Smith's $ 500,000 donation strengthens relationship with the city

Published: 12/27/2021 5:00:47 PM Modified: 12/27/2021 17:00:20 What does it mean to be a Smithie? As a junior who barely spent tim...

Published: 12/27/2021 5:00:47 PM

Modified: 12/27/2021 17:00:20

What does it mean to be a Smithie? As a junior who barely spent time on campus due to the pandemic, this question often comes to my mind and I will probably never get an answer. One thing is for sure, however, my short experience on the Smith College campus was heavily influenced by the culture and environment of Northampton, and it will always stay with me.

On December 10, Smith College President Kathleen McCartney announcement a donation of $ 500,000 to the Town of Northampton. Commenting on the decision, she said: “Smith wouldn’t be Smith without Northampton.”

In the days following the announcement, there was much debate as to whether this was an appropriate use of funds, overlooking the value Northampton brings to the establishment and the importance of its relationship with Smith College. It is important that Smith, as a wealthy institution, recognizes the benefits of being a member of the community and contributes to its well-being – and one of the best ways to do this is to donate money to the community. maintenance of the city.

First, Smith is responsible for financially compensating the city. Smith uses a number of the city’s resources such as roads, nature, and law enforcement, all without paying a dime.

The city spends a lot of money to maintain these services which Smith benefits from. Smith also does not pay property tax as a nonprofit institution, but raises the city’s tax rate as a prestigious institution. This is obviously a huge disparity in the college’s financial impact on the city. Some argue that Smith sufficiently compensates the city in other ways, such as attracting investment, providing clients to local businesses, and a campus with a gym, swimming pool, and nature trails open to the public.

However, the financial impact of the high property tax makes it difficult for many low-income residents to take advantage of these additional benefits. Services also do not contribute to more important aspects of their lives such as public education, public libraries and community services. Therefore, Smith’s direct financial contribution is more valuable to the Northampton public and compensates for what the institution takes from the community.

Second, Smith should see himself as part of the community and not as separate. As President McCartney has commented, Smith is not Smith without the city. The donation strengthens the relationship of the college, and therefore the students, with the local community, which contributes to the comprehensive education of Smithies beyond the classroom.

It can sometimes seem like the gap between students and the local community is too wide to close, as college students can represent elitism for many Northampton citizens who belong to the working class. However, Smith attracts students from all over the world who bring a valuable diversity of cultures and perspectives to the local community, and they also benefit from the residents’ knowledge of the history of Northampton and Smith College.

Finally, the large donation benefits Smith himself by strengthening his reputation. Engaging in charity makes Smith seem selfless, which is viewed as a positive factor by students and members of the community. The money will improve the quality of life in the city, moving towards important top priorities such as community safety and growing the local economy. These are two important aspects of a college town that students take into account when applying to colleges.

Smith did the right thing by donating $ 500,000 to the city, which gave so much to the college without demanding compensation. By contributing financially to the well-being of the city, Smith ultimately contributes to himself as an institution and to his students.

In addition, by taking this charitable step, Smith solidifies his relationship with Northampton and engages in community care.

At Smith, we pride ourselves on the emphasis on fostering a sense of community, so I can say for sure: fulfilling our role in the Pioneer Valley community is one of the most Smithie things we can do. To do !

Leela de Paula is an undergraduate student at Smith College who divides her time between Northampton and Boston. She is studying for a degree in public administration as well as in gender studies and is interested in local politics and social justice initiatives.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Smith's $ 500,000 donation strengthens relationship with the city
Smith's $ 500,000 donation strengthens relationship with the city
Newsrust - US Top News
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