Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism. Support independent student journalism.
The Dartmouth
April 20, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Town-Gown Tensions

To the Editor:

A couple of points on your May 12 off-campus housing piece, "Tues. vote reflects strain in town-gown relations." Perverse '70s Federal tax policy had as much to do with town-gown friction as demand did. Parents and local speculators bought up residential properties, put in students at high rents and took large deductions off their personal taxes. Overnight a house would gain four cars and five subwoofers, but still only one now-overflowing trash barrel. No wonder the neighbors were put out. The current friction is more about institutional growth in border areas, which is a reminder never to live at the end of a block or where zoning changes to a more intense use.

While I'm on the subject, I wonder if could ask off-campus students for a seasonal favor. At the end of Spring term each year it is customary to erect shrines along the entrances to town, especially up and down West Wheelock St. Much like Buddhist stupas, these brown bag towers of bottles, cans and old newspapers do attest to the environmental rectitude of their gone-for-the-summer makers. But imagine how an expectant family on their way to Commencement -- one who has recently sent $150,000 to Hanover -- feels when the first thing they see in the town is a half-mile long alley of dog-strewn rubbish ? How about just putting the stuff in with the trash, where much of it is going to end up anyway. Thanks.