Since returning from abroad, I’ve found myself picking up on all sorts of new and different phenomena at Amherst that didn’t exist last May. We have a musically maniacal Provost and a Dean of Faculty without Einstein hair; Frost Cafe’s serving iced coffee in a Polar Vortex and Val’s ditched the Jamaican Jerk for, of all things, Turkey Burgers. Even Keefe has spiffy (well, spiffy-ish) new lights and circular couches. I got an email about a package last week as I checked online the status of the laundry machines in the basement of my dorm. I could go on.

This spring semester the College will be implementing as a trial run several changes to its party policy. Last week, Dean Larimore emailed the students regarding these policy changes, and despite its verbiage, the letter summed up an earnest effort by the administration to improve social life at the College. The events of last semester, especially those of Crossett Christmas, demonstrated the necessity of changes to the party policy; this semester will hopefully prove their efficacy.

*TRIGGER WARNING: This content deals with an account of sexual assault.

The article is contributed by an anonymous Amherst alumna, who along with Angie Epifano, has filed a Title IX and Clery complaint against Amherst College.

I am a survivor who graduated from Amherst College this past May despite the administration’s efforts to silence and shame me.

It is unfortunate how the process of learning and the academic calendar are so out of sync. Learning is continuous and gradual, whereas academic pressure fluctuates and spikes sharply, typically in the months of December and May. Out of this dissonance, emerges the stress of finals.

Last year’s discussion surrounding sexual respect on campus illuminated a broken support system. Amherst College has since made many of the much-needed changes to the school’s sexual respect policy. Unfortunately, many students are unaware of these changes.

To address this, here is a comparison between former and current policies intended to educate students on changes to the College’s sexual respect policy and options in cases of sexual assault.

Who finds out about sexual assault?

200,000 RMB. That is how much a Chinese high school senior would pay a Shanghai-based consulting agency to apply to U.S. colleges. 200,000 RMB is about $33,000 and more than five times the 2012 Chinese GDP per capita. Coincidentally co-directed by an Amherst alum, this agency advertises its admission results to attract prospective customers. Along with two competitors, the company has advertised online a total of 12 Amherst College admits since 2010 .

As Thanksgiving break approaches, many of us are looking forward to spending the holiday with friends and family. Fortunately, those of us who can’t make it home can do the same — the College’s efforts to ensure that there will be a festive, communal vibe on campus are sure to give us all something to be thankful for, even if we can’t be with our families or friends from home.