Ashwin Ravikumar is an assistant professor of environmental studies. He holds a B.S. in molecular environmental biology and ecology from the University of California, Berkeley, as well as an M.S. in environmental studies and a Ph.D. in environmental policy and social sciences, both from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

National Book Award finalists Min Jin Lee and Carmen Maria Machado spoke at Amherst on March 1 as part of Lit Fest, a three-day literary festival sponsored by Amherst College-affilitated literary magazine The Common, the Emily Dickinson Museum and the Center for Humanistic Inquiry (CHI).

Lee is the author of “Pachinko,” a novel that follows four generations of a family, which first lives in Japanese-occupied Korea during the early 1900s and later lives in Japan from before World War II until the 1980s.

The tendency for residential counselors (RCs) to underspend their budgets, coupled with a lack of clear communication to RCs on Residential Life policies, have raised concerns among some RCs about the Office of Residential Life’s lack of transparency.

On-campus student residents are charged a fee — $59 in Fall 2017 and $60 in Spring 2018 — part of their semester bills, which is intended for residential programming and community activities such as Tea Times. This fee is the basis of each RC’s budget for student programming within the dormitories.

The Budgetary Committee (BC) announced a policy change that would open up funding for both on-campus and off-campus activities over break on Dec. 2, 2017. Off-campus activities, however, would not be eligible for funding related to accommodations, transportation or food. A few months after this change, students are starting to feel its effects, both positive and negative.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz spoke to the college community on March 2 in Johnson Chapel. The event was a part of Lit Fest, a three-day literary festival that celebrates the college’s literary history by inviting distinguished writers to campus. Lit Fest is sponsored by Amherst College-affiliated literary magazine The Common, the Emily Dickinson Museum and the Center for Humanistic Inquiry (CHI).

Sydney Tate is an English major. Her creative writing thesis combines poetry and prose to explore the development of her identity. Her thesis advisor is Writer-in-Residence Daniel J. Hall.

Q: What is your thesis about?
I am writing a creative writing thesis in English, mostly poetry with a little bit of prose. I am basically writing about my life and how I’ve come into my identity and writing about the different nuances between family dynamics and coming into what it means to be a black woman in America.

A red brick building stands in the center, foregrounded by a green lawn and leafless tree on the left side of the image. The sky behind the red brick building is light blue. Shadows of trees cast over the side exterior of the red brick building.

After a gunman opened fire on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, leaving 17 people dead and several others injured, the massacre in one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history has sparked conversation about ensuring safety at educational institutions.

In an email interview, President Biddy Martin highlighted the importance of safety on campus.