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Volume 83 ◆ Issue 11

Th u r s d ay, D e c e m b e r 8 , 2 0 1 6




What to do with student centers

“Venable 8” coverage

Christmas village brings holiday cheer

Photo taken by Harmony Birch/The Beacon

The Christmas village display features several traditional scenes from the holidays.

Display in Adams Town Hall brings holiday cheer By Harmony Birch Editor-in-Chief

Daniel Paciorek always wanted a train set. The Adams native got his train late in life. In 1986, Paciorek stared at the one wall where he did his Christmas decorating in his bar, “The Grille,” and said, “You know what would look neat, a Christmas Village.” The Christmas village display sitting

in the Adams Town Hall, which consists of many Christmas figurines, is worth at least $15,000. The village is displayed on six tables covered in blue fabric in an otherwise empty room lit up by Christmas lights. All around the village, ceramic children ice skate and ride carousels. Imaginary people sip their coffees and eat their Eggs Benedict in a rotating diner. Christmas music plays music box melodies nearby where

Frosty and Mrs. Frosty canoodle Winter wonderland croons. When Paciorek was a kid, his neighbor set up a Christmas village every year. Paciorek wanted to make his bar more festive so he went to a craft store and asked an employee how to set up a Christmas village. CHEER Continued to page 3

Down a professor, computer science looks forward By Mitchell Chapman Managing Editor

Last week, Computer Science Professor John Ridgway announced he is not returning next semester. When asked why, Ridgway simply responded, “I have nothing to add. Peace.”

“It is sad, but true that John Ridgway will be leaving us,” Computer Science professor Mike Dalton said. “John resigned of his own accord. He felt that MCLA was not right for him.” Human Resources Director Barbra Chaput was able to verify Ridgway’s departure because he told his classes he

was leaving. She said that MCLA wishes him the luck. According to Dalton, many factors contributed to Ridgway’s resignation, one of them being a long commute. RIDGWAY Continued to page 3

New electrical engineering concentration in the works By Mitchell Chapman Managing Editor

Over the course of the next few semesters, professors in the computer science department will develop a new concentration: electrical engineering,

according to college Vice President Cindy Brown and Monica Joslin, dean of Academic Affairs. “It was a natural evolution to look into a concentration in electrical engineering,” Brown said. “Electrical engineering has applications in circuit

design, appliances; anything that uses the flow of electrical current.” According to Joslin, one of the reasons why developing an electrical CONCENTRATION Continued to page 3


Women’s Basketball crushes Lasell

Are Safety Pins Enough? By Kelsey Kistner Staff Writer

After the victory of Donald Trump in the presidential election, safety pins are no longer simple pieces of metal. This tiny tool has become a symbol of solidarity for groups that feel threatened by our new president including racial minorities, women, and LGBTQIA+ individuals. But is this new symbol enough to change anything? The MCLA community has two different trains of thought. The day after the election students working in the Identity and Gender Equality Resource Center (IGE) began researching and discussing the safety pin movement. After a couple of days, the center decided to create their own pins and make them available to students. Elizabeth Michel, a student who works in the IGE, believes in the importance of this cause. “Having a physical representation of someone who is willing to be of assistance to someone who feels endangered because of the aggressive and often violent forces that feel justified in action due to the results of the recent election is necessary,” she said. Amanda Beckwith, coordinator of the Women’s Center and IGE, has seen the impact these pins have made. Several students have personally thanked her, and the center has handed out over 100 safety pins. Beckwith also understands the limitations of these pins. “Is this going to cure the issues of different – isms that are out there?” Beckwith asked. “No…I think students who like it are thankful they have something visually, if that’s what they are looking for. But other students may be looking for something bigger.” One student who is “looking for something bigger” is Alyssa St. Franc, who also works in the IGE. “I feel like the safety pins are covering up what needs to actually happen on this campus and everywhere else in general,” she said. “The safety pins, in essence, are saying ‘I’m here for you’ without the person wearing them doing any extra work to make others feel more comfortable/ acclimated to what’s happening in this country.” St. Franc feels strongly that safety pins are not enough, she wants to see action. In her opinion, the pins are not reaching the root of the problem. “MCLA is improving its climate with various implements, such as conversations with President Birge and posters around campus reminding all students that they are welcome; more needs to be done, but we are getting there,” St. Franc said. Both Beckwith and Michel also understand the importance of action, and stressed pins should not be taken and worn without the willingness to act. The IGE has made pamphlets to educate students and faculty on what the pins are meant to accomplish. “We have been handing out pamphlets along with the safety pins, there to emphasize that you are not to wear the safety pin unless you actually plan to take action against the injustice that you see,” Michel said. Beckwith acknowledged that the safety pin movement will not cure the different –isms in our society, but that it may be a helpful start. To her IGE and the safety pins are all about being good people and creating a positive space. Stepping up and being an active bystander is important to her and the IGE.


Thursday, December 8, 2016


Women to stand up to Trump By Reagan Smith

Special to The Beacon Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez, Bob Bland and Linda Sarsour will lead millions of women through Washington demonstrate their demand for human rights and social justice during Donald Trump’s presidency. The march is advertised as, “free for anyone who believes in equality,” and will take place on Jan. 21, 2017, the day after Trump’s inauguration. Bland, a volunteer organizer, stated that the Facebook page had almost immediately gone viral after the election. That’s when she asked Mallory, Perez and Sarsour, all experienced activists and women of color, to help her create a fully inclusive and intersectional feminist march. “The march is happening,” Perez told The Huffington Post. The only question remaining is where.

More than 120,000 people have signed up on Facebook to participate, but the organizers started off uncertain. The Lincoln Memorial, the original location for the event, is no longer available and the women still don’t have a permit. “The real work is after,” Mallory said. “How do we continue to work together to form new partnerships, new allies, to join different movements that matter to us?” The Western Massachusetts community has organized a Facebook page called, “413 to the Women’s March on Washington,” where people can sign up to take a bus or van to the march. On the page, there are links to a Google sign-up form and the official Women’s March event page. “These and other mass demonstrations will remind the world that there was no popu-

lar mandate for a Trump presidency, and that Congress and the new administration must answer to, and represent, the needs of the majority--including the 50% who are women,” Karen Cardozo, women’s studies professor at MCLA said. Administration at MCLA has been trying to coordinate the College’s institutional stance on the march, according to Cardozo. Though executive plans have not yet been confirmed, students and faculty can determine whether and how they will support community members to get to Washington. Students may organize what might be done on campus for those who aren’t able to go, such as viewing the events as they are covered by the media. “In solidarity with other marginalized groups demeaned by Trump’s campaign, feminist

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Donald Trump’s election poses some serious human rights concerns. activism will convey that, whatever your stance on Hillary Clinton, we are indeed Stron-

ger Together, and that’s how we need to operate going forward,” Cardozo added.

SGA: What to do with the student centers By Nick Tardive Staff Writer

As the semester nears its end, the student representatives of SGA were struck by a collective, energized voice Monday night. “It all has to do with the feasibility study,” Parliamentarian Jess Lovellette maintained throughout the night of impassioned discourse. Earlier in the semester, plans were made clear in regards to renovating the Amsler Campus Center in order to build a larger gym where the underused and hard to find pool is located, while the current fitness center would then be transformed into either one large student center, or two smaller student centers - depending on the outcomes of MCLA’s feasibility study, as Lovellette repeated. Senator Jacob Vitali was quick to not only offer up what the school should do regarding the student centers, but also brought up the possibility of renovating the Trailblazer Cafe in order to give students more options. Although Executive Vice President Shannon Esposito directed Vitali to SGA’s Food Committee, which will have its first meeting next semester, the discussion could not entirely be disposed of. Senator John J. Kelly shot up to agree with the proposals Vitali had thrown out there, while requesting that Esposito “sign him up” for the Food Committee. “I want something other than Subway and the Trailblazer Cafe,” Kelly said, saying he would like to have a larger variety on campus, including, but not limited to, a restaurant which he said could have a “pub” like feeling. Kelly said he

wanted to see “more of what you see at Late Night Grill” but available at all times. Others, such as Senators Maggie Allen and Adazae Shepherd-Edwards, kept the discussion in focus with Vitali. Kelly and Senator Gair went off on their admittedly off-topic, but not unwelcome, food tangent. Allen invoked the holy name of the Parlor in her suggestions, claiming that a nice coffee-shop aesthetic would welcome students to a quiet study spot that could also double as its own little cafe, as well as be opened up for open mic nights if students wanted it. “We lack a social hall on campus,” Shepherd-Edwards said. Shepherd-Edwards pointed out that if the school could pull off two student centers, one could be Allen’s aforementioned Parloresque spot, while the other could be a larger social hall type space that would be more desirable for large scale events than the Campus Center Gym. President Tim Williams pointed out that Church Street Center (CSC) has a dedicated social hall for students to use. However, CSC is on the far side of campus and, even on a small campus such as MCLA’s, that can take its toll on freshman who live in Hoosac Hall. Gair suggested that the student centers be targeted so that one is designed for rest and relaxation while another is designed for socialization - as Gair called it, “a game room” type space. That led to Esposito remarking that students hate being interrupted from studying by loud noises, leading her to point out that the centers shouldn’t have just a divider between the two

if that were the case. She even asked if it would be possible to soundproof a wall between the student centers so as to maximize both - the quiet students studying can do so in peace, while the louder, socializing students can be loud without worrying about bothering people on the other side of a wall trying to study. The rapid-fire round of suggestions came after Lovellette asked if representatives wanted to give their ideas regarding a student center and what they would like to see in it. Very few senator ideas were based off the possibility of there being only one student center, but the involvement and passion was one rarely seen at SGA meetings throughout most of the fall semester. In other news, Lovellette passed out three constitutions for review. Two were revisions; Gaming Alliance’s constitution was up for its necessary revision process, while the Political Science Club had chosen to restructure its own in order to add a Public Relations Chair. The last constitution that was submitted was that of a new club: a College Republicans Club on campus is looking to be voted upon at next week’s meeting. Vitali, as part of the Curricu-

lum Committee, announced that his committee and the All College Committee had just suggested to President Birge that a Health Services major be added, while the Biology concentration be split up into Pre-Medical, Pre-Veterinarian and Biotechnology, as well as for the United States History Before and After 1877 courses be revised to 100 level as opposed to 200. MassPIRG gave its end-ofsemester review to SGA, outlining their voter registration acts, as well as 100 percent renewable energy initiatives. Samantha Gibb, organizing director for MassPIRG Students, also outlined the group’s readiness to challenge Presidentelect Donald Trump on what they perceive as a threat to Pell Grants, which are used to give underprivileged students fullrides through college.

Gibb, in her update, said that Subway had told MassPIRG that the antibiotic-free initiative announced last year was on track to be ready by the end of 2016. Gibb said that Subway would be getting chicken from farms who were not “overusing antibiotics”.

Don’t look twice Last week, The Beacon mistakenly ran the Sports article “The drought continues” twice, replacing the body text of “Men’s basketball loses to Lyndon State 92-60.” We regret the error.

Innovate and get paid for for doing it!

MCLA Innovation & Entrepreneurship Challenge • $10,000 prize • funded 10-week internship • advising from local incubator Submission deadline: February 8, 2017 Submission guidelines and registration at:

Campus News

Thursday, December 8, 2016


Levitt AMP concert funds up for renewal Music series awards up to 15 winners. North Adams’s proposal is currently in 15th place. By Mitchell Chapman Managing Editor

Ten weeks of free music is on the line, as voting has ended for the 2017 Levitt AMP Music Series, producing 25 finalists. The review process is now underway, which can allow up to 15 winners. Last year, North Adams was among those lucky 15, which brought life back to Colegrove Park. According to 2017’s proposal, many residents did not recognize the space as a park, and has led to Colegrove becoming a desirable location for events such as movie nights. “This location is already having an impact on the neighborhood;

specifically, the local elementary school that has recently used this space for a PTG sponsored movie night event,” the proposal, written by the Berkshire Cultural Resource (BCRC), describes. “Colegrove Park is near the local library, so there is the opportunity for cross-collaboration that we just beginning to explore. This location is outdoors, has an open lawn-like setting with no fixed seating.” However, 15th place is not ideal, especially considering that the decision is now out of voters’ hands. Levitt Pavilions, the organization responsible for the grant, is currently conducting a review process, in which members of its

organization will comb over each individual proposal, selecting up to 15 winners to receive grants of $25,000. Winners will be announced Jan. 5, 2017 on Levitt AMP’s dedicated website ( According to their website, Levitt Pavilions will select the winners based off of the following factors: The projected impact of the proposed Concert Series Feasibility of implementation Community support Based on the information in the actual proposals, the organization will consider the following:

The characteristics of the selected public space where the Concert Series is proposed to take place with preference given to applications with public spaces that are easily accessible to a range of socioeconomic groups Applications which display a programming philosophy that is inclusive, family-friendly, high caliber, and represents a wide range of music genres A proven track record of presenting professional quality concerts or partnering with an individual or organization that has done so. It is also worthy of note that Levitt Pavilions does not have to select 15 winners; in 2015,

the organization only picked 10, though 15 winners were selected in 2016. Of the 15 2016 winners, seven were winners from the previous year, with only Anchorage, Ala., Bellingham, Wash., and Lafayette, La. not getting renewed. In 2016, North Adams’ proposal was consistently in the top 10. This was not the case for 2017’s proposal, which is currently behind cities such as Little Rock, Ark. and Durham, N.C. The voting for 2017’s after 2016’s music series ran, which took place Sunday between Aug. 14 and Oct. 16. Voting for the grant renewal took place between Nov. 1 and Nov. 21.

CHEER Continued from page 1

CONCENTRATION Continued from page 1

The employee told him he should get a couple of figurines at the moment, and then during Christmas and birthdays, his collection would grow. Paciorek was in his forties at that point. He didn’t think he had time to play the waiting game, so he left the store that day with 50 pieces. Soon, Paciorek’s space was growing short. Before bar hours started, parents started bringing their children to see the Village, and schools took field trips. Paciorek considered donating his village to St. Jude’s, but his friend Skip Harrington, who serves as a selectman for the town of Adams, suggested he should keep his donation local and to donate to the town hall. The current carnation of the Christmas village is a team effort between Paciorek, Harrington, and Deb Dunlap, administrative assistant to the board of selectman. All three put the village up every year with the help of other town hall employees. Some of the moving figurines get “tired and worn out,” and need special electric reconditioning. All of them admit that setting the village up can be a chore, the task always proves to be rewarding. “When I saw the way the kids eyes lit up it was all worth it,” Paciorek said. The village is open now until Jan. 15 Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Adams Town Hall.

engineering concentration is so attractive is that the expertise is already at MCLA, such as Computer Science Department Chair Mike Dalton, who has background in electrical engineering. Dalton alluded to a possible new hire for electrical engineering, but that position won’t be created until the concentration is. “Right now we have four concentrations in the computer science department, with four full-time faculty members,” Joslin said. “Though it does not always mean that one professor equals one concentration in a department, once the department assesses their needs and gives us a timeline, another position might be considered.” According to Brown, the new concentration could be in place as early as next fall, but it has a lot of development to go through. However, some of this development will be delayed with Dalton on sabbatical next semester. The next step in development with the concentration will be coming up with a timeline of work. Once that is completed, course development can take place in which course syllabi are developed and the needs of the department are made known. If the department finds that it needs a position that fills in the expertise that it is lacking, another teaching position will be included in the program design, which is essentially the concentration proposal. “We need to speak with the department,” Joslin said. “This is more than just talks. The expertise is right here. We just need a timeline.” After the program design is complete, the “proposal” will go through the governance system for approval, which includes review by the curriculum committee, All College, and presented for final review to President Birge. At any step in the process, the proposal is subject to modifications, as suggested by each committee, but according to Brown, the proposal is very unlikely to be rejected entirely. To Brown, the key to making this concentration will be to strengthen the expertise already here on campus.

RIDGWAY Continued from page 1 “He lives one hour from our campus,” he said. “He also said to me, many times, that he loves our school and the students. However, I think that our way of doing things was very different compared to his expectations, and previous experiences. We must respect that John needs to find his own path, and follow his instincts.” Dalton emphasized that

Photo by Harmony Birch/The Beacon

The village, as displayed in the Adams Town Hall. Ridgway “was very successful working at other schools,” saying “I suspect that he felt he could be more useful at another school.” The department, which seldom hires despite great need, now faces the challenge of meeting its students needs without stretching its small staff too thin. Computer science is a particularly challenging department for a small liberal arts college to hire for due to the cost of competitive wages and the small pool qualified educators

who are willing to commute or relocate to North Adams. However, Dalton assures that all required computer science courses will be offered in the spring, despite the resignation. “The Computer Science department does not let our students down,” Dalton said. “That is a promise from me, Mike Dalton. It is sad news that John had decided to leave us, but from the ashes, perhaps a phoenix will arise. We look to the future.” That future being a possible

new concentration that has the support of Dean of Academic Affairs Monica Joslin and Vice President Cindy Brown: Electrical Engineering, which Dalton describes as “instrumental in this decision.” The budding concentration within the computer science department will require the hire of at least one more computer science professor specifically for electrical engineering. And according to Dalton, the administration is in the talks

of hiring a computer science professor in addition to the dedicated electrical engineering professor. “Our administration is, at this very moment, putting together drafts to hire another computer science faculty member,” Dalton said. “We will hire a new computer science professor and an Electrical Engineering professor. For every door that closes, two will open.” To Ridgway, Dalton wished him the best.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Opinion & Editorial

The Beacon


Arguing against the Dakota Access Pipeline protestors By Joseph Carew Features Editor

The major arguments of the Standing Rock tribe against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) revolve around the danger this project would present to their only major water supply, the presence of sacred landmarks on the land the pipeline is set to go through and the failure of the Corps to follow the proper legal consultation requirements, and whether or not the land the pipeline is on is legally their own. The first assertion is misleading. To start the water supply the tribe is referencing (the water intake at Fort Yates) is set to be replaced within a few months and will cease to provide water to the reservation forever. Since 2003 tens of millions of dollars have been granted to the tribe’s water utility business in order to create a replacement in South Dakota. Furthermore Dave Rosencranz, the Dakota’s Area manager for the Federal Bureau of Reclamation, reaffirmed that this intake is set to be shut down and that “it’s basically at the end of its life,” when he spoke with Rob Port of The second assertion is incorrect and, like the first assertion, is known to be incorrect by the tribe. Whenever projects like the Dakota Access pipeline are planned they must go through months of environmental and cultural reports in order to begin construction. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), the builders

of the pipeline, followed the proper procedure under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). A meeting between the Corps and the Standing Rock tribe in 2014 resulted in a Section 106 NHPA review but the tribe failed to advise or cooperate with the Corps and later attempted to halt production of the pipeline. The presiding U.S. District Judge, James Boasberg, said that the Corps had documented dozens of its attempts to engage with Standing Rock officials and the failure of the tribe to respond in his Memorandum on Worse still for the tribe’s case against DAPL is the 17 initial route changes made by the Corps during the input period that the review provided. These route changes were also accompanied by 140 smaller changes to the pipeline’s route due to other tribes’ and individuals’ requests. The Judge who presided over the case went even further and said the Corps met the requirements of the law and went over and above in regards to consultations with the tribe. This was later backed by a three Judge Federal Court of Appeals according to Scott Gates’ On the Standing Rock tribe’s Dakota Pipeline Protest. More recently a panel was formed this year consisting of members from the Sisseton Wahpeton and Standing Rock tribes as well as individuals from the State Historical Society of North Dakota and the Morton County Sheriff ’s Department and inspected the site. This panel

found the area revealed no evidence of human remains, a burial, or other cultural remains. This also ties into the fact that part of the route DAPL follows was previously excavated and is home to the existing “Southwest Pipeline” and Northern Border” pipeline according to the North Dakota Public Service Commission permit records. The third assertion may hold the most merit but still rings false. Ninety-nine percent of the route for the Dakota Access pipeline crosses private land according to Scott Gates’ On the Standing Rock tribe’s Dakota Pipeline Protest. But the root of the tribe’s argument is against the Congressional Act of 1877 in which the rights to all tribal lands (except those pertaining to the Laramie Treaty of 1868) were overruled. More recently in United States v. Sioux Nation of Indians (1980) Congress backed the United States but forced the country to award nearly $18 million dollars with five percent interest annually from 1877. Now equaling more than $1.2 billion this payment effectively ended the tribe’s rights to the land DAPL will be constructed on. Whether you agree with the ruling or not doesn’t alter the legality of it. Note: This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Beacon e-board.

“What is your New Years Resolution?”

The Beacon is published Thursdays during the academic year and is distributed free to the College’s community. The Beacon is funded by the Student Government Association, the English/Communications department, and ad revenues. Single copies are free, additional copies may be purchased at 50 cents each. Contact information: News desk number: 413-662-5535 Business number: 413-662-5404 Email: Web site: Office: Mark Hopkins Hall, room 111 Mission Statement The Beacon strives to provide timely and accurate news of campus and local events. Editorials Policy Unsigned editorials that appear on these pages reflect the views of The Beacon’s editorial board. Signed columns and commentaries that appear on these pages reflect the views of the writers. Letters Policy The Beacon welcomes Letters to the Editor. Deadline is noon on Mondays for that week’s newspaper. Letters should be kept to 500 words or less and are subject to editing for grammar and content. The Beacon will not publish anonymous or libelous letters. Letters must be signed by the writer and include a phone number. Letters may be dropped off at the office or emailed to Contributions Policy The Beacon accepts stories, photos, and opinion pieces for publication. Submissions should be dropped off at the office by Monday at noon or emailed to Advertising Policy The Beacon reserves the right not to publish any advertisement it deems to be libelous, false. or in bad taste.

Editorial Board Editor-in-Chief Harmony Birch Web Editor Managing Editor Jake Mendel Mitchell Chapman Design Editor Adam Sams A&E Editor Features Editor Jon Hoel Joseph Carew Copy Chief Buisness Lauren Levite Manager Photography Editor Reagan Smith Domonique Ackley Video Editor Dan Wohler


Staff Writers Emily Gabert Nick Tardive Kelsey Kistner Sports Writer

Brady Gerow

“I really haven’t given it much thought yet. I always say I’m going to make it a habit to go to the gym though.” -Devon Kelleher, 2019

“Every year we say we’re going to start going back to the gym, but we never do!” - Kolumbia Cook, 2019

“I would say my New Years resolution is to learn to be a lot better when it comes to procrastinating.” - Josh Fortier, 2018

Photographers and Videographers Shunquell Dennis Sam Kniskern


Samwise Fox

A&E Writers Ronald Leja Chris Riemer Emma Monahan

Copy Editors


Ayrel Brosnan Nick Webb

Jenifer Augur Shawn McIntosh

Online at:

“ I’ve found that setting up new years resolutions don’t normally help with changing oneself. Why wait till New Years? If you haven’t tried to change it yet, why now? I instead try to set goals. One of my goals for this upcoming year is to get myself more involved in the arts.” - Allison Gregory, 2019

Photos by Ron Leja

“I really haven’t given it much thought yet, but whatever it may be, I hope it helps make next year better than the last.” -Kieland Cross, 2018


Thursday, December 8, 2016


Sp n i

A Curious Case of Mitchell Chapman

Managing Editor


Be humble with your work

Importance of professional courtesy when you’re an artist Skill is nothing without professional courtesy, but professional courtesy can surprisingly get you far without any skill. In an ideal world, these roles should be reversed, but we live in a complex world made up of flawed human beings, so our ideals must shine through in whatever way they physically can. In the world of art, young artists in particularl struggle with this notion, and understandably so. Many view their performance or film or painting as hobbies, rather than their profession, and at such a young age how can they not? Most art fields aren't hiring, so to do it for a living, you have to be the best of the best, the so called cream of the crop. That's the notion, anyways. Again, in practice, it doesn't always work that way. Any type of gig relies off of the needs of the person hiring you and your ability to meet those needs, which is heavily reliant off of your reliability and professionalism. Especially when you're part of a team that has specific goals in mind, nobody wants to deal with loose cannons. Which is what, unfortunately, some of the greats are/were. Despite their great talent, whether they be fired Star Wars spin-off director Josh Trank or a figure like Kanye West, unprofession-

alism only served to hinder them and close doors. Talent speaks for itself, and anything beyond that should be an after thought. Especially as more and more people become engaged in the artistic process, with websites like DeviantART, YouTube, and others allowing millions of users to share their art online, the line between professional and amateur art has become increasingly blurred. Some questions to consider if you want to see yourself be taken seriously as an artist: Do you have any aspirations to do this for a living one day? Are you displaying your art in a (physical) public venue?

easy to. Some critics will have no investment in you as an artist and that will shine through in their reviews of your work. Others, however, will tell you clear as day what you do well and what you don't, suggesting areas of improvement. All artists, and professionals in general, don't like to hear that they screwed up, especially if they're just starting out. It's easy to take critique of your art as critique of you as a person (i.e. John Doe is awful at colors, therefore he sucks as a person), but it is doubly important to hold off on taking this to be true and acting on it, else it will turn

Are you selling your art for money?

into critique of you as a person

Have you published your art on a public forum with the intent of pleasing others? If so, then your experience with art lies beyond the realm of hobby, and as such, will be subject to critique, as well as consumption by the general public, which includes potential connections that can help advance your career. Some of these people will be your greatest critics, and it is important that you don't lash out at them, though it will be

dare he).

(i.e. John Doe reacted to criticism in a malicious way. How Skill can be improved and built upon, with no ill affect towards your future or current network. Improper professional skills, however, can burn bridges that you'll never get back. Therefore, it is important to be humble with your work. Be open to learning, roll with the punches, and you'll get to where you want to be. I guarantee that.

h ee




Joseph Carew Features Editor

Arrivederci, Cadillac To start I would like to say that I accurately predicted that Nico Rosberg would win the world driver’s championship for Formula 1. But I was completely blown away by his decision to retire from the sport. Never mind all that though because it isn’t what this column is going to be about. I recently replaced my first car and it’s been an emotional ride so far. My red 1993 Cadillac STS is set to meet its end in a few weeks right after hitting 215,000 miles on its final journey home. My father put tens of thousands of miles into it and I put at least another ten thousand on it myself. This was the car I took out a Vermont road sign in, the car I took on a 110 mile journey with a broken brake line, the car that I drove double the recommended distance on a spare tire in, the car that brought me to my high school graduation, I took my date to prom in, the car I escaped my troubles in with endless rides into the Vermont, Massachusetts, and New York countryside. This was the car that got me half the respect I earned from the kids I work with in the summer, the car in which I was almost killed in by not paying attention on 495 north, the car that I swerved with to avoid a bright blue kayak on the same highway.

The car that oozed equal amounts oil and cool, the car that when I told the beautiful girls in high school that I drove they said it suited me, the car whose hood I lifted more than weights, the car whose engine scared my cat half to death, the car I learned how to drive in, the car that brought me to the dealership to replace it. This was the car that I took on my first date, the car that brought me to college, the car that brought me home. Seeing it in the student parking lot was like seeing an old friend. It meant more to me than anyone who hasn’t had a first car just can’t realize. So when people say they don’t care about cars, I have trouble understanding. It isn’t just something that gets you from A to B. It is a collection of some of your best and worst memories, the symbol of the freedom you gained when you got your driver’s license, the heart and soul of a good road trip. I loved the Cadillac and hope it ascends to the great back roads in the sky where it belongs. Its journey is at an end and I just wanted to thank it in this last column of the year.

6 Art Students depict foundings of feminism Friday, December 8, 2016

By Hannah Snell

Special to the Beacon Sylvia Pankhurst was a British suffragette who was force-fed while on a hunger strike in prison. She was arrested for fighting for women’s rights. A portrait of Sylvia Pankhurst was drawn by Kaitlyn Russell and is a part of her bookmaking project. “Outrage.” “Unheard voice.” “Sickening sensation.” “Sense of degradation.” These are the words derived from Pankhurt’s narrative, “Forcibly Fed” that surround Russell’s drawing of Pankhurst. Russell is a senior at MCLA with a major in art and a minor in English/Communications. Russell immediately connected Sylvia, the woman behind bars, to modern forms of protests, such as the protests of the Black Lives Matter movement, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and most recently, the post-presidential election. “Activism has been a big thing in my art at MCLA,” Russell said. “I’ve done work on death rights, hard of hearing rights, water pollution, and now this one.” Art students at MCLA have been working on a book arts exchange project this fall based on the Suffragist movement and the role clothing played. Project topics varied from alcohol abuse to how the male gay community used clothing, to the various oppressions of women. Melanie

Mowinski, an associate professor of art at MCLA and Joshua Ostraff, an assistant professor of art, directed the project, and it was made possible by the Hardman Initiative Fund. MCLA will be collaborating with Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, on this multimedia book-making project. Although Brigham Young University and MCLA may seem like drastically different institutions, they are both connected to each other by suffragette leader Susan B. Anthony. The birthplace of Anthony is located in Adams, Mass., just a short drive away from the MCLA campus. Anthony also played an influential role in helping Utah transition from a territory to a state. The timing of this project seemed to be appropriate with the recent presidential election, since Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had a chance at becoming the first female president of the United States, marking progress from the ratification of the 19th amendment nearly a century ago. “It was one of those serendipitous ‘I couldn’t have planned this better’ kind of moment,” Mowinski said of the topic and the timing of the project, as she worked at the printing press, making heart-shaped prints. “We were super excited to be working on

Campus Life

Photo by Hannah Snell

MCLA senior Kaitlyn Russell’s project, which focuses on British suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst and her hunger strike. This project uses a technique called “blackout poetry” and used Photoshop for the images. this project in this time and had spent the whole semester talking about women’s rights.” Russell spends a lot of time in the Bowman Hall art studio, the last room in a hallway that is a MCLA art major’s sanctuary, outlined with sculptures and life-size portraits of MCLA student bodies. A sewing machine and paper scraps rest on the table. Russell wears a graphic T-shirt that references the pumpkin spice latte, a college student favorite around this time of year. She also wears black-framed glasses and has a couple tattoos on her forearms. Russell studies the uniforms of the suffragettes, such as the blue,

green, white, and yellow sashes that the British suffragettes wore when protesting while she models the styles of the modern female millennial. Today, the sun creeps into the art studio, a student works at the printing press and sings along to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” on the radio. Tomorrow, the sky is inky and charcoal-like, a day like yellowed, tea-splattered pages. As crunchy, paper-thin leaves are whisked around by the wind, MCLA students prepare to hold a rally in the quad. Russell was at the rally, listening to her classmates, their anxieties, frustrations and their

hopes and goals for the MCLA community. A school where students scroll through Facebook feeds to find articles that attempt to make sense of the world around them, many feel that the rights that these women had worked so tirelessly for are being violated. Others feel that their voice no longer counts. Instead, these art students at MCLA use book-making, collaging, printing, sketching, and designing to make sense of history and the world around them. For Professor Mowinski, book-making is an ideal outlet for students. “[Book-making] brings history, critical thinking, design, sociology, cultural studies, and fashion together,” said Mowinski. “Good art really bridges the gap between difficult issues and your personal experiences with history or a theme.” Restriction: Are Women Today Liberated? For example, Gillian Fournier, a freshman art major at MCLA, focused on corsets, suffrage and the similarities between women before the ratification of the 19th amendment and modern women for her project. Fournier cut paper into the shape of corsets and printed keywords on the inside and outside of each one. To see more go to

Question 4: Nothing will change on campus By Emily Gabert Staff Writer

The Students for a Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) held a panel discussion with members of Residential Programs and Services, the Office of Student Conduct, and Public Safety about Massachusetts’s legalization of recreational marijuana and the implications it will have on federally funded colleges across the commonwealth. MCLA is a part of the federal Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, which does not allow the use of marijuana on campus, and it will continue to be involved with this. Since the plant is not federally legalized, for the school to continue to receive money from the federal government, not only for student financial aid but for other grants for the school, the College must abide by this law, even though marijuana is legal in Massachusetts. Medicinal marijuana was brought up by the president of SSDP, Milena Casamassima, as the club was curious as to what MCLA would be doing in regards to students who may end up receiving a prescription for the plant. “The answer is, we don’t know,” said Brian Gallagher, coordinator of Student Conduct and Community Engagement. “Before the law was passed, I did some research in some schools in Oregon and in Colorado and Washington with some colleagues...people in my position said

they had a big spike when medical marijuana was passed and when it was legalized state wide, they did not have a big spike in use on campus. I think we are all kind of going to learn about it as it happens.” Gallagher said that the state colleges communicate with each other regarding polices and any questions that come up. Dianne Manning, director of Residential Programs and Services, said that even though it is medicinal it will still not be allowed on campus, as a document given to state colleges has described. “They suggest that if a student has to have marijuana, to talk about what that means in terms of their residence, as opposed to saying you can smoke marijuana on campus because you have a medical marijuana card,” Manning explained. “It’s pretty clear, in terms of use of marijuana on campus. It may change as life goes on.” As for the penalties of getting caught with marijuana, MLCA Police Officer Peter Urbanowicz said that from his experience working with the Vermont Drug Taskforce where he has had to deal with the federal government, that one who has been found in possession of marijuana will most likely not be prosecuted by the federal government. “If you have a pickup truck full of marijuana that might be a different issue,” Urbanowicz explained. “I’ve seen guys go crazy over huge marijuana grows with the federal system, but realistically if you’re smoking a

joint, the [district attorney] isn’t going to crash through your door.” Selling will be treated differently, but again, Urbanowickz said that it would have to be a large amount or a conspiracy with a few people involved distributing marijuana. If marijuana is found on a person, in a dorm room, or even a car on campus, it will be handled on campus unless selling is involved. Charges will depend on if RPS is handling the situation or whether the Student Conduct Office is charging you with a penalty. Manning said that people are generally just put on probation, and given an educational class to go along with it. Repeated violations will lead a student to go up higher in the disciplinary system. Sometimes parents will be contacted, depending on whether the student is 21 or not. Levels of disciplinary penalties are all listed within the student handbook. Nothing will change in regards to the law on campus. Marijuana is currently still not legal in the state of Massachusetts. The definitions of paraphernalia were also explained, to help students better understand what it means and what it counts as. This question evolved from the fact that some products have uses with both tobacco and marijuana. “There is some easily identifiable paraphernalia,” Manning said. “There are some things that are paraphernalia because they are being used for illegal substances, like two liter bottles. It may be legal to have,

but if there’s a dryer sheet in there and it smells like marijuana…if it’s associated with other things…that’s the problem.” Urbanowickz explained that paraphernalia will still be taken away because it violates the College’s rules and regulations, but he does not believe it is anything they can charge someone over. Public Safety will receive the taken paraphernalia and will dispose of it properly after investigations have been completed. Manning also explained how room searches work. She explained that generally, Residential Advisers (RA) have to get permission from an RPS administrator to go into a student’s room for something as simple as turning off an ongoing alarm clock, and they usually have to go inside the room with another RA – this is the only time that a master key can be used, other than when letting a locked-out student back into their rooms. “The only other time that they use the master keys without [full time professional] staff is after a closing, when people have to go through and make sure everything is unplugged that needs to be unplugged for vacation, they’ll use the master key in that situation,” said Manning. If a student opens a door to an RA and an RA smells or sees anything, they can come in. RPS generally practices a “plain sight rule” in regards to spotting and acting on finding something; if something is sticking out from a shelf, under the

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

RPS will not change its policy regarding marijuana usage, though penalties will be lighter, in lieu of Question 4. bed, or even on the desk is what they consider to be plain sight. Although, if something in plain sight makes RAs suspect that there may be something more serious going on they may do an administrative search – this search is never done by an RA, and is mostly only done by Manning herself. That is the only time when they would go through people’s drawers. If there is a lockbox in a student’s room, they may make a student take it off campus if they find it necessary. Boundaries of campus were also explained during the meeting between faculty and students. It has generally been said that the end of campus is on any curb across the street from campus according to Brian Gallagher. It is unknown what North Adams will do in regards to Question 4 being passed, but Gallagher encouraged students to contact those in office in the city and even their home towns to learn more information.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Regional News

Beyond the Beacon


Compiled from MCT Campus

German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls for ban on fullface veils and for fewer migrants On Tuesday, in a distinct nod to voter angst over an enormous influx of mainly Muslim migrants, the 62-yearold leader for the first time endorsed legal restrictions on face-covering veils in public. Merkel said bans on coverings such as the burqa and niqab should be enacted “wherever it is legally possible” _ measures that would probably include venues such as courtrooms, public schools and universities, together with occasions such as traffic stops and police checks. It’s not a complete about-face for the German leader, who has suggested that full facial coverings, worn by some observant Muslim women, are not compatible with German cultural norms. Plane carrying at least 48 people crashes in northern Pakistan A commercial aircraft carrying at least 48 people crashed in northern Pakistan on Wednesday after it took off for Islamabad from a tourist resort near the Afghan border, officials said. The small ATR-42 plane crashed near the town of Hawalian, about 45 miles north of the capital. It had departed from the district of Chitral, said Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) spokesperson Danyal Gilani in a statement. “We deeply regret to announce that a PIA aircraft ATR42 (AP-BHO) crashed near Hwalian at 1642 hrs (local time) (1142 GMT),” Gilani said, adding that 42 passengers, five crew members and one ground engineer were on board flight number PK661. Victims of the crash include 31 men, nine women and two infants. Three foreign nationals whose country of origin is not known yet were also among the passengers. Gilani said that rescue efforts are under way. China seeks ‘strategic composure’ in Trump era of diplomacy The Communist Party’s flagship newspaper is urging Chinese leaders to keep cool heads and play the adult should Donald Trump continue to test ties in the run up to his inauguration as U.S. president next month. A commentary published in the People’s Daily overseas edition on Tuesday said China must remain calm in response to “waves” of criticism after Trump announced his protocol-breaking chat with the president of Taiwan, which Beijing considers a province. The country had learned from decades of interaction with Washington, according to the front-page piece, which was headlined, “Handling Variables in China-U.S. Relations With Strategic Composure.” “Some would argue that Trump’s out-of-the-line talk and behavior was meant to poke at China, and that the Chinese should retaliate. Otherwise he might think China is a soft persimmon, easy to pinch,” the commentary said. But the country “doesn’t throw a tantrum to strive for only temporary superiority, or to gain immediate gratification.” The piece offered insight into China’s measured response since Trump’s Friday telephone conversation with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, which he followed up with tweets knocking Beijing over currency and trade policies. The call with Tsai flouted nearly four decades of U.S. policy against recognizing Taiwan’s sovereignty or allowing direct communication between top leaders. While China lodged a “solemn representation” and urged U.S. authorities to adhere to the so-called one-China principle, it stopped short of criticizing Trump. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi appeared to blame Tsai for the call, describing it as “little trick pulled off by Taiwan,” even though Trump advisers have said the call was planned in advance. The approach showed China’s desire to contain the incident before Trump entered the White House or even appointed a secretary of state.

Photos via Westfield News

From left: Diane Pearlman, Karen Allen and Douglas Trumbull.

Film boom in the Berkshires By Jon Hoel A&E Editor

There’s an overused aphorism— all politics are local. Local is not a word we typically apply to the film industry, however. Most of us seem to associate film with far-off places, such as Hollywood, New York City, Vancouver or Cannes. What you may not know is that there is a flourishing and energized film community right here in the Berkshires. The Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative stands as a strong and ideal representation for film in all of Western Massachusetts. The collaborative is a fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, a public charity founded in 2009. The collaborative provides film production classes at UMass Center At Springfield, Hampshire College and Berkshire Community College, where they teach students how to be a part of the film industry and include student reach-out and employment opportunities. Right now, there is a film soon to be premiering that was shot in the Berkshires. “A Tree a Rock a Cloud” is the directorial debut for Karen Allen, best known for her performance as Marion Ravenwood in the Indiana Jones films. Allen is also on the advisory board for Berkshire Film. The film is based on a shortstory by Carson McCullers, author of the novel, “The Heart is a

Lonely Hunter.” The film, which takes place at the Silverbrook Café in Sandisfield, stars Jeffrey DeMunn (“Shawshank Redemption”, “The Walking Dead”) and James McMenamin (“Orange is the New Black”). However, a large portion of the rest of the cast and crew were Berkshires local. “For the lead role of the little boy we had 350 potentials try out but we ended up casting Jackson Smith, who is actually from Housatonic,” said Diane Pearlman, the Executive Director of the Berkshire Film and Media Collaborative and producer of the film, “A lot of the cast and crew were local.” Pearlman has worked in the film industry for over 25 years. She came to the Berkshires in 1992, working for the visual effects company Mass.Illusions, which was based outside of Lenox. Mass. Illusions did visual effects for a series of superb films and they won two academy awards for visual effects for “The Matrix” and “What Dreams May Come.” The company was subjugated and eventually dissolved in 1998, and while a large portion of Mass.Illusions relocated to California, some of them opted to stay. “The effects companies that are still here are compositing around the world but do their finishing work here,” Pearlman said, “You can go almost anywhere with visual effects. You don’t have to be under one roof anymore. A lot of

people love the Berkshires, and they do it while working on big Hollywood films.” There is another perhaps essential film legend potentially responsible for the rampant film community in the Berkshires: Douglas Trumbull. Trumbull is best known as a special effects legend, who worked on Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “Blade Runner.” However, he also directed his own films, including the infamous 1983 film “Brainstorm” which created a media storm when its lead actress Natalie Wood died during its production. Currently, Trumbull is working on a new innovative project called “UFOTOG,” a short film shot in 120mm in 3D at 400 line resolutions, a very unorthodox and cutting-edge methodology. Like Allen and Pearlman, Trumbull is also a board member for Berkshire Film. If you are a Berkshire local and want to learn more about the flourishing film community right here at home, there is a panel discussion next Tuesday, Dec. 12 at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield. Six prominent film industry Berkshire natives will attend. “A Film A Rock A Cloud” will premiere at the Berkshire International in June. Diane Pearlman will be speaking at MCLA tonight, at 5 p.m. in Mark Hopkins 110.

ROOTS Teen Center: Empowering youth voices By Harmony Birch Editor-in-Chief

For years the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition (nbCC) has been fighting to bring a teen space to North Adams. Finally it’s vision was realized Oct. 15 when the “ROOTS Teen Center” opened its doors to all 14 to 22 year olds in the area. The center is meant to provide a safe place for young people to gather, according to Jessica Sweeny, the center’s executive director. “ROOTS is a place where young people can build relationships with other young people, or with adults in the community,” Sweeny said. Sweeny told the Berkshire Eagle the the center is meant to empower teens. It gives them a space to hang out, and it plans for additional teen/ young people led programming like talent shows, writing groups, and

open Mics. Giving teens their own space will empower them to amplify their voices across the community, according to Sweeny. “We hope that the space acts as an amplifier of the youth voice. Young people are visionaries,” she said. “ They have so many good ideas and want to engage with the community more than we tend to think they do. ROOTS is a place for them to discover their voice and use it.” Before opening the center nbCC visited other teen centers in Massachusetts like Railroad Street Youth Project in Great Barrington, RAW Artworks in Lynn to get inspiration and ideas about how ROOTS Teen Center could work. A task force was created to formulate a strategic plan and discuss with teens what they would find most helpful out of a youth center. The

United Methodist Church in Great Barrington gave the center $100,000 for its first three years. The center could also appeal to MCLA’s community because it’s open to college aged students. “There is little to no programming for 18-22 year olds. The hope is to encourage and empower the 18+ participants in leadership roles in the space,” Sweeny said. “For example, encourage them to be volunteers, lead events, coordinate projects, etc. Personally, I also think that college students are good mentors for high schoolers.” ROOTS Teen Center is open Wednesday to Friday 4- 8 p.m. On Friday Dec. 16 the center will be hosting an open mic night from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Admission is free but donations are welcome. Ugly sweaters are encouraged. The center is located at 43 Eagle St.


Thursday, Decem,ber 8, 2016

Arts & Entertainment

Dance Company’s Fall ‘16 performance By Chris Riemer A&E Writer

Dance Co. blew the roof off Venable last Friday night, showcasing performances of all sorts from the Fall 2016 season. From solo acts to massive choreographed ensembles, it was a collection of awe-inspiring pieces, and an amazing send-off for graduating senior and Dance Company co-president Rachel Mills. The club is proudly inclusive of members with little or no dance experience, but there was no lack of skill in the performances. Often choreographed by the dancers themselves, group pieces like “Into You” and “Lit City” demonstrated the dedication of the performers to maintaining form and synchronicity. Special recognition should be given to the technical director, Andrew Hoar, and lighting director, Robyn Warfield, whose work designing the scenes made for some standout moments during the show—for example, the disco ball and rainbow lighting during Courtney Chester and Rebecca Waterhouse’s ‘80s-themed “In a

Sophomore Amanda Romanelli and senior Rachel Mills perform a fairy-godmother sequence together. Day or Two,” set to A-Ha’s “Take On Me.” Chester and Waterhouse’s Jazzercise-esque routine featured leg warmers and reflective spandex, and made for some of the biggest applause and loudest laughter. Another highlight was “Missed

Connections,” choreographed by senior Bryanna Bradley. Set on a speeding subway train, the complex lighting design and movements of the performers creatively mimicked the jostling motion of the train. The dance told

Photo by Shunquell Davis / The Beacon

the story of a romantic misfortune passionately and poignantly, and the stark lighting affecting a more emotional atmosphere than some of the more boisterous pieces. Musical accompaniment was varied, from slow, emotional piano

ballads to upbeat hip-hop tracks. Chance The Rapper seemed to be a favorite: “No Problem” and “Juice” were both featured. Even his verse on Jeremih’s “Planes” remix popped up at one point. Another hit was “Pound Cake,” set to the Drake song of the same name. Choreographed by Maggie Whited and Amanda Romanelli, the ballet/hip-hop fusion performance featured perhaps the most synchronized dancing of the show. Near the end of the second half, the MCLA alumni group dysFUNKcrew performed a special zombie-themed step routine to some bumping tracks like Drake & Future’s “Jumpman” and Rick Ross & Skrillex’s “Purple Lamborghini,” prompting some of the biggest cheering yet. The show was fittingly closed with a solo performance by Rachel Mills. Other highlights included “Unsteady,” in which a rope wrapped around the performers’ waists featured into the incredible choreography by Jasmine Lamoreaux, and the mellow “Work Song,” and “Blossom,” choreographed and performed by Zengxi Yang.

Jazz band concert will mix the hits and the classics

Jazz band’s free concert next week will be a exhilirating break from the stress of finals week that all should see. By Emma Monahan A&E Writer

MCLA is full of music, with different clubs and FPA performances being held all through the semester. Harlequin and Dance Company are some to name, with Allegrettos and Yorick to follow suite, but there are also opportunities to go to a good concert once in a while. On Dec. 12, MCLA’s jazz band will be performing with a lineup that includes the school’s jazz choir and private lesson singers. Jeff Link, the director of jazz band, has been involved with music for a majority of his life and says he loves it so much it doesn’t even feel like work. “I’ve never say to myself, ‘Oh I don’t feel like going to work today’ because it’s music!” Link said. “If you can find a job doing what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. And it totally applies to me. I’ve been so blessed, all I’ve ever done is taught and play music.” Link has worked at MCLA for five years as the director of the jazz band, along with teaching jazz choir and recording techniques, and has a background teaching at Berklee College of Music for 13 years and Berkshire Community College. He lived in New York City for 18 years, but eight years ago came out to see a friend of his who lived in Pittsfield and loved the area so much he decided to stay.

“I kind of got tired of the whole Broadway scene and being in the city,” he said. “I had just come off the road, and I came up in the summertime and it was just so beautiful. I lived in New York City for 18 years, right in the East Side, and I decided to stay [here].” Link is playing with the jazz band at this year’s show, picking up bass alongside the 8 students who play; junior Manny Reyes on drums, spring of 2016 alumni Ben Finley on alto-saxophone, freshmen Rudy Dormeus on guitar, freshmen Trevor Wheelock on piano, freshmen Bryce Wiseman on guitar, and singers Indy Jones, a junior, and Bridgit Forson, a freshmen. “It’s quit a mixture,” Link said about this year’s concert. “We’re also doing a Willie Nelson song, and in the Jazz Choir [class] we’re doing everything from Billie Holiday to Lorde, we’re doing ‘Royals.’ We’re also doing Justin Timberlake’s ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling.’” For students who usually attend the free event, this year’s show will be set up differently. Usually paired with the wind ensemble, both shows will be split into two. Dec. 5 will consist of the ensemble, and Dec. 12 of the jazz band, choir, and private lesson students. The reason behind the split is because the show ends up being too long otherwise. One thing Link is excited about is the transition between the jazz

band and choir during the show. “We’re [jazz band] actually doing 8 numbers, and the last song actually becomes the first song of the jazz choir. We’re doing Carole King’s “Natural Women”. So they’re going to be joining us, and then the choir is the final part of the concert, and they’re performing five songs.” Link expresses how this year’ show is more “eclectic” and “diverse” with music from Willie Nelson, Lorde, Billie Holiday, and more. He hopes this appeals to students, because hit songs like “Royals” and “Can’t Stop The Feeling” are so well known, Lorde’s catchy tune hitting number 20 on Billboard’s Year End 2014 list, and Justin Timberlake’s “Trolls” song currently at number 19 on Billboard’s Hot 100. During the jazz bands rehearsal for the show last Wednesday evening, Link was able to work well with his students, letting each of them have a say in how they wanted to change things within certain songs, as well as including his own opinions. Students who want to present an original songs are welcomed too as well. “If they bring it in and if it works, sure, I totally encourage that,” said Link. The MCLA Jazz Concert will be on Dec. 12, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Church Street Center Eleanor Furst Roberts Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public.

Via Square Enix

Final Fantasy XV By Ron Leja A&E Writer

There are few video game franchises with as deep nor rich a history as that of Square Enix’s Final Fantasy. Marked as a science fiction and fantasy media franchise, the series has become a staple of sorts for roleplaying games, or RPGs as they are more commonly known, filled with memorable characters, immersive story lines, and generally enjoyable game-play mechanics. The latest addition to the series, Final Fantasy XV (FFXV,) underwent a worldwide release on Nov. 26. It has been fervently anticipated by the Final Fantasy fan base for the past ten years. In that time numerous efforts have been made to market the game, resulting in both a FFXV themed menu at Jamie Oliver’s London Restaurant, as well as a FFXV – inspired Audi priced at $470,000. The title was recently named the fastest selling game in the

franchise, with five million copies sold within the first week of its release. FFXV is the story of Prince Noctis of Lucis, a rebellious young man who suddenly finds himself flung in to a war against a rival kingdom known as Niflheim. While traveling with a group of friends to the location of his own royal wedding, Noctis receives word of Niflheim’s betrayal against the kingdom of Lucis, and that himself, his father and wife to be have been presumed dead following the attack. In an effort to take up arms and reclaim his rightful throne, Noctis and friends venture throughout the world in search of ancient artifacts; weapons that once belonged to past kings. Along the way they encounter an interesting cast of characters, beasts both old and new to the franchise, and ancient elemental gods known as Astrals. FFXV Continued on page 15

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Arts & Entertainment


via Glassnote Records

Childish Gambino Albums to hear series no. 5 By Chris Riemer A&E Writer

Photo by Ron Leja / The Beacon

MCLA alumni Marcus Neverson in an emotional moment of the show.

“Venable 8” the gun violence conversation By Ron Leja A&E Writer

“Warning: What you are about to see and hear may be offensive or disturbing to some audience members. This show contains mature language and content, depictions of gun violence, strobe lights and gunshots. Viewer discretion is advised.” This chilling message sets the stage for Philip Shedd and Benjamin Baylon’s three part performance, “Venable 8: Three Lessons on Gun Violence in the American Classroom.” Originally written by the pair in 2014, the show was recently produced by the Common Folk Artist Collective and held its first performance at MASS MoCA on Dec. 1. Comprised of three short single-scene chapters, “Venable 8” offers a glimpse in to the minds of those personally affected by gun violence while within an academic setting. The first scene, “A Child’s Game,” was influenced by the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting of Dec. 2012. The scene characterizes the troubled mind of Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook shooter, played by Alex HicksCourant, as he is haunted by the memory of one of his 20 victims, a seven year-old girl by the name of Grace, played by Julie Castagna. While in hiding, Adam wrestles with his guilt over her death, as it is depicted through a conversation between them. Grace continuously asks Adam to play a game of hide and seek in an almost taunting tone, eventually confronting him about his act of violence and asking him if he could do it again, egging him

on whilst the barrel of his gun is pressed to her head. Castagna later discussed the struggles she faced in playing her role during a Q&A session. “At 21 years-old, it was tough be a seven year-old girl, and even tougher to be a seven year-old girl who has been massacred,” Castagna explained. “This material is so intense. It gets me every single time, but I feel it’s important to get the message out there.” The second chapter, “Class Act, version 379,” really drove home the overarching theme of toxic masculinity and its relation to gun violence. “Class Act” is the tale of two friends, Bailey and Stacy, a boy and a girl played by Marcus Neverson and Danielle Delamater. It is made clear throughout this scene that Baily is without a positive outlet for his pent up anger, the result of which leads to what could feasibly be considered the plays most powerful scene. With Pistol in hand, Nerverson paints a vivid picture of gun violence in a classroom setting, as well as the types of thoughts and feelings that are often associated with what it means to be a man and how the gun plays a part in it all. Aiming his gun in to the crowd, the audience is almost made to feel as if they too are one of his victims as he fires away. Stone-faced and lip curled in to a snarl, one can almost feel the anger resonating from his character. Chapter three is the story of Professor Kirkland, played by English and Communications Professor Kelli Newby, and her student Mark Shrive, played by Allon Willing. In “Trofimov, A

Student,” the confrontation takes place within Kirkland’s classroom, where she is approached by Shrive concerning his performance in her class. He attempts to intimidate her into changing his grade through use of a firearm. The conversation that takes place contains some heavy adultoriented material, as the act of being in control through violence borders on being sexualized. The scene is by no means obscene, and while it may make some feel uncomfortable due to its context, the idea being portrayed is one that goes hand in hand with toxic masculinity: that violence equates to power. Kirkland, unwilling to cave-in under his threats, stands up to Shrive, embodying a stance against gun violence through the delivery of a compelling speech. Each chapter plays out more akin to a conversation than a full on performance, with each scene being comprised of only two actors apiece. Theatrics are, for the most part, set aside, with the primary focus being presented through spoken word. The emotions that these young actors and actresses brilliantly portray are most definitely the focal point of each performance. The feelings that emerge are raw in their delivery, and fill the air with a tension that cannot go unnoticed. If anything, the goal of “Venable 8” is not to prevent gun violence, but to effect its audience enough to get them talking about the issue. By addressing the issue outright, the cast of “Venable 8” hope that they can make a difference through their audience in the form of education and conversation.

Childish Gambino has always been a little polarizing. The musical project/alter-ego of Donald Glover, who is also a writer, actor, and comedian, it’s natural that a lot of the criticism he has received focuses on stretching himself too thin, or trying to do too much with too little. Glover’s particular brand of geeky, pun-heavy lyricism served him well on his early albums and mixtapes, which he made during his early acting career on NBC’s Community. However, it took more than cleverness to create the weird, conceptual “Because The Internet,” which was nominated for a Grammy after its release in 2013. “Because The Internet” is Glover at his best, building synth lines and catchy hooks and strange, off-balance beats into some of the best experimental pop songs of the year—not to mention some of the best music videos. His follow-up mixtape, “STN MTN / Kauai”, with its brilliant single “Sober,” was a nice continuation of the album’s story line, and suggested some fresh musical inspiration. Then, at Bonnaroo in 2015, he debuted a new track (later revealed to be “Me and Your Mama”) which finally saw its official release on Nov. 9 as the first single from “Awaken, My Love!”. The second single, “Redbone,” was released in midNovember, and after a short wait, the album dropped on Dec. 2. “Awaken, My Love!” is about love, of course, but it doesn’t dwell as much on the complex emotional difficulties that go along with it—it’s more like Grand Funk Railroad’s “Hooked On Love” version. “Awaken” would’ve been pop music 40 years ago; now, it’s a collection of simple, retro, groove-focused jams. Not lyrically dense, and not intended to be. Glover breaks up the traditional R&B sound with subtle synthesizer textures and

vocoders, rarely reinventing the wheel, but often modifying it. Some of the choral harmonies and breakdowns are definitely reminiscent of Childish Gambino slow jams from days past, but the similarities pretty much end there. “Me and Your Mama” is an explosive opener, and contender for best track on the album. On this track, it’s most clear where Glover draws much of his influence: Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain,” which contains similar guitar tones and a nearly identical echoing snare drum. With this in mind, the track is a little more derivative than perhaps it should be, but it’s still a fantastic exercise in moodsetting and an absolute jam to boot. The second track, “Have Some Love,” demonstrates that Glover has the R&B chops to do more than mimic. With its laidback beat, jangly-guitar verses, and somewhat put-on vocal delivery, the song would be right at home on an early Beck album—if not for a decidedly Gambino-esque breakdown in the middle. The funk ethos is held to tightly throughout the album, from the excellent “Redbone” to the Toro y Moi synth-accented “Terrified” to the emotive, retro, slightly cheesy “Baby Boy;” all great examples of Glover’s taste leading him in the right direction. The worst offender is “California,” a horrific mess of pan flutes, artless tropical guitar noodling, and Glover’s inexplicable, ludicrously accented voice. It’s difficult to imagine the decision being made to include this song on an album that already suffers a little from an excess of sincerity. Low points like these don’t tarnish the album as a whole, they just make it a bit difficult to listen to all the way through. All things considered, the 11-track record is excellent, and unlike anything else in recent memory. It’s a thrilling experiment from an artist who wants to do and be everything. So far, he seems to be succeeding.


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Arts & entertainment

Punk veterans Dinosaur Jr. to close 2016 season at MASS MoCA this Saturday By Chris Riemer A&E Writer

Before hardcore, before grunge, before Rock Band 2… there was Murph, Lou Barlow, and J. Mascis. The Amherst-based alt-rock behemoths are closing out their North American tour this Saturday with a final show in their native land, Western Massachusetts. Dinosaur Jr. began in 1984 after the dissolution of Deep Wound, a staple of Boston’s early hardcore scene. The fast-paced aggression of their hardcore roots occasionally surfaces in their earlier albums, but in the late ‘80s Mascis, Barlow, and Murph began to develop their own distinct style, which involved layers of feedback and heavy distortion blanketing Mascis’s drawling vocal delivery. The band seemed primed to break into the mainstream with their 1988 record Bug, but not long after its release, turmoil between band members reached a boiling point and the group split up. However, all was not lost. After

Photo by Jordan Darville

a lengthy hiatus, the original members of Dinosaur Jr. came back together in 2005, and within a couple years released Beyond,

which received overwhelmingly positive reviews. An unlikely reunion solidified, and the group has been consistently putting

out records every few years since then. Their most recent record, “Give A Glimpse of What Yer Not”,

came out last August to similarly favorable reviews. To someone who’s not a superfan, it sounds fairly consistent with their past sound: massive, energetic soundscapes, wailing solos, and Mascis riding the wave with his laid-back intonation. As usual, Barlow contributes vocals to a couple songs, including the excellent “Love Is… ,” with some nice ‘60s rock reverberations. It’s a consistent album qualitywise, so it’s hard to direct listeners to anything in particular, but the most memorable tracks for me were the upbeat single “Goin Down,” the shredding masterpiece “I Walk For Miles,” and the fast-paced, driving “Good To Know.” Doors open at 8:00 p.m. at MASS MoCA. If you plan on going, make sure to buy a ticket beforehand—the price goes from $28 to $36 on the day of the show. I know it’s pretty steep, but come on. Nirvana used to open for these guys.

Winter Wonderland at the Church St. Center By Emma Monahan A&E Writer

MCLA’s Classic Winter Concert took place last Monday night in Church Street Center, where student performers and the wind ensemble performed in front of the College community as well as the public. With a full crowd, it consisted of many students, whether they were attending for a class or in support of their friends, as well as parents. Two girls sitting in the back say in excitement: “I’m so excited for this concert!” This is how people should feel about FPA events on campus. From a first glance at the program of the night, the layout of the show seemed to be back and forth between the student performers and the wind ensemble. The night began with Yi Fu, an exchange student from China who was also an accompanist for the night, with a ten minute piece of Frederic Chopin’s Ballade No. 1 G minor. Constantly clean throughout the piece, Fu seemed to really get into the melody about halfway through, making the long piano piece a bit more enjoyable. The wind ensemble then came upon the stage, taking their seats along the stage, MCLA students and community members coming together to bring a wide variety of talent. The first song they performed of the night “Strike Up The Band” by George and Ira Gershwin. A wonderful opening for the ensemble that really showed how well the band worked together. Upbeat and catchy, the song was a classic orchestra piece that leaves the audience anticipating the next

Photo by Domonique Ackley / The Beacon

The Wind Ensemble played a variety of tunes including classical and seasonal music. The ensemble was joined throughout the evening by various different solo performances from several different students. song. After a performance of “Undertow” by John Mackey, the first of the student singers took the stage, Lisa Ryan, who performed an Italian opera by Alessandro Scarlatti. During the performance, as well as other student performances, it was sometimes difficult to hear. Mitchell McCauley, with his although powerfully dead voice that was impressive within itself, was even difficult to hear during some very low notes. The first three student performances, Ryan, Rachel Grizlack, and Nia Scott, all sounded very similar during each song. Although each performer had a certain qualities within their piece, Grizlack having a high vocal range to which she knew how to control,

the songs were unfamiliar, the only artist that was recognizable was Elton John, a song by him and Tim Rice “I Know The Truth” performed by Ella Lafontant. Senior Rebecca Patterson, who performed “Verdi prati” by G F Handel, explained why she believed the winter concert is so important to the MCLA community. “It’s an event that celebrates musicians in our community and it’s a part of the semester experience,” said Patterson. “Students practice all semester and at the end their friends and family get to come support their efforts and share in their success.” Junior Gillian McRitchie, who played the alto saxophone in the wind ensemble, talked about her favorite pieces of the night.

“My favorite piece would either be Rushmore or the Christmas sing along. When the crowd was singing ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ I couldn’t help but to laugh. It was awesome,” she said. McRitchie also commented on the use of the communities members within the wind ensemble. “Through having a winter concert the relationship between students and others is reinforced,” she said. Music professor Michael Dilthey told The Beacon that students usually pick out their own pieces, normally leaning towards songs that cover the bases of what they want to learn when it comes to singing and challenging themselves. He also said many of the songs performed in different languages were Italian, including

one in French. The wind ensemble played three more songs during the middle of the show, full of strong sounds, especially during Alfred Reed’s “Rushmore”. Director Patrick O’Connell was a bit confused between songs at one point, walking towards the edge of the stage where he would stand while the students performed solos, then realizing there was one more song to be performed. “I thought there was a singer next!” He laughed with the crowd, then jumping right into “King Cotton” by John Philip Sousa. The last two songs of the night were performed by the wind ensemble, bringing in the holiday spirit with a Christmas sing-a-long of “Sleigh Ride,” which had a handful of students participating.


Thursday, December 8, 2016


Photos by Emily Gabert/The Beacon

The Western Gateway Heritage State Park is home to the Museum of History and Science. This museum displays exhibits about the historical past of the town.

Museum offers in-depth look at North Adams By Emily Gabert

Staff/Features Writer Nestled below the Hadley Overpass is a historical community that calls the Western Gateway Heritage State Park home. The North Adams Historical Society resides in building 5A, and proudly sports the city’s heritage with the Museum of History and Science. The museum is open on Saturdays from 10-4 p.m. and on Sundays from 1-4 p.m. from November to April; from May to October they’re open from Thursday-Saturday 10-4 p.m. and Sunday’s 1-4. It’s closed on holidays, but visits on other days can be arranged by appointment. The museum is run

The North Adams Historical Society has its own history. According to their website,, North Adams has had two official historical societies. The first was the Fort Massachusetts Historical Society, which had its own museum until the 1940s. It closed down due to a lack of funds and vandalism. In 1971, another society came alive, called the Hoosac Tunnel Society who worked to make a museum dedicated to the historic train tunnel. After the park opened, the society switched focus and gave the Hoosac Tunnel Museum to the Visitor’s Center that sits across from the current museum. The Society counts 1988 as their offi-

Photo by Emily Gabert/The Beacon

A display at the museum that portrays buttons of local elections past entirely by volunteers and receives money from the city for operation and via donations. The North Adams Museum of History and Science opened in its current location in May 2001. The Historical Society has called the area home since 1997, when they were originally stationed in building one. The group petitioned the town for their original space. The current buildings in the Western Gateway Heritage State Park were empty and lonely before they became inhabited by the groups that now reside in these areas. “[The museum] was done in four months with 40 volunteers,” said Chuck Cahoon, president of the Historical Society, “January 2001 to May 2001.”

cial year of establishment. Three floors of local history rest within their warm and home like museum. When entering the building, you’re greeted by a small gift shop that houses products embellished with the city’s name and books about local history. A bird cage sits to your right, on the counter, allowing visitors to help support the organization by feeding money into the top of the cage. A guestbook is also open, which Cahoon encourages guests to sign before they leave. The first floor is full of multiple odds and ends that have been gifted to the organization over the years. As you step further into the cozy building, you’ll find different sections of North Adams history,

in its own special space. The first floor primarily focuses on businesses, farm life, the police and fire department, along with historical pieces from local schools. The second floor of the museum has elaborate pieces of city architecture that has been preserved. Cahoon once said he had an architecture professor visit the museum that claimed, “he could teach a class here, because there’s almost every form of architecture” in this section of the museum. An elaborate model of the train routes going through North Adams is also set up on this floor. The model is modeled off a map of the train route (which the museum has on display in color). Cahoon has made the display, primarily by himself, with some help from others with gathering the supplies. The train tracks are not complete yet, but Cahoon plans on adding scenery to the piece in the future. The James Hunter Machine Company has its own exhibit on the first floor, with models of some of the work produced by the company, along with photographs taken during its lifespan. It was owned and formed by Deacon James Hunter and his son James E. Hunter. It was well known for popular machinery used in the textile industry. The company was sold in the 1960s. Other textiles created in the city were shown throughout different walks further into the building. North Adams once even had a shoe company called “WallStreeter.” The museum has actual shoes made at the factory stored in glass cases for viewing. WallStreet was established in 1912 and closed its doors in 1973. A blurb found in the company’s exhibit stated that “the business survived the flood of 1927, through the overflow from the Hoosic River rushed down Willow Dell causing considerable damage to the factory basement.” James E. Hall, creator and owner of the company, was even said to have helped the city economically. “He helped broker an arrangement with other businesses to bring Sprague Specialties to the city in 1929 and also encouraged a producer of women’s shoes, the Gale Shoe Compa-

Photo by Emily Gabert/The Beacon

The museum is open through the winter and is run entirely by volunteers. ny, to settle in North Adams.” Hall unteers with archiving, and with was also active in politics. other small jobs all semester. “Grandma’s Attic,” also known Buchanan hopes to continue his as the children’s area, is a space work with them next semester. where you can try on vintage “It’s been good,” Buchanan said. clothing, look through old books, “It’s easy to read a book, but seeing play with type writers, and get to [history] for instance, in North see antique dolls and stuffed ani- Adams, shows America’s trends mals; throughout your visit, you and how it played out in the cities. will many typewriters from dif- It’s been nice to be a part of hisferent time periods. The children’s tory, and get to interact with it.” section has one more “modern” The third floor of the museum teal typewriter, while a more “rus- is primarily focused on medical, tic” looking one sits adjacent to it. military, politics, and other artiIt is one of two hands-on areas. facts that were given to the museAn MCLA history student has um. When standing and looking been interning and volunteering over the railing on the third floor, with the North Adams Museum you get a perfect view of how exof History and Science, Nathan pansive the railways once were in Buchanan, a member of the class North Adams. of 2017. He has been helping vol-

Photo by Emily Gabert/The Beacon

The North Adams Museum of History and Science has been at its current location since 2001.


Thursday, December 8, 2016


The views on the Hoosac Range Trail provides hikers with views of North Adams and Williamstown.

Photo by Joseph Carew/The Beacon

Retreat from finals Ski club more than with a trip to the woods meets the eye By Joseph Carew

By Joseph Carew

Features Editor

Features Editor

As finals approach, a time of great stress for many students, the wilderness calls to campus. Henry David Thoreau once wrote: “We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” To the existentialist the woods provided an escape from modern life, a place to be alone and to unwind. For those students in Photo by Joseph Carew/The Beacon need of a similar tonic for this trying time The Hoosac Ridge Trail has well-mainthe Berkshire National Resources Council tained paths and clearly marked trail (BNRC) provides the solution. markers. Follow the Mohawk Trail East past the ing land in the Berkshires and has been in Hairpin turn and the Hoosac Range Trail operation for half a century. parking lot will come into view at the crest “This is what we’re about: preserving, or of the Hoosac Range. Unassuming as this keeping land so we can all have access to trail may seem, it provides an easy escape it, enjoy it, find peace and serenity in it,” into the seemingly endless wilderness that according to their website. surrounds the College. Well marked and For those students who are seeking a not exceptionally vertical, the trail allows more intensive escape than the .8 mile trek hikers to choose between two paths to get to get to this viewpoint than the Spruce to the nearest viewpoint. Hill top path extends a further 2 miles. Note that “Hunting is permitted on This trial provides gradient changes, beaBNRC Property,” according to a bright ver ponds, and an even more impressing poster on the Trailhead sign so bright view with a spot to truly remove oneself clothing is suggested. Despite the trail befrom the stress of finals week. ing worthy of pause for those hikers who None of these trails exceed a difficulty of dress in colors normally associated with three on the BNRC website and doing the deer, both paths lead to a view that is baentire trip should take about four hours. sically unmatched in the area. Three states For more information check out: www. are in your gaze at this part of the trial with North Adams in the foreground and Williams town just off in the distance. BNRC deals with preserving and keep-

Photo by Joseph Carew/The Beacon

The Sunset Rock Trail provides hikers with a .8 mile trip to a beautiful view.

The rain begins to fall on the cool winter evening as Zach Benjamin, a junior, makes his way to the Beacon office. The weather is absolutely dismal for the conversation he has journeyed to have. The President of the Ski club here at the College, Benjamin is looking to expand the club’s activities and reach. “I think that there’s a misconception about Ski club,” Benjamin said. “A lot of people think it’s about giving opportunities for people who already ski to ski more and to ski in school, but it’s more than that.” Having learned to ski at a very early age; he knows a love of the sport that few others on campus do, and wants to grow the sport here. Ski club has been around for a few years, but Benjamin has big plans for the future. “It’s about spreading the sport and showing people who want to get into the sport what it’s about and then giving them a good chance to try it out and to fall in love,” he said. As of now there are more people in the club who have little to no experience skiing or snowboarding than those lucky individuals who have been skiing for years. The e-board of the club consists of four instructors with the experience needed to teach those new to winter sports. “I didn’t expect the response that we’re getting and I don’t think our budget’s ready either,” Benjamin said. “But it’s something that students want and they’re showing that by coming to our meetings, being so invested, even though they’ve never done it before.” The club will work to increase their budget for next year but are still planning trips for the upcoming semester, especially because of the increased interest. The club doesn’t have a specific membership. Once on the e-mail list and in the Facebook group students learn of a meeting where the club will be discussing a trip set to occur two weeks later. “And at that meeting we’ll have a sign up list and we’ll take anywhere from twelve to twenty-four students depending on how many vans we can get,” Benjamin said. “The first twelve to twenty-four people that sign up get to go on the trip. We offer free lift tickets or reduced lift tickets, free transportation to the mountain in our vans, we’ll help you with a rental for the first time, and we’ll give you free lessons, which I think is like the biggest opportunity there.” Once at the mountain the group splits in two: two of the e-board instructors

take to the top of the mountain and two go to the bunny hill. “So we have four people on the e-board and all of us are certified so the beginning of the day two of us will take whoever needs to, whoever wants to learn, to the bunny hill,” Benjamin said. “And then the second half, well, everyone goes back for lunch together and we all go to the lodge and we have a big family lunch together and then talk about how the day was and what you want to do the rest of the day.” The second half of the day is more of the same with options to continue learning on the smaller hill or to move onto the top of the mountain. “They can go to the top of the mountain for the first time and try going all the way down with the other two instructors and that’s a lot of fun for us, just teaching people,” Benjamin said. “That’s what the club is about: making friends and going to the mountain together, spending all day skiing together and then coming back.” Even though the College is in Massachusetts, the club travels to any mountain in the Northeast. “If we wake up early enough we can get anywhere in the Northeast,” Benjamin said. “We go all the way up to the Canada line, Jay Peak. We stay local too sometimes to get a quick trip in; we’ll go to Jiminy Peak or Berkshire East. Those are each about thirty minutes from here.” Benjamin is also looking to alter the name of the College’s Ski club so that it represents the members of the club better. There are snowboarders and skiers currently involved in the group and he wants to expand to include more winter sports if possible. The club provides more than just trips to mountains, however. In times like Benjamin’s walk through campus the club hosts snowboard and ski waxing workshops, trips to movies and other activities as well. Benjamin leaves the building as the rain continues to fall. Weather like this will probably prevent any trip this semester, but he has big plans for the future.

photo from Pixabay


Thursday, December 8, 2016

“The Odyssey” approaches end of second semester on

campus, looking forward By Mitchell Chapman Managing Editor

Online publications “The Odyssey” and “Her Campus” are common rivals on college campuses, such as UMass Amherst and UConn Storrs. However, at MCLA, they’ve yet to be active in the same time frame. MCLA’s chapter of “The Odyssey” was established by former Beacon A & E Writer Paige Pomerantz in early April of this year, with the first round of articles being published April 18. The last “Her Campus” articles to be published dropped March 26. However, current “Odyssey” Editor-in-Chief Nicollette Tanzi is interested in the prospects of a rivalry if “Her Campus” comes back next semester. “I’m interested to see what that would mean for the campus,” Tanzi said. “Her Campus’s” first inactive semester was Tanzi’s first as Editorin-Chief of “The Odyssey.” Tanzi took the position after Pomerantz, who led the publication through the end of last semester and into the summer, transferred schools. “[The position] was more difficult than I thought,” Tanzi said. “We have a lot of people that submit late, or haven’t submitted in a while.” Since Tanzi took over in September, MCLA’s chapter has grown from about 12 writers to 15, though only 12 submit consistently. MCLA’s chapter gets an average of one staff writer application per week, but not all get hired, as not all get back to Tanzi. The structure of “The Odyssey” is very similar to “Her Campus” in that it is very goal-based. As such,

MCLA’s chapter is required to publish a minimum of 12 articles a week, but unlike “Her Campus,” each article can be on any topic; there is no compromise to publish one article to each section per week. However, despite being looser in terms of subject matter, some of these rules have hindered MCLA’s chapter from growing. This fall semester, “The Odyssey” has introduced video into their chapters, but the quota required to maintain a video section is not something MCLA’s chapter can hit. “We would need to reach their goal of five videos a week to have a video section,” Tanzi said. “That’s not something we can do right now.” However, one thing Tanzi is considering going into next year is to create the position of Contributing Editor, who would serve as her number two. Tanzi is graduating next year and she sees the position as a way to train someone who could be the next Editor-in-Chief. There are no current plans to implement section editors. In the meantime, Tanzi hopes to grow the chapter in any way she can, especially in terms of reaching out to people who don’t currently write. “This experience really opened my eyes to a lot,” Tanzi said. “It made me really enjoy editing and writing articles.” “The Odyssey” was established in 2009, and is owned by Odyssey Media Group, which is based in Indianapolis, Indiana. MCLA’s chapter of “The Odyssey” is current overseen by Jessica Troland, an assistant managing editor with the company who has been published in “Variety” magazine.


“Her Campus” looking to rebound

MCLA’s chapter was inactive this semester due to issues transitioning campus correspondent roles By Mitchell Chapman Managing Editor

In the spring of 2015, MCLA joined 300 other schools by hosting a chapter of “Her Campus,” an onlineonly publication focusing on the “empowered college woman.” A year and a half later, and the chapter has gone cold. “‘Her Campus’ has been reaching out to people that were involved with our chapter about running it,” Emily Gabert, a former “Her Campus” staff member said. (Full disclosure: Gabert is a current staff member for The Beacon). “I’ve been considering picking it back up, but with my own commitment with The Beacon, I’m not sure how well that would go over. Also, with having the ‘Odyssey’ and how more people seem to flock over it - I don’t know if there would be enough people interested in participating or reading it.” Gabert and sophomore Erika Delisle were going to be this year’s campus correspondents, roles synonymous with Co-Editors-inChief, but things did not go to plan when Delisle decided to take a gap year to go to cosmetology school. However, Delisle might return next semester, and if so, ‘Her Campus” might come back. “Emily and I received

emails about becoming the new corespondents, and I would love to do it, but not without Emily,” Delisle said. “We are discussing the possibility or reviving it, but it’s all dependent on interest.” Gabert said she would be on board to getting “Her Campus” up and running if Delisle returns. According to Gabert, the previous campus correspondents were in the process of handing the chapter over when Delisle left. One major area of concern Delisle had was rival publication “The Odyssey,” whose MCLA chapter was established by former Beacon A & E Writer Paige Pomerantz late last spring. “‘The Odyssey’ is more loose about what they have to cover,” Delisle said. “‘Her Campus’ has a lot of rules. We have to write a certain amount of articles and post a certain amount of items to our social medias per week. I’m worried that students won’t want to join Her Campus because they won’t want to follow all the requirements ‘Her Campus’ has.” “Her Campus” requires each chapter to post at least one article per section as a collective, with two mandatory social media posts. To accomplish these requirements, MCLA’s chapter would meet up as a group collectively and delegate

tasks based on people preferences. According to Delisle, most people volunteered for what they wanted to do. By contrast, “The Odyssey” requires its writers to write one article a week on a topic and formatting of their choosing, with one mandatory share on social media. One writer isn’t necessarily responsible for the success of the collective. Delisle expressed additional concern that the name of the organization would turn away male writers, noting that many might mistake “Her Campus” as exclusive to female writers. MCLA’s chapter of “Her Campus” was established by current Beacon Editor-inChief Harmony Birch and former Yorick Vice President Margaret Kase, who is currently Yorick’s Treasurer, in the Spring of 2015. Her Campus is a national collegiate publication made up of local chapters, each run by campus correspondents. Her Campus was originally established in 2009 by three Harvard undergraduate students and was a winner in Harvard College’s business plan competition, a Gold Winner & Best All-Around Team in MassChallenge and was named Top Small Business of the Year by the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

News Analysis: Has convergence caused a media boom at MCLA? By Mitchell Chapman Managing Editor

MCLA writers have more options than ever to publish their work. Outside of the traditional Beacon student newspaper and “Spires” literary magazine, two new outlets have appeared on campus: “Her Campus” and “The Odyssey.” The additions come as both The Beacon and “Spires” have increased their web presence. In Fall 2016, The Beacon launched Beacon Web News, a weekly video program that publishes to YouTube, made in collaboration with the TV studio, and “Spires” launched a new website, which features online-only sections that aim to compliment the yearly print product. This begs the question, is MCLA in the midst of a media boom, caused by convergence culture? Different forms of media coming together is central to conver-

gence culture. Video with text, pictures embedded in stories, online integrated with print and integrated and promoted through social media and word of mouth and it has only become more prevalent with the advent of the internet. Convergence also plays hand in hand with what scholars call participatory culture, which plays a direct contrast to passive media spectatorship. Though not a recent development by any means, participatory culture has brought in millions of new faces and would-be writers into its fold, specifically through social media. A passive millennial who has never written for a website like “Her Campus” or “The Odyssey” has more likely than not written a Facebook or Twitter post, or have interacted with and shared articles in their feed. In 2005 alone, when a large portion of the United States was still using dial-up, before the days of Twitter or Facebook; Pew re-

search found that more than one half of all teens in the United States had created media content, with one third of all online teens sharing the content they produced. Since 2005, social media usage has skyrocketed (according to Pew research), with seven percent of all American adults using social media in 2005, and 65 percent of American adults using it in 2015. This is big news, as media like The Beacon, Spires, Her Campus, and The Odyssey are heavily reliant off of social media, as does media in general. In 2014, Pew research found that 50 percent of all social media users have shared images, videos, or news stories, with 46 percent of all users discussing what they re-posted. That 46 percent (roughly 30 percent of all American adults) are key to “The Odyssey” and “Her Campus’” success, as those sites recruit members that aren’t necessarily traditional writers. In fact, according to MCLA’s Editor-

in-Chief of “The Odyssey” Nicollette Tanzi, the site has done away with a writing sample requirement in their application all together. But that is not to say that these students aren’t writing. By being part of participatory culture on social media, students have gotten used to vexing their opinions on a multitude of topics, shaped by their interactions with their peers through their comments section, for better or ill. They are constantly engaged with and are reading news articles, which is a good way to become loosely familiar with the form. It is no wonder why “The Odyssey” and “Her Campus” have been able to tap into a previous “non-writing” demographic, because they have been writing all along, just on social media rather than on a traditional outlet like The Beacon or “Spires,” who have taken advantage of participatory culture in other ways, mostly through the new media available

in 2016. In terms of The Beacon, this has led to a weekly video section and online exclusive articles referred from the print paper. In terms of “Spires,” convergence has led to the establishment of new, online sections, as well as content that would appear in the yearly print product being published early on the website. This has led to some “Spires” content being published in the fall, which was traditionally an “off ” semester, being that the literary magazines publishes in the spring. There is more MCLA media than there was two years ago, and hopefully this continues to rise. Still, with a student population of under 2,000, how much campus media can physically grow is a question we currently have no answer to. Have we reached our limits, or is the sky our limit? How many outlets can MCLA healthily support? Many questions still remain as the College dives forth into a new age of technology.


Thursday, December 8, 2016


Trailblazers lose 130-98

photo from

Travis Rice does a lay-up

By Brady Gerow Sports Writer

Despite a season high of 26 points from Joseph Wiggins, the MCLA Trailblazers Men’s basketball team fell to Sage College 13098 on Nov. 29. “I think we just need to build a little more chemistry,” Wiggins said. “With being on the road you tend not to have that spark that a home team gets.” The Blazers began the year on a five-game road trip, with this being the last game of the trip. The Blazers fell to Wesleyan in their home opener Thursday Dec. 1, but Wiggins is optimistic it can turn around. “The wins will come,” Wiggins stated. “we just need to believe in the process.” Although the Blazers took home the loss, they had a few things to take home as positive outcomes of the game. The Blazers scored the most points they

Please stop getting mad on the internet

By Jake Mendel Web Editor

I have been covering sports for a little over four years and looking back, one of the most interesting aspects is how quickly social media, specifically Twitter, has blown up.

have scored in a game all year with 98. Wiggins’ 26 points was followed up by 20 points from Keiland Cross, and 16 points along with 13 rebounds from Joe Murray. So far in the season the Blazers hadn’t had a player score more than 25 points, let alone three players score more than 15 points in a single game. Despite the offensive success for the Blazers, Sage shot an outstanding 70 percent from the floor, and placed six different players in double-digits for points. Sage’s Davon Sylvester scored 26 points to match Wiggins in the contest. Sylvester was helped out by teammates Marcus Patterson and Jordan Devaughn who put up 24 and 20 points on the night. Besides those three, Sage had three other players put up 11 points or more. Sage’s bench also outscored the Blazers bench 54-20 on the night. The opposing team seemed to have no issues on the offensive end, shooting 51-73 for the night and 12-22 from beyond the arc. MCLA has since played Wesleyan in their home opener, where they fell 94-60, as well as a 10568 loss to WPI. MCLA is now 0-6 overall. MCLA will next look to face off against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the first day of the Tri-State Tournament on Friday Dec. 9

Social media has allowed everyone to have an outlet to literally connect with anyone from any walk of life. Most of the time, people find others who have the same hobbies and interests. With that being said, everyone has different opinions about different topics, most of the time because everyone thinks a different way, and that is okay. At one time or another, most of us who are passionate about something got mad at some random person on the internet for saying something we didn’t agree with and it turned into a whole big thing that you don’t need in your life. It is okay that people disagree with you, it doesn’t mean either you are right or wrong, especially seeing how easy it is to find stats and facts that fit your narrative. Warping a stat or narrative isn’t hard to do whatsoever, that is why it is easy to find so many people with so many varying opinions about different topics. or instance, any sports conversation that wants to be had can

Fourth quarter domination photo from

By Brady Gerow

Behind the dual threat of Kayla Hotaling and Courtney McLaughlin, the Trailblazers Women’s basketball team was able to get a win over non-conference opponent Lasell College. Behind a 16-point effort from McLaughlin and a 13-point 12 rebound performance from from Hotaling, the Blazers were able to shut down Lasell in their 55-36 victory at home on Monday Nov. 28. Up until the fourth quarter neither team really played a great game. The Blazers put on an outstanding defensive performance

in the final quarter of play. Only having allowed three points on one basket, the Blazers pulled away to secure victory. Both the Blazers and Lasell started the game off very slow. Both teams only scored eight points each in the entire first ten minutes of play. The quarter also unfolded in a way that led the Blazers to start off well, but only scored one three in the last five minutes of the quarter. The third quarter was where the Blazers cemented their lead in the game. Having outscored Lasell 20-12, the Blazers went into the fourth quarter with a decent lead that they eventually extended. It was the defensive effort that

led the Blazers to their eventual pull-away win. Having held Lasell to 1-11 shooting in the final quarter, as well as making sure they weren’t outscored in any of the four quarters played on the night. The Blazers have since only played one game after getting the victory over Lasell. They faced off with Utica College where they fell 66-52. The Blazers are now 3-3 going into their next game against Simmons on Thursday Dec. 8. The Blazers have also yet to play a conference game and won’t do so until January. Any sort of bumps that they hit here won’t have much of an impact on the Blazers outcome later in the season.

quickly turn into an argument. In reality, sports dialog is mostly arguments. We can argue things like best quarterback of all time, best Red Sox hitter of all time, Jordan or Lebron or Kobe or Wilt but at the end of the day it is an opinion. You aren’t going to be able to change someone’s mind just like someone isn’t going to change your mind, especially over the internet. You could get mad, but that isn’t healthy. Like I mentioned, we have all done it before and I am sure we all felt kinda dumb for arguing with someone who has absolutely no impact on our lives. Instead, focus on the dialog. The smartest (open to interpretation) people are going to say dumb things and the dumbest (open to interpretation) people are going to say smart things. Everyone has a voice and I think it is important to understand why someone thinks the way they do if you want anything positive to come out of it. Odds are, the truth, or the right (is there ever a right

answer? Probably not) is somewhere in the middle of all of the opinions. Instead of fighting, listen to someone else’s points and think about the different narratives. Not only can you learn from these conversations but by keeping it as a conversation and not an argument you are going to be able to find things that could also fit your narrative. Living in super-liberal Massachusetts (not a bad thing) means you probably think a certain way. When talking to other people from around the country, or even around the world, there is no chance that you guys are going to have the same opinions on just about anything. Think about what they are saying, odds are you are going to find ways where you can express your opinions in a way where more people can understand the points you are trying to make. Odds are, if you go into a conversation with that attitude, you are going to learn something. Just because you see yourself as a college student, or a college

graduate, doesn’t mean you are more right than anyone else. It is important to figure out what people are trying to say, even if they don’t say it in the perfect way. As Led Zeppelin once said, sometimes words have two meanings. Instead of focusing on proving someone wrong, or thinking the same way you do, just try to give them a reason to think. This article ends my twoyear stint with The Beacon. Thank you to everyone who has supported me by not only reading my articles, but also thank you for sharing my articles and the positive feedback. Oh yeah, let us not forget about the people who have had the negative comments. We are always learning and growing, without these comments I would have never known what I can continue to improve on, thank you.

Sports Writer


Thursday, December 8, 2016

“Every Day” Book Club Review

photo from

By Lindsey Doucette Special to the Beacon

What would you do if, every single day, you woke up in a different body? You have their thoughts, their memories, their wants and needs, but inside, you’re Would you go out of your way to ruin the life that you’re occupying? Or try your hardest to act normal, so as not to raise questions? This is a story about the life of A. A doesn’t know what they are. All they know is that they’ve been like this, switching bodies every day, since they were a baby. While at first it was almost like a game, at age sixteen, A spends each day wondering what it would be like to have one body, to be able to spend all of their time in one place. A is just going through the motions: wake up, access memories, and live the life. That is, until they meet Rhiannon. Shy, sweet Rhiannon, who has a boyfriend who doesn’t love her and a life where nothing out of the ordinary happens. A is instantly smitten and, although their day of being in Rhiannon’s

boyfriend’s body is done, they can’t get her out of their mind. A has never told anyone about what they go through. Who would they tell, and who would actually believe them? Rhiannon would be the first. As Rhiannon starts to believe them, and fall in love as well, A finds themselves with a purpose in life: 1. Wake up 2. Figure out how far you are from Rhiannon 3. Find out if you can visit Rhiannon 4. Ignore everything to visit Rhiannon As things start to get more complicated with obsessive ex-bodies, creepy pastors and a whole lot of different bodies, Rhiannon begins to realize that their love story might not be possible. The overall consensus of Book Club was that Every Day was a very well written book. However, most agreed that A’s personality was, at times, extremely obsessive to the point where some of their actions were slightly dubious and a lot of their decisions were only for themselves and not the people they were inhabiting. A had a very strict set of rules


to not mess up the lives of the people they are controlling, but these rules tend to get a little bit blurry as they fall more in love with Rhiannon. The amount of diversity in Everyday was refreshing. There were females, males, people of color, transgender people, depressed people, drug addicts, overweight people, nasty people, and even traumatized people. In this book, we see A’s side of the story. Their obsession, their morals, and their inner thoughts. Rhiannon’s story can be found in the sequel, Another Day. You can pick this book up at Book Club’s book sale next semester, or bookstores all around! It was an intriguing read that kept you coming back for more. FFXV continued from page 8 Originally revealed in 2006 under the title “Final Fantasy Versus XIII,” the game has undergone a lengthy development process that has brought on not only shifts in creative direction, but brought the title to next gen consoles. While a prolonged development cycle and jump in directors is almost notably a sign of bad things to come for both games and movies, Final Fantasy XV is far from disappointing. It does make some striking changes to the series however, some well received, others not so much. For starters, the world of FFXV is unlike anything that fans have seen throughout the series’ 29 year history. FFXV ditches the typically linear approach to storytelling that RPG games are often known for, and instead offers up an expansive open world that is beautifully detailed and brimming with character. The earth-like world of Eos is a peculiar mix of both high fantasy and our modern technology and architecture, something that has been touched on in past installments, but never to this degree. Players traverse the world through use of a sports car that needs to frequently be filled at gas stations that dot the map. They also need to sleep and eat in order


Campus Safety Log Monday, Nov. 28 7:44a.m. – Responded to medical call from Hoosac Hall and transported subject to hospital. 10:14a.m. – Completed campus-wide building check. Tuesday, Nov. 29 12:53a.m. – Assisted North Adams Police at 176 Meadow Street. 7:35p.m. – Warned subject involved in a complaint to Campus Police. Wednesday, Nov. 30 9:16a.m. – Completed campus-wide building check. 6:25p.m. – Closed case on a complaint from the Church Street Center. Thursday, Dec. 1 10:50a.m. – Responded to medical call from Bowman Hall and transported subject to hospital. 12:57p.m. – Responded to medical call from the Center for Science and Innovation, transported subject to hospital. 1:35p.m. – Responded to accidental 911 hang-up call from the Murdock Hall alarm. 5:37p.m. – Closed case on 911 hang-up call from Mark Hopkins Hall. 6:39p.m. – Filed report on suspicious activity in Venable Hall. Friday, Dec. 2 12:20p.m. – Responded to accidental 911 Hang-up Call from the Facilities Building alarm. 4:56p.m. – Completed a well-being check in Berkshire to restore energy, aspects that ultimately make the characters feel more human. At the same time, they may find themselves pulling over to explore on foot, engaging in side quests that will pit them against monstrous enemies. Major locations vary between the fantastic and the modernistic, the result of which is intriguing, but so different from what fans have come to expect that it may turn some off. Most Final Fantasy games involve the act of creating a traveling party through selection of a handful of characters that are gained throughout their respective story lines. More often than not, a player may be allowed up to 3-4 characters in a party, but may have multiple characters to choose from. FFXV ditches this series norm entirely. Instead, a player’s party consists of Prince Noctis and his three traveling companions right from the get go. They grow together, leveling up side by side with little to no variation between them. This change can be presumed as either a positive or a negative, which really boils down to a matter of opinion. While many fans thoroughly enjoy the act of creating a party all their own, the relationships between characters this time around are much more fleshed out due to them always being present.

Towers. Saturday, Dec. 3 12:19a.m. – Responded to a Guardian: Direct Panic Call from the Flagg Townhouses. 12:20a.m. – Closed case on a Guardian: Anonymous Tip from the Flagg Townhouses. 12:36a.m. – No action required for a simple assault reported to Campus Police. 2:22a.m. – Issued citation to subject at 277 Ashland Street/ Public Safety. 3:08a.m. – Completed motor vehicle stop and arrested William Horsfall of North Adams. Charges: Uninsured motor vehicle, unregistered motor vehicle, suspended registration. Refer to Non Reportable Arrest: 16-14-AR in Public Safety Log. Refer To Incident: 16-394-OF in Public Safety Log. 2:09p.m. – Filed report on juvenile problem in the Amsler Campus Center. 4:38p.m. – Investigated suspicious activity on Ashland Street. 5:44p.m. – Closed case on unwanted guest(s) at the Center for Science and Innovation. Refer To Incident: 16-397-OF in Public Safety Log. Sunday, Dec. 4 1:24a.m. – Completed a wellbeing check at Public Safety. Conversations between characters aside, it’s the subtle quips shared among them, the reoccurring jokes and examples of both their strengths and flaws in relation to one another that makes them considerably more rounded than characters from past titles. The battle system this time around has been completely reworked. Gone are the days of turn-based combat. No longer will players simply choose a skill and watch it play out. Instead, FFXV introduces an action-based combat system that is more akin to the hack-andslash genre. While damage is still tracked through visible numbers that appear upon giving an taking hits, the entire process of battling is much more involved this time around. Combat is quick, frantic, a blast to watch and most notably fun. For gamers, playing FFXV, relishing in its story line, becoming attached to its characters and losing yourself in its world is the equivalent of reading a high-grade fantasy novel the likes of a Song of Ice and Fire. Such is the case, it is not a game that everyone will enjoy. The dazzling visuals and changes to combat are sure to gain a few new fans of the franchise, while leaving the current fan base mostly satisfied.


Photo Essay

Thursday, December 8, 2016

r e v o e k a T s s u b p u m l C Ca w e N s r s e e i f t f i o v i t c and A Emily Gabert os Phot


Casey Nicoll ‘17 and Rebecca Patterson ‘17 tabled for the NRHH.

Faculty and students got a chance to mingle at the Campus Takeover Event.

Jeff Mason ‘17 & Peter Roth ‘17 both tabled for Chemistry Club, offering a game of trivia for students to play and free Starbursts.

Sundra Lam ‘19 plays the student radio station WJJW’s guess that song game.

The Environuts had toys and yummy treats available to those who passed by.

The Identity & Gender Equality Resource Center (IGE) had free solidarity pins for students to grab to showcase support for groups target by the President-Elect Trump.

Fall 16 Issue 11  
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