Over the last five years, to help mitigate some of the tensions that are bound to arise from this complex configuration, staff members at the Davis Center have been leading workshops on social identity formation and facilitation as part of the spring and fall training sessions for Junior Advisors. These trainings are complemented by an array of events during First Days that seek to provide the entering class an introduction to the identities and perspectives they are likely to encounter at Williams.
Virtually every entering class arrives on campus better versed on issues related to gender, race and sexuality than their predecessors. Challenges posed by trying to keep up with the pace of this ever changing community partly explain why college students are such fraught discursive subjects.
Rapidly shifting demographics, an evolving language of gender and sexual identity so vibrant it would make Hilda Doolittle [a modernist poet known for challenging gender norms] proud, are but just two of the factors pushing colleges through existential dilemmas.