North Adams article patronizing

To the Editor:

I am writing about the article “North Adams: the Berkshires’ Ghost Town” that appeared in last week’s Record. While I support the Record’s effort to address local issues beyond the bounds of campus, I was disappointed by the lack of depth and the paternalistic tone of the North Adams article. I’m sure the account of the social and economic ills of North Adams was accurate, but merely listing facts and figures does not portray an interesting – or entirely fair – view of the city.

The article made no effort to look beyond the statistics and it gave little sense of North Adams as a living entity – which, despite the bleak figures, it very much is. In a piece urging contact with North Adams, surely there should have been more contact made for the article (for instance, quotes from North Adams residents or officials on the situation). By merely giving a textbook outline of the city, the article manifests the very problem it criticizes – broadly speaking, that Williams students should become involved in the local world beyond campus.In addition to the article’s lifeless portrayal of the city, its tone was entirely inappropriate. There is no question that resources are distributed unevenly in this area – with harsh human consequences – but it is condescending (as well as untrue) to say the “indifference [of Williamstown] may be the most disheartening tragedy that North Adams faces.”

Elinore Longobardi ’98