Following the Amherst administration’s uncharacteristically stringent presence at parties during the last weekend before finals period, the Association of Amherst Students (AAS) wrote an open letter to President “Biddy” Martin, Dean Dean Gendron, and Dean Suzanne Coffey. The letter condemned the school’s “heavy-handed monitoring of select dormitories”:

My apologies if any of this has been discuss already ad nauseam, but I came into the selection process for your new mascot quite late. I imagine that the issues regarding the previous ‘Lord & Lady Jeffs’ have been eloquently articulated, and given these concerns, I must admit there is a certain humor and irreverence to choosing the Mammoth as an alternative. I am sure the irony of a mascot that epitomizes something that is enormous, hairy, lumbering and extinct to represent a small, dynamic, adaptable, thriving liberal arts college is perfectly clear to everyone.

President Biddy Martin announced the college’s membership to the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration in an email to the college community on Wednesday, Jan. 17. Her email follows the Alliance’s Dreamer Fly-In, a conference in Washington, D.C. at which college and university presidents urged Congress to pass legislation protecting Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children and are protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Peer Support Skills Training (PSST), a program formerly known as Student Support Network (SSN), was implemented in its new iteration this academic year. The program, created by Associate Director of Health Education/Mental Health Promotion Jessica Gifford, was offered in the fall 2017 term as an extracurricular course and an interterm course the week of Jan. 15.

In an effort to improve traffic flow along Route 9, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has begun a study to determine if changes to the B43 bus line, which a number of people in the Five-College community rely on for transportation, could potentially make travel easier and faster along Route 9.

The B43 is run by the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA). Its route connects Amherst College, UMass, Hampshire Mall and Smith College. One of the changes MassDOT has proposed is having the bus run express from UMass to Northampton with no stops in Amherst.

In their first meet of the 2018 season, the Amherst men’s track and field team stormed to an impressive start, finishing second to Williams at the Little Three Championships, an annual tri-meet between Amherst, Williams and this year’s host Wesleyan.
The Mammoths totaled 124 points in the meet to the 151 scored by the Ephs, far ahead of the 76 points earned by the Cardinals in third place.

Ewa Nowicki assumed the role of the college’s new registrar on Jan. 8, according to an email announcement sent by Dean of the Faculty Catherine Epstein to the college community on Jan. 5.

The search committee for the new registrar was impressed “with the skills and experience that Ewa will bring to her important role at the college, her dedication to the liberal arts mission and her commitment to the equity and inclusion of underrepresented communities in higher education,” Epstein wrote.