A letter from the editor: Why town and gown matter

I remember, when I first found out about Williams College, wondering whether the town was named after the College or the College after the town; I later found out that Ephraim Williams, in a display of extraordinary humility, dictated that both the College and the town be named after him. Truly, neither the chicken nor the egg came first.

Town, Gown, and Native land

The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians livedinwhatisnowknownas Berkshire County prior to the tribe’s forced relocation west. On its website, the tribe has documented its history in a project titled “Many Trails.” The website reads, “The Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians were pushed from the Eastern seaboard across half a continent, forced to uproot and move many times to our present Land in Wisconsin.

Debate over Mount Greylock HS turf construction intensifies

Many community members support turf installation, citing concerns over natural grass maintenance. (Photo courtesy of Mount Greylock Regional High School Athletics.)

In late September, the Mount Greylock Regional School District School Committee (MGRSDSC) voted to reject three bids from local contractors to install a turf field at Mount Greylock Regional High School (MGRHS) in Williamstown, a project that has spurred significant community debate in recent years. 

The conversation about constructing a synthetic field at the high school, which serves Williamstown and Lanesborough, began in the fall of 2016, when the committee formed several sub-groups focused on improving the MGRHS campus.

Closer Look: How the town’s government works

With 22 elected officials and 63 employees, the government of Williamstown is the third largest institution in the town, surpassed only by the College and the school district. But for many College students, who are not registered to vote in the town and who only have limited interactions with its government, the bureaucracy can seem difficult to understand.

Clark’s latest exhibit falls short in grasping own history

The Clark Art Institute’s mission statement boasts that it is one of the only institutions in the world to serve as both “an art museum and a distinguished center for research and higher education, dedicated to advancing and extending the public understanding of art.” Though, as one of its graduate students, I am proud to be part of a community with a “commitment to the generation of ideas,” recent programming at the Clark—specifically the exhibition Travels on Paper—fails to adequately consider who “the public” consists of and what it means to commit to generating ideas. Art museums, so the typical history has it, first began taking shape during the 17th century, as the craze for the wunderkammer swept the continent.

Low-cost housing faces challenges

Davis Collison ’21 created a documentary about the Spruces Mobile Home park and its destruction in Hurricane Irene. While community members in many Berkshire County towns, including North Adams, are contending with gentrification, Williamstown residents have been discussing affordable and low-income housing from the vantage point of an already-affluent college town.