For many a student at this school, Williamstown is a breath of fresh air. Budget deficits, crime, and other big-city problems seem a world away in this purple hamlet.
Perhaps it is no wonder as to why Williamstown and its health never seems to be a topic of great concern. We almost take it for granted that the town will take care of itself because most of us have seen much bigger problems back in the cities where we came from. And, save for the occasional brushes with the Williamstown Police, we don’t have too much contact with residents of this town.
But, in light of the town’s recent financial woes, it may be time for us to start caring about this town and its welfare. Granted, Williamstown’s problems are nothing compared to those faced by major metropolitan cities. However, its well-being is now in question and it may be time for us to realize that the Purple Valley we proudly call home has legitimate problems.
At first, this notion of Williamstown having problems may seem a bit odd. But this is only because so many of us seem to think of this town only in mythical terms. Our view of Williamstown often encompasses only Williams College and our disconnection with town residents further distances us from Williamstown. All this blinds us from seeing the problems that plague what many term to be the “boringest” college town in America.
With a budget deficit of $700,000 and no easy solution in sight, the citizens of our town are having to make some very tough decisions. As over two-thirds of their budget is allocated towards Pine Cobble Elementary School and Mt. Greylock High School, it appears that they will probably have to cut money already planned for education.
This seems ironic considering the tuition of our private college, and the uproar that would ensue if Williams were forced to make budget cuts. What is clear is that the students of Williams should be as concerned with the education of their younger peers as with their friends. We cannot sacrifice the youth of today so that our hopes and dreams stay unsullied from the harsh realities of modern life.
Williamstown is no different from any other American town. Despite its relative isolation, it suffers from many of the same problems that other towns all over this country suffer. It is high time we stop taking for granted that this town will take care of itself without our input and interaction. The college plays an integral role in this town yet its students seem to shy away from showing any form of concern over town matters.
Face it, students, Williamstown is our real home. We may all say that we are from different parts of the country, but for nine months of the year, we basically live here. This town is our town and its problems are our problems.
We shouldn’t take such matters for granted. This town, our town, needs our help and our feedback when it comes to managing town affairs. More importantly, this town needs better interaction between students and fellow residents in Williamstown.
Perhaps Williamstown’s recent problems may help change our view of Williamstown and lead each of us to take a bigger stake in town matters. This is our town too and it’s time for us to help make it better.