Every town worth its salt has a place you must see before you go. New York City has Times Square. San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge. Paris has the Eiffel Tower. Williamstown had The Log. I have been told countless stories about the golden age of The Log from alumni who have had the chance to experience it. To them, it was the center for social activity at Williams – much more than Paresky is today. These alumni would say, “The Log was our place, the place where unique Williams memories could be created.” The Log was a well-known bar throughout many college campuses, not just ours. What other place on campus can offer us as rich a history as The Log has to offer?
If you have ever been to The Log you have seen the tables. Signatures. Signatures. Signatures. On every face. On every crack. Pretty much anywhere it is humanly possible to scratch a name in. The people who wrote their names on the tables felt connected to The Log and wanted to leave their mark. That tradition has been taken from the students who attend this school today.
The Log used to be a place for community interaction. It used to be a place where someone could go to always find a friendly face. It was a place full of stories, and each year that it was open, it became more and more essential to the student experience at Williams. Today, students can only hear whispers of the past; the building on Spring Street is merely symbol for what The Log used to be. It is not part of what it means to be a Williams student anymore. This needs to change.
The reason I believe this change needs to happen was the result of one cold weekend during Winter Study. On Jan. 12, I was charged with the task of leading a group to come up with new ideas for The Log. Our idea was the brainchild of the Spring Street Innovates Weekend. Throughout that weekend, we met with alumni who all told very similar stories. Every single alumnus we spoke to told my team that The Log was the place to be. They told us over and over again about all the memories and good times that had happened under that roof. At first, I thought it was just a few romanticized accounts of some old people who missed their college days. But after about the fifteenth story, I had to recognize the sincerity in which each alumnus talked about The Log. Each story had similar themes and they all ended with, “You guys should definitely bring The Log back.” After that experience, I was determined to see The Log revived. In the weeks that followed, I was restless. Every night my head would fill itself up with ideas of what to do next about The Log. I want, no, I need to see this place restored to its former glory – perhaps an even greater glory. The Log needs to be essential to the being of Williams once again.
The time for change is now. I have already met with Vice President for Campus Life Steve Klass and some other students to discuss ideas for The Log. I will be meeting with more students this Thursday, as well as some other members of the administration. Let the administration know our desire to see this historic place revived. Let’s create a new age of purple and gold for our Log.
I am currently working with a group known as Friends of The Log. Our goal as Friends of The Log is to revive The Log as a communal place where people gather to engage, listen, sing and celebrate. We created this cause as a way to bring diverse people together and express our desire to revive The Log. No longer will The Log be seen as an artifact of some distant time. We want to reclaim it as our own for not only the students but also for the faculty, the staff, the alumni and the Williamstown community. We want to make The Log legendary again! But we need the help of the entire College community to do so.
Dominique Carter ’15 is from Mesa, Ariz. He lives in Bryant.