Journalism, The Amherst Student included, deserves criticism. Often times what journalists write is wrong, sensationalized, unfair or incorrectly focused. But while other presidents have complained about the press, President Donald Trump has dangerously changed the role of journalism by not acknowledging the essential role that an independent press plays in our democracy.

As the semester begins to end, students are preparing for final exams, papers, projects and other assignments to make sure they get all their work done before holiday break. At such a culturally and economically diverse institution such as Amherst, the way each student spends their leisure time during the break can vary tremendously. It is easy to overlook the depth and ubiquitous nature of diversity when the holiday season rolls around due to the bombardment of Christmas-themed commercials on TV, items at stores, and basically everything else you can think of.

Here is a fact that should sound familiar to all who know about the benefits of early decision in the college admissions process: For the class of 2020, the regular decision acceptance rate to Ivy League schools was 6.8 percent, while the rate for early applicants was 20.3 percent.

With the release of the Curriculum Committee’s Draft Report last Wednesday, it’s time we reflect more deeply on how the curriculum affects the nature of our college experience. Although not directly related to the curriculum, the college should seriously consider hiring more professors. While Amherst does have an adequately-sized faculty for the number of students, the increasing pressures involved with being a professor means that the same number of professors that worked in the past may be too few now.

A few days ago, reports came out that four American soldiers had been killed in an ambush in Niger. President Donald Trump has disavowed responsibility and put the burden on the military. Niger holds one of the largest concentrations of U.S. forces in Africa, and the American military has been strengthening its presence on the continent with the goal of training local forces to help them fight extremists. According to The New York Times, the reasoning behind this is that the United States is trying to avoid larger deployments.

Amherst College is the type of campus that President Biddy Martin has described as having a “yeasty” culture, which she defined in her 2016 convocation speech as “characterized by unrest or agitation, in a state of turbulence, typically a creative or productive one.” The sight of open laptops during breakfast at Val is a testament to the ostensibly high-voltage energy of its students, who are constantly working on problem sets, readings, essays or extracurricular activities.

With an open curriculum, it can sometimes be jarring to look back on your transcript and attempt to trace a line of continuity through your coursework. Though some majors may have stringent trajectories, many are quite open-ended, and it is possible to end up with all kinds of patterns in levels and sub-topics even within one discipline.

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