CoW Groups FAQs

  • Communities of Williams are groups of staff and faculty who join together in their workplace based on shared characteristics, interests, or life experiences.

  • We have seen a growing interest in staff and faculty looking for ways to connect, share identities, and create community. During the 2019-2020 strategic planning process, the Faculty Staff Development Working Group heard loud and clear that staff and faculty are looking for ways to connect in their work but also informally across departments and divisions. In a way, the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion already piloted a similar program in sponsoring the Women of Color Network. Providing staff and faculty the opportunity to create their groups based on shared identities and interests allows them to connect authentically and build a greater sense of community and belonging.   

  • HR will be responsible for broadly publicizing the groups and the process for starting a new one.

    We will maintain the CoW web page, making the various groups public and a sign-up accessible to community members. The plan is to provide a small annual budget to approved CoW groups to support events and activities. 

  • Every CoW group is open to all members of the staff, faculty, and spouse partners, regardless of identity. Participating is an excellent way to connect, learn, build ally-ship, and grow at work.

  • Yes! Please participate as widely as your time and interests allow.

  • CoW groups are run by a facilitator(s), preferably two individuals to share the responsibilities. There is a small annual stipend available in recognition of meeting the organizational needs of the group.

  • Co-facilitators help determine schedules and content for group gatherings and programs, coordinate logistics and provide regular updates and feedback to Cecilia Hirsch and Danielle Gonzalez to help enhance the program.

    Here is more information on co-facilitator responsibilities and guidelines.

  • Great!!! We welcome proposals for CoW groups that support the community. To propose a new CoW, please complete this form.

  • Each group will determine a meeting schedule that is most appropriate for its members, likely every four to six weeks. 

  • It is up to the co-facilitators of each CoW group to work with the group and determine what effective programming and events will look like. CoWs may provide campus-wide programming such as speakers or activities, may consider meaningful conversations or outings, host a networking social, going on a group outing, initiate a community service project, or may simply provide space and time to come together. 

    We also understand current state guidelines related to the pandemic may limit interactions initially.

  • Supervisors and chairs can support this program by communicating the importance of CoW groups as opportunities for staff engagement, inclusion, and enhancing the overall work experience, and by facilitating time for employees to participate.

  • Please email your questions, comments, or suggestions to [email protected]