With variance in national holidays, school-wide events and commencement programming, the college’s academic calendar changes on a yearly basis. The length of each semester has always remained consistent — 13 weeks in the fall and 14 weeks in the spring — but it could be changed in the near future. College Council recently proposed shortening the spring semester to 13 weeks, for reasons such as aligning the college on a similar calendar with other elite institutions and allowing for consistency within the structure of interterm.

The perpetual problems of loneliness and social division among Amherst students have been discussed extensively in recent years. As administrators seek new ways to resolve these critical issues, it seems that housing is the first aspect of Amherst life that they turn to. They’ve proposed Neighborhoods. They’re tearing down the social dorms. And now, they are overhauling the room draw process. Some of the changes are undoubtedly positive: We appreciate that Res Life has decided to streamline the process and minimize errors by moving room draw online.

The career center is always bustling with visitors, and our email inboxes are constantly flooded with career-related information. It’s common to catch a glimpse of students dressing in suits for interviews and attending informational sessions in between meals, practices and homework. It’s the height of internship and job-hunting season. In recent years the career center’s ample resources for business and health students have gotten even better, and students who wish to go into these fields have a robust array of mentoring opportunities and recruiting events to choose from.

Fear is not generally a part of Amherst students’ philosophy of education. We often hear that we’re supposed t o feel uncomfortable with our education — that’s how we know we’re learning.

We come to Amherst because we want push ourselves beyond our own self-created intellectual boundaries. Why, then, are Amherst students so afraid to challenge themselves in the classroom?

Here’s something hard to argue with: political discussions are a net good. Through debates, people voice their opinions against dissenters, gain new perspectives and even strengthen and clarify their own positions. Especially on a liberal arts college campus like Amherst, where we are taught to challenge our personal convictions and conceptions of the world, debating the most pressing issues of fiscal and social politics is key.

After years of debate, the issue of Amherst’s unofficial mascot, the Lord Jeff, has finally come before the board of trustees. At its meeting this January, the board of trustees will finally discuss the question of whether Lord Jeffery Amherst should represent this college as our mascot. The Amherst Student urges the board of trustees to publicly condemn the Lord Jeff as an outdated symbol of colonial imperialism and violence that in no way represents our college or our values as a community.

Back from Thanksgiving break, seniors have returned to campus for the tail end of their fall semester. As a graduating class gets ready to approach the “real world,” it is typical for its members to put aside class work and extracurricular activities in favor of bar nights and finding a job. Unfortunately, it can be easy to forget about the community they’ve called home for their most formative years.