At first, this op-ed was going to be a call to arms, asking our fellow seniors to boycott the senior gift drive. As members of Amherst’s divestment campaign, we planned to refrain from donating to Amherst College until the college has divested, a pledge that many other environmentally-conscious alumn have already taken. Amherst still has many investments tied to the fossil fuel industry, and we felt that it was important that our class does not give our dollars to the companies that are destroying our planet.
This is the first of a two-part series that asks, “What does it mean to be exhausted at Amherst College?” There is a tendency for students at elite institutions to scapegoat the heavy academic workload for campus exhaustion. The problem, I insist, is much more complicated.
In a letter to The Student last week, Shruthi Badri ’16 rightfully lamented the lack of tenure lines and the dearth of elective courses in the mathematics department. As the department, along with others, needs to cater to skyrocketing course enrollments, professors are increasingly employed to teach introductory level courses to meet the high demand. And this has forced, as Badri argues, the department to reduce offerings for students who want to wander into mathematics because they find it mostly elegant or interesting, rather than useful or necessary for other purposes.
In the spring of 2013 I shook Biddy’s hand and received my diploma and cane. I had graduated in four years, I had made lifelong friends and I would join an investment bank later that summer. I was “Amherst College Average.”
There is a disappointing, scathing and toxic mix of ironic leftism permeating discourse at Amherst College.
The perpetual problems of loneliness and social division among Amherst students have been discussed extensively in recent years. As administrators seek new ways to resolve these critical issues, it seems that housing is the first aspect of Amherst life that they turn to. They’ve proposed Neighborhoods. They’re tearing down the social dorms. And now, they are overhauling the room draw process. Some of the changes are undoubtedly positive: We appreciate that Res Life has decided to streamline the process and minimize errors by moving room draw online.
The career center is always bustling with visitors, and our email inboxes are constantly flooded with career-related information. It’s common to catch a glimpse of students dressing in suits for interviews and attending informational sessions in between meals, practices and homework. It’s the height of internship and job-hunting season. In recent years the career center’s ample resources for business and health students have gotten even better, and students who wish to go into these fields have a robust array of mentoring opportunities and recruiting events to choose from.