Progress in the United States (or more specifically, progress in Congress) seems nearly impossible when we look at the deadlock that has plagued Obama’s presidency. The underlying fear is that President Obama, if re-elected, will be unable to unite the country and get anything done. The time for unity in this saga, however, is long gone.

America is at crossroads, and the outcome of this election will be crucial.

On Monday night, the co-authors of this column brought forward an ambitious new proposal to advance sustainability at Amherst College. A product of five months of work, this pilot project is designed to introduce electric vehicles into the campus fleet. It consists of two parts — the installation of an electric vehicle charging station and the purchase of the campus’s first electric vehicle.

The end of the first week of add/drop period usually brings a quiet sense of relief and order in a storm of chaos; most students are set with their schedules by this time, and only the few unlucky stragglers are left still scrambling for classes in the dying days of shopping period. This semester, however, has been characterized by an unusual surge in the number of harried students who are still looking for classes as late as today.

This will be a somewhat rambling piece about what was discussed at Monday’s AAS meeting, but if there is one thing to take out of the column it is this: the AAS has no intimate relationship with Program Board and should not be held responsible for the Spring Concert fiasco. The email that Program Board sent out to the student body about their failure to reach an agreement with an artist for Spring Concert was the first we had heard of it. Our own representative to the Program Board (Peter Crane ’15), was not updated about the progress of negotiations, nor was anyone else.

While the recent email sent out by Program Board about the Spring Concert came as a disappointment to many students, it was met with more resignation than indignation. There was almost a sense of inevitability to it; it is not harsh to say that the College has not organized a successful Spring Concert for years. Spring Concert is supposed to be a time of campus unity and satisfaction arising from a rewarding experience and a great band the entire school can enjoy.
Last year we had Mike Posner. This year, we’re probably going to host nobody.

Christmas began last year in the United States on November 25, on the heels of our national celebration of over-stuffing and cross-country flights, as it is every year. It snuck in after the last dishes were dried, took its place at starting lines across the nation, and took off with a bang: a Los Angeles woman pepper-sprayed a fellow shopper who took the last Xbox 360; in Florence, AL, police stun-gunned a man and arrested him. Altogether, Black Friday shoppers exorcised a record $52.4 billion in a free market feeding frenzy.

Europe as a continent and a society didn’t just teeter on the precipice of destruction, it fell off — twice. It is from this history that the European Union has become a living dream of nonviolence and proof of the possibility of redemption, created from a cry for harmony and the necessity for coexistence.

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