Student Handbook

Academics

  • Williams College seeks to protect the integrity of what transpires in the classroom among students and professor, any course materials prepared by the professor, and the privacy of students and faculty. With this in mind, Williams College prohibits any recording (audio or video) of lectures, seminars, or other classroom activities without the express permission of the instructor. Authorized recordings (including any made in order to accommodate ADA considerations) and all other course materials (including any materials posted on Glow or other Course Managements site) may only be used for the purposes of an individual’s (or group’s) study in the course, and may not be shared with any wider audience on or off campus unless the instructor has explicitly given such permission. Violations of this policy would be considered a violation of community standards and would fall under the disciplinary processes in place at the College.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/classroom-recordings-and-use-of-class-materials/

  • Except in those cases where a grievance committee has found an assigned grade to have been the result of discrimination, nothing in the grievance procedure shall affect the responsibility and authority of individual members of the faculty to evaluate and grade the work of students in their courses. In the event of other allegations of improper or unfair grading, the Office of the Dean of the College may investigate and mediate, but final responsibility for grading rests with the instructor.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/complaints-about-grading/

    • Temporary withdrawals from the College can take several forms. Students may choose to take a temporary leave for personal or medical reasons. In other cases, students may be required to withdraw temporarily due to a failure to maintain minimum academic standards, a medical issue that precludes the ability to safely and successfully participate in the educational program, or a disciplinary issue that warrants separation from the College. As a general matter, parents are notified about student leaves of all kinds.

      Students may take 2 leaves during their course of study at Williams (this includes personal leaves, medical leaves, or leaves required by the Committee on Academic Standing, but not disciplinary suspensions; for more information on disciplinary processes, click here). A third leave will ordinarily be considered permanent. Students may petition for permission to return after a third or subsequent leave; such petitions will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and will only be granted in cases in which the student has been making clear and consistent progress toward a degree. Petitions to return after a third or subsequent leave will be reviewed by an ad hoc committee appointed by the Dean of the College. That committee will be comprised of an Associate or Assistant Dean in the Office of the Dean of the College and a member of Student Health & Wellness Services. Additional individuals may be included when relevant. The student will be informed of the decision and, if readmission is denied, the reason(s) for this decision, in writing. A student who believes that a denial of readmission failed to take into account specific, relevant information that was available or applied an incorrect standard may appeal on that basis to the Dean of the College. Mere disagreement with the decision is not a basis for appeal. Any appeal must be delivered to the Dean in writing within one week after the student receives the decision denying readmission. The decision of the Dean of the College is final.

      Student leaves vary in length from one to 6 semesters. Students who wish to return to campus after a leave longer than 3 years must reapply through the Admissions process. In exceptional circumstances, the College may waive this requirement.

      The presumption for all leaves is that students will return at the beginning of the fall or spring semester. In exceptional circumstances, students may be permitted to return in January. It is required that students return to campus for a full and successful semester at Williams prior to embarking on a study away experience.

      The college reserves the right to require a student on leave to meet with an ad hoc committee in order to determine their readiness to return.

      Students are expected to vacate their rooms, including belongings, upon withdrawal from the College and follow all housing deadlines for departure.

    • Students may request personal leaves of absence and if granted, withdraw from the College. Such time away, often as a period of reassessment and self-evaluation, can prove to be educationally beneficial.

      Students may request permission from the Dean’s Office to withdraw at any time. If a student is granted a personal leave of absence after the semester begins, but before the end of the drop/add period, the transcript will list the date of withdrawal as the day before the term began. If a personal leave is granted after the end of the drop/add period, but before the end of the eighth week of the semester, the transcript will list the date of withdrawal, but the semester will not count toward the maximum of eight allowed to complete the degree. If a personal withdrawal is allowed after the eighth week of the semester, the transcript will list the date of withdrawal and the courses in progress, each with a W; the semester will normally count toward the maximum of eight allowed to complete the degree and the student will incur deficiencies that must be made up before returning to the College.

      Students who withdraw in good standing are readmitted with the approval of the Dean’s Office.

    • Students with medical and/or psychological conditions may request leaves of absence and if granted, withdraw from the College in good standing. Verification of the condition, along with a recommendation for the leave, must be provided from an appropriate professional. These types of requests should be made through the Dean’s Office.

      If a student is granted a medical leave, the transcript will simply indicate the date of withdrawal without further explanation. If the withdrawal occurs after the start of a term, no courses in progress will be listed and the semester will not count toward the maximum of eight allowed for completing the degree.

      Medical leaves may be granted at any time and readmission is contingent upon the condition being resolved or managed successfully. Therefore, there is no mandated minimum length for a medical leave. While on leave, it is advisable for the student to seek necessary medical attention and to document the steps taken and progress made. This information will be part of the readmission process along with assessments from appropriate medical and/or psychological professionals. If the written statement provided by a clinician is unclear or incomplete, the College will require a further statement or may request permission from the student to speak with the clinician directly. Additional information may be sought and might include a personal interview and input from family members, employers, or others who interacted with the student while on leave. In cases where there has been significant psychiatric or psychotherapeutic involvement, the student may be required to meet with a member of the College’s Student Health & Wellness Services. In addition, in order to judge the degree of recovery and readiness to confront the academic and social challenges of Williams, the student may be required to be evaluated by an outside mental health professional selected and paid for by the College as part of the readmission process.

      The College will deny readmission to a student who does not provide or allow access to the information the College needs to make its decision about readmission and any conditions to readmission that might apply. Such conditions may include, for example, that a student be in treatment, be compliant with that treatment, and allow his or her clinician(s) periodically to confirm to the College whether the student is in treatment and compliant with that treatment.

      The decision whether to permit the student’s return, and whether a return will be subject to certain conditions, will be made on an individualized basis, taking into account the clinical input and other relevant information that is reasonably available.

      An otherwise qualified student will not be prohibited from returning from medical leave solely on the basis that they have a disability, have a record of having a disability, or are regarded as having a disability. An “otherwise qualified” student is one who, notwithstanding his or her disability, meets the academic and other standards for participation in the College’s educational programs either with or without one or more reasonable accommodations and does not present a direct threat of serious, imminent harm to self or others. The College will not deny readmission to an otherwise qualified student merely because the student continues to experience a medical or mental health condition or because the College may believe it would be in the student’s best interest to spend additional time away from the College.

      The College will not treat students seeking to return from medical leave differently from students who otherwise are similarly situated.

      Final decisions about readmission, including any conditions that may apply to readmission, are made by an ad hoc committee appointed by the Dean of the College, which typically will comprise an Associate or Assistant Dean in the Office of the Dean of the College and a member of Student Health & Wellness Services. Additional individuals may be included when relevant. The student will be informed of the decision and, if readmission is denied, the reason(s) for this decision, in writing.

      A student who believes that a denial of readmission failed to take into account specific, relevant information that was available or applied an incorrect standard may appeal on that basis to the Dean of the College. Mere disagreement with the decision is not a basis for appeal. Any appeal must be delivered to the Dean in writing within one week after the student receives the decision denying readmission. The decision of the Dean of the College is final.

    • In rare circumstances, the College may require a student to take a medical leave in the event the student has an illness or condition that poses a direct threat to the health and safety of the student or others, renders the student unable to successfully participate in the educational programs offered by the College, or substantially disrupts the ability of others to fully participate in the educational or employment opportunities offered by the College

      Ordinarily, the decision whether to require a student to take a medical leave will be made after notice to the student and after providing an opportunity for the student to be heard. The decision whether to require a student to take a medical leave and what conditions if any will apply in order for a student not to be placed on leave will be made by an ad hoc committee appointed by the Dean of the College, which typically will comprise an Associate or Assistant Dean in the Office of the Dean of the College and a member of Student Health & Wellness Services. Additional individuals may be included when relevant. The student will be informed of the decision. A student who disagrees with the committee’s decision may appeal to the Dean of the College within one week after receiving the decision. The decision of the Dean of the College is final.

      In situations that pose immediate risk, the Dean of the College may immediately place a student on an interim leave pending a further determination by the ad hoc committee.

      Ordinarily a student who is placed on a mandatory medical leave will be required to spend at least one full semester away before re-entry is considered.

      The fact that a student is placed on a mandatory medical leave does not insulate a student from the College’s conduct rules and disciplinary procedures. The College may pursue disciplinary action against a student while the student is on leave or after a student returns in the College’s discretion.

      Federal regulations require that all educational institutions disclose their refund policy to all prospective students. In accordance with that regulation, here is the Williams College Refund Policy for the academic year.

    • It is the policy of Williams College not to permit a student to remain in residence after it has become evident that they are either unable or unwilling to maintain reasonable standards of academic achievement. At the end of each term, the Committee on Academic Standing reviews all academic records that fail to meet the following minimum academic requirements:

      • For first-year students: Three grades of C- or better and no failures each semester, and at least Perfunctory Pass on the Winter Study Project
      • For upper-class students: Four grades of C- or better, OR three grades of C- or better and a Pass each semester, and at least Perfunctory Pass on the Winter Study Project

      Students whose records fail to meet these minimum academic requirements or whose records otherwise fail to show adequate progress may be required to resign.

      Students who are required to resign from the College for academic reasons are normally not permitted to return for at least one year from the date of their resignation. A student who has been required to resign from the College may petition the Committee on Academic Standing through the Office of the Dean of the College for reinstatement. That petition must include (1) evidence that the student has made up all course deficiencies, (2) a letter to the Committee providing convincing evidence that the student is ready and able to complete work toward a degree at Williams.

      Students who are required to resign due to failure to meet minimum academic requirements can appeal that decision by making a personal statement to the Committee on Academic Standing (in person, in writing, or via Skype/conference call). The CAS decision upon appeal is final.

      When required to resign, students must vacate their rooms promptly. Financial aid students must also see the Director of Financial Aid before leaving to discuss loan repayment and renewal of aid in the event of readmission.

      Students are expected to vacate their rooms, including belongings, upon withdrawal from the College and follow all housing deadlines for departure.

    • Students planning to transfer to another institution should notify a Dean in writing.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/leave-of-absence-transfer-and-readmission/

Campus Life

  • Williams has many registered student organizations (RSO’s). If you can’t find an RSO you’re looking to engage in, you can apply to start your own. The links here include integral components for your RSO to exist & thrive at Williams. Be sure to read through everything carefully if you are looking to create, become a leader of, or get involved in, a Williams RSO.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/registered-student-organizations/

Civic Responsibilities

  • Information on Jury Duty in Massachusetts

    According to the Office of Jury Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, “Every U.S. Citizen 17 years of age or older who is a Massachusetts resident or an inhabitant for more than 50% of the time is eligible to serve as a juror. If you are a resident of another state but a student at a Massachusetts college, you are an inhabitant for more than 50% of the year and, therefore, eligible to serve as a juror in Massachusetts. ”

    It is not unusual for students residing in Berkshire County to be summoned to serve as trial jurors. Jury service, on a short-term basis, can provide students with a good opportunity to fulfill one of their important responsibilities as members of the community. Williams College supports students in their fulfillment of this civic duty.

    Students should carefully read all materials they receive with their summons to service, which contain helpful information about confirming, postponing, rescheduling, or relocating service, and address many of the most frequently asked questions. Jury duty is an important legal obligation, and those who fail to respond are subject to criminal prosecution.

    Students who must miss class in order to fulfill their jury service requirement should notify each of their instructors of the summons and make arrangements to complete any missed work. The Dean’s Office will be able to assist you in making arrangements for missed class time due to jury service. Students may be required to furnish their summons notice or the certificate of service when making these arrangements.

    If you have any questions about jury duty, including confirming, postponing, rescheduling, or limiting your service, please contact the Office of Jury Commissioner (l-800-THE-JURY/1-800-843-5879). Further information can be found on the Office of Jury Commissioner’s website at www.massjury.com

    * It may be possible for you to request a change from the Pittsfield to North Adams Court (i.e., transportation is a hardship for you, etc.) by calling the Jury Commissioner’s Office (l-800-THE-JURY/1-800-843-5879).

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    Part A. Students exempt from jury duty in Massachusetts.

    You are exempt from jury duty if any one of the following conditions are true. Note that if you are exempt, you still need to return your forms indicating to the Jury Commissioner the reason(s) for your exemption.

    1. You are under 17 years old.
    2. You are not a U.S. Citizen.
    3. You have served on a jury (anywhere in n the U.S.) within the past 3 years.
    4. You have committed a felony in the past 7 years.
    5. You will not be residing in Massachusetts for 50% of the calendar year. This means that any senior leaving the state by July 1 is exempt. (Indicate this exemption by checking box #5). Note junior year abroad students are not exempt and must serve jury duty.

    Part B. Students Who are Not Exempt –How to Plan for Jury Duty

    1. Choose a day that is convenient for you. You are allowed one automatic postponement of up to a year. Keep in mind that 95% of jurors serve 3 days or less and it is most probable that you will only have to serve 1 day. This is because even if you do have to appear in court, you may not get selected as one of the jurors. In addition, at the judge’s discretion you can be dismissed from serving on trials lasting for more than one day.
    2. If you are on standby status, call the Courthouse in Pittsfield after 3 p.m. the day before you are scheduled to serve. Ninety-nine percent of potential jurors in Berkshire County are placed on standby status. Notification of status is through the mail about one week before your scheduled date. If you are placed on standby, call the Courthouse the day before your are scheduled to serve to see if it is necessary for you to appear in court. If you are not needed, you do not have to go to Pittsfield and you will have satisfied the jury duty requirement for one year. If you are needed, you will have to go to Pittsfield (see below). If you do not receive standby notification, you will automatically have to appear in court on your scheduled date.
    3. Arrange for transportation to Pittsfield. You will need to be at the Courthouse at 8:30 a.m. for an orientation meeting (a 20-30 minute film and brief explanation of procedures). Following this orientation you will have a chance to request that the judge limit your service to one day. (You might explain to the judge that you are a full-time student with a difficult schedule, transportation difficulties, grade problems, etc., – if applicable.)
    4. If you have further questions contact the Dean’s Office or call the Office of the Jury Commissioner (1-800-843-5879) or Pittsfield District Court, 43 Wendell Avenue, Pittsfield, MA (clerk’s office 413-442-5468).

     

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/jury-duty/

  • Nearly all male U.S. citizens and male immigrants, who are 18 through 25, are required to register with Selective Service. The Selective Service System’s mission is “…To furnish manpower to the Defense Department during a national emergency and to manage alternative service for men classified as conscientious objectors…”

    Most male students must register with Selective Service in order to receive federal student aid.

    Learn more about these requirements and how to register if you’ve not yet done so.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/articles/selective-service/

  • Under federal law students may declare themselves residents of Williamstown if they wish to vote here. In compliance with Commonwealth of Massachusetts law, mail–in voter registration forms for students wishing to register to vote in Massachusetts are available online (http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleifv/howreg.htm). For students from other states who desire to vote in a state other than Massachusetts, the Federal mail–in affidavit or a mail–in form supplied by that state may be used. The student must contact the appropriate state election official to receive the state form, call or write the Massachusetts Elections Division for a Federal form, or download a form (http://www.eac.gov/voter_resources/register_to_vote.aspx).

    The rights and privileges of Williamstown voters are: to vote in all local, state, and federal elections; to attend and participate in Town Meetings; to serve on any town committee; to run for elective office; and to sign petitions and nomination papers. Before making the decision to become legal residents of Williamstown, however, students should inform themselves fully about certain implications thereof, such as: the possibility that their belongings at college would no longer be covered by their parents’ personal property insurance policy, the state law that requires all new residents with motor vehicles to obtain a Massachusetts driver’s license and motor vehicle registration (with compulsory liability insurance and annual excise tax) within thirty days of taking up legal residence here, and the state income tax.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/voter-registration/

Financial

Governance of the College

  • In accordance with the provisions of its Charter, the legal responsibility for the affairs of the College is vested in the President and Trustees. Trustees deal with basic questions of policy, planning, and financial management. The President and the faculty share immediate responsibility for College government. The faculty conducts its business in meetings of the full faculty, which the President chairs, and through its committees, most of which have both faculty and student members.

    Several committees are composed of faculty only, including the Committee on Academic Standing (CAS), the Faculty Steering Committee and the Committee on Appointments and Promotions (CAP). The CAS reviews the academic records of individual students. To protect the privacy of students, membership on this committee is limited to faculty and deans. The Faculty Steering Committee discusses topics of particular interest to faculty and meets with student groups from time to time to discuss issues in common. The CAP advises the President and trustees about faculty appointments. Although students do not sit with the committee, the CAP receives student opinion about faculty from the departments. Departments gather student opinion through student advisory committees, direct interviews with students, and the Student Course Evaluation Survey. In addition, students may volunteer evaluations to department chairs or to the Dean of the Faculty directly.

    Students have the major responsibility for the conduct of undergraduate affairs through the College Council and through the Neighborhood boards. The College Council supervises the election or appointment of the student members of all joint committees.

    College Council Website

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/governance-of-the-college/

Health and Wellbeing

Policies

  • Williams prohibits the abuse of alcohol and expects members of the College community to abide by federal, state, and local regulations concerning the possession and use, purchase, and distribution of alcohol. The College prohibits the unlawful manufacture, sale, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of illegal drugs, or the unauthorized use of prescription drugs.

    At the beginning of the fall 2015 semester, the College rolled out updated Responsible Party Standards that made it easier for students to hold small and safe events while at the same time discouraging students from holding parties that involved high-risk behavior (such as the presence of hard alcohol, large numbers of students in one common space, large amounts of alcohol per student, unregistered parties).

    With this in mind, here are some key points to remember when it comes to safe and responsible alcohol consumption at social events:

    • Hard alcohol and common source alcohol (kegs, punch, etc.) are prohibited
    • Providing alcohol to anyone under 21 is prohibited (and illegal)
    • Parties of more than 20 people must be registered
    • Party hosts must adhere to safe room capacity and safe drinking standards (no more than 120 servings of beer or wine permitted, or up to twice the room capacity, whichever is less)

    Go here for more details.

    Campus Safety and Security provides a key role in maintaining a safe environment. Officers conduct checks for registered parties and will help hosts keep the party safe and in compliance. Unless the registered party becomes unsafe, CSS will work with the host to keep the party open.

    CSS Officers also conduct “hotspot” checks in areas that have exhibited patterns of unsafe/irresponsible behaviors. If CSS comes across an unregistered party or a situation involving violations of the responsible party standards (even if it’s registered), they will collect ID information from students involved and will report the incident to the Office of the Dean of the College for their action.

    • Violations of the Responsible Party Standards and the Code of Conduct will result in response from the Office of the Dean of the College, sanctions for which range from various types of warnings to disciplinary action including suspensions and expulsions. See the Sanctioning Rubric. The college also has a Medical Amnesty Policy: We recognize that there may be times when excessive drinking and/or drug use becomes a medial emergency. Under this policy, if an individual seeks medical attention (for themselves or for someone else) due to such an emergency, student conduct disciplinary action will not be taken against the student for consumption or possession of alcohol or drugs. For more information on the alcohol policy and learn about the Medical Amnesty policy.

    • Acting in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the College reserves the right to contact parents or legal guardians under the age of 21 regarding alcohol and other drug violations. Parental notification is issued in order to provide support for a student’s health and safety. Specifically, parents are notified when a student has been transported to a medical facility as a result of using alcohol or other drugs (this may include alcohol poisoning, severe intoxication, or hospitalization).

    • An alcohol overdose is a MEDICAL EMERGENCY. It is important to call for help right away if you see any of these signs of alcohol overdose:

      • Irregular breathing (8 breaths a minute or 10 seconds or more between any two breaths)
      • Vomiting while passed out and they don’t wake up while vomiting or afterward
      • Choking
      • Skin is pale, cold and/or bluish-purple
      • Unconsciousness/unresponsiveness

      Call 911 or Campus Safety and Security at x4444. Don’t wait. Minutes can be critical.

    • Under the Higher Education Act, a student may become ineligible for federal student aid upon a conviction of any offense involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs under any federal or state law while receiving Title IV federal financial aid. Federal aid includes: Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal ACG Grants, Federal SMART Grants, Federal Direct Stafford Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans, Federal Direct GradPLUS Loans, Federal Perkins Loans and Federal Work Study.

      The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for FSA funds, depending on whether the conviction was for sale or possession and whether the student had previous offenses. (A conviction for sale of drugs includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs.)

      Possession of illegal drugs Sale of illegal drugs
      1st offense 1 year from date of conviction 2 years from date of conviction
      2nd offense 2 years from date of conviction Indefinite period
      3rd offense Indefinite period Indefinite period

      If the student was convicted of both possessing and selling illegal drugs, and the periods of ineligibility are different, the student will be ineligible for the longer period.

      A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when the student successfully completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program. The student will lose eligibility again upon a subsequent drug conviction.

      For complete information, please see the FAFSA web page or contact the Federal Student Information Center at 1–800–4–FED–AID.

      Convictions During Enrollment

      According to the United States Department of Education, if a student is convicted of a drug offense after receiving Federal aid, he or she must notify the Williams College Office of Financial Aid immediately. The student may be ineligible for further aid in that academic year and required to pay back all federal aid received after the date of the conviction. The Office of Financial Aid will work with the student regarding all of the available options.

    • Williams prohibits the abuse of alcohol and expects members of the College community to abide by federal, state, and local regulations concerning the possession, use, purchase, and distribution of alcohol. The College prohibits the unlawful manufacture, sale, distribution, possession, or use of illegal drugs, or the unauthorized use of prescription drugs.

      The negative physical and mental effects of the use of alcohol or other substances are well documented. Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. Low to moderate doses of alcohol also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including sexual assault.

      Moderate to high doses of alcohol can cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person’s ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects just described.

      Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation of alcohol is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions. Alcohol withdrawal can be life threatening. Long–term consumption of large amounts of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and the liver.

      For help with alcohol or other substance problems, call the Health Education Office at x3013. Additional information is available from the Brien Center (Northern Berkshire Counseling Center), 25 Marshall Street, North Adams, 664.4541.

    • In general, a 12 oz. can of beer equals a 1 oz. shot of 100 proof liquor, which equals one 5 oz. glass of wine. When mixing drinks these equivalencies do not always hold true. This becomes especially significant when mixing different kinds of alcohol to make punches. A glass of punch may have a much higher alcohol content than a straight shot or a can of beer. Also be aware that carbonated beverages may increase alcohol absorption, while food will decrease it, especially foods high in protein like cheese and red meat.

    • Any person under 21 years of age who purchases alcoholic beverages or who makes arrangements with any other person to purchase, or who misrepresents his or her age in order to purchase alcoholic beverages, is guilty of a violation of the Massachusetts State law and is subject to a fine of $300.00.

      Any person to makes a false statement as to the age of another person who is under 21 years of age in order to procure alcoholic beverages is guilty of violating the state law and is subject to a fine of $300.00

      Any person who uses a false liquor purchase identification card or alters or defaces a liquor purchase identification card in order to purchase alcoholic beverages is guilty of violating the state law and is subject to a fine of up to $200.00 or imprisonment of up to three months.

      Any person under 21 years of age who willfully misrepresents his or her age or in any way alters, defaces or otherwise falsifies his or identification offered as proof of age in order to purchase alcoholic beverages is guilty of violating state law and is subject to a fine of $300.00.

      Any person under 21 years of age who transports or carries alcoholic beverages is guilty of violating the state law and is subject to a fine of up to $50.00. A police officer may arrest such a person WITHOUT A WARRANT. If the person was operating a motor vehicle at the time, his or her driver’s license may be suspended for up to three months.

      A host of a party may be liable for the injuries suffered by a third person if the host knew or should have known that his or her guest was drunk, and nevertheless gave or permitted the guest to take an alcoholic drink and thereafter, because of his or her intoxication, the guest negligently operated a car, causing injury to the third person. If the guest whose drunk driving causes an accident is a minor, the host who served the alcohol to the minor might be held liable to the injured third person even if the minor was not intoxicated when the host served the minor alcohol.

      Massachusetts has a “zero tolerance” law for blood alcohol level in drivers aged 16 to 21. For such drivers, any alcohol level greater than .02 (roughly equivalent to one drink or a beer) will result in one–the–spot revocation of the driving license. For adults over 21, the maximum permitted level in the law is .08. A first conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol carries with it a fine of $1,000.00, one year revocation of your driver’s license, and mandatory alcohol education. It may also include up to two years in prison.

    • No person shall drink, alcoholic beverages from an open container while on any public way or in a public place. No person shall carry an open container of alcoholic beverage while on any public way or in a public place. Violation of this Williamstown ordinance may result in a fine of not less than $20.00 nor more than $200.00.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/alcohol-and-drugs/

  • Williams College seeks to protect the integrity of what transpires in the classroom among students and professor, any course materials prepared by the professor, and the privacy of students and faculty. With this in mind, Williams College prohibits any recording (audio or video) of lectures, seminars, or other classroom activities without the express permission of the instructor. Authorized recordings (including any made in order to accommodate ADA considerations) and all other course materials (including any materials posted on Glow or other Course Managements site) may only be used for the purposes of an individual’s (or group’s) study in the course, and may not be shared with any wider audience on or off campus unless the instructor has explicitly given such permission. Violations of this policy would be considered a violation of community standards and would fall under the disciplinary processes in place at the College.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/classroom-recordings-and-use-of-class-materials/

    • As a residential college, Williams believes that for each student the experience of living with other students has an educational importance that should parallel and enhance their studies. For students to profit from living and working together, they must respect the rights of other members of the community in which they live and work—a community which includes students, members of the faculty and staff of the College, and other residents of Williamstown. The President, Trustees, faculty, and students of Williams College have established the codes of conduct described below to foster the learning that comes from living and studying with individuals of diverse backgrounds and from learning to honor opinions and beliefs that may differ from one’s own.

      By enforcing the Code of Conduct, the College supports an environment conducive to intellectual, ethical, and civic development. Students are expected to respect the rights of others, their persons and their possessions, and refrain from any unreasonable disruption to the College or the community around it. The College will hold students responsible if they fail to maintain good conduct on the campus or elsewhere.

    • Williams College does not discriminate on grounds unrelated to its educational objectives; it is committed to being a community in which all ranges of opinion and belief can be expressed and debated, and within which all patterns of behavior permitted by the public law and College regulations can take place. The community is varied, including people of diverse races, religions, national or ethnic backgrounds, gender expressions and gender identities, and sexual orientations, and its members may from time to time disagree with one another’s ideas and behavior. The College seeks to assure the rights of all to express themselves in words and actions, so long as they can do so without infringing upon the rights of others or violating standards of good conduct or public law.

      Accepting membership in this community entails an obligation to behave with courtesy to others whose beliefs and behavior differ from one’s own; all members and guests of this community must be free of disturbance or harassment, including racial and sexual harassment.

      Students will be treated equitably and fairly under the Code of Conduct.

    • The College does not give students protection from the consequences of violations of federal, state, and local laws, and public authorities may act independently to investigate and prosecute any such violations. When students are charged with legal violations committed on or off–campus, the Dean of the College may also initiate disciplinary proceedings. The accused student, however, may request of the Dean of the College a suspension of the disciplinary proceedings until the conclusion of the court case. This request may be denied by the discretion of the Dean of the College. In addition, the Dean of the College may impose interim restrictions as provided in the following section. In the case of a graduating senior, in the event the College disciplinary proceedings are not concluded by Commencement, the degree may be withheld.

    • Informal dean meetings, warnings, and educational assignments do not become part of a student’s formal disciplinary record. This information is reported to the student and is kept on file in the Dean’s office until graduation, when it is removed. Students who receive these actions can answer negatively if they are asked if they have been subject to College discipline.

      Disciplinary probation, suspensions and expulsions are part of the student's formal disciplinary record. Students who receive these sanctions must answer affirmatively if they are asked whether they have been subject to College discipline. In the case of suspension, The Dean of the College retains student records of probation and suspension for seven years from the date of the notice of final disposition. In the case of expulsion, the Dean of the College retains student discipline records indefinitely.

      All non-disciplinary files in the Dean's Office will be retained for seven years from the date of the most recent update to the student record.

    • Definitions of sexual misconduct, reporting, investigation and adjudication, support through the process, and affect on student records are all explained here.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/code-of-conduct/

  • Except in those cases where a grievance committee has found an assigned grade to have been the result of discrimination, nothing in the grievance procedure shall affect the responsibility and authority of individual members of the faculty to evaluate and grade the work of students in their courses. In the event of other allegations of improper or unfair grading, the Office of the Dean of the College may investigate and mediate, but final responsibility for grading rests with the instructor.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/complaints-about-grading/

  • Williams students may neither join nor participate in fraternities during their time at the College. This policy was first adopted in 1962, and it is strongly supported by the College community. The College will take disciplinary action against students who are found to be participating in such organizations. Penalties may include suspension or expulsion from the College.

    To insure that all students understand the history of and reasons for this policy, the Board of Trustees of Williams College issued the following statement in June, 1989:

    It has now been twenty–seven years since the Board of Trustees of Williams College determined that the academic aspirations of the College, and the educational and social needs of our students, would best be served by abolishing fraternities and inaugurating the residential house system. The Trustees note with particular pleasure the role the residential house system has played in insuring that all Williams students would be fully integrated into the life of the College. In making all important decisions over nearly three decades, the College has had as its central goal the sustenance of a community characterized by openness, academic vitality, and equality of opportunity.

    Mindful of the College’s history and committed strongly to the College’s goals, the Trustees wish to reaffirm the policy that Williams students may neither join nor participate in fraternities during their time at the College. The Trustees’ views on this subject were most recently expressed in the statement appearing below, approved in October, 1976 and later endorsed unanimously by the faculty. In light of efforts to reestablish fraternities on other campuses, and of apparent interest among a handful of Williams students in reviving fraternal organizations here, the Trustees are reissuing and affirming that statement, and expressing full support for the officers of the College in their efforts, disciplinary and otherwise, to insure that it is understood and adhered to in the Williams community.
    Statement of the
    Williams College Board of Trustees
    Concerning Fraternities (1976)

    To avoid misunderstanding, we wish to make clear our support for the rights of students to form or join any of the many formal or informal groups that are appropriate to this college community and consistent with Williams’ educational program. But we remind all concerned that the regulations of the College prohibit participation by undergraduates in fraternities as a matter of educational policy and that violations will be subject to appropriate penalties.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/fraternities/

  • Information on Jury Duty in Massachusetts

    According to the Office of Jury Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, “Every U.S. Citizen 17 years of age or older who is a Massachusetts resident or an inhabitant for more than 50% of the time is eligible to serve as a juror. If you are a resident of another state but a student at a Massachusetts college, you are an inhabitant for more than 50% of the year and, therefore, eligible to serve as a juror in Massachusetts. ”

    It is not unusual for students residing in Berkshire County to be summoned to serve as trial jurors. Jury service, on a short-term basis, can provide students with a good opportunity to fulfill one of their important responsibilities as members of the community. Williams College supports students in their fulfillment of this civic duty.

    Students should carefully read all materials they receive with their summons to service, which contain helpful information about confirming, postponing, rescheduling, or relocating service, and address many of the most frequently asked questions. Jury duty is an important legal obligation, and those who fail to respond are subject to criminal prosecution.

    Students who must miss class in order to fulfill their jury service requirement should notify each of their instructors of the summons and make arrangements to complete any missed work. The Dean’s Office will be able to assist you in making arrangements for missed class time due to jury service. Students may be required to furnish their summons notice or the certificate of service when making these arrangements.

    If you have any questions about jury duty, including confirming, postponing, rescheduling, or limiting your service, please contact the Office of Jury Commissioner (l-800-THE-JURY/1-800-843-5879). Further information can be found on the Office of Jury Commissioner’s website at www.massjury.com

    * It may be possible for you to request a change from the Pittsfield to North Adams Court (i.e., transportation is a hardship for you, etc.) by calling the Jury Commissioner’s Office (l-800-THE-JURY/1-800-843-5879).

    *********************************************************************

    Part A. Students exempt from jury duty in Massachusetts.

    You are exempt from jury duty if any one of the following conditions are true. Note that if you are exempt, you still need to return your forms indicating to the Jury Commissioner the reason(s) for your exemption.

    1. You are under 17 years old.
    2. You are not a U.S. Citizen.
    3. You have served on a jury (anywhere in n the U.S.) within the past 3 years.
    4. You have committed a felony in the past 7 years.
    5. You will not be residing in Massachusetts for 50% of the calendar year. This means that any senior leaving the state by July 1 is exempt. (Indicate this exemption by checking box #5). Note junior year abroad students are not exempt and must serve jury duty.

    Part B. Students Who are Not Exempt –How to Plan for Jury Duty

    1. Choose a day that is convenient for you. You are allowed one automatic postponement of up to a year. Keep in mind that 95% of jurors serve 3 days or less and it is most probable that you will only have to serve 1 day. This is because even if you do have to appear in court, you may not get selected as one of the jurors. In addition, at the judge’s discretion you can be dismissed from serving on trials lasting for more than one day.
    2. If you are on standby status, call the Courthouse in Pittsfield after 3 p.m. the day before you are scheduled to serve. Ninety-nine percent of potential jurors in Berkshire County are placed on standby status. Notification of status is through the mail about one week before your scheduled date. If you are placed on standby, call the Courthouse the day before your are scheduled to serve to see if it is necessary for you to appear in court. If you are not needed, you do not have to go to Pittsfield and you will have satisfied the jury duty requirement for one year. If you are needed, you will have to go to Pittsfield (see below). If you do not receive standby notification, you will automatically have to appear in court on your scheduled date.
    3. Arrange for transportation to Pittsfield. You will need to be at the Courthouse at 8:30 a.m. for an orientation meeting (a 20-30 minute film and brief explanation of procedures). Following this orientation you will have a chance to request that the judge limit your service to one day. (You might explain to the judge that you are a full-time student with a difficult schedule, transportation difficulties, grade problems, etc., – if applicable.)
    4. If you have further questions contact the Dean’s Office or call the Office of the Jury Commissioner (1-800-843-5879) or Pittsfield District Court, 43 Wendell Avenue, Pittsfield, MA (clerk’s office 413-442-5468).

     

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/jury-duty/

  • Display areas and bulletin boards are provided in Williams College buildings to provide information to students, faculty, and staff. Across campus, posting is permitted in designated approved areas. Materials may not be posted on windows, entrance doors, walls, or in classrooms. All materials for posting or for distribution through student mailboxes must clearly display the sponsor of the program, service, or announcement. All posted materials must be taken down within 7 days after the event. Anyone wishing to erect, attach, or post signs, banners, posters of exceptional size (beyond 11”x17”) or decorations in non–student–center buildings are responsible for obtaining prior approval from the designated manager of that building or area.

    Paresky and Goodrich

    General posting is available through the Office of Student Life. No more than 15 posters per event shall be allowed up at any time between the two locations. Posters shall be submitted to the Student Centers Coordinator to be put up according to the policies of the building, certified, and hung up by staff of the Office of Student Life. Any posters not certified by the Student Centers Coordinator will be removed promptly. Failure to comply may result in future reduction in postering privileges.

    Removal

    Postings for events that have passed, or postings that do not meet the policies set forth here or in the “Advertising and Distribution Policy” section of the Student Handbook, will be removed and discarded. The College accepts no responsibility for items that have been removed and/or discarded.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/advertising-and-distribution-policy/

  • Williams has many registered student organizations (RSO’s). If you can’t find an RSO you’re looking to engage in, you can apply to start your own. The links here include integral components for your RSO to exist & thrive at Williams. Be sure to read through everything carefully if you are looking to create, become a leader of, or get involved in, a Williams RSO.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/registered-student-organizations/

  • Under federal law students may declare themselves residents of Williamstown if they wish to vote here. In compliance with Commonwealth of Massachusetts law, mail–in voter registration forms for students wishing to register to vote in Massachusetts are available online (http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleifv/howreg.htm). For students from other states who desire to vote in a state other than Massachusetts, the Federal mail–in affidavit or a mail–in form supplied by that state may be used. The student must contact the appropriate state election official to receive the state form, call or write the Massachusetts Elections Division for a Federal form, or download a form (http://www.eac.gov/voter_resources/register_to_vote.aspx).

    The rights and privileges of Williamstown voters are: to vote in all local, state, and federal elections; to attend and participate in Town Meetings; to serve on any town committee; to run for elective office; and to sign petitions and nomination papers. Before making the decision to become legal residents of Williamstown, however, students should inform themselves fully about certain implications thereof, such as: the possibility that their belongings at college would no longer be covered by their parents’ personal property insurance policy, the state law that requires all new residents with motor vehicles to obtain a Massachusetts driver’s license and motor vehicle registration (with compulsory liability insurance and annual excise tax) within thirty days of taking up legal residence here, and the state income tax.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/voter-registration/

    • Temporary withdrawals from the College can take several forms. Students may choose to take a temporary leave for personal or medical reasons. In other cases, students may be required to withdraw temporarily due to a failure to maintain minimum academic standards, a medical issue that precludes the ability to safely and successfully participate in the educational program, or a disciplinary issue that warrants separation from the College. As a general matter, parents are notified about student leaves of all kinds.

      Students may take 2 leaves during their course of study at Williams (this includes personal leaves, medical leaves, or leaves required by the Committee on Academic Standing, but not disciplinary suspensions; for more information on disciplinary processes, click here). A third leave will ordinarily be considered permanent. Students may petition for permission to return after a third or subsequent leave; such petitions will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and will only be granted in cases in which the student has been making clear and consistent progress toward a degree. Petitions to return after a third or subsequent leave will be reviewed by an ad hoc committee appointed by the Dean of the College. That committee will be comprised of an Associate or Assistant Dean in the Office of the Dean of the College and a member of Student Health & Wellness Services. Additional individuals may be included when relevant. The student will be informed of the decision and, if readmission is denied, the reason(s) for this decision, in writing. A student who believes that a denial of readmission failed to take into account specific, relevant information that was available or applied an incorrect standard may appeal on that basis to the Dean of the College. Mere disagreement with the decision is not a basis for appeal. Any appeal must be delivered to the Dean in writing within one week after the student receives the decision denying readmission. The decision of the Dean of the College is final.

      Student leaves vary in length from one to 6 semesters. Students who wish to return to campus after a leave longer than 3 years must reapply through the Admissions process. In exceptional circumstances, the College may waive this requirement.

      The presumption for all leaves is that students will return at the beginning of the fall or spring semester. In exceptional circumstances, students may be permitted to return in January. It is required that students return to campus for a full and successful semester at Williams prior to embarking on a study away experience.

      The college reserves the right to require a student on leave to meet with an ad hoc committee in order to determine their readiness to return.

      Students are expected to vacate their rooms, including belongings, upon withdrawal from the College and follow all housing deadlines for departure.

    • Students may request personal leaves of absence and if granted, withdraw from the College. Such time away, often as a period of reassessment and self-evaluation, can prove to be educationally beneficial.

      Students may request permission from the Dean’s Office to withdraw at any time. If a student is granted a personal leave of absence after the semester begins, but before the end of the drop/add period, the transcript will list the date of withdrawal as the day before the term began. If a personal leave is granted after the end of the drop/add period, but before the end of the eighth week of the semester, the transcript will list the date of withdrawal, but the semester will not count toward the maximum of eight allowed to complete the degree. If a personal withdrawal is allowed after the eighth week of the semester, the transcript will list the date of withdrawal and the courses in progress, each with a W; the semester will normally count toward the maximum of eight allowed to complete the degree and the student will incur deficiencies that must be made up before returning to the College.

      Students who withdraw in good standing are readmitted with the approval of the Dean’s Office.

    • Students with medical and/or psychological conditions may request leaves of absence and if granted, withdraw from the College in good standing. Verification of the condition, along with a recommendation for the leave, must be provided from an appropriate professional. These types of requests should be made through the Dean’s Office.

      If a student is granted a medical leave, the transcript will simply indicate the date of withdrawal without further explanation. If the withdrawal occurs after the start of a term, no courses in progress will be listed and the semester will not count toward the maximum of eight allowed for completing the degree.

      Medical leaves may be granted at any time and readmission is contingent upon the condition being resolved or managed successfully. Therefore, there is no mandated minimum length for a medical leave. While on leave, it is advisable for the student to seek necessary medical attention and to document the steps taken and progress made. This information will be part of the readmission process along with assessments from appropriate medical and/or psychological professionals. If the written statement provided by a clinician is unclear or incomplete, the College will require a further statement or may request permission from the student to speak with the clinician directly. Additional information may be sought and might include a personal interview and input from family members, employers, or others who interacted with the student while on leave. In cases where there has been significant psychiatric or psychotherapeutic involvement, the student may be required to meet with a member of the College’s Student Health & Wellness Services. In addition, in order to judge the degree of recovery and readiness to confront the academic and social challenges of Williams, the student may be required to be evaluated by an outside mental health professional selected and paid for by the College as part of the readmission process.

      The College will deny readmission to a student who does not provide or allow access to the information the College needs to make its decision about readmission and any conditions to readmission that might apply. Such conditions may include, for example, that a student be in treatment, be compliant with that treatment, and allow his or her clinician(s) periodically to confirm to the College whether the student is in treatment and compliant with that treatment.

      The decision whether to permit the student’s return, and whether a return will be subject to certain conditions, will be made on an individualized basis, taking into account the clinical input and other relevant information that is reasonably available.

      An otherwise qualified student will not be prohibited from returning from medical leave solely on the basis that they have a disability, have a record of having a disability, or are regarded as having a disability. An “otherwise qualified” student is one who, notwithstanding his or her disability, meets the academic and other standards for participation in the College’s educational programs either with or without one or more reasonable accommodations and does not present a direct threat of serious, imminent harm to self or others. The College will not deny readmission to an otherwise qualified student merely because the student continues to experience a medical or mental health condition or because the College may believe it would be in the student’s best interest to spend additional time away from the College.

      The College will not treat students seeking to return from medical leave differently from students who otherwise are similarly situated.

      Final decisions about readmission, including any conditions that may apply to readmission, are made by an ad hoc committee appointed by the Dean of the College, which typically will comprise an Associate or Assistant Dean in the Office of the Dean of the College and a member of Student Health & Wellness Services. Additional individuals may be included when relevant. The student will be informed of the decision and, if readmission is denied, the reason(s) for this decision, in writing.

      A student who believes that a denial of readmission failed to take into account specific, relevant information that was available or applied an incorrect standard may appeal on that basis to the Dean of the College. Mere disagreement with the decision is not a basis for appeal. Any appeal must be delivered to the Dean in writing within one week after the student receives the decision denying readmission. The decision of the Dean of the College is final.

    • In rare circumstances, the College may require a student to take a medical leave in the event the student has an illness or condition that poses a direct threat to the health and safety of the student or others, renders the student unable to successfully participate in the educational programs offered by the College, or substantially disrupts the ability of others to fully participate in the educational or employment opportunities offered by the College

      Ordinarily, the decision whether to require a student to take a medical leave will be made after notice to the student and after providing an opportunity for the student to be heard. The decision whether to require a student to take a medical leave and what conditions if any will apply in order for a student not to be placed on leave will be made by an ad hoc committee appointed by the Dean of the College, which typically will comprise an Associate or Assistant Dean in the Office of the Dean of the College and a member of Student Health & Wellness Services. Additional individuals may be included when relevant. The student will be informed of the decision. A student who disagrees with the committee’s decision may appeal to the Dean of the College within one week after receiving the decision. The decision of the Dean of the College is final.

      In situations that pose immediate risk, the Dean of the College may immediately place a student on an interim leave pending a further determination by the ad hoc committee.

      Ordinarily a student who is placed on a mandatory medical leave will be required to spend at least one full semester away before re-entry is considered.

      The fact that a student is placed on a mandatory medical leave does not insulate a student from the College’s conduct rules and disciplinary procedures. The College may pursue disciplinary action against a student while the student is on leave or after a student returns in the College’s discretion.

      Federal regulations require that all educational institutions disclose their refund policy to all prospective students. In accordance with that regulation, here is the Williams College Refund Policy for the academic year.

    • It is the policy of Williams College not to permit a student to remain in residence after it has become evident that they are either unable or unwilling to maintain reasonable standards of academic achievement. At the end of each term, the Committee on Academic Standing reviews all academic records that fail to meet the following minimum academic requirements:

      • For first-year students: Three grades of C- or better and no failures each semester, and at least Perfunctory Pass on the Winter Study Project
      • For upper-class students: Four grades of C- or better, OR three grades of C- or better and a Pass each semester, and at least Perfunctory Pass on the Winter Study Project

      Students whose records fail to meet these minimum academic requirements or whose records otherwise fail to show adequate progress may be required to resign.

      Students who are required to resign from the College for academic reasons are normally not permitted to return for at least one year from the date of their resignation. A student who has been required to resign from the College may petition the Committee on Academic Standing through the Office of the Dean of the College for reinstatement. That petition must include (1) evidence that the student has made up all course deficiencies, (2) a letter to the Committee providing convincing evidence that the student is ready and able to complete work toward a degree at Williams.

      Students who are required to resign due to failure to meet minimum academic requirements can appeal that decision by making a personal statement to the Committee on Academic Standing (in person, in writing, or via Skype/conference call). The CAS decision upon appeal is final.

      When required to resign, students must vacate their rooms promptly. Financial aid students must also see the Director of Financial Aid before leaving to discuss loan repayment and renewal of aid in the event of readmission.

      Students are expected to vacate their rooms, including belongings, upon withdrawal from the College and follow all housing deadlines for departure.

    • Students planning to transfer to another institution should notify a Dean in writing.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/leave-of-absence-transfer-and-readmission/

Residential Life

  • Williams prohibits the abuse of alcohol and expects members of the College community to abide by federal, state, and local regulations concerning the possession and use, purchase, and distribution of alcohol. The College prohibits the unlawful manufacture, sale, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of illegal drugs, or the unauthorized use of prescription drugs.

    At the beginning of the fall 2015 semester, the College rolled out updated Responsible Party Standards that made it easier for students to hold small and safe events while at the same time discouraging students from holding parties that involved high-risk behavior (such as the presence of hard alcohol, large numbers of students in one common space, large amounts of alcohol per student, unregistered parties).

    With this in mind, here are some key points to remember when it comes to safe and responsible alcohol consumption at social events:

    • Hard alcohol and common source alcohol (kegs, punch, etc.) are prohibited
    • Providing alcohol to anyone under 21 is prohibited (and illegal)
    • Parties of more than 20 people must be registered
    • Party hosts must adhere to safe room capacity and safe drinking standards (no more than 120 servings of beer or wine permitted, or up to twice the room capacity, whichever is less)

    Go here for more details.

    Campus Safety and Security provides a key role in maintaining a safe environment. Officers conduct checks for registered parties and will help hosts keep the party safe and in compliance. Unless the registered party becomes unsafe, CSS will work with the host to keep the party open.

    CSS Officers also conduct “hotspot” checks in areas that have exhibited patterns of unsafe/irresponsible behaviors. If CSS comes across an unregistered party or a situation involving violations of the responsible party standards (even if it’s registered), they will collect ID information from students involved and will report the incident to the Office of the Dean of the College for their action.

    • Violations of the Responsible Party Standards and the Code of Conduct will result in response from the Office of the Dean of the College, sanctions for which range from various types of warnings to disciplinary action including suspensions and expulsions. See the Sanctioning Rubric. The college also has a Medical Amnesty Policy: We recognize that there may be times when excessive drinking and/or drug use becomes a medial emergency. Under this policy, if an individual seeks medical attention (for themselves or for someone else) due to such an emergency, student conduct disciplinary action will not be taken against the student for consumption or possession of alcohol or drugs. For more information on the alcohol policy and learn about the Medical Amnesty policy.

    • Acting in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the College reserves the right to contact parents or legal guardians under the age of 21 regarding alcohol and other drug violations. Parental notification is issued in order to provide support for a student’s health and safety. Specifically, parents are notified when a student has been transported to a medical facility as a result of using alcohol or other drugs (this may include alcohol poisoning, severe intoxication, or hospitalization).

    • An alcohol overdose is a MEDICAL EMERGENCY. It is important to call for help right away if you see any of these signs of alcohol overdose:

      • Irregular breathing (8 breaths a minute or 10 seconds or more between any two breaths)
      • Vomiting while passed out and they don’t wake up while vomiting or afterward
      • Choking
      • Skin is pale, cold and/or bluish-purple
      • Unconsciousness/unresponsiveness

      Call 911 or Campus Safety and Security at x4444. Don’t wait. Minutes can be critical.

    • Under the Higher Education Act, a student may become ineligible for federal student aid upon a conviction of any offense involving the possession or sale of illegal drugs under any federal or state law while receiving Title IV federal financial aid. Federal aid includes: Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, Federal ACG Grants, Federal SMART Grants, Federal Direct Stafford Loans, Federal Direct PLUS Loans, Federal Direct GradPLUS Loans, Federal Perkins Loans and Federal Work Study.

      The chart below illustrates the period of ineligibility for FSA funds, depending on whether the conviction was for sale or possession and whether the student had previous offenses. (A conviction for sale of drugs includes convictions for conspiring to sell drugs.)

      Possession of illegal drugs Sale of illegal drugs
      1st offense 1 year from date of conviction 2 years from date of conviction
      2nd offense 2 years from date of conviction Indefinite period
      3rd offense Indefinite period Indefinite period

      If the student was convicted of both possessing and selling illegal drugs, and the periods of ineligibility are different, the student will be ineligible for the longer period.

      A student regains eligibility the day after the period of ineligibility ends or when the student successfully completes a qualified drug rehabilitation program. The student will lose eligibility again upon a subsequent drug conviction.

      For complete information, please see the FAFSA web page or contact the Federal Student Information Center at 1–800–4–FED–AID.

      Convictions During Enrollment

      According to the United States Department of Education, if a student is convicted of a drug offense after receiving Federal aid, he or she must notify the Williams College Office of Financial Aid immediately. The student may be ineligible for further aid in that academic year and required to pay back all federal aid received after the date of the conviction. The Office of Financial Aid will work with the student regarding all of the available options.

    • Williams prohibits the abuse of alcohol and expects members of the College community to abide by federal, state, and local regulations concerning the possession, use, purchase, and distribution of alcohol. The College prohibits the unlawful manufacture, sale, distribution, possession, or use of illegal drugs, or the unauthorized use of prescription drugs.

      The negative physical and mental effects of the use of alcohol or other substances are well documented. Alcohol consumption causes a number of marked changes in behavior. Even low doses significantly impair the judgment and coordination required to drive a car safely, increasing the likelihood that the driver will be involved in an accident. Low to moderate doses of alcohol also increase the incidence of a variety of aggressive acts, including sexual assault.

      Moderate to high doses of alcohol can cause marked impairments in higher mental functions, severely altering a person’s ability to learn and remember information. Very high doses cause respiratory depression and death. If combined with other depressants of the central nervous system, much lower doses of alcohol will produce the effects just described.

      Repeated use of alcohol can lead to dependence. Sudden cessation of alcohol is likely to produce withdrawal symptoms, including severe anxiety, tremors, hallucinations, and convulsions. Alcohol withdrawal can be life threatening. Long–term consumption of large amounts of alcohol, particularly when combined with poor nutrition, can also lead to permanent damage to vital organs such as the brain and the liver.

      For help with alcohol or other substance problems, call the Health Education Office at x3013. Additional information is available from the Brien Center (Northern Berkshire Counseling Center), 25 Marshall Street, North Adams, 664.4541.

    • In general, a 12 oz. can of beer equals a 1 oz. shot of 100 proof liquor, which equals one 5 oz. glass of wine. When mixing drinks these equivalencies do not always hold true. This becomes especially significant when mixing different kinds of alcohol to make punches. A glass of punch may have a much higher alcohol content than a straight shot or a can of beer. Also be aware that carbonated beverages may increase alcohol absorption, while food will decrease it, especially foods high in protein like cheese and red meat.

    • Any person under 21 years of age who purchases alcoholic beverages or who makes arrangements with any other person to purchase, or who misrepresents his or her age in order to purchase alcoholic beverages, is guilty of a violation of the Massachusetts State law and is subject to a fine of $300.00.

      Any person to makes a false statement as to the age of another person who is under 21 years of age in order to procure alcoholic beverages is guilty of violating the state law and is subject to a fine of $300.00

      Any person who uses a false liquor purchase identification card or alters or defaces a liquor purchase identification card in order to purchase alcoholic beverages is guilty of violating the state law and is subject to a fine of up to $200.00 or imprisonment of up to three months.

      Any person under 21 years of age who willfully misrepresents his or her age or in any way alters, defaces or otherwise falsifies his or identification offered as proof of age in order to purchase alcoholic beverages is guilty of violating state law and is subject to a fine of $300.00.

      Any person under 21 years of age who transports or carries alcoholic beverages is guilty of violating the state law and is subject to a fine of up to $50.00. A police officer may arrest such a person WITHOUT A WARRANT. If the person was operating a motor vehicle at the time, his or her driver’s license may be suspended for up to three months.

      A host of a party may be liable for the injuries suffered by a third person if the host knew or should have known that his or her guest was drunk, and nevertheless gave or permitted the guest to take an alcoholic drink and thereafter, because of his or her intoxication, the guest negligently operated a car, causing injury to the third person. If the guest whose drunk driving causes an accident is a minor, the host who served the alcohol to the minor might be held liable to the injured third person even if the minor was not intoxicated when the host served the minor alcohol.

      Massachusetts has a “zero tolerance” law for blood alcohol level in drivers aged 16 to 21. For such drivers, any alcohol level greater than .02 (roughly equivalent to one drink or a beer) will result in one–the–spot revocation of the driving license. For adults over 21, the maximum permitted level in the law is .08. A first conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol carries with it a fine of $1,000.00, one year revocation of your driver’s license, and mandatory alcohol education. It may also include up to two years in prison.

    • No person shall drink, alcoholic beverages from an open container while on any public way or in a public place. No person shall carry an open container of alcoholic beverage while on any public way or in a public place. Violation of this Williamstown ordinance may result in a fine of not less than $20.00 nor more than $200.00.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/alcohol-and-drugs/

  • Williams students may neither join nor participate in fraternities during their time at the College. This policy was first adopted in 1962, and it is strongly supported by the College community. The College will take disciplinary action against students who are found to be participating in such organizations. Penalties may include suspension or expulsion from the College.

    To insure that all students understand the history of and reasons for this policy, the Board of Trustees of Williams College issued the following statement in June, 1989:

    It has now been twenty–seven years since the Board of Trustees of Williams College determined that the academic aspirations of the College, and the educational and social needs of our students, would best be served by abolishing fraternities and inaugurating the residential house system. The Trustees note with particular pleasure the role the residential house system has played in insuring that all Williams students would be fully integrated into the life of the College. In making all important decisions over nearly three decades, the College has had as its central goal the sustenance of a community characterized by openness, academic vitality, and equality of opportunity.

    Mindful of the College’s history and committed strongly to the College’s goals, the Trustees wish to reaffirm the policy that Williams students may neither join nor participate in fraternities during their time at the College. The Trustees’ views on this subject were most recently expressed in the statement appearing below, approved in October, 1976 and later endorsed unanimously by the faculty. In light of efforts to reestablish fraternities on other campuses, and of apparent interest among a handful of Williams students in reviving fraternal organizations here, the Trustees are reissuing and affirming that statement, and expressing full support for the officers of the College in their efforts, disciplinary and otherwise, to insure that it is understood and adhered to in the Williams community.
    Statement of the
    Williams College Board of Trustees
    Concerning Fraternities (1976)

    To avoid misunderstanding, we wish to make clear our support for the rights of students to form or join any of the many formal or informal groups that are appropriate to this college community and consistent with Williams’ educational program. But we remind all concerned that the regulations of the College prohibit participation by undergraduates in fraternities as a matter of educational policy and that violations will be subject to appropriate penalties.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/fraternities/

Sexual Misconduct and Education

Student Organization Policies

  • Exterior chalking is allowed only on uncovered horizontal solid surfaces where rain waters will naturally wash it off. For example, chalking is allowed on open sidewalks on campus; chalking is not allowed on wall surfaces (such as the Paresky Snack Bar oval or the pillars on Chapin), nor on horizontal surfaces covered by a roof or overhang (such as the front porch of Paresky). Chalkings must include the name of the person, group, or office responsible for them. Any chalking that falls outside of these parameters will be removed and the person(s) responsible, if known, will be charged for clean–up/removal.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/chalking/

  • Hazing is prohibited by the College and is subject to the College rules on disciplinary proceedings. Hazing is defined as any activity expected of someone joining or participating in a group that humiliates, intimidates, demeans, abuses or endangers them regardless of a person’s willingness to participate. Hazing also includes soliciting, directing, aiding, or otherwise participating actively or passively in the above acts.

    Due to the socially coercive nature of hazing, the College looks beyond implied or expressed consent to acts of hazing.

    Examples of Hazing Include, but are not limited to:

    • Any activity that would be viewed by a reasonable person as subjecting any person to embarrassment, degradation or humiliation
    • Assigning unreasonable chores or acts of servitude, particularly to new members of the group
    • Assigning or endorsing “pranks” such as stealing or harassing other individuals or groups.
    • Blindfolding
    • Causing excessive exercise, sleep deprivation, or excessive fatigue
    • Encouraging the use of alcohol or illegal drugs
    • Engaging in activities that compel an individual or group to remain at a certain place, or transporting anyone anywhere without their knowledge and/or consent (road trips, kidnaps, etc.)
    • Engaging in or simulating sexual acts
    • Forcing or coercing consumption or use of any substance
    • Interfering with adequate time for study
    • Inviting new members to play high risk drinking games (particularly where new members play out the games that older members facilitate, but do not participate in themselves)
    • Nudity
    • Requiring the wearing of apparel or acting in a way that is conspicuous and not within community norms
    • Shaving, tattooing, piercing or branding
    • Threatening or causing physical restraint
    • Throwing substances or objects at individuals

    Ask yourself the following questions to help determine if an activity is hazing

    • Is alcohol involved?
    • Will current members of the group refuse to participate with the new members and do exactly what they’re being asked to do?
    • Does the activity risk emotional or physical abuse?
    • Is there a risk of injury or a question of safety?
    • Do you have any reservations describing the activity to your parents, a professor, your coach the AD, a Dean?
    • What would happen if picture of the event surfaced?

    • Below are the sections of chapter 269 of the Massachusetts General Laws that define hazing and that impose penalties for hazing violations:

      Section 17. Whoever is a principal organizer or participant in the crime of hazing, as defined herein, shall be punished by a fine of not more than three thousand dollars or by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than one year, or both such fine and imprisonment.

      The term “hazing” as used in this section and in sections eighteen and nineteen, shall mean any conduct or method of initiation into any student organization, whether on public or private property, which willfully or recklessly endangers the physical or mental health of any student or other person. Such conduct shall include whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the weather, forced consumption of any food, liquor, beverage, drug or other substance, or any other brutal treatment or forced physical activity which is likely to adversely affect the physical health or safety of any such student or other person, or which subjects such student or other person to extreme mental stress, including extended deprivation of sleep or rest or extended isolation.

      Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section to the contrary, consent shall not be available as a defense to any prosecution under this action.

      Section 18. Whoever knows that another person is the victim of hazing as defined in section seventeen and is at the scene of such crime shall, to the extent that such person can do so without danger or peril to himself or others, report such crime to an appropriate law enforcement official as soon as reasonably practicable. Whoever fails to report such crime shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars.

      Section 19. Each institution of secondary education and each public and private institution of post secondary education shall issue to every student group, student team or student organization which is part of such institution or is recognized by the institution or permitted by the institution to use its name or facilities or is known by the institution to exist as an unaffiliated student group, student team or student organization, a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen; provided, however, that an institution’s compliance with this section’s requirements that an institution issue copies of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to unaffiliated student groups, teams or organizations shall not constitute evidence of the institution’s recognition or endorsement of said unaffiliated student groups, teams or organizations.

      Each such group, team or organization shall distribute a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen to each of its members, plebes, pledges or applicants for membership. It shall be the duty of each such group, team or organization, acting through its designated officer, to deliver annually, to the institution an attested acknowledgement stating that such group, team or organization has received a copy of this section and said sections seventeen and eighteen, that each of its members, plebes, pledges, or applicants has received a copy of sections seventeen and eighteen, and that such group, team or organization understands and agrees to comply with the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.

      Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post secondary education shall, at least annually, before or at the start of enrollment, deliver to each person who enrolls as a full time student in such institution a copy of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen.

      Each institution of secondary education and each public or private institution of post secondary education shall file, at least annually, a report with the board of higher education and in the case of secondary institutions, the board of education, certifying that such institution has complied with its responsibility to inform student groups, teams or organizations and to notify each full time student enrolled by it of the provisions of this section and sections seventeen and eighteen and also certifying that said institution has adopted a disciplinary policy with regard to the organizers and participants of hazing, and that such policy has been set forth with appropriate emphasis in the student handbook or similar means of communicating the institution’s policies to its students. The board of higher education and, in the case of secondary institutions, the board of education shall promulgate regulations governing the content and frequency of such reports, and shall forthwith report to the attorney general any such institution which fails to make such report.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/hazing/

  • Display areas and bulletin boards are provided in Williams College buildings to provide information to students, faculty, and staff. Across campus, posting is permitted in designated approved areas. Materials may not be posted on windows, entrance doors, walls, or in classrooms. All materials for posting or for distribution through student mailboxes must clearly display the sponsor of the program, service, or announcement. All posted materials must be taken down within 7 days after the event. Anyone wishing to erect, attach, or post signs, banners, posters of exceptional size (beyond 11”x17”) or decorations in non–student–center buildings are responsible for obtaining prior approval from the designated manager of that building or area.

    Paresky and Goodrich

    General posting is available through the Office of Student Life. No more than 15 posters per event shall be allowed up at any time between the two locations. Posters shall be submitted to the Student Centers Coordinator to be put up according to the policies of the building, certified, and hung up by staff of the Office of Student Life. Any posters not certified by the Student Centers Coordinator will be removed promptly. Failure to comply may result in future reduction in postering privileges.

    Removal

    Postings for events that have passed, or postings that do not meet the policies set forth here or in the “Advertising and Distribution Policy” section of the Student Handbook, will be removed and discarded. The College accepts no responsibility for items that have been removed and/or discarded.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/advertising-and-distribution-policy/

  • Williams has many registered student organizations (RSO’s). If you can’t find an RSO you’re looking to engage in, you can apply to start your own. The links here include integral components for your RSO to exist & thrive at Williams. Be sure to read through everything carefully if you are looking to create, become a leader of, or get involved in, a Williams RSO.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/registered-student-organizations/

  • Williams College permits student businesses on campus if they provide a useful and desirable service and if the student management is competent and responsible. The College assumes no liability for the products or services provided by student businesses. In deciding whether to permit a student business, the College also must consider both the demands of its tax–exempt status and the need to maintain a harmonious relationship with the Williamstown community.

    The following regulations govern student businesses at Williams:

    1. No Williams student may engage in the sale and distribution of goods or services to or solicitation of subscriptions from Williams students without the approval in writing from the office of the Dean of the College.

    2. The word “College” must not appear as part of a business name on any advertising letterhead, piece of equipment, or product.

    3. Dormitory room addresses, SU box numbers, or general delivery to the Campus Post Office cannot be used in any form of advertising, public notices, or for the delivery of any material. Student distribution charges are $.07 each for 30 pieces and above. Students distributing mail for outside businesses are charged $.18 each piece. The Campus Post Office will contact the sender and the Dean’s Office prior to distributing mailings with questionable content. Mailings may also be delayed due to current workloads. Three days notice should be given to the Campus Post Office to ensure the timeliness of delivery of business advertisements.

    4. A financial report must be submitted to the Dean’s Office at the end of each year’s operation.

    5. Business permits must be renewed annually at the Dean’s Office.

    6. Inasmuch as the College does not charge a fee for business permits, the practice of “selling” or “auctioning off” the “right” to operate a business is prohibited. Violation will lead to permanent revocation of permission to operate on the campus.

    7. Vending machines on the campus are under the control and supervision of the College. Operation of such equipment by students is prohibited.

    8. Outside companies or organizations wishing to operate on the campus must do so through a recognized student business.

    9. Conflicts:

    a) When there are multiple requests to operate businesses within a single field, the office of the Dean of the College will determine the maximum number of student agents allowed to operate.

    b) When student businesses come into conflict with the activities or services of student organizations recognized by the College Council, the office of the Dean will refer the applications of proposed businesses to the College Council. Upon reviewing the case of the applicant and the case of the organization with which the applicant is in conflict, the College Council will assist the Dean in deciding whether the proposed business should or should not operate.

    10. The office of the Dean of the College and the Committee on Undergraduate Life may review at any time the operation of any student business and may revoke its permission to operate on the campus.

    Source page: https://dean.williams.edu/student-handbook/student-business-regulations/