Hi! Welcome back to Amherst on behalf of the Association of Amherst Students (AAS)! A special welcome to the class of 2018 and incoming transfer students. The entire campus community has been working long and hard to help you make a home here at Amherst College. So, welcome home everyone, new and old!

1. Intellectual quality

2. The curiously long lines for fried dough at festivals

3. Financial aid

4. Trick or treating and hayrides

5. The view from Memorial Hill

6. Book and Plow Farm

7. The physics jacket

8. Student publications

9. The devotion of our alumni

10. Faculty engagement with students

11. Students who come to my office hours

12. The feats of our student athletes

13. Student clubs and performers (Gad's)

14. Orchestra, jazz, a capella, choral, dance and thesis performances

AAS: The Association of Amherst Students; specializing in election scandals, infighting, obscure bylaws and referendums.

A capella: The best way to kill many, many hours with your parents during Parents’ Weekend.

AC Voice: Polemical online-only publication; favorite topics include bathrooms, Keefe Campus Center, privilege.

AmCo: Abbreviation of Amherst Coffee, home to English and philosophy majors. [q.v. David Foster Wallace ’84]

We know, we know. Orientation week is long and filled with more information than you’ll ever need to know.

But as the independent student newspaper of the college (since 1868), we are obligated to provide you, class of 2018 — and transfer students, who get way less love than they deserve — with some tricks to the Amherst trade. For both our sanity and yours, we’ve tried to keep these modules of wisdom as practical and far from banal Buzzfeed-esque listicles about College, Trying New Things and Following Your Dreams as possible.

Lugging boxes, suitcases and the occasional piece of furniture across the first-year quad, the 470 members of the class of 2018 arrived on campus and settled into their new homes last Sunday. After moving in, members of the new class gathered in their residence halls and officially began the college’s nine-day orientation program.

Following the trustees’ decision to ban underground fraternities, a group of students and administrators has been exploring ways to create alternative social groups on campus.

Amherst’s ban on fraternities went into effect July 1, meaning that students are now prohibited from belonging to any fraternity, sorority or “fraternity-like or sorority-like organization,” in the words of the trustees’ decision. Prior to the ban, three off-campus fraternities had been active at Amherst: Chi Psi, Delta Kappa Epsilon and OT (formerly known as TD).

In two years, Amherst will welcome the addition of four new dorms: the Greenway Residence Halls.

The design process of the new residence halls, which will house approximately 300 sophomores, juniors and seniors, is halfway through completion. Following the finalization of the design development stage in late September, the construction document phase will proceed and conclude in late December. After bidding and negotiation, construction will finally commence in early February 2015.