In recent months, Amherst College has hosted a highly impressive list of speakers, among them Scott Brown, Michael Steele, Frank Warren and Shaukat Aziz are especially notable. These speakers each carry with them a distinguished life’s work, and they impart much of their respectability upon the College when they choose to speak here. They bring prestige and accolade to our small college when they travel long distances to our rural Massachusetts campus and take part in events that leave a permanent mark in the memories of students and a physical print on other regional newspapers.
Given that the move and improvement of the MRC and the Women’s Center takes place in the larger context of Keefe spatial allocation, we should discuss Keefe’s long-term improvement.
Last night, the College held an an open meeting to discuss proposed changes to Keefe Campus Center, including the relocation of the Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) and Women’s Center to more prominent locations in the building and the moving of the Game Room to the second floor. Today, students will vote in a non-binding poll to support or oppose the proposed changes. Last night’s meeting was the first time some students gave input on the move; today’s poll may be the last say of the student body on the matter.
Last week, an article on AC Voice exposed a shockingly misogynistic shirt printed by members of an off-campus fraternity, Theta Delta Chi (TD), that was greeted with minimal punitive action by the administration, much to the author and students’ chagrin. However, it was not greeted with surprise. In a public meeting organized in response by President Martin, several women spoke out about experiencing sexual disrespect or sexism at the College. Sexism, and the less-than-pleasant experiences of survivors or women in general at the College, is an acknowledged norm.
This newspaper has serviced the College since 1868 and is proud to be the oldest independent weekly student publication in the country. Yet despite this tremendous history, Amherst lags behind its peers in recognizing the value of journalism. The College takes a hands-off approach to its student newspaper, thus insuring The Student’s independent credibility; but by the same token, it views the student newspaper as just another club activity. Therein lies the problem. Journalism is, and must be, so much more than just another campus group.
This election year is a special one: the first time this particular body of Amherst students will experience a presidential election on campus.
This election marks an intersection too; it is a means through which the community at Amherst intersects with the world at large. We bring what Amherst gives us to the voting booth, to determine the course of this country and the role of government in our lives.
Add/drop period can be a hectic time in the life of an Amherst student. Academic buildings seem like war zones, as troops of would-be learners march into classrooms, armed with pen, paper and Macbook, to stand on the front line, waiting with bated breath for the professor. Their battle? Gaining entry into courses promised to them during pre-registration. Not everyone can emerge victorious. Too often, too many fall as collateral damage to those fearsome words: “Sorry, everyone, but the class is over-enrolled...”