Since Amherst began, the College has developed two traditions — distinct from each other but both integral to the school’s character. One is a tradition of social reform, the other a tradition of cultural exclusion. The first embodies the sort of progressive ideals we try to instill in modern Americans, the other a retrograde carelessness about the sensitivities of people who fall outside narrow, old-school categories.

When you step into the online voting booth this week to choose your next AAS president, you should ultimately keep your own counsel and listen to your own advice. You know the candidates better than any alum, even an alum like me who knows the two principal contenders. However, choosing a president for the AAS isn’t something to do own your own. It’s much too important for that. There’s appropriate room for advice from people you trust.

This is the twenty-second column I’ve written for this newspaper, and the last. Over the past 19 months and 21 columns, I’ve tried to treat my section of the opinion page appropriately. Campus columnist is not a lofty position, so I’ve kept my tone more or less light. But at the same time, not everyone is given ink to spill, so I’ve made efforts at being meaningful.