To be an Amherst College student without a group is to walk around with no skin. It is to feel continuously vulnerable and overexposed to the elements. This overexposure is all consuming and exhausting. Participating in class, hellos to acquaintances — the most mundane tasks can seem daunting here. The stakes of being, the continuous scrutiny of our teachers and peers, can sometimes feel so incredibly high. “Did I say this thing right in class," “I feel so awkward here,” “I just want a safe space" — very little anonymity or security exists for some on this campus.

The faculty voted on Nov. 3 to approve a pilot program that will extend the pre-registration process to four weeks. The motion to approve the program passed with a vote of 57 in favor, 46 against and eight abstaining.

The pilot program will be implemented by the registrar’s office and will be in place for pre-registration next spring semester.

The Association of Amherst Students and the Office of Institutional Research distributed an online survey on loneliness to the student body on Nov. 3.

In the 2014 National College Health Assessment survey, 76 percent of Amherst College respondents reported feeling “very lonely.” But because only 30 percent of students took the survey, the results were not statistically valid. This year, AAS senator Evelyn Ting ’17 and Michael Bessey ’18E worked with the Office of Institutional Research to organize a more accurate survey.

Lilia Paz ’16 is writing a European Studies thesis on an order of Spanish nuns. She was inspired to choose this topic while studying abroad in Spain last year. Her thesis adviser is Smith College religion professor Carol Zaleski.

Q: Tell us a little bit about how you got into hockey as a youth and its role in your early life.
A: I was on skates at a young age, four or five years old. I remember my mom used to dress me in hockey equipment all wrong, with my pads in all the wrong spots. I fell in love with the game from an early age and immensely enjoyed playing my entire life. There was nothing better than going to hockey tournaments as a kid and staying in hotels with your friends and family. Those memories are definitely part of the reason I do what I do today.

Last weekend, women’s cross country traveled to Williamstown to compete in the 2015 ECAC Championship.

The Jeffs put in a strong performance, impressively finishing in sixth out of the field of 46 teams from the Eastern College Athletic Conference with a final point total of 157. Finishing ahead of Amherst were Tufts, University of New England, Wiliams, Middlebury and NYU.

Sophomore Nicky Roberts led Amherst with a time of 23:41, and earned 12th place overall out of the field of 311 runners. This result marks her best finish of her two years on the cross country team.

Founded last spring, Amherst Athletes and Allies looks to foster more community and acceptance within the athletic community for athletes who identify as LGBTQ. The group’s recent “A Safe Space Includes” campaign has spotlighted teams and called on them to commit to serving as a haven for these athletes.