WILLIAMSTOWN, Jan. 16, 1882. With the beginning of the present college year, Williams entered upon a new, and as we believe, a brilliant epoch in her history. Under the new and liberal administration of President Carter, the conservatism of Williams seems to be giving way, and we think she is making rapid advancement to that place among the first of American colleges, so deservedly hers.
Our two great bug-bears now are evening chapel and the present marking system. The opposition to these antiquated customs is very great among the students, and seems to have infected some members of the faculty, and we hope that these grievances, too, will yield to more modern usages.
The decision of the faculty refusing permission to our ball nine to enter the league, has in a measure, thrown a wet blanket over our enthusiasm. We felt that we had the material for a strong nine, and so high ran the enthusiasm, that at a meeting of the college, called at hardly a moment's notice, the money needed to defray the expenses of such a step was quickly subscribed and the measure passed by a very large majority.
The interest in athletics seems to be good, though the men have not yet, as a general thing, gotten down to regular work in the gymnasium. The one great thing needed here to stimulate the enthusiasm in athletics, is a new campus. The one we have is very small and uneven, and the proximity of a lake is a source of constant hinderance and great annoyance during a ball game, as a wild throw to first base generally results in the ball being lost in the water.
In many of the college journals of last term we saw the statement that "Oxford caps are worn at Williams." True, the "mortar-board" craze had its run here; but as is general in such cases, soon died out. The idea originated in the present junior class, followed immediately by the sophomores. The caps were worn generally during the third term of last year, and somewhat the first of this year; but as winter came on the last of them were quickly called in, and all are now probably consigned to the shelf to remain peacefully among the memorabilia of college days.
It may be well for me in this initial letter to follow the example of your correspondent from Brown, and say a word in regard to the societies here.
At present there are seven; all secret, and each having its distinctive chapter house. Very nearly one-half of the students are connected with these societies.
The workings of the secret societies here seem to be more harmonious and peaceful than at any other college we know of. There seems to be the very best of friendly feeling between them, and any stealing of each others books and papers, so common among the societies at some colleges, would not be tolerated here.
The following list gives the names of the societies in the order of their establishment, and the number of men connected with each. Kappa Alpha, 17; Sigma Phi, 12; Chi Psi, 16; Zeta Psi, 18; Alpha Delta Phi, 24; Delta Psi, 14; Delta Kappa Epsilon, 18. PUMMINEY.
THE WEATHER.WASHINGTON, D. C., Jan 19, 1882 - 1 A. M. For New England, light rain or snow, followed by partly cloudy weather; southerly to westerly winds and lower barometer; slight rise in temperature.