JA Confidential #1: “All the confusion…will get better”

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Editors Note: Although everybody has a Junior Advisor as a freshman at Williams, very few people actually know what it is like to be one. To that end, the Williams Alternative presents “JA Confidential”–a series of off-the-record conversations with current JAs about life at Williams as a Junior Advisor.

Williams Alternative: Thanks a lot for sitting down with us. Let’s just start at the beginning, what were you thinking about and feeling on the night before the frosh showed up and your JA-hood began in earnest?

Junior Advisor: We had gone through so many weeks of training, I was mostly just excited to be done with training and couldn’t wait for the frosh to come. I guess the reality of things was a little nerve-racking, but I was distracted by the task of decorating the common room.

WA: Was there any sense of “oh shit what have I gotten myself into?” or just almost entirely excitement? … Read more

Everything That Offends Black People Is Not Racist – Zach Wood


Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in The Undergraduate Times in July. It has been republished here with the author’s consent.

Imagine a black man of tall stature and brawny build walks onto an elevator wearing all black—baggy jeans, a hoody, and a face mask—and the only other occupant, an elderly white woman, instinctively clenches her purse and gasps in fear of being robbed. Now, it would be easy for me to describe this woman’s reaction as racist. Perhaps some liberals might even suggest that the woman herself was ‘a racist.’ But frankly, I see black men who fit the aforementioned description all of the time in my neighborhood in Southeast DC and though I try not to assume the worst, there have been instances in which upon being approached by someone, the possibility of being robbed has crossed my mind. … Read more

A Letter from the Editor – Quentin Cohan


In the spring of 2014, a few disgruntled Williams students gathered in Perry Library to discuss, over Domino’s and Angry Orchard, the rapid advancement of political correctness onto the tiny outpost of Fort Williams. This clash, which has since then grown into a battle royale across all media platforms, took new form here at Williams those 18 months ago, with the creation of the Williams AlternativeRead more