Q: What is your thesis about?
A: I am studying the causes and effects of parasites, specifically blowfly larvae, on nestling birds. My three major objectives are to see the nest characteristics that predispose nests to parasites, the effects blowflies have on growth and development of birds, and whether blowflies stimulate an immune response from birds. I spent a couple months this summer in the College’s bird sanctuary with my adviser, professor Clotfelter, and two SURF (Science Undergraduate Research Fellows) students, Tiffany Lee ’16 and Lindsey Bechen ’16.

It’s impossible to regret my first trek to Marsh after experiencing the magic that is The New Rockwells. The Amherst collaboration debuted with infectious energy at this year’s first Coffee Haus, and has since gained a notable fan base. Their musical prowess is evident in both their first original song, “Where are You Tonight?” and their magnetic stage presence, which had the Marsh Coffee Haus audience clapping until their hands were numb. The group consists of recent Amherst College grads Ben Muller and Ian Stahl and UMass Amherst senior Marty Boyle.

The decision to institute bystander training as part of first-year orientation is, I think, a good one. Amherst has, after all, acknowledged that the problem of sexual respect does indeed exist, and it has found a method of ameliorating the issue: inform students that they have the power to act as individuals to help their friends and to ensure that they respect others. The message the trainers offered was not that each of us ought to act as neurotic vigilantes, but rather that we simply should know that we all have a duty to look out for our friends.

The Amherst Symphony Orchestra opened its season on Saturday, Sept. 27 with a fresh and inspiring performance. The season preview concert, dedicated to the Amherst class of 2018, was titled “Vienna: City of Music, City of Dreams” and directed by Mark Swanson.

Room draw has always been a nightmare. Every year hearts are broken, years-long friendships are ended in a flood of tears and you walk out disappointed and full of CVS candy. The general disappointment and frustration with Residential Life is nothing new for the student body. Two years ago, in order to combat the perceived housing shortage, Dean Torin Moore announced his supposedly exciting initiative to move students to Alpine Commons, an apartment complex a mile away from campus. Only two students moved in the following year.

Before visiting New York for the first time, my memory was filled with a deluge of images from “Friends” and “How I Met Your Mother,” both sitcoms that are set in New York. I had the impression that when one is in New York, there are no ordinary moments — at any one point in time, something, big or small, is happening. As a romantic, in every face I saw, I envisioned a lively person. New York, I believed, was the capital of modernism.

A batch of new orientation programs, part of the “Learn/Explore/Activate/Participate” (LEAP) initiative, sprang up this year in hopes of filling the free time of first-years at orientation, but as with most fresh starts, not everything about the programs was perfect. The Creative Arts and Performances (CAP) program offered more creative first-years the opportunity to explore their talents through workshops and professor-led performances. However, it may not have been as smooth of an experience as it hoped for.