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Current Williams campus climate

indecisivesnrindecisivesnr 1 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hi,

I’m deciding between Williams and Pomona and really like both schools. Williams appeals to me because it is further from home, but when I visited Williams the students did not seem as happy as those at Pomona. Would you say this is true? What is the current campus climate like at Williams?

Thanks!
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Replies to: Current Williams campus climate

  • Neurotic2027Neurotic2027 50 replies18 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    If you went during Previews, midterms were happening and likely portrayed a polarized stress level climate.
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  • TheGreyKingTheGreyKing 2109 replies100 threadsForum Champion Williams College Forum Champion
    Well, I don’t know how happy the students at Pomona are, so I can’t compare, but my son and his friends are very happy at Williams and having the time of their life!

    Any college student will have good moments and bad moments, at any school. The work is intense, and it is a challenging time of life to go through, separating from your family and being independent and hoping you’ll find love in a major, a career, and a significant other.

    That said, the camaraderie at Williams helps the kids get through all that.
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  • writingpumpkin03writingpumpkin03 156 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    When I visited earlier this month during Previews, a current student told me that they were having midterms which was why everyone was stressed.

    Generally, it seems like people are pretty happy at Williams. According to the most recent common data set, Williams has a retention rate of 99%, which is ridiculously high.
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  • HorusHorus 84 replies30 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    It seems that all is not well on the Williams campus. This recently came from the Office of the President:
    https://president.williams.edu/letters-from-the-president/creating-a-healthier-campus-culture/
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2038 replies28 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Interesting letter from Maud, seems she has her work cut out for her. As her letter alluded to, it seems there is much going on. I spoke with a local mom with a kid there, and she directed me to various news sources including the student newspaper (Williams Record), ephblog and anonymous political scientist blog (a blog by a former Williams prof).
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  • PublisherPublisher 7722 replies80 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited April 23
    Small rural LACs can be a tough environment. Especially in cold weather areas.

    I understand the attraction. Beautiful campuses, small classes, the student is known to all. Profs teach all classes. Easy to join athletic teams (as opposed to D-1 universities). But it just ends up with a lot of highly visible cliques & lots of alcohol. And a lack of privacy.

    Williams College is a very wealthy school with brilliant, athletically & artistically talented students.

    Pomona College has the significant advantage of the 5 school consortium.
    edited April 23
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  • findafitfindafit 1 replies0 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I echo TheGreyKing's comments. My daughter is also a current student at Williams, and she loves it there. She feels challenged, but supported by professors and friends. It's her happy place. Many of her friends feel similarly.
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  • writingpumpkin03writingpumpkin03 156 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @Mwfan1921 The "anonymous political scientist" blog is written by a person who used to teach at Williams years ago but was denied tenure and, as a result, has spent a lot of time misrepresenting Williams as an institution. Similarly, Ephblog has a heavy political bias and as a result, the reporting is highly opinionated. The Williams Record is probably your best source for more nuanced coverage of current controversies.

    I want to add that as a prefrosh who has talked with current students, nearly all were satisfied with their experience at the college. Many elite colleges have troubles trying to balance perspectives in the student body, and Williams isn't unique in that regard. However, characterizing the college as an unhappy place is inaccurate, as statistics show.
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  • Mwfan1921Mwfan1921 2038 replies28 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    However, characterizing the college as an unhappy place is inaccurate, as statistics show.

    Good info on the backstory of those blogs. I for one did not characterize Williams as an unhappy place, and don't perceive it that way at all.
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  • writingpumpkin03writingpumpkin03 156 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @Mwfan1921 I didn't mean for that statement to be targeted at you specifically, although I see why it may have come off that way--sorry! I just wanted to make sure that Williams was being portrayed accurately.
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  • nikom814nikom814 12 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I am a current junior and prospective student and I have been following the campus news about free speech, CARE NOW, affinity housing and other controversies. Williams has been my top choice but I have been concerned about the social disorder on campus and how I as a conservative would be treated on campus. Can anyone comment on whether the situation is exaggerated and is focusing on minority opinions or is representative of the campus atmosphere as a whole?
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  • writingpumpkin03writingpumpkin03 156 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @nikom814 I’m an incoming prefrosh who has spoke with many current students there. According to them, the majority of students are politically apathetic, and there’s a small and loud contingent of activists. If you are getting your campus news mostly from right-leaning or alt-right media sources, then you’re most certainly seeing a highly exaggerated version of campus events. Students aren’t yelling and marching on campus every day. Most students just don’t really care—they’re focusing on other things.

    BTW, there is a Society for Conservative Thought that you may be interested in joining. A couple weeks ago, they held a panel on free speech that went well.

    Williams is a school with excellent academics and top-tier graduate/career outcomes. It’s also incredibly well-resourced. It’ll get you where you want to be, whether that’s Wall Street or medical school. Don’t let biased news articles dissuade you from applying; however, it’s good that you’re aware of the controversy on campus currently.
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  • writingpumpkin03writingpumpkin03 156 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @jym626 I recommend that you (and @nikom814 if they're interested) read President Mandel's letter condemning CC for their decision. WIFI is being allowed by the administration to operate like any other student organization, and the President says that "we are guaranteeing them exactly equal resources".

    This is the letter:
    https://president.williams.edu/letters-from-the-president/college-council-vote-on-williams-initiative-for-israel/
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  • nikom814nikom814 12 replies7 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @writingpumpkin03 Thanks a lot for the information! This helps dissuade some of my concerns
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  • jym626jym626 55304 replies2877 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Yes,@writingpumpkin03, read the letter already linked above. I still find the student government's vote unacceptable.
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  • writingpumpkin03writingpumpkin03 156 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @nikom814 Glad to be of help! Remember that Williams isn’t unique in this regard; you can and will find similar controversy at its peer elite schools. You can message me with any questions that you have about the school and my impressions of it, and I will try and answer them.

    @jym626 Personally, I am disappointed with the vote as well; I just wanted to add that there is pushback from the administration, for the benefit of anyone following the issue. Wasn’t trying to attempt to argue. Hope you have a great day!
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  • jym626jym626 55304 replies2877 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Thanks, @writingpumpkin03. The rising antisemitism in many places is upsetting and frightening.
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  • writingpumpkin03writingpumpkin03 156 replies6 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    For anyone following the WIFI controversy, the administration bypassed the student government and granted the pro-Israel group official RSO status, sending a positive message to students and alumni about freedom of association and expression.
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