Think of any college movie you’ve ever seen. Buying into the classic collegiate stereotypes, the protagonists probably get drunk at a big football game, cheer for their mascot at the track meet or attend an underground a capella battle. Before stepping on campus, most future Amherst students probably imagined they would frequently support their classmates, neighbors and close friends at events, performances or sports games. They most likely imagined they’d spend their weekends wrapping themselves in purple apparel and screaming “Go Amherst!” until their voices turned hoarse.

There’s an old saying in politics: Laws are like sausages — no one wants to see how they’re made. Most American citizens want their roads plowed, mail delivered and bridges kept structurally sound. Yet, less than half actually show up to vote during the presidential elections every four years. That number drops dramatically for the state and local elections in which most legislation is actually passed. The candidates in many elections for crucial senate seats run unopposed as both they and their district have lost any of their original inspiration for change.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: You and your four friends are trying to get a suite in Taplin, but it only has four rooms. Perhaps your group will have to draw straws. Maybe you’ll all just decide whom to kick out based on messiness, sleep schedules or high volume of sex. The room draw process is stressful, messy and ruinous to friendships. It’s rumored that room draw keeps the Counseling Center in business. In short, it is a commonly held belief that room draw destroys friendships and should be avoided at all costs for the sake of your mental and physical well-being.

Current students might know Tony Marx for recently appearing on Humans of New York to advocate for the modern relevance of the public library. But the former Amherst president should be noted for his agenda that has changed the campus makeup and culture. Pushing for a level of diversity unheard of by our peer institutions, he created some of the generous financial aid packages that allow the Admissions Office to operate need-blind. There should be no doubt that the Admissions’ Office commitment to creating a diverse student body has done wonders for this college.

It’s a widely held opinion on campus that theme houses work. Out of the various articles and focus groups recently devoted to loneliness, students have worried about their place in the overarching community, the lack of tradition, and the athlete/non-athlete divide. Almost universally, however, it seems that students find their place in the smaller communities of theme houses. Especially for sophomores who want singles with a good community, these houses are a godsend.

While wandering around the Amherst campus from mid-February to spring break, it’s hard not to feel a profound wave of stress. You could be excused if you expected the snow on the ground had to stay well into finals period in May. This existential stress, however, is different and far more pervasive than a scramble for grades. It makes students of all class years and majors constantly ask themselves: “What am I doing with the rest of my life?” Internship season has arrived at Amherst.

It’s fair to generalize and say that many members of the faculty, administration and student body were disappointed by the cancellation of the winter carnival. Although we all laughed at the Muck-Rake article “Winter Carnival Postponed Due to Winter,” the response mainly masked our frustration. In the current Amherst social scene, the carnivals set up by Biddy and the administration are the closest things we have to campus-wide traditions. Yet, not only can these events be undependable despite fairly predictable weather conditions, the carnivals do little to actually unite our campus.

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