The Bell Book

 To the Class of 2021:


The Bell Book was originally the creation of a Williams alum, Christopher Bell ’98, who thought incoming first-year students needed more information than just a room assignment. He published what he called a “Cliffnotes Guide to College Living.” Eventually it was re-named in his honor.

The Bell Book has been updated over the years:

  • In 2010 it graduated from hard-copy to the web for your ease of perusal.
  • In 2012, the entire Book was reviewed & updated by Laura Berk ’12.
  • In 2016, sustainability information was reviewed & updated by Postyn Smith ’15, Sustainability Coordinator at the Zilkha Center for Environmental Initiatives.
  • Additionally, many current students (see the list below) contribute to the Book each and every year, and their advice & quotes are included on many of the pages.  An important editorial note – we cannot vouch for the students’ quotes & advice – we’re just passing their words along, from them to you.

On this page (and the rest of the Bell Book pages) you will find links to the different chapters of The Bell Book. We encourage you to check out the information – our hope is that it will answer most of your questions and give you a glimpse of what living at Williams will be like. Williams is a wonderful community and living among classmates and other students will come to mean much more than just living in a room in a residence hall. Being a part of a vibrant residential community is a big part of what happens here. All of us here want you to feel at home and to contribute positively to campus life.

At Williams we value student self-governance, but with this freedom comes responsibility on your part. For example, in this information (lighthearted as much of it is), you will notice some heavy emphasis on safety and a clear request to leave candles [a primary cause of fires in college residences and not good for your lungs either] and certain appliances at home. We ask for your complete cooperation on that score, and more.

Sometime in mid-late July, you will be able to log in to PeopleSoft and see your housing assignment, along with a list of your entrymates and access to a list of all members of the Class of ‘21.  You will receive an email from Gail Rondeau Hebert to let you know when the housing assignments have been finalized. The two names you’ll see at the top of the entry list are your JAs. If another student’s assignment is the same as yours, then that student is your roommate (take a deep breath – it’ll be OK – and be sure to read the chapter in the “Book” on having a roommate). If no other student has your exact assignment, you have a single room. You should also see your campus mailbox number, referred to as an SU box.

And finally, if you haven’t yet or recently checked out the Dean’s Office’s website dedicated specifically to incoming first-year students, be sure to do so by following this link!

If you have any questions about housing that aren’t answered by reading The Bell Book, you may contact Gail Rondeau Hebert, Housing Coordinator, at (413) 597-2555 or by email at [email protected].

We send our best wishes, and we look forward to welcoming you to Williams!


David Johnson
Associate Dean of the College & Dean of First-Year Students, Office of the Dean of the College
Gail Rondeau Hebert
Housing Assignments Coordinator, Office of Student Life 
Doug Schiazza
Director, Office of Student Life

Student Contributors to The Bell Book for the Class of 2021:

Lila Anderson ’18
Valeria Baltodano ’20
Alexia Barandiaran ’19
Francesca Barradale ’19
Kristen Bayrakdarian ’19
Stephanie Boulger ’18
Daniel Brandes ’18
Catherine Brule ’20
Stephanie Caridad ’18
Angela Chan ’19
Erica Chang ’18
Xiaoyong Cui ’20
Erin Denham ’20
Dorothy Gaby ’18
Janelle Gowgiel ’20
Emily Harris ’19
Ayami Hatanaka ’18
Aanya Kapur ’20
Omar Kawam ’20
Serapia Kim ’19
Ziqi Lu ’18
Krushangi Maisuria ’19
Cristina Mancilla ’20
Eliza Matt ’18
Katarina Mattmuller ’20
Catie May ’20
Josie Maynard ’19
Kayley McGonagle ’18
Jessica Munoz ’19
Louisa Nyhus ’20
Nana Ama Ofori Atta ’19
Erikka Olson ’19
Elowyn Pfeiffer ’18
Emma Reichheld ’19
Mauro Renteria ’19
Maria Hidalgo Romero ’20
CJ Salapare III ’20
Megan Siedman ’20
Jacqueline Simeone ’18
Sarah Stone ’18
Emma Ticknor ’20
Joelle Troiano ’20
Johanna Wassermann ’18
Miranda Weinland ’19
Toni Wilson ’19
Zihan Yi ’18