Pain in the AAS
Issue   |   Wed, 09/12/2012 - 00:20

AAS Senate meetings are a lot like Monday Night Football (MNF). First of all, they both happen on Monday nights at 8:30. Beyond that, the voices of MNF and the AAS often shape generations. While football is certainly an entertaining spectacle on a slow Monday night, MNF has become known for the announcers who call the action. Howard Cosell interjected the NFL into America’s weeknights beginning in 1970, and managed to singlehandedly redefine an entire night of primetime. Just as Johnny Carson built late-night television, Cosell founded the institution of primetime sports. Primetime sports became a cultural icon in American life. Many Americans first learned of John Lennon’s death from Cosell’s report on MNF in December 1980. John Madden, Cosell’s successor, used his platform to make football accessible to the entire country. The Madden brand extended beyond his commentary to a video game franchise that has sold nearly 100 million copies since 1988. Monday night has become a critical platform for generational voices.

Similarly, the AAS Senate provides a platform for the articulation of the College’s most pressing cultural concerns. This semester, we’ve featured a new section of our meetings called Public Comment. This forum opens the floor for any pressing concerns you may have. Believe it or not, Senate is a really great place to bring up ideas or problems you have. We’re really interested in making changes both great and small to the Amherst campus. This semester we’ve secured Wall Street Journals for Valentine, installed card readers for practice rooms in James and Stearns and procured loanable calculators for Frost. The AAS has a special interest in promoting the visibility of arts on campus. If you have ideas for concerts, exhibitions, or have artwork/photos you would like to show, come to our meeting or contact us at AmherstArtsCommittee@gmail.com.
On Monday night, the Senate gave the floor to Deidre Nelms ’13, who delivered a succinct and powerful proposal for divestment from coal corporations. She brought attention to a national movement around collegiate divestment from fossil fuel industries, while reporting on the successful rally last Friday night. The Senate asked for clarification on her proposal, exploring avenues for student engagement with the endowment. Responsible investment should be a hallmark of an enlightened institution such as ours, and the Senate’s open forum moved the discussion forward. Great cultural shifts tend to happen on Monday night.

Unfortunately, there’s a major downside to our great similarity with MNF. The conflict between these Monday-night institutions creates tension between football fanaticism and passion for student life. At our meeting on Monday night, Pierce Edwards ’13 was compelled to resign from Senate, citing limitations on his freedom to enjoy MNF. In expression of his freedom, he removed his shirt, shocking the Executive Board with his studly physique. George Tepe ’14 commented, “I like the shirt off.” After delivering a sweeping commentary on liberty, protein supplements and the importance of going out with a bang, Pierce departed our meeting. Pierce Edwards has been a central figure for the AAS Senate, and he will be missed.
One of Pierce’s central concerns, the quality of Val, is being well attended to. John Yarchoan ’13, before last night the lone member of the AAS Dining Services Committee, outlined a rad proposal for gourmet bag lunches in the common room at the entrance of Val.

This program would allow Amherst students to carry quality lunches on their expeditions, shining Val’s light wherever we go. Terras irradient, indeed. Also, cereal for dinner! Christina Wong ’14 and Bess Hanish ’13 will join him on the committee to enact even more delicious measures. Monday nights are truly when the lights shine brightest.

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