Partners in Purple, we write as the semester comes to a close to tell you some of what we think is important to know about the College.
Williams is relentlessly self-reflecting and critical. We live here, we learn here, and we are invested here. Our job as a College Council is to keep this place functional, to support you in your endeavors, and to proactively make Williams work better for you. We are fortunate for an administration, College committees, academic departments, and campus offices that are attuned to our needs. We are your advocates; call on us. CC will bend over backwards for you. We are proud of College Council and the work that it is doing, and we are confident that it is serving you every day.
Read on for some of the specifics. We promise you will discover something that CC has done this semester that makes your experience at Williams a little brighter.
Krista Pickett and Peter Skipper
P l e a s e t a l k t o u s . . .
All of our meetings are open to the community. Join us on Wednesday nights from 7-9pm in Hopkins 001. Read our meeting minutes, visit collegecouncil.williams.edu, stop by Open Hours in the College Council Office on the second floor of Paresky from 8-10pm on Mondays, ‘Like’ us on Facebook, see the CC Updates section of WSO, wave us down around campus, or simply email kmp3, pjs1, or [email protected] (this one’s anonymous). We are nerdily responsive.
I m p r o v e m e n t s t o t h e s t u d e n t e x p e r i e n c e :
College Council has the ability to improve your day-to-day college experience in tangible ways. Whether it’s working with Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) to increase school spirit and build community around Williams athletic events with SuperFan, providing free online subscriptions to the New York Times and paper copies in the student centers, designing a bike rental program alongside the Purple Bike Coalition, renovating the Student Activities Resource Center in Paresky and purchasing a color printer and brand new computers, partnering with the Office of Experiential Education to pilot the Bus With Us program (which provides free bus transportation with your Williams ID between Williamstown and North Adams; click for the schedule), or *insert your Great Idea here* (seriously, click this), we are committed to making your Williams more Eph-icient and enjoyable.
D i n i n g u p d a t e s :
Dining Services and CC are partnering to consider the structure of meal plans at Williams to make it more flexible and cost-effective for students. Await an important announcement soon about Late Night/Snack Bar at Williams, following last week’s article in The Record. We would like to thank Dining Services and our Food Committee, led by our hero Tyler Sparks ’15, for making millions of small, yet noticeable changes and additions to our menus and the dining experience, including bringing the new, healthier vending machines to campus and purchasing a hot chocolate machine for Paresky.
T o b e m o r e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e :
A focus of our term as your presidents is making College Council a representative, relevant, and useful resource for all 2,000 of our closest friends. We were proud to pass a constitutional amendment to re-structure CC to allow for equal class-year representation, more open positions each semester, and the creation of 5 Vice Presidential positions: Community and Diversity, Academic Affairs, Student Organizations, Operations, and Student Life. We hold Open Hours in our office in Paresky every Monday from 8-10pm. We are going to your group meetings and doing our tireless best to let you know that what matters to you matters to us. We are most effective in representing you when you tell us how we can be of service. CC cannot do this work alone. It takes 2,000.
W h e r e y o u r m o n e y g o e s :
We are the primary source of funding for more than 150 student groups and we manage $400,000 of Student Activities Tax money. Our Finance Committee painstakingly pours through line-item budget requests each week. We believe that our process is fair. We also fund or contribute to many all-campus parties and events. We encourage co-sponsorship and collaboration with other campus funding bodies because we simply cannot fund all of the requests that we receive. We are working with Student Life to make the funding process easier by centralizing these pots of money. Our Treasurer team, Jillian Schwiep (jns1) and Emily Dzieciatko (ed5), are available to answer your CC financial questions. If you are wondering about funding on campus in general (from CC, the Neighborhoods, student organizations, College committees, academic departments, campus offices, special/endowed funds, etc.), email [email protected]. A member of our Finance Committee will get back to you in an effort to meet your funding needs!
The ACE Concert Committee proved that there is demonstrated student interest in large concerts at Williams, and so we awarded $29,375 toward a spring concert (artist to be announced soon) and fully funded the Homecoming 3LAU concert.
Our Rollover Task Force learned that creating an endowment for our $110,000 of rollover funds is not feasible (there is a minimum initial contribution of $250,000), but is considering devising a long-term spending plan for much needed one-time capital investments. Do you have ideas? What do we NEED on campus that a portion of this money could be thoughtfully used toward?
T o m a k e W i l l i a m s h e a l t h i e r a n d m o r e s u p p o r t i v e :
Williams is far from perfect. Hateful, disappointing, and frustrating things happen here; they happen everywhere. What distinguishes Williams is its resiliency. We ask the tough questions. What does it mean to live in a diverse community? What needs to change to ensure that all students, faculty, and staff feel welcomed? Together, we have identified the Exploring Diversity Initiative (under review in the Committee on Educational Policy) as a potential area in which we can better engage with these issues thoughtfully. We see the entry system as one of the most meaningful ways to do so– though the first year of college is inevitably fraught with difficulty, entries challenge us to live with, respect, and understand people who are different from ourselves. It is a system of people and it is imperfect, but it is of priceless educational value.
We also recognize that it is incumbent on students to take the lead in this effort, and so we are excited to announce the introduction of a series of campus conversations, Community Matters, a collaborative effort between College Council and the Minority Coalition (MinCo). The first portion of this program (Quitting at Williams) took place on Thursday, 12/6, in Dodd. The goal of Community Matters is to share with, listen to, and learn from one another as we discuss topics that are relevant to our experience as Williams students. By coming together, we will learn how to improve our community for the future. Email Kate Flanagan, All Campus Representative for Community and Diversity, at kgf1 with topic suggestions.
Our Mental Health Committee (MHC) hosted You Are Not Alone, a semesterly open mic event intended to break the silence surrounding issues of emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. MHC debuted Good Company, a support network of students who gather on Thursdays in Griffin 1 at 9pm to continue this important dialogue (all are welcome). Come to be together, in Good Company.
Additionally, developing academic support via the MSRC for Statistics, Psychology, and Economics students is underway.