Hey, I went to Williams College. I don’t think I have mentioned that yet. It’s kind of a big deal, because it is the #1 ranked liberal arts college in America. But more than that, the people who go there matter (like the 1% kind). They go on to found businesses, become CEOs, and serve on the boards of many organizations. They are the leaders in their fields. Forbes Magazine favors Williams because of the high salaries of alumni and the number of listings in the Who’s Who in America. Let’s just say the guys over at Goldman’s and JPMorgan are well acquainted with Williams Econ/Math majors. Williams has a fair amount of the old-boy club about it, with its pillared ‘row’ houses, multi-million dollar privately funded construction projects, and generational loyalty. It’s a great place, honestly, especially when your full tuition of 50+ K is paid by a grant. (About 50% of the 2000 person student body gets some financial aid…which means half the school is also able to pay the full tuition.)
That is why I am proud to be a Williams graduate Occupier. I went to school there and learned to think progressively. I studied social movements and analyzed history. I wrote about third party politics and delved into theories of American government. I debated the characteristics of a good leader. I feel that my education at Williams has given me the perspective to come down on the side of justice. I am confident in saying I have an informed and principled view of matters (NOT saying I am always in the right, but I do strive to be in the elusive ‘public good’). So when #OccupyWallStreet launched a popular revolt against the profit-at-any-cost practices of the big banks and the failure of our political institutions to work for the people, I felt the weight of four years of privileged education behind me as I decided to stand in solidarity with #OccupyHumboldt this weekend.
I just wanted to point that out, in case my dual role as receiver of wealthy bounty and practitioner of revolutionary non-violence could inspire both my classmates who share my passion for creating a better world as well as my fellow protestors who may be happy to know their message has infiltrated the very breeding ground for next generation financiers.