The period following the UN Declaration of partition was indeed a time of great upheaval in the Middle East. The UN declared a Jewish State in one portion of the British Mandate, and an Arab State in the other. The Jews accepted partition, and five armies attacked the nascent Jewish State. Hundreds of thousands of Arabs fled the Jewish side of partition, but many stayed. Equal numbers of Jews fled Arab lands, crowding into refugee camps in the tiny Jewish state.

Chief Communications Officer Pete Mackey announced recently that the college will launch a new website this summer with an updated layout and an increased focus on academics.

The goal of the website redesign team was to make the site useful both to off-campus users looking for general information about the college and to students looking to access specific information. For the off-campus audience, the team’s focus was to showcase the college’s merits. For students on campus, the design team sought to create a simpler and less cluttered format.

Amherst students and members of the class of ’64 gathered at the Alumni House last Friday and Saturday for the Restore Our Democracy conference, the first event held by the Amherst Student-Alumni Organization. The conference, which was moderated by Mark Sandler ’64, consisted of conversations, panels and speeches on the theme of democratic reform.

The Social Project Work Group released a final proposal for the implementation of social clubs on Tuesday, April 14. The proposal outlines the potential process for creating social clubs, selecting their members and the objectives and requirements of clubs. The proposal is addressed to the student body, and the administration “will only consider a proposal that has the overwhelming support of the student body,” according to Chief Student Affairs Officer Suzanne Coffey.

As the Queer Resource Center’s Community Outreach Coordinator, part of my job is getting straight people to care. The more time I spend working on bringing allies into our space, however, the more I realize that a significant gap in ally-directed education has developed in our community. Put simply, our allies are learning how to respectfully participate in intergroup dialogue about queer people in a low-stakes academic context, but they aren’t developing pragmatic ally skills meant for the real world, where the stakes are so much higher.

Last Saturday, Amherst Hillel and Amherst Students for Israel cohosted “Lila Levin: A Blue and White Night” in the Powerhouse in honor of Israel’s 67th birthday. Continuing a string of many seemingly benign cultural activities, this event was not neutral, but was instead a wounded space, one created by the blood, tears and bodies of Palestinians. Israel’s Independence Day is not a celebratory occasion in honor of which we should throw parties and socialize.