Williams Initiative for Israel, Williams College

From April 2019 to May 2019
Williams College (Private college or university)
Williamstown, MA, United States


Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
    Recognized student group event
  • Incident Political Orientation:
  • Incident Responses:
  • Incident Status:
    No litigation
  • No protest Occured
  • Did not involve Speech Codes


The Williams Initiative for Israel (WIFI) is a pro-Israeli student group at Williams College. On April 23, 2019, Williams’s College Council voted against recognizing the group seemingly on the basis of not agreeing with WIFI’s mission. It was the first time in a decade that the council had turned down a student group that met the affiliation requirements.

Maud Mandel, Williams’s president, expressed disappointment with the council and support of WIFI. In a statement, she said that WIFI members were allowed the same privileges as other recognized student organizations. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education also lambasted the council’s decision and urged Mandel to act. On May 14, 2019, WIFI received recognition as a registered student organization, or RSO, via a parallel path to recognition that did not involve the College Council.