Amherst College students are back on campus after winter break, and many are bringing back more than just a tan from their vacation getaways. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the biggest flu epidemic in ten years has been sweeping across the country. Twenty-nine states, including Massachusetts, have reported very high rates of influenza-like illness, which is characterized by a fever greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, chills, body aches and a cough or sore throat.

Major: English
Thesis Advisor: Robert Hayashi

What is your thesis about?
My thesis is about biracial Asian-American identity in literature and also in my life. It’s a fusion of literary analysis and creative nonfiction memoir.

Over break Keefe Campus Center underwent major renovations that have reconfigured the spaces within Keefe and refurbished nearly all the public spaces in the building.

After weeks of debate regarding the future locations of the game room, Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) and Women’s Center, President Carolyn “Biddy” Martin sent out a campus-wide email on Dec. 21 informing students and faculty that due to the preliminary construction work that must be done for the new Science Center, Keefe renovations would have to be done over break.

On Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 at approximately 3 p.m., the Amherst College police were notified that the word “nigger” had been written in the snow on the roof of a car parked by the Lord Jeffrey Inn. The car was parked on Spring Street on the north side of the street and was therefore not on college property. Because the incident occurred outside the jurisdiction of the campus police department, it has been referred to the town of Amherst police who are currently conducting an investigation into the incident.

On Dec. 4, the faculty met and discussed two major points: an addition to the pass/fail policy and an Open Access Resolution.
Before discussing those two items, President Carolyn Martin announced that the Committee of Six decided to go with the online program, edX. The committee is expecting to have their first course as early as the fall of 2013. The committee’s announcement is not a final decision since the committee decided to have the faculty vote on it during a special meeting to be held on Dec. 28.

Besides coverage in national publications like The New York Times, Bloomberg and Inside Higher Ed, Angie Epifano’s Oct. 17th op-ed in The Student describing her experiences as a survivor of sexual assault at the College has also generated significant discussion at other colleges and universities around the country, inspiring some survivors to come forward with their own stories and opening up a broader dialogue about sexual assault on campuses nationwide.

Amherst College’s new Take Your Staff Out (TYSO) program was initiated last week. Similar to the Take Your Professor Out (TYPO) program, TYSO will allow students to go out to a meal with any member of Amherst’s faculty, from coaches to administrators to custodians.

The idea for TYSO came out of the day of dialogue the College recently held, according to Interim Dean of Students and Coordinator of Academic Support Charri Boykin-East.