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Newell House is an additional housing space buttressing the back of Garfield House. Originally designed as a custodian shanty for the sprawling filth of Garfield, it was converted into a dormitory space in 1942 and was officially dedicated in honor of Newell Garfield, the beloved grandson of James R. Garfield and great-grandson of United States President James A. Garfield. The tiny addition houses two floors and is connected to the main building of Garfield by a sloping ramp. There were originally some reservations about building the addition, given Williamstown lore that a Native American Shaman's layer had once adorned the ground on which Newell now resides. However, after several paranormal experts were brought in to sample the area in the early 1950s, it was determined that whatever spirits had once inhabited the land had also decided that it was permissible for a student dormitory to be built on it.
On the other hand, after fraternities were abolished and co-education made the school policy, there were increasing reports of spirits wandering along the very tiny and limited hallway space that exists in Newell. Beneath Newell House resides the infamous "West Crawl Space" of Garfield basement. Formerly rooms 10 and 11 of Newell, it now serves mostly as the common room for the tenants of Newell House. Rumor has it that the last two occupants of Newell House believed themselves under demonic possession and proceeded to tear down the walls in search of a mysterious "key" they claim would finally unlock them from their prisons. As the room was destroyed beyond repair and an eerie stench of butternut squash resided in the room anyway, the College felt it best to convert it into a tomb for spiders who have stayed down there too long.
Additionally, there has often been debate among top administrators about whether to expand Newell and tear down Garfield given the superior heating system and the more modern features (such as handicap access) that characterize Newell. These debates have been tempered by consternation among residents stemming from the humming noise that is often emitted from the basement, evoking faint recollections of Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" as well as Fatboy Slim's "Praise You," however, recent paranormal analyis has determined that this noise is not coming from CRAG.
Dale McCarday '98 recently wrote a geosciences senior thesis regarding this noise, detailing how seismic activity beneath the Berkshires might indicate the formation of a divergent boundary in the middle of the North American plate. Fears that the new fault line might actually develop under Newell itself has delayed construction. Former Professor of Anthropology Laslo "Rosie" Rozsavï¿½lgyi found such a notion preposterous, calling the delays, "poppycock propagated by putzes." The vulgarity of his comment led to his subsequent dismissal. In conclusion, the potential expansion of Newell has not been taken up by the administration for some time.
The uncertain relationship between Newell House, CRAG, and the secret underground fraternity Omega Epsilon Delta, has recently led to an investigation by the President's office into whether or not Newell has been the source of recent criminal activity on campus, such as the over 400 reports filed detailing deliberate acts of breaking and entering, destruction of student property, and the disappearance of several pairs of students' socks. CRAG was not implicated in these affairs until it had been revealed that several books previously located in the Garfield Library had been removed and found strategically placed at various campus checkpoints, each containing a letter inside. Among the letters found were C, R, A, and G - though no one has, as of yet, figured out the significance of the remaining eleven letters (H, L, E, S, J, U, I, T, E, A, U).
CRAG officially published a statement denying their involvement in recent campus anarchy, stating that "CRAG has often acted as a facilitator between the necessities of the administration and the whims of students and has valued that role since its inception. It is against our core mission to engage in such ribald and licentious tomfoolery." The President of Omega Epsilon Delta, who goes by the alias Z. Livid Brat, declined to comment though stressed that it would be counterproductive for Omega Epsilon Delta to cause trouble while the planning of their "50 Days" event is still ongoing.
Newell House has been widely suspected to be the base of operations for Omega Epsilon Delta, an association that has often led to probes regarding the remote location of Newell House. It seems the administration has long had their eye on Omega Epsilon Delta due to the fact that fraternities were officially outlawed in 1962 and secret fraternities were secretly outlawed since 1976. What has been perceived as CRAG's off-the-record support of Omega Epsilon Delta has often tried the hand of previous presidents, however, given that said presidents of Williams College have often later become presidents of CRAG, many have cited a potential conflict of interest in these investigations.
Former Dean of the Faculty Sandy Bierd-Phace's dismissal after a 1982 raid on Newell House turned up no evidence was regarded as a particularly suspect episode in the relationship between the Administration and CRAG. The raid was carried out under suspicions that Omega Epsilon Delta was in the process of building an underground tunnel connecting Newell House to Wood House. Administration officials were worried that Omega Epsilon Delta was attempting to franchise the fraternity, setting up multiple locations of influence across campus for the purpose of subversive activity. The long standing rivalry between Omega Epsilon Delta and Rho Pi Gamma, primarily based out of the Berkshire Quad, was believed to be the purpose behind this operation; no underground tunnels were ever found, but an unusual number of alumni ghosts haunted the basements of Garfield, Wood, and Perry during this suspected rivalry. Also, the decline of Garfield House into filth and disarray is largely believed to be a consequence of the building projects undertaken by Omega Epsilon Delta.