Days after the announcement of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, introduced by the House Committee on Ways and Means on Nov. 2, the college publicized its concerns with various elements of the bill, including a proposed excise tax on some colleges’ endowments.

President Biddy Martin’s email, sent to the Amherst community on Nov. 7 and published online, outlined the elements of the bill that she said may threaten the college’s ability to fully support its mission and students.

The student-led “Being Human in STEM” (HSTEM) program, which was developed to promote discussion and research on inclusiveness as well as the role of personal identities and diversity within the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, will offer a course for students in Spring 2018.

The college held an event called “Decolonization in Comparative Context,” which took place in in the Center for Humanistic Inquiry on Oct. 27 and 28 and featured a variety of panels with guest speakers.

Panel participants attempted to define decolonization and discuss “its origins and its connection to the histories and memories of a given geographical space,” as well as the “legacies [that] decolonial thinking pass[es] on to contemporary thought,” according to the event’s official description.

Direct Action Coordinating Committee (DACC), a student-run group that aims to promote student rights and social justice on campus, hosted a three-day event called Climate Camp on Oct. 11-13. The event, intended to raise campus-wide awareness and support for divestment of the college’s endowment from fossil fuels and indirect investments in private prisons, took place as a camp-out on the First-Year Quad.

Student teaching assistants from various academic departments gathered on Sunday, Sept. 24 for a training session that covered issues such as effective teaching practices and inclusivity in classrooms. The training session was part of the college’s goal to reexamine the ways in which faculty and other educators interact with students on campus.

Following Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ speech on Sept. 7, in which she discussed plans to remove or alter portions of Title IX guidelines, the college’s administration vowed to continue in their efforts to prevent and manage sexual misconduct cases.

Mary Margaret Stoll ’17 is a double major in chemistry and environmental studies. Her advisor is Professor Anna Martini. Her thesis examines the properties of ice core specimens from Antarctica.

Q: What is your thesis? What are you studying?
A:
I’m doing an environmental studies thesis, and I’ve been looking at six sea ice cores from Antarctica. I’ve been studying the structure and chemistry and oxygen isotopes and how all those properties vary with depth.

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