Amherst Terms and Expressions: An Exhaustive Glossary
Issue   |   Thu, 08/28/2014 - 18:11

AAS: The Association of Amherst Students; specializing in election scandals, infighting, obscure bylaws and referendums.

A capella: The best way to kill many, many hours with your parents during Parents’ Weekend.

AC Voice: Polemical online-only publication; favorite topics include bathrooms, Keefe Campus Center, privilege.

AmCo: Abbreviation of Amherst Coffee, home to English and philosophy majors. [q.v. David Foster Wallace ’84]

“Amherst Awkward”: One of two ill-defined and alliterative campus diseases [see also: EEE]. Known symptoms include: strategically-timed iPhone usage while crossing the quad, uncertainty whether or not to acknowledge that guy from your First-Year Seminar you sort of know, half-smiles.

Amherst Scrutiny: Website containing reviews of Amherst classes and professors; helpful during pre-registration and add/drop.

Antonio’s: Go-to locale for when nights go to shit [See also: Hot Cheese Up Front].

Arkes: Political science professor; Amherst’s diversity of political thought.

Army of Darkness: Men’s Frisbee team [See also: SparkleMotion].

Ask Big Questions: Wildly successful campus initiative to spark campus dialogue by Provost Uvin.

Book & Plow: Campus farm.

Bird Sanctuary: Beyond tennis courts, popular destination for “bird-watching” and “nature walks.”

Campus Crime Log: Weekly police blotter; rite of passage [See also: The Amherst Student].

Carolyn “Biddy” Martin: 19th president of Amherst College. Known for an illustrious Twitter persona, hosting seasonal outdoor parties [q.v. Fall Festival; Winter Carnival], sending lengthy apologetic emails following campus scandals.

Chevy Lot: One of three student parking lots, along with The Hills and The Tennis Courts; location of cars never, under any circumstances, driven during the year.

Club Sports: Second-class athletic teams, despised by Athletic Department [See also: Suzanne Coffey].

Coffee Haus: Popular Friday night event hosted by Marsh Arts House; no auditions guarantees at least one trainwreck per show.

Consent: Something that, jokes aside, should be understood and taken seriously.

EEE: Massive campus conspiracy to prevent students from socializing outside after dark.

Eph [pron: eeph]: Short for Ephraim Williams, the founder of Williams College. Also one of two Williams mascots [see also: Purple Cows].

Firedogs: Women’s volleyball mascot.

Forbes: Illegitimate publication, maker of rankings.

Frank’s Red Hot: Valentine antidote.

Fraternities: [q.v.: frat-like]; Not-so-secretive groups of males that either represent white privilege or incredible diversity, depending on who you ask. Known for hanging upside down flags in protest. Formerly comprised of DKE, Chi Psi, and The One Whose Name They Legally Can’t Use. Current whereabouts unknown.

Hot Cheese Up Front: $1 cure to Friday night malaise.

JeffCast: Best way to watch Amherst sports without having to walk to the actual games.

Lewis-Sebring: Faculty dining hall past the bathrooms in the lobby of Val; no. 1 reason to go to office hours and/or do research for a professor.

Little Three: Rivalry between Amherst, Wesleyan and Williams.

Little Red Schoolhouse: Preschool nestled directly in the middle of the war zone that is The Socials; sick architectural joke.

Lord Jeff: Short for Lord Jeffery Amherst, the controversial mascot of the college’s athletic teams; founder of both the township of Amherst and biological warfare; possible founder of Washington D.C.’s NFL team.

Memorial Hill: Location of to 47 percent of student body cover photos.

Oscar Martin: President Martin’s toy poodle, mentioned approximately 1.2 times in any given Martin speech, an unofficial mascot of the college.

Rao’s: Rival to Amherst Coffee; home to English majors, philosophy majors, seedy townies.

PVTA [pron: Piv-ta]: Free bus service between five Colleges.

Science Center: President Tony Marx's brainchild; has currently lost the college somewhere around $20 million.

Social Cups: [See also: Amherst Awkward] Successful campus initiative; cleaner and more spacious than anti-Social Cups.

Soy Sauce: Second smelliest campus phenomenon behind Socials’ common rooms. Unclear whether actually helpful in melting the snow.

SparkleMotion: Amherst’s women’s Frisbee team [See also: Army of Darkness].

Suzanne Coffey: Beloved campus administrator [See also: Club Sports].

Thesis: Elaborate excuse crafted by self-hating seniors to be anti-social and nurse drinking problems.

The Amherst Student: Independent student newspaper, published weekly. Known for campus crime log, little else.

The Hill: Far-off land behind the Emily Dickinson House, comprised of Marsh, Plimpton and Tyler. Infrequently visited because of lengthy distance from campus (.6 miles between Marsh and Frost).

The Indicator: Student magazine, published monthly [See also: AmCo].

The Muck-Rake: Preeminent source of Amherst College and national news; not affiliated with the Wall Street Journal.

The Notch: Popular hike/announcement strategy (via social media) for newly exclusive Amherst couples.

The Socials: Four aesthetically pleasing, uncontroversial suite-style dorms behind Keefe Campus Center [See also: AC Voice].

The Trailers: Former modular housing dorms cruelly named The Plaza and The Waldorf-Astoria; recently demolished to make way for Greenway dorms.

The Triangle: Made up of Seelye, Mayo-Smith and Hitchcock, the three dorms at the corner of Route 9 and South Pleasant Street. Though approximately the same distance to/from Frost as is The Hill, not considered “far away.”

The Zü: Also known as Humphries House and under no circumstances to be confused with The Zoo [q.v.: UMass-Amherst]. The college’s only co-op style dorm; despite its proximity to Pratt Field, not home to many football players.

Tony Esposito: The Counseling Center’s best counselor; moonlights as a barista.

Tony Marx: 18th President of Amherst College; a favorite punchline for DWI and alcoholism jokes around campus.

Panda East: Haven for underage drinkers.

Party Policy: A vague and mercurial guideline; favorite subject for student complaint [q.v.: Denise McGoldrick; Susie Mitton Shannon; Charri Boykin-East].

Privilege: Among the most frequently deployed buzzwords in any Amherst student’s vocabulary. [q.v.: problematic; postmodern; dialogue]

Purple Cows: Genetically impossible variation of cow.

U.S. News and World Report: Somewhat less, but still quite, illegitimate maker of rankings [See also: Forbes]

Windowsill: Preferred dance surface.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly named the new science center project as President Biddy Martin's brainchild. The science center was actually conceived under the leadership of former president Tony Marx.

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