Alice Wanamaker 0

Waive the furniture fine for Sage residents receiving financial aid

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We, the residents of Sage Hall, ask that the collective fine recently imposed upon all Sage residents be waived for students receiving financial aid.

This September, several pieces of furniture in the Sage basement were ruined. The individual students responsible for the damage were not able to be identified. As a result, a fine was imposed upon all Sage residents.

This damage was caused by a small group of students, and the majority of students being fined did nothing wrong. Students who were not part of the events leading to the destruction of the furniture had no possible way of avoiding this cost. It is unfair to ask students receiving financial aid to pay for an act of wrongdoing by a small group they had no part in. An additional, unavoidable financial burden should not be put on these students when it is known that the majority of them are innocent.

Williams thinks critically about how to address economic inequality among the student body in many cases, but failed to do so here. A collective fine will have virtually no impact on some students and may be a significant issue for others, and this inconsistency has nothing to do with which students actually broke the furniture. If Williams wishes to impose a collective consequence on Sage, it should affect all students equitably and not disproportionately impact students with fewer financial resources. A collective fine as a consequence makes this behavior less dangerous for wealthy students than for poorer ones.

While we fully recognize that destruction of property is unacceptable and a burden on the college, Williams is an extremely well-resourced institution and should not be asking its least well-resourced students to pay for furniture they did not break. To be effective and equitable for the Sage population, any collective consequence imposed on Sage Hall should not be financial in nature. We ask that financial aid students not be required to pay this fine.


Alice Wanamaker and the residents of Sage Hall

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