This past spring, the College hired 28 new faculty members, a third of whom are on the track to tenure. This number may seem high, and indeed it is. Due to the arrival of phased retirement for numerous beloved professors, the constantly-shifting needs and interests of every Amherst department, and the growing number of students, the College is currently in a hiring boom — a trend that, according to Dean Call, will not be ending any time soon.
Over the summer, Frost Library underwent some renovations, as part of a project that took more than one year to plan and another summer to complete. While most of the library functions remain unchanged, there have been significant upgrades to the interior layout and decorations — expanded study spaces, increased display spaces, new furniture and a café that will open later this semester.
The room was quiet as the College’s fourth and final 9/11 memorial event opened, last night in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall. The panel was entitled “9/11: How we are different 10 years later.” With Dean of Faculty Gregory Call moderating, Professors Frank Couvares, Lawrence Douglas and Patricia O’Hara took turns speaking.
Dean of Students Allen Hart has approached the Association of Amherst Students (AAS) to propose that the effort to address campus social life issues be a collaborative venture between students and the administration. His proposal came after the recent setbacks on social life frontiers: basements in Crossett, Davis and Stone were rendered unusable for The Amherst Parties (TAP’s) due to fire regulations and the cancellation of funding for Senior Bar Night.
The College is gearing for some high-tech innovations, as professors across departments are beginning to experiment with including technology in the classroom to enhance students’ learning experiences. Professor Javier Corrales from the Political Science department recently surprised his class, Cuba: The Politics of Extremism, by introducing the use of Twitter during classroom discussions.
Students gathered near the Merrill Science Building on the night of Sept. 8 for a pleasant break from add-drop hysteria. Those who headed to the freshman quad were in for a sweet surprise as they discovered parked in front of Stirn Auditorium an ice cream truck handing out free Ben & Jerry’s Peace Pops, Dove bars, Hoodsie Cups, Häagen Dazs bars and other assorted frozen goodies.
Continuing onward, students found their way to O’Connor Commons, located in the Charles Pratt Basement, where a mini golf course had been laid out for friendly competition.
Last Thursday the Association of Amherst Students (AAS) and the Dean of Students Office partnered to hold a meeting to discuss the impact of the new Massachusetts law on sprinkler systems in social facilities on The Amherst Parties (TAPs).
Because of the law, the basements of Crossett, Stone and Davis can no longer be used to host the college-sponsored parties.