One late night at the end of the August of 2008, a quiet, unassuming girl from Shanghai, China, stepped onto the Amherst College campus, still relatively unfamiliar with American culture and looking forward to an education that would hopefully lead to a career in finance or investment banking. Now four years later, Yinan Zhang will be matriculating with a double major in Spanish and Economics, a close familiarity with three different cultures and languages and an acceptance into a Harvard Master’s program to research education.
A heated discussion took place in the AAS Senate meeting on Monday, and a large part of it concerned “privilege,” and being confronted with the “accusation” of being privileged. This article, while influenced by that discussion, is not focused on what happened at Senate, or on any other specific instance in particular, but aims to discuss a broader conception on what privilege is, and what being privileged means.
An Indian-born London School of Economics (LSE) graduate, Professor Prakarsh Singh filled in the much-needed role of the College’s development economist, bringing with him a whole host of diverse and socially conscious ideas, along with an engaging teaching style. The Student talks to Professor Singh about his intersts and his impressions of Amherst.
Students gathered near the Merrill Science Building on the night of Sept. 8 for a pleasant break from add-drop hysteria. Those who headed to the freshman quad were in for a sweet surprise as they discovered parked in front of Stirn Auditorium an ice cream truck handing out free Ben & Jerry’s Peace Pops, Dove bars, Hoodsie Cups, Häagen Dazs bars and other assorted frozen goodies.
Continuing onward, students found their way to O’Connor Commons, located in the Charles Pratt Basement, where a mini golf course had been laid out for friendly competition.
On Tuesday, Jessica Valenti, the author of three books concerning women, sexuality and the double standards in today’s society, as well as an editor at feministing.com, an online feminist blog, presented a lecture entitled “Hooking Up: The Slut vs. The Prude.”
Valenti opened her lecture by asking the audience, “What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word ‘feminist’?”
“Bitch,” came a call from the audience. “Feminazi,” came another. “Hairy.” “Bra-burning lesbians.”