There are these well-trodden paths that a typical Amherst student follows. Try to avoid them. Don’t go through life like you do on the path to Val from your dorm — mindlessly following pre-determined trails. Amherst can feel like a funneling system, one that takes our passions and dreams and sucks them into a hole where we feel a need to do what others are doing. After college, most people will end up in New York, San Francisco or Boston in fields like finance or medicine. Instead of passively following this path, think carefully about the road you take.

On Feb. 19, 2015, Harris Wittels, a comedy writer best known for his work on “Parks & Recreation,” passed away from a heroin overdose. He was only 30 years old. In his short life, he managed to become one of the most sought-after joke writers in Hollywood. In addition to “Parks & Rec,” Wittels was a writer for HBO’s “Eastbound and Down” as well as for the popular Funnyordie.com series “Between Two Ferns.”

In light of recent events in Florida once again sparking brief concern about the issue of gun safety, I think that we should all reflect on the events and public apathy that have led to this current environment. 17 people were killed last week in a shooting at a Florida high school, and there have since been rallying cries across the nation for increased laws regulating access to guns, such as mandatory background checks before the purchase of a firearm. But these cries have occurred before, and we often find ourselves wondering how this can happen again and again.

On Sunday, Feb. 11, representatives from every environmentally-focused group and organization on campus, including the Office of Environmental Sustainability, congregated in the McCaffrey Room in Keefe. Each representative explained the work their group is involved in, some noting a desire to be more active or fielding ideas for upcoming projects. The meeting also marked the inception of the Food Justice League, a new group that will address social and environmental issues centered around one of our most basic needs.

Ever since I renounced Christianity in middle school, I was never interested in learning about other religions. But a year and a half into Amherst, with countless more books and writing assignments ahead, spiritual enlightenment sounded appetizing enough. I don’t plan on shaving my head and fasting anytime soon (my hair is a proud asset), but I have enrolled in the Buddhist Life Writing course here at Amherst to see what divine spirituality looks like, at least in theory. I quickly brought some of the theory down to the ground level, and began applying it in my own life.

The relationship between dorm damage, the social spaces available to students, party policy and administrative oversight has emerged as a major problem facing the campus community. The email sent to the student body from Suzanne Coffey and Dean Gendron on Jan. 30 fails to accurately identify the problems or their sources. Further, their communication as a whole with the student body as well as the policies they have implemented have done nothing to improve the situation.

Last fall, the college’s Curriculum Committee published a draft report with recommendations and proposals for topics such as pass-fail, course withdrawals, first-year seminars and so forth. One of the most anticipated topics the committee was reviewing and considering was the introduction of minors.

Pages