At 9 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13, a rumor began to spread amongst the student body that there was a gunman on campus. Mass texts and Facebook statuses propelled the rapid spread of the story, until Amherst College Police issued a campus-wide email at 9:45 p.m. that the incident had been resolved and there was no threat to students. According to the police report, a student had jumped up during a film screening in Pruyne Lecture Hall in Fayerweather, startling his classmates and prompting the panicked calls to campus police.
Hello. You may know that I’m studying abroad this semester and currently traveling through Europe on spring break. You may not know that, for the past two weeks, I’ve actually spent most of my time pondering the Amherst Association of Students (AAS) E-Board Election instead.
Why? Because I care too much.
The controversial execution of death-row inmate Troy Davis on Sept. 19 sparked nation-wide protests as opponents of the death penalty took up their pens and took to the streets. Armed with signs, candles and a megaphone, local activists rallied on the Amherst Town Common at 5:30 p.m. last Wednesday. Among the 80 attendees were Five College professors, Amherst residents, as well as over a dozen students of the College.
The College boasts on the front page of its website that the average financial aid package provided to students is over $37,000. Fully half of the student body benefits from financial aid, and the College’s commitment to its no-loans policy means that students need not worry about being haunted by the cost of an excellent education. Operating on a need-blind philosophy, even during times of economic difficulty, the College’s commitment to financial aid has been a direct investment in a more socioeconomically diverse campus community.
The Lady Jeffs come into the fall season on the heels of a successful 2010-2011 campaign. Currently ranked 14th in the nation, the team will be looking to improve on past successes with a host of experience at its disposal.
On Aug. 26, students received an email notifying them of a change in fire safety regulations that would affect several popular social spaces on campus. Dean of Students Allen Hart wrote in the email that, following a directive from the Fire Chief for the town of Amherst, “spaces which hold 100 or more people cannot be used unless they have a sprinkler system.” Based on regulations issued by the State Fire Marshal, the decision means that events and parties can no longer be held in the basements of Crossett, Davis and Stone Dormitories.