Amherst College students are back on campus after winter break, and many are bringing back more than just a tan from their vacation getaways. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the biggest flu epidemic in ten years has been sweeping across the country. Twenty-nine states, including Massachusetts, have reported very high rates of influenza-like illness, which is characterized by a fever greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, chills, body aches and a cough or sore throat.

Amherst College’s new Take Your Staff Out (TYSO) program was initiated last week. Similar to the Take Your Professor Out (TYPO) program, TYSO will allow students to go out to a meal with any member of Amherst’s faculty, from coaches to administrators to custodians.

The idea for TYSO came out of the day of dialogue the College recently held, according to Interim Dean of Students and Coordinator of Academic Support Charri Boykin-East.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Young Advancement Leadership Council is running the first ever “Love My Alumni Week,” an event that gives students an opportunity to express gratitude to alumni. The event started on Feb. 13 and will be running through Feb. 16, at Keefe Campus Center.

“We are trying to raise awareness for all that alumni do for this college,” said Director of the Parents Fund Eva Rosenn ’83. “We want to make sure that students understand that Amherst depends on alumni support.”