CC State of the Union: September

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, College 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.

In those moments of frustration, when the pizza isn’t ready, when it’s taking a while to swipe, and your stomach is growling ferociously we ask you to take a deep breath, calm down, understand that this is not how it will be forever, and have some faith.

It will take a few weeks to iron out some of the wrinkles, have the staff get used to new machines, new systems, and for us to get used to new hours and new foods.

Ifiok and I like to eat. We think about food a lot. We are ready and waiting to gather thoughts on how to improve the new system, but we need to see how the system actually works first. Dining Services feels the same way. We have met many times with the director of Dining Services, Bob Volpi, and are assured that the students’ voice will be heard on these changes. But we need to give it time.

The best way, for now, to reach out with your thoughts, comments, and feedback is to email dining@williams.edu. As always, Ifiok and I are eager to hear your ideas, opinions, concerns about anything, whether Williams related or otherwise.

Last spring, a student approached us with an idea to have arcade games in Paresky. Now it’s there. Last Spring, a student emailed us with an idea to install a change machine in Paresky. Now, we’ve got one. Our jobs are to make things happen. All we need from you is to let us know what you want.

If you see us, stop us. If you’ve got an idea, email us (esy1 and ici1).

Until then, keep praying for sunny days,

If and Manny
Your Co-Presidents