ewly inaugurated Student Government Association (SGA) president Jason Brown sits in what is transitioning into his office. The soft-spoken redhead talks with his hands, but not wildly. His movements are deliberate and controlled, an extension of his grounded personality.
“I try to be a relaxed person…and bring that into situations,” he said.
The environmental studies major is dressed in one of his typical outfits: collared shirt, heavy sneakers, and a green fleece. But, he’s wearing khaki shorts, an expression of optimism in the face of the bitter wind and rain which battle the sun outside.
“I might be [described] as an ‘environmental studies kid,’” Brown said in reference to his business-casual-you-can-go-hiking-in wardrobe.
He cites sheppard’s pie from a restaurant in Williamstown as his favorite meal he’s had in the Berkshires.
“I know it’s not fancy. But it reminded me of home. It was a nice comfort meal,” he said.
But under the warm demeanor of this 20-year-old Templeton-native, is a passionate environmental champion.
This year Brown worked as an intern for the new bike share program at the College, a research technician working on a study about the native population of feral cats, and served as president of the Environuts, the green-minded group he helped found his freshman year.
“Environuts has been my passion…it’s been a real privilege to have the great e-board and members that we have,” Brown said.
The relatively new group even went to Washington D.C. in the fall for an environmental protest called the Day of Action.
With SGA he worked on the College’s Sustainability committee. He said that the group did a lot of work this year establishing where they are and where they want to be. He mentioned the College’s recent commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
“I’m glad we’ve taken the step towards commitment,” he said.
Brown’s love of the environment stems from a childhood deeply entwined with the natural world. Brown’s father is an outdoorsman, and the pair always went on outings.
“There’s a real connection that grows between you and the natural environment…It’s something that continued to grow,” he said.
And the Berkshires have strengthened his connection to nature.
“To see the beauty we have, even in our own backyard, has touched me. And kind of made me the person I am today,” Brown said with a contented sigh.
Brown is deeply involved with life on campus. As a member of the Ski Club, Outdoors Club, president of Environuts, and SGA Senator At-Large, it’s hard not to run into him.
“I really enjoy going to other clubs when they have events too,” Brown said.
To deal with the stress of his life Brown keeps up an active lifestyle when he can. His roommates are also outdoors-minded people and they go fishing and hiking somewhat frequently. But he wishes he could be outside even more.
“On weekends, we try to get off campus, go to Bennington or Pittsfield,” he added.
On days where he needs to de-stress, Brown likes to take time for himself. Sitting down with a cup of tea and watching Netflix or clearing his mind with a walk across the Greylock Glen. Recently, he’s started cooking and experimenting with recipes.
When asked who has helped him the most at MCLA Brown began running over a mental list, finding it nearly impossible to pick a single person.
“There’s so many people here who have helped me at different times,” Brown explained, “But if I had to narrow it down, Spencer Moser. He’s been a mentor to me.”
With a year till graduation, Brown hasn’t settled on where he wants to be yet. But he’s considering taking a year to travel before graduate school, either looking to join Americorp or working for the National Parks Service.