Choosing a college is a difficult decision and having your whole self recognized and celebrated is important. Looking at the LGBTQ life on campus is important.
Is there an active LGBTQ community at Williams College?
Yes. Williams College has many students, staff and faculty who identify somewhere on the LGBTQ spectrum. LGBTQ people thrive in all sections of the Williams community. You can find LGBTQ people in every department on campus. The hub of LGBTQ life for students is in the Queer Student Union. Williams is a small rural community, so our students also connect with LGBTQ students at nearby schools such as MCLA (10 minutes east of Williams in North Adams)
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 queer people in general. A number of classes explore the subject of sexuality in depth and offer opportunities to learn about and explore LGBTQ 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 (WGSS) to highlight its inclusion of the study of human sexuality. A bulk of classes dealing with LGBTQ issues are cross-listed with the WGSS program.
Williams College is dedicated to building a diverse and inclusive community, in which members of all backgrounds can live, learn, and thrive. In compliance with state and federal law, Williams does not discriminate in admission, employment, or administration of its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, ancestry, or military service.
In 1985 Williams College President Francis Oakley added “Sexual Orientation” to our non-discrimination policy. In 2003, under the tenure of President Morty Schapiro we added gender identity and expression to the policy.
To find out more about discrimination and harassment policies at Williams, check out the OSPID website.
For first year students: First-year students live in “entries” of approximately twenty-five students, headed by a pair of Junior Advisors (JAs). First-year students are housed in both singles and doubles, and each building has common rooms. As a first year student you will be able to identify your gender when filling out your housing forms before getting to campus. Trans* students can live with whatever gender they feel most comfortable with, you just need to indicate your preference on your housing forms. If you have questions, please contact the Student Housing Coordinator in the Office of Student Life.
For upperclass students: Williams has gender inclusive housing, meaning that students can pick into housing with people of any gender. Upperclass students can choose from a variety of residence halls of different configurations and sizes within their respective Neighborhood. Seniors also have the option of co-op housing and living off-campus.
Everyone wants to be accepted for who they are. Respecting your fellow Ephs is very important to us at Williams. Our entry system is designed for first year students to meet people from all types of backgrounds and experiences. All of our Junior Advisors are trained to understand issues that incoming LGBTQ students might be experiencing.