The Laws of Williams College, 1795

Chap. IV. - Of Studies, Collegiate Exercises, Public Examinations, Vacations and Absence.

[sections I-VII]

I. That the Students may make the best improvement of their time, they shall keep in their respective Chambers, and diligently follow their studies during study hours; these, from the beginning of the fall Term to the twentieth of April shall be from nine to twelve in the forenoon, and from two to evening prayers in the afternoon; and from the twentieth of April to Commencement, from eight to twelve in the forenoon, and from two to evening prayers in the afternoon. The President and Tutors may, if they think it best, assign a part of the evening as study time, during the winter season.

II. If any Student shall be absent from his Chamber without leave or necessity in the hours assigned for study, or after nine o'Clock in the evening, he shall be liable to be fined, not exceeding six pence for the first offence; and if, by being often absent, by frequenting the Chambers of his fellow Students, and interrupting their studies, by a course of idleness, by noisy and disorderly behaviour in his own Chamber, in any other Chamber, or in the Hall or Entries of College, he shall render himself a nuisance and a dishonor to the Institution; he shall be privately or publicly admonished, suspended or rusticated, according to the degree and circumstances of his offence.

III. No Student shall sing, play on any instrument of Music, or, in any other way, make any noise or disturbance in his own Chamber, or in any part of College, or near it, during study hours; the Student who is guilty of any such breach of order, shall be subject to a fine, admonition, or suspension, according to the degree and the repetitions of the offence.

IV. The course of studies in this College shall, as nearly as may be convenient, be the following. In the first year the English, Latin, Greek and French Languages; in the second, the several Languages in part, Arithmetic, Geography, Algebra, Geometry, the mensuration of superficies and solids, Conic Sections, Rhetoric and Logic; in the third, Trigonometry, Navigation, Surveying, Natural Philosophy, Astronomy and Chemistry; in the fourth, Metaphysics, Ethics, History, Natural Law, and Civil Policy, and Theology. With these studies shall be intermixed frequent essays in elocution, English composition and forensic disputation. Every Wednesday afternoon especially shall be principally employed in essays in elocution in the Hall. The Sophomores and Juniors shall frequently read specimens of their composition in English to their respective Tutors and Classes; and the Juniors and Senior Sophisters shall, once or twice a week, dispute forensically, as the President and Tutors shall direct. And the respective Classes shall recite the usual Books & in the accustomed manner, or such other Books, and in such manner, as the President and Tutors shall appoint.

V. The three under Classes shall attend recitation three times a day, Wednesday and Saturday afternoon excepted, and the other collegiate exercises in their turns, as they are appointed and regulated by the President and Tutors; and the Senior Class shall attend two recitations a day, and the other collegiate exercises till the first Wednesday in August.

VI. To animate the Students in the pursuit of literary merit and fame, to excite in their breasts a noble spirit of emulation, and to discountenance and prevent idleness, and its concomitants, ignorance and vice, which are so disgraceful to the Scholar, there shall be annually two public examinations before the President and Tutors, and such other Gentlemen as may please to attend. The first shall be on four successive days of the week preceding Quarter-Day in March; when each of the four Classes shall be examined, in their order, in the several Languages, Arts and Sciences which they have studied. After the examination of each Class, the President and Tutors, with such of the Trustees as may have attended, shall draw up, in writing, the result of their judgment of the Literary merit of the members of the Class, and shall, if they think proper, notice by name such as may have particularly distinguished themselves by their advancement in Science. If any through idleness, or otherwise, are found materially deficient in any branch of their Classical studies, it shall be thus declared in the result; and such Student or Students shall be advised and directed to apply with greater diligence to study, especially to that branch in which he or they may be found deficient, in order to recover an honorable standing in the Class. When the whole examination is completed, those results shall severally be made public to each Class, by the President, or Tutor who instructs it.

The other public examination shall be, of the three lower Classes, on the week preceding Commencement. This shall be conducted in the same manner as the other. If, at this examination, any Student, who had been found and declared materially deficient in his studies at the previous examination in March, is now found so much below the general scholarship of his Class, as, in the joint opinion of the President and Tutors, and such of the Trustees as may have attended, to be unfit for his standing, and unable, with reputation and profit, to pursue his studies with the Class, he shall be degraded to the next Class. But no Student, who had not been found deficient in his studies at the previous examination in March, shall, for any deficiency found in this, be degraded; unless his idleness, inattention and irregularity have been such, and his deficiency in scholarship is found so great, that in the judgment of the President and Tutors, and such of the Trustees as may have attended, the reputation and good of College render it highly expedient and necessary.

VII. On the first Wednesday in August annually, the Senior Sophisters shall present themselves in the College Hall to be publicly examined, as candidates for the degree of Bachelor of arts, by the President and Tutors, the standing Committee and Secretary of the Corporation, and any other members of that Board, and any gentlemen of Liberal education who may please to attend. They shall be examined in the several Languages, Arts and Sciences, which compose the course of education in this College. When the Examination is finished, the Tutors, the standing Committee and Secretary of the Corporation, and such other members of the Board and literary gentlemen of reputation as have attended the greater part, or the whole, of the examination, shall have a right to vote by ballot for the approbation or disapprobation of each Candidate. Those who are approved by a majority of the voters, shall be entitled to the degree of Bachelor of Arts at the next Commencement; those who are not approved by a majority of the voters, may, if they please, have the privilege of being again examined by the President and Trustees, or by a select Committee of the Board, and if approved by the President and Trustees, or by their select Committee, they shall be entitled to the honor of a degree with their Class; but otherwise, they shall not have this honor confered on them, nor shall they have the privilege of being examined again, till the first Wednesday in August of the succeeding year, with the Senior Sophister Class.