Before I arrived at Amherst last fall, I had never thought much about improvised comedy. I knew the basics of what it was, and I vaguely knew that many well-known comedians had an improv background. I’d never seen it performed, nor had I really sought it out. However, after I auditioned for Mr. Gad’s House of Improv on a whim and was somehow accepted, improvised comedy has become a huge part of my life. At this point, I am obsessed with improv — and that description could even be putting it lightly.

The saying goes: “Time is of the essence.” That is to say, the timeliness of events is paramount to their success.

Two years ago, an Amherst sophomore broke her foot. She suddenly found that her life at Amherst became much more difficult. Getting around campus, going up stairs, eating at Valentine Dining Hall— simple, everyday tasks were suddenly strenuous endeavours to navigate a largely inaccessible campus landscape. Unfortunately, Amherst’s Office of Student Affairs was less than helpful. As she described in a recent interview, “I got pretty much zero help ...

This is not the column I had planned on writing this week. I had a couple hundred words written about awards shows and their place in American culture, inspired by the wacky Oscars broadcast this past Sunday. Then, early yesterday morning, we all received an email alerting us to the fact that transphobic vandalism had been written on the mirror of a gender-inclusive bathroom in Frost Library. Receiving this email dismayed and horrified me, as I’m sure it did for many fellow students. So, when I sat down to finish my silly awards show article, I realized that I could not.

Before we imagined what community looked like, we simply wanted it. Students and the institution both often rely too heavily on aesthetics. We try to create a community that looks and behaves a certain way, but we don’t always listen to the underlying emotional drive for social connection. Relational drive becomes sidelined for the sake of the relational product, and we lose sight of why we were trying to connect with others in the first place.

Dear Alumni, Whom I Love:

‘Thank you so much for your support’ — which has, today, granted me a polite one or overstepping two cider donuts. These donuts are essential. When I bite into one and get lost in its somehow both fluffy and dense center, I forget for an instant that I am placing myself as indebted to you in order to obtain a plain gray tank top.

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