Welcome back to Amherst! It is truly an exciting time to serve as your Student Body President. Last year catalyzed a great deal of changes to our campus, and much of the work is ongoing. Therefore, I’d like to describe some of the work that our student government, the Association of Amherst Students (AAS) will undertake over the next year.

Diner and Alsharif have both served on ACEMS since their first year. Diner is currently on the Board of Directors, and both are ranked as med-10s, the equivalent of “crew chief” on a standard corps.

Welcome to campus, first-years. We hope that Orientation is treating you well. Enjoy Camp Amherst while you still can; classes start next week.

We wanted to use this opportunity to offer you a short introduction to our group, and to offer some advice about when to call us for urgent medical help.

Amherst College in the 2012-2013 school year was a place and time filled with pain and discomfort in more ways than one. A number of important and contentious debates sprung up on campus. Words were spewed from many different angles. On the surface this was perhaps abnormal, replacing the usually somewhat tepid and quiet Amherst awkward and filling the space with radical action and concern over laudable, progressive causes. Everyone at Amherst, faces new and old, should be aware of this.

1. Learn how to study effectively. Find your a nook inside the library or around campus (we won’t share ours because that would defeat the point). Take study breaks often. Go for a walk around the trails or simply call a friend or family member.

2. Stay healthy. Don’t fall into the routine of ordering calzones at 2 a.m. every day. Invest in healthy midnight snacks. Try to eat as healthy as the options at Val allow you. And we cannot stress this enough: get enough sleep every night.

Only the most cold-hearted and quite frankly misguided individuals uniformly support not giving aid to the homeless. Comparatively, there are many people who think the idea of giving money to the homeless is good and that supporting charity efforts to counter inequalities is the culmination of social responsibility to the disadvantaged. I see this sort of charity all the time: if people do interact with the town’s too-large and apparent homeless population, it takes the form of throwing a few coins into a cup.

It is the time of the year that seniors are preparing for their graduation after nearly four years in the College. Every year, seniors face an inherent problem — disposing of their bulky and durable appliances. For their time in College they have purchased fridges, televisions and perhaps bicycles and game consoles; there have been sporadic jumbo sales on campus yet there has not been a systematic and centralized way for them to come together to sell off their appliances before they leave campus.

I still remember the day that I received Angie Epifano’s powerful piece. I was watching Project Runway, and I decided to check my email during the commercials. I read the piece three times before I called my mother and told her about it, and that I was going to run it. “Can you get in trouble because of it? Can they expel you or take your financial aid away?” she asked. I hadn’t really thought about it until then. The way I saw it, it didn’t really matter. Journalism is about exposing the truth. It’s about making a difference and creating change and starting dialogue.

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