The Cause Deserves Better: Student Protests and Racial Equality – Andrew Chen ’11


One day in second grade, a classmate came to my desk.  “Chinese mother!” he said, pulling up the corners of his eyelids. “Japanese father!” he continued, pulling them down. “Mixed-up child!” One eyelid was up, the other down.

As I got older, moments like this kept happening. Sometimes they were annoying, sometimes threatening – “What’re you gonna do about it, you ****ing chink?” – but always exclusionary. … Read more

An Eph Abroad: Part 3 – Quentin Cohan


In August, on one of my first mornings in Copenhagen, the 1000 or so students on my program and I were all shepherded – hungover and confused – to a concert hall for a series of propagandistic lectures that promptly put the large majority of us to sleep, and of which I remember little. One kernel of wisdom I do remember, however, was a line from the Program Director’s speech: “Experience is what you get, when you get what you don’t expect.” Naturally, this became a running joke for me and the people I began to spend my time with; anytime anything went wrong – we got on the wrong train, we had to bike home in the rain, the castle we wanted to spend or afternoon at closed right when we arrived, etc. – we all chimed “experience is what you get…”, completely destroying with our sarcasm the somewhat insightful, though very cheesy, wisdom we had been given. This was our experience and we would define it as we saw fit. … Read more

Hard Lessons From The American University – Alex Sun ’15


It was no surprise that Tim Wolfe, president of the University of Missouri (Mizzou), resigned in the face of campus protests, a football team boycott, and a hunger strike. Many lost confidence in his leadership after his inaction to months of simmering tension brought about by well-publicized incidents of racism on campus. But now, there’s a silent majority at Mizzou wondering why Wolfe had to lose his career because he couldn’t stop a few drunk students on a campus of forty-thousand from uttering the N-word. They say that ending his career won’t stop the racists from being racist. They say that student activism went too far this time. … Read more

JA Confidential #3: “I had no idea what kind of effort it took”

IMG_3374 (1)

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: You’ve been a JA for three months now, in what ways, speaking generally, has your approach to JA-ing changed? What were your strategies at the beginning, and what are they now? … Read more

Uncomfortable Posting – Steven Miller, Associate Professor Of Mathematics


Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on EphBlog. Here is a link to the original post, where there are responses to the post in the comments section below:

Greetings. I’m the faculty president of the Williams’ chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest academic honor society. As there has been a lot of discussion about speakers invited to campus by Uncomfortable Learning, I wanted to briefly post why PBK has decided to co-sponsor their next speakers.

Read more

A Second Look At Study Abroad – Deanna Segall

Screen Shot 2015-11-01 at 9.28.01 PM

From “An Eph Abroad: Part 1”— “Study abroad is a wonderful experience, but let’s not kid ourselves that ‘study’ has much to do with it.”

The second I mentioned going abroad, the warnings came flooding in. A year later, I can still hear the countless cautions that I would never be able to find a study-abroad school as academically rigorous as Williams. And over a year later, I still insist that my priority is getting a good education, no matter what continent I’m on. So equipped with a multitude of warnings about the hiatus in my academic life, and sprinkled with the frequent “don’t get eaten by a shark,” I embarked on the 30+ hour trip to Sydney. … Read more

Let’s Stop – William McGuire III


Let us review the Williams Alternative articles we have all read in the wake of Uncomfortable Learning’s non-event featuring Suzanne Venker. I will add my own emphasis.

Zach Wood ’18, an organizer of the event, wrote an opinion piece claiming that some Williams College students view political issues through the lens of “motivated ignorance” resulting from “the myopia of those who look through it.” He also names “a torrent of online bullying” as a key factor in the group’s decision to cancel the event. … Read more