Williams, as a residential college, strongly believes that students living on campus together is an important aspect of community-building during their time at Williams – and thus, the College requires its students to live on-campus. At the same time, due to fluctuations in enrollment numbers and changing on-campus bed-count numbers, the College releases a certain number of students from the on-campus living requirement for their senior year (the cap for 2020-2021 is 125). These students typically live in houses or apartments in close proximity to campus that are owned and managed by entities (landlords, real estate agencies, property management companies, etc.) other than Williams.
Students in the Class of 2021 who wish to be released from the College’s on-campus living requirement for their senior year must meet all of the qualifying criteria and follow the instructions (see below).
Please Note: simply signing a rental agreement with a landlord does not guarantee that a student will be released from College housing for their senior year. In fact, signing a rental agreement in advance of being released is a significant financial & legal risk which is borne solely by the student and/or parents/guardians.
The College communicates annually with known local landlords to explain and reiterate the College’s policy.
The College strongly urges students to think twice before signing a contract with a local landlord for senior-year housing before you know, for sure, that you will be released to live off-campus. Again, simply signing a rental agreement with a landlord does not guarantee a release from College housing.
The application process for the Class of 2021 will take place beginning on Friday, September 13, 2019, via the Williams Housing Portal.
Class of 2021 Student Requirements & Responsibilities for Release
1. Applications are by individual student. If the number of applicants goes over the cap, a lottery may be held to determine who is (and is not) released.
2. Applicant names are reviewed by the Dean of the College, the Vice President for Campus Life, and the Director of Campus Safety & Security. Permission to be released may be denied should this review suggest that an off-campus living option may not be the best option for the student or for the off-campus community.
3. Any student given permission by the College to be released must complete the Student Acceptance of Release section in the Housing Portal by the deadline given when the release is offered, including the following acknowledgements:
- living off-campus is a privilege and not a right
- release to live off-campus can be revoked by the Dean’s Office should a review of the student’s overall disciplinary record at any time suggest that an off-campus living option may not be the best option for the student or for the off-campus community
- release to live off-campus can be revoked by the Office of Student Life should the student not complete all of the requirements listed in #4 below
- the College will not be held responsible for any financial commitments or losses related to a student’s off-campus rental
- the student will abide by all College rules & policies regarding student conduct
- the student will abide by all applicable laws (local, state, and federal), especially those regarding noise, alcohol, and parties
- the student will attend any mandatory meetings sponsored by the College and/or law enforcement agencies regarding living off-campus
- if the student’s off-campus location changes, the student must notify the Housing & Residential Programs Assistant in the Office of Student Life immediately
- if the student’s off-campus plans change and they need to live on-campus instead, regardless of the reason for the change of plans, the student is not eligible to enter any other on-campus lotteries for that academic year’s housing until the August Mini-Lottery just prior to that academic year
4. All students who are released must do all of the following:
- Attend & pass Bystander Training (a program designed to equip students to intervene in situations where another student may be in danger), prior to the fall of the year for which the student is released.
- Attend & pass TIPS Training (a program regarding the responsible service of alcohol), prior to the fall of the year for which the student is released.
- Attend the Off-Campus Living Presentation, led by the Dean of the College, the Vice President for Campus Life, and the Williamstown Police Department, which is held early in the fall of the year for which the student is released.