Both within the “Amherst bubble” and beyond, loneliness has become a taboo word. No one wants to talk about it, let alone admit that they themselves are — gasp! — lonely. But silence only breeds ignorance, and ignorance gives rise to misinformation, fear and exaggeration. Claims that we’re now suffering from “unprecedented alienation” and that as time passes, we have “less and less society” — from a viral 2012 story in The Atlantic that spawned both outraged criticism and enthusiastic consensus — abound. So do links between loneliness and premature death, arthritis and heart disease.

Before I begin this article, I feel the need to digress from my main point for a bit. Over the weekend, the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) paired up undefeated LSU and unworthy Alabama to play in their “national championship” game, while excluding one-loss No. 7 Boise State from a BCS bowl in favor of No. 11 Virginia Tech and No. 13 Michigan, both two-loss teams. Had I not written about the evils of the BCS in an article last year, this article would address the subject.

Gender-neutral housing is sweeping college campuses across the country. Over 50 American liberal arts colleges and elite institutions like Princeton and Brown have a gender-neutral housing policy, and the number steadily grows every year. Amherst students reignited a long-simmering debate with a recently-drafted online petition requesting Amherst finally join the club.

Monday night’s Senate meeting was kind of like a black and tan drink; it started out with some heavier discussion, but moved on to lighter topics later on. With Deans Boykin-East and Nascembeni, Gretchen Krull and quite a few student visitors, we began with a forum regarding disciplinary policy and the honor code as it relates to sexual assaults on campus. Tania Dias ’13 opened the discussion with an overview of the situation and critiques of several disciplinary procedures.

I completely agree with Ophelia Hu ’12 about one of her major propositions: the Bible should inspire Christians to be environmentally-minded.

However, I equally disagree with her other proposition that moral absolutism exists and should inform environmentalism.
Indeed, if there were moral absolutism — if we as a society did not change our ideas about “right” and “wrong,” however slowly­­­ — slavery would still exist in government-sanctioned forms. We would still consider women as the inferior sex, and of course, Ophelia and I would not be students at Amherst College today!

In our issue before break, we published an article entitled “Missing AAS Budgets Raise Questions.” We’d originally planned for an article that took a closer look at the changes in AAS finances, in order to examine if and how spending changed from year to year. That article, however, proved difficult to write, as much of the data we needed was not available online, nor was it readily available offline, despite the AAS’ efforts to make them available on relatively short notice.

For many students, Thanksgiving break is a time to return to home and family, to reunite with friends and relatives and stuff themselves with great home-cooked food. Cherishing loved ones forms the traditional meaning of the holiday. At this time of the year, many families humbly welcome friends and acquaintances into their home to share in the intimate celebrations. While enjoying the warmth and sense of community that the break provides, we need to remember that a lot of students don’t, or can’t, go home during this time of the year for reasons ranging from work to finance.

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