Campus responds to hate crime

Campus responds to hate crime

More than a thousand students, faculty, and staff members came together on Chapin Lawn Nov. 14, 2011, after a student-led march to hear from President Adam Falk and other administrators, as well as students, in response to this weekend’s hate crime in Prospect Hall (see below for details about the incident).

You can watch President Falk’s remarks here (this is raw footage, so please pardon the clunky camera work in some spots–especially the beginning).

An open mic session in Paresky’s Baxter Hall drew several hundred, and an evening meeting in Goodrich was packed as well–with students and more than 70 ideas for how to address racism and discrimination and move forward as a community.

A selection of photos from the Nov. 14 campus events is here.


On Saturday morning, Nov. 12, a student reported to Campus Safety and Security seeing a racist and violent message scrawled on a wall inside Prospect Hall. An investigation by CSS and Williamstown Police is ongoing, and the college intends to do everything possible to hold the perpetrator(s) accountable for such a harmful, hateful–and illegal–act.

The college canceled all classes and athletic practices for Monday, Nov. 14, and held a community-wide gathering on Chapin Lawn at 11 a.m. Students, faculty, and staff were urged to attend if at all possible.

More details about the incident itself, the college’s response, and resources for members of the community to seek support can be found in the broadcast email to the Williams community that was sent from several members of senior administration. The text of the email has been posted on the President’s Office website.


A series of student-led events was planned for Nov. 14, beginning at 10 a.m. The following schedule was sent out by College Council Co-Presidents Francesca Barrett and Nick Fogel.

10 am in Currier Quad: We Deserve to Live Rally Against Discrimination and Hate March

11 am on Paresky Lawn: President Falk’s Address to the Student Body, Faculty, Staff, and Administration
Student’s Personal Stories about how racism, homophobia, sexism, classism, and other discrimination permeates our campus on a day-to-day basis

12 pm in Dining Halls: Lunch in which we encourage you all to reflect upon these earlier events and provide support for your peers who have been affected by discrimination
and hate at Williams

2 pm in Baxter Hall in Paresky: An Open Mic Forum in which students will gather to share personal stories and reactions to this hate crime and other instances of discrimination on campus

7 pm in Goodrich Hall: A more practical discussion will be held with Lily Rodriguez about future demands on the administration and how to move forward to address
discrimination on campus. There will also be a discussion about the specific series of events that culminated in today’s events

Safe spaces were designated throughout the day for students to discuss their anger, sadness, and disappointment with the college community and initial administrative reactions.

If you take out anything from this discussion, the 200 students that mobilized together against discrimination wanted to leave you with this note…

“A student wrote “All Niggers Must Die” on the 4.5 floor in prospect. Students, faculty, and staff are mobilizing for change. Join us in solidarity to denounce discrimination.”