The faculty discussed changes to the academic calendar, accreditation for Five College certification programs and archival of theses at the first faculty meeting of the calendar year on Feb. 17.

A student club recently received funding from the President’s Office to construct a self-sustaining, soil-free greenhouse by Valentine Dining Hall. The club, Hooked on Aquaponics, is co-founded by Pete Suechting ‘15, Jim Hall ’15 and Thais Correia ‘16.

Aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture, which is the farming of aquatic animals, with hydroponics, a technique for growing plants without soil. The fundamental process behind aquaponics farming lies in repurposing fish waste into plant food.

In 1974, the average age American farmer was 51.7 years old. Today, after a steady increase over the past 30 years, the average farmer is 58.3 years old. Meanwhile, the number of America’s younger farmers — those below 35 years old — has plummeted from 16 percent in 1982 to a mere 5 percent in 2012. The American agricultural sector continues to age; meanwhile, fewer young folks are flocking to the fields. What is the future of America’s small farms? Hoping to answer to this question, I spoke to several farmers from the Pioneer Valley.

You’ve probably encountered the #TGIT hashtag on Twitter, or heard the screams coming from your common room every Thursday night. What is this phenomenon? It is nothing less than the magic of Shonda Rhimes, the creator, writer and executive producer of three incredibly successful ABC prime time shows. If the name Shonda Rhimes doesn’t ring a bell than the titles “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder” might. These shows are so popular that ABC decided to put all three shows back to back in one of the most coveted slots of prime time TV, Thursday night.

Here’s a scenario every Amherst student is familiar with: You’re sitting at your computer late at night, skimming and avoiding writing that response paper or studying for that orgo exam tomorrow. Instead, you’re desperately searching for Facebook statuses, Groupme Messages, texts or even Snapchats with a hint of hope that classes will be canceling the next day. Your Hampshire, UMass, Smith and Mount Holyoke friends (and pretty much any college student in the Northeast) have already had class cancelled for the next day.


Amherst men’s indoor track and field competed at the Cupid Challenge, hosted by Tufts this past Saturday, Feb. 9. Amherst placed fifth out of the 20 teams present at the competition.

Coast Guard Academy placed first overall at the event with 91 points, followed by the hosts, Tufts, who came in with 85 total points. Amherst finished with 70 points, being beaten by MIT with 83 and Worcester State University, who had 77.