Notes on a brief trip to the colony

I was fortunate enough to be able to leave Washington during the White House Correspondents Dinner this weekend, though I only got as far as the Clinton satrapy and military installation once known as Virginia. I’ve just returned from Williamsburg and am catching up; it seems the President stole one of Pat Buchanan’s jokes for his routine, which is something.

My weekend was full of throwbacks — seeing Slint on Friday in Baltimore, for one of their first shows in years (they were a little before my time, but you could feel the crowd’s anticipation), followed by a visit to the former colonial capital to see old friends last night.

Williamsburg City Councilman Scott Foster is expected to win another four years in an uncontested election on Tuesday, making him one of the few municipal officials in history to be re-elected after first being elected as a student. Hard to believe it’s been four years since they were running the first campaign out of our house on campus. If you were to tell me back then that he’d be reelected largely on the strength of city voters — most of the students will have left already, but they also seem not to care as much — I wouldn’t have believed you.

In other news, supposedly the Virginian-Pilot is working on a story about university honor councils, and there’s a bill circulating in the General Assembly that would supposedly help to clarify their role. I’m excited to see what comes of it; the subject has been in the news lately, and student judicial issues will likely become more important if the Obama administration uses its new sexual assault initiative to tweak evidentiary standards or something like that. It’s of personal interest too; the most significant bit of reporting I did in college was this piece on screw-ups in William and Mary’s honor system, which won one of the Collegiate Network’s awards. As a result of those articles, a committee was convened to evaluate their procedures, the results of which were announced in August. My take on those rather inadequate revisions, and a longer version of this story, is here.

(Above, via Colonial Williamsburg, the reconstructed colonial capitol, with its off-center cupola that is impossible to ignore once you know the story.)

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