I have a confession to make. I was admitted to Amherst College because there are too many women in the applicant pool. They needed more men to reach the 50/50 ratio. They read “Matthew” at the top of my application, clearly a guy’s name, and were willing to overlook my other shortcomings and accept me into the College.
In the last issue of The Student, Katrin Marquez ’14 wrote an article about the College’s commitment to a policy of affirmative action. The article was sharply critical of the policy, and she raised a number of good points to support her criticism. For example, despite our policy towards “diversity,” the campus is visibly polarized along racial, ethnic and class lines.
Amherst College prides itself on diversity. We actively recruit students from across the planet — students endowed with unique modes of thinking and diverse opinions. Too often, however, our left-leaning majority seems to encourage an excessively narrow dialogue.
Class of 2016, please get an alarm clock that works well. I have tried many. There was even a time when my younger brother ordered a Sonic Boom alarm clock, which is exactly what it sounds like. It lived up to its name by shaking my mattress, blasting siren sounds and flashing red lights. It was way too much for me and my roommate. But I am now pleased to announce I have finally settled on a Casio 128 alarm clock, with a small, blue screen and a chipper, rousing alarm tone.
The past few months have involved considerable discussion of the “War on Women.” This war seems to be largely sensationalist rebranding of a conglomeration of some very important debates. While there is no excuse for comments about “legitimate rape,” Democrats probably don’t do the national discourse much service in framing the issue so violently. In her Republican National Convention speech, Ann Romney tried to win women’s sympathies and, ultimately, votes for her husband, Mitt Romney. Unfortunately she chose to speak to women as if they lacked brains.
The men and women of our armed forces are facing continual, catastrophic assaults that threaten not only their individual well-beings but also the effectiveness and cohesiveness of the military as a whole. These assaults don’t originate from Al-Qaeda, the Taliban or any of the groups that we have declared as our enemies. These assaults, distressingly, originate from within our own military. Every day our military personnel face sexual assault and battery from other members of the same military, frequently from those they have been drilled to trust at a religiously absolute level.
On the College website, I read the headline “Amherst Files Amicus Brief in Supreme Court Diversity Case.” Though I was not surprised that the College would support the respondent in Fisher v. University of Texas, I was appalled to see that the College prided itself in leading a coalition of so-called elite institutions in supporting the discriminatory practice of affirmative action.