Assistant Director of the Davis Center
focus on gender, sexuality, and activism
This position was established in January 2000, as Queer Life Coordinator. The Assistant Director, whose office is located in Jenness House on the second floor, serves as an information conduit and assures that LGBT*QQIAA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Allies, Asexual) issues are raised and taken into consideration within the college. In this capacity the Assistant Director serves on many committees, including but not limited to The Dively Committee, Claiming Williams, Committee on Diversity and Community, Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness. Additionally, the Assistant Director tracks the progress of LGBT*Q students on campus, and serves as the first line in the reporting of anti-LGBT*Q harassment. The Assistant Director works in an outreach capacity to area colleges and schools as well as in the outlying Berkshire community.
There are several other resources which provide an outlet for private discussion regarding issues of personal concern. These resources include: free, professional counseling at the Williams College Health Center; the College Chaplains, who are readily available to talk with interested students; Peer Health, a student-run organization which offers confidential advice, health education, and referrals; and our regional resources, Pride Peers and the Berkshire Stonewall Community Coalition, committed to creating a safer and more inclusive locale.
Social and Political Space
Hardy House contains a library of books which focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender themes and issues; a TV room and lounge; kitchen facilities; and study space. The house is open for study and socializing every day of the week. Rice House, the historical house of the Black Student Union, offers study space, a TV room, and a kitchen for cooking meals with your friends. Jenness House, the Davis Center staff office and home of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, offers meeting spaces, study spaces, and the GSRC is upstairs!
LGBT*Q+ folk also make themselves visible in other spaces on campus. In 2007 and 2010, the Canvas Project presented: ‘Fearless’, a well-received exhibit of LGBTQ athletes in the student-center on campus. Each year during Queer Pride Days and Coming Out Days, the college posts large Queer-friendly banners around campus. Also, the QSU often hosts ‘Queer Dinner’, a dinner-time opportunity for people to come together and talk about current topics pertinent to the LGBTQ community.
Academic and Alumni Support
There are a good number of LGBTQ faculty and staff at Williams. Many professors are open about their sexuality, helping to challenge misunderstandings and ignorance about LGBT*Q people in general. A number of classes explore the subject of sexuality in depth and offer opportunities to learn about and explore LBGT*Q history and issues in an academic setting. These classes appear in departments ranging from Political Science, to Comparative Literature, Religion, and Art History.
In 2011, the Women’s and Gender Studies program became Women Gender and Sexuality Studies to highlight its inclusion of the study of human sexuality.