After Rejection, Pro-Israel Group at Williams Recognized

May 17, 2019

After the student government at Williams College rejected a pro-Israel group, apparently for not agreeing with the organization's politics, the institution has allowed it to affiliate.

Earlier this month the Williams College Council turned down the Williams Initiative for Israel, known as WIFI. The decision drew criticism from the college president as well as outside groups.

But university policies state that students can form a registered student organization by a vote outside the council, according to spokesman Greg Shook. A committee of administrators and council members can also vote to allow affiliation.

This committee approved WIFI’s request Tuesday, Shook said.

“This experience has pointed to the value of a discussion with Williams students about student governance,” Shook told the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, a civil liberties watchdog group in academe. “As we move forward, we will continue to support students in thinking about the kind of governance they want and deserve. In addition, we will be working alongside the current council to identify best practices relative to bylaw creation and support, managing meetings effectively, and any other structural issues that will be helpful for good student governance.”

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