Monday night’s Senate meeting ended with the ceremonial changing of the guard. As one Executive Board said their farewells, "clearly an emotional moment for guys like outgoing President Saumitra Thakur, who has spent pretty much every Monday night at a Senate Meeting for the past four years," the new officers were sworn in.

So, everyone, today’s issue is the last Student of the year — which, by my calculation, means that this will be my last student life column. Though I’ve been trying for much of this senior year to keep the idea of graduation out of mind and just live in the moment, the concept of having to leave this glorious place that we call Amherst is becoming more palpable as we have more of these senior activities — Senior Ball, Senior Speakoff, Senior Luncheon, Senior Dinner, Senior Yearbook Photos and the annual Seniors and Senior Citizens Tri-County Break-dancing Competition.

This Friday, the Student Body will elect a new Senate for the upcoming school year. Monday night’s meeting proved to me that the AAS is truly heading in a direction towards making student life issues a priority, which is something that I, and many others, have long hoped for. I hope to see a new Senate that continues this focus. Here are some things we talked about Monday night:

Oh, hello there. So I’ve been thinking about my column of late, and for the most part I’ve been discussing some issues on campus that deal with student life - a phrase that, really, just refers to “how students at Amherst are living.” I’ve brought up a number of issues with housing and campus life that I feel Amherst should be improving upon. That said, I want to recognize that for us as Amherst students, life is pretty awesome.

When students move out at the end of the year, they leave behind a lot. Years ago, most of the stuff that the students left behind ended up in a landfill. However, thanks to waste reduction and recycling efforts at Amherst College, students are leaving behind less stuff, and more of the items that they do leave behind are diverted back to local communities.

This Friday, the student body will have the opportunity to vote in a referendum on a new Constitution for the AAS. Today, the incumbent and incoming Presidents and the author of the new Constitution write to encourage you to vote ‘no’ in the referendum.

The nation watched attentively as our two parties bickered over the budget while holding thousands of federal employees hostage. Congress averted a federal shutdown with less than two hours before the midnight deadline after days and nights of relentless bargaining. That was crisis number one.

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