees in 2015, will continue as the campus community works toward achieving sustainable carbon neutrality by the end of 2020.

1) Instead of wasting time with virtue signalling, why doesn’t Falk do his job? Consider the example of the scores of students forced out of data sciency courses like STAT 201 and CSCI 135. These are great courses. But, precisely because of their quality and popularity, enrollment has been capped. It would be easy for Falk to do something about this, to authorize these departments to hire a visiting assistant professor or two to offer a few extra sections. The fact that he has failed to do so is evidence that he is prioritizing the wrong things as Williams president.

2) Is there any actual substance to this pledge? From the press release: “The landmark agreement succeeded where past attempts failed because it allowed each country to set its own emission reduction targets and adopt its own strategies for reaching them.” In other words, Williams could participate in this agreement even if it planned on doubling its emissions.

3) Is there a realistic plan for Williams to attain “carbon neutrality by the end of 2020?” Color me skeptical! Williams feeds and houses 2,000 people. That takes a lot of carbon! Anyone have links to the plan?

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unnamed

…   Courtesy of our own WCMA

and as reported in Art & Education 16 June, 2017

Each July and August the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) produces Summer School, a series of public programs that teases out new ways of thinking about learning, art, community, and museums. This summer series offers a playful taste of academic life taking inspiration from unconventional archives and the quirkiest kinds of libraries. It’s a weekly mashup of mini courses, extracurriculars on WCMA’s patio, a lending library, and pop-up programming in the museum’s Reading Room.

 

What a great extension into the community of this leading college art museum that has helped produce so many Art Mafia members.

Art is for everyone!

(more…)

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To the Classes of 2018, 2019, & 2020,
Though the summer is barely upon us, I write today…
  • to highlight a new check-in process that we’ll be piloting this fall,
  • to remind you of move-in dates for the upcoming fall semester, and
  • to remind you of how to access meals prior to the official start of the fall semester meal plan.
You can always find regular opening & closing dates for campus housing at this link. Dates are typically put out at least 18 months in advance (sometimes even earlier), so as always, please plan your travel accordingly.
Be sure to read everything below, and plan accordingly. Best wishes for a wonderful summer.
Doug Schiazza
Director, Office of Student Life
 
************************************
In-Person Check-In
When you arrive to campus to move in, you’ll be checking in with a member of the OSL staff to receive your room key/code along with some general housing information – be sure to have your Williams ID with you.
The schedule & location for both early arrivals and for regular arrivals are noted below.

Fall 2017 Regular Arrivals

All Check-ins are at the Office of Student Life, Paresky 2nd floor. All times listed are Eastern time.

Students not involved in one of the early arrival activities listed farther below do not need to return to campus until classes begin on Thursday, September 7.

You may move into campus housing as early as Wednesday, August 30 @ 2pm​–giving you several days before classes start for travel, as well as some extra time to settle into your room if you choose to do so.
 
So, to be clear: unless you’re involved in the various pre-semester activities listed farther below, you won’t have access to campus housing until after 2pm onWednesday, August 30. If you arrive before your day ​and ​time to move in, you need to make your own accommodations elsewhere off-campus.

August 30
Check-In for returning students from 2pm – 7:30pm

August 31 – September 6
Check-In for returning students from 9am – 7:30pm

 
 
Fall 2017 Early Arrivals

All Check-ins are at the Office of Student Life, Paresky 2nd floor, unless otherwise noted below. All times listed are Eastern time.

The names of the students involved in the early arrival activities noted below will be provided to the Office of Student Life by the offices overseeing the early arrival programs.

August 19
Summer Students depart by 12noon (approved summer-to-fall Transitional students remain in summer housing)

August 21
Check-In for JAs, JAAB, 1st Gen Orientation leaders, International Orientation leaders, Transitional students from 5pm – 11pm

August 22
Check-In for Neighborhood Directors from 2pm – 5pm

August 23
Check-In for House Coordinators & Neighborhood Reps from 2pm – 5pm

August 24
Check-In for OIT leaders from 2pm – 5pm

August 25
Check-In for 1st Gen and International Students in the Class of 2021 from 8am – 8pm

August 26
Check-In for WOOLF Directors from 8am – 9am
Check-In for WOOLF leaders, Ephventure leaders, and Football players (first-year and upperclass) from 2pm – 9pm

August 28
Check-In for the Class of 2021 and College Council Co-Presidents @ Paresky First Floor from 8am – 1:30pm

August 29
Check-In for upperclass Cross Country, Field Hockey, Soccer, and Volleyball players from 8am – 7:30pm

Access to Meals in Campus Dining Halls
 
Again, students not involved in one of the early arrival activities above do not need to return to campus until classes begin on Thursday, September 7. Meals are covered by dining plans beginning with dinner on Wednesday, September 6. Meals won’t be covered by dining plans for students who return before Sept. 6 (unless they’re required to return because they’re involved in the early arrival activities above). You’re welcome to eat in the dining halls using your student ID card, but each meal will be charged to your student account. Questions about this should be directed to Dining Services.
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(Second in a series of 16 posts) click COMMENT for whole postBeta Top copy

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