Many Amherst students use their four years entirely for personal development, paying little attention to how their time here affects Amherst or society at large. They see what Amherst can do for them but not what they can do for Amherst. Among her peers, Larissa Davis is probably one of the College’s most vocal critics.

But above all, her acknowledgement that Amherst is often an imperfect place pushes her to do what many others do not: to put her community before herself and actively change the institutions around her.

Only the most cold-hearted and quite frankly misguided individuals uniformly support not giving aid to the homeless. Comparatively, there are many people who think the idea of giving money to the homeless is good and that supporting charity efforts to counter inequalities is the culmination of social responsibility to the disadvantaged. I see this sort of charity all the time: if people do interact with the town’s too-large and apparent homeless population, it takes the form of throwing a few coins into a cup.

Over the past 20 years, the man who invented the blockbuster film has time and time again attempted to retain his title as the king of popular entertainment in cinema while also distancing himself from the notion that he is a purely populist filmmaker cynically attempting to earn maximum profit at the expense of quality. In order to accomplish this he’s resorted every few years to the not-too-subtle tactic of releasing two movies within the same calendar year, one a serious drama and the other a big “event” motion picture designed to appeal to teenagers and children.

I learned of Roger Ebert’s death not two days after he reported that he would be stepping down from reviewing 200+ films a year in favor of reviewing one or two a week. What he called a “leave of presence” now means more to me than simply an affirmation of his witty and clever phrasing. Roger Ebert will never write a review again, but his comment reminds us that the legacy of the man who dedicated 46 years to professionally writing about film will never go away.

In late January, I remember scratching my head in elation when I heard that David Bowie, the famously press-shy, eccentric whirlwind of a musician who all but promised us he would never release new music again, announced a new album, “The Next Day.” It was due in March (only two months away!), and a song was made immediately available with no prior announcement.

Meeting Shanika Audige isn’t exactly like meeting most people, and that’s because I can’t really tell you when I did meet her. I could say that I first met Audige during my orientation week when she performed at the “Voices of the Class” show, but for most people it wouldn’t really apply since I didn’t speak to her at all.

On March 26, The Mars Volta released their fifth album, “Noctourniquet.” For any who aren’t familiar, the album title should provide a clear indicator that their music isn’t exactly main-stream. The Texas-formed outfit definitely isn’t for everyone; calling them esoteric would be charitable. But they’re also one of the most accomplished rock acts of the past 10 years, and they’re almost single-handedly keeping progressive rock alive for whoever wants to listen. And when I say progressive, I do mean progressive.