Make no mistake — there is a sports information crisis brewing at Amherst College. The numbers tell you as much.

Since 2006, Amherst has employed no fewer than six different sports information directors, commonly known as SIDs. One after the next has left after a year or two for a similar position elsewhere; this includes Amherst’s most recent SID, Mike O’Brien, who departed Amherst for the same position at a peer school, Wesleyan University.

Here’s something hard to argue with: political discussions are a net good. Through debates, people voice their opinions against dissenters, gain new perspectives and even strengthen and clarify their own positions. Especially on a liberal arts college campus like Amherst, where we are taught to challenge our personal convictions and conceptions of the world, debating the most pressing issues of fiscal and social politics is key.

The fossil fuel industry has an unwavering grip on our political system, our environment and, in the most extreme of scenarios, is leading the decline of sustainable life on Earth. This is about more than just living in a world without polar bears. This is a very real existential threat. We must fight back — and college campuses are the perfect place to start sending this message to the fossil fuel industry: Your profits do not take priority over our planet.

This is inspired by those who care for others and themselves, those who organize and write. Thank you.

Dear first-year me,
I hope this letter finds you well. Is it strange to be getting a letter from yourself? Perhaps it is, but knowing me (and knowing you), perhaps it is not. In any case, I wanted to share some thoughts as we head into the end of this semester and the beginning of next. Here they are:

When it comes to fighting climate change, we often deny ourselves the ability to make the changes that are in our power to make. This week at COP21, the international conference on climate change being held in Paris, world leaders will undoubtedly produce a plan that is insufficient to prevent the catastrophic events that we know will result if we continue to burn fossil fuels at anything close to our current rate.

When I first accepted this job, Amherst was reeling from a months-long election scandal and would soon erupt with controversy over a ban on fraternities. I was a soon-to-be sophomore with no idea what I was getting into. All I knew was that this newspaper was basically consuming my entire life already, so I might as well make it official.

The Amherst College Black Student Union held its annual Kwanzaa celebration last Friday night. The other members of the BSU executive board and I hosted an empowering night of community reflection and togetherness in the Octagon. We began by acknowledging the transformative work of members of our community through an award ceremony followed by a catered dinner. 

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