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Who are you? What does the Davis Center do?
You can think of the Davis Center as Williams’ campus hub for all things diversity, equity, identity, and social justice. We are a group of staff dedicated to working with students, faculty, and staff across campus to make sure Williams’ is a place where all students can live, learn, and thrive. We do programming throughout the year for students and the community, run trainings for student leaders, and work closely with student organizations and MinCo groups. There isn’t much that’s outside our wheelhouse, so don’t be afraid to stop by!
Do I have to be [a student, a minority, queer, an activist, etc.] to go to the Davis Center?
Absolutely not! We call ourselves a center for identities because everyone holds identities. We work with all students who want to get something done on campus, start a student group, have an idea, or just want to talk! Be sure to check out our programs.
Where are you located? What goes on in your buildings?
The Davis Center is comprised of three buildings in Morley Circle:
Jenness House was named after Professor of Psychology Arthur Freeman Jenness, who occupied the home from 1946-1965. The house later served as the Deans’ Office while Hopkins Hall was being renovated and was the site of the 1988 student sit-in which led to the creation of the Multicultural Center (MCC). It became the MCC in the Fall of 1989. Today, Jenness serves as the home of the Davis Center (The DC) staff, and also functions as a learning and resource center. There is a computer lab, two meeting spaces or classrooms, intern office, kitchenette and a small library. Students have access 24 hours a day with ID.
Hardy House was built in 1946 and was bought by the college from Nona M. Hardy in 1948. In 1982, the house became the Women’s Resource Center and earlier also served as the home of The Record and the Gargoyle Society. Today, it houses the Office of Special Academic Programs (OSAP), which oversees the W. Allison Davis and Mellon Mays Fellowships. It also serves as meeting space for student organizations. The library in this building contains literature on gender and sexuality, including the Robert E. Jones and Robert J. Galipeau collections, as well as several generous donations by Mike Dively ‘61. There are two meeting spaces, a computer lab, multiple lounges including a TV and DVD player, and a small kitchen. Students have access 24 hours a day with ID.
Rice House is named for Richard Austin Rice who lived there until 1925, Professor of Modern Languages and also the founder of the Art Department at Williams College. The house originally existed on the corners of Main and Spring Street before being moved into Morley Circle. It historically became known as the home of the Black Student Union (BSU) when the organization moved over from Mears House in 1983. Inside are multiple lounge spaces, a large kitchen, two meeting rooms, a living room, a library and computer lab. Students have access 24 hours a day with ID.
I’m a student/student group and I want to put on an event/program. How do I do this? What can the Davis Center do for me?
First, be sure to check out the Davis Center Programming Guide – a how-to guide from the Davis Center on putting events and programs on successfully at Williams. Next, make an appointment or drop by any of our staff office hours. We can walk you through the process and make sure you don’t miss anything important to ensure a successful event.
I’m putting on an event/program – can I get financial support from the Davis Center?
You can apply for funding, absolutely. Check out our Davis Center Funding Request Form for details on our award criteria. Available for students, faculty, and staff.
How do I request a Pcard/campus van/order catering for my event?
For catering, you can order through the college dining services, or independently from other vendors. You can always talk to a DC staff member for advice, ideas, or questions on this.
I have an idea for a program/collaboration/event the Davis Center should do. Who do I contact?
Email a DC staff member, and we’re happy to chat with you about your ideas. We are always looking for collaborators.
I experienced/witnessed a bias incident on campus. What can I do? I’m not sure who I should talk to about XYZ? Who should I go to?
In an emergency, or when you want an immediate response:
dial 9-1-1 OR
dial 413-597-4444 for Campus Safety & Security OR
use the anonymous tip line
Other resources include any of the Davis Center staff, the Dean’s Office staff, staff in the Office of Instutional Diversity & Equity, or the Chaplain’s Office. Counseling services are also available through the Health Center. As student support offices we exist to be there for you – please don’t hesitate to reach out.
You can also use the Speak Up: Bias Incident reporting tool online to log the incident – this does not necessarily mean that anyone will be in touch with you. This is simply a logging/measuring instrument for the College. Through this data we can better understand the work that needs to be done.