THE STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF AMHERST COLLEGE SINCE 1868
STUDENT VOLUME CXLVII, ISSUE 16 l WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2018
Women’s Basketball Moves to 24-0 on Season See Sports, Page 11 AMHERSTSTUDENT.AMHERST.EDU
Leah Penniman Gives Talk on Food Justice Natalie De Rosa ’21 Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of Sarah Wishloff ’19
Chief Student Affairs Officer Suzanne Coffey was among the administrators present for the Association of Amherst Students town hall on party policy, which took place on Monday, Feb. 12 and invited students to provide feedback.
AAS Holds Packed Town Hall on Party Policy Shawna Chen ’20 Managing News Editor The Association of Amherst Students (AAS) held a town hall with administrators and students on Monday, Feb. 12 to address the Party Policy changes released on Jan. 26 and subsequent student backlash. The town hall took place in the Red Room in Converse Hall and was seated to capacity, with students crowding onto the stairs and standing in the back. AAS President Aditi Krishnamurthy ’18 opened the town hall by emphasizing the importance of face-to-face communication between students and administrators. She then invited Chief Student Affairs Officer Suzanne Coffey to say a few words. “I’m so glad to see all of you here,” Coffey said. She cited the need to move forward in “productive dialogue about the party policy” and said she took full ownership for not prioritizing broader student input before revising the policy this se-
mester. “Tonight is the start of a long process, one that I expect will span out over semesters,” Coffey said, adding that she hoped students would leave the town hall feeling heard. Following Coffey’s introduction, AAS VicePresident Kyndall Ashe ’18 outlined a 60-minute Q&A period and 30-minute segment for specific suggestions and feedback. Administrators including Coffey, Senior Associate Dean of Students Dean Gendron, Director of Student Activities Paul Gallegos, Chief of Campus Operations Jim Brassord and Director of Residential Life Andrea Cadyma were present to answer questions. A number of concerns dominated the forum — occupancy limits, party registration and overintoxication. The main problem, students agreed, is the lack of adequate social spaces following the destruction of the social dorms. Before the social dorms were torn down, Teddy Shirley ’19 said, she and a group of friends
would all hang out and get ready for the night together. Without suites such as those in the socials, however, people are forced to binge drink in their rooms before heading to parties “because there isn’t going to be any alcohol once they go out.” Alcohol at parties, she added, is usually consumed only by the people who reserve the social spaces. By the time the party is opened up, it is typically “extremely limited or gone.” Because no one knows how much or little people have had to drink, there is no way to hold each other accountable, Shirley said. “How can we create spaces where groups can feel comfortable to get ready for the night, have drinks together, without this need for shot after shot after shot and creating dangerous situations?” she asked. Yannis Kalogiannis ’19 questioned why the college did not choose to address potential occupancy concerns post-socials before taking them
Continued on Page 3
Food justice activist and farmer Leah Penniman of Soul Fire Farm spoke on Thursday, Feb. 8 in Stirn Auditorium about the intersection of racial and environmental injustice and the food industry. The event was sponsored by the Office of Environmental Sustainability, the Victor S. Johnson Lectureship fund and the Multicultural Resource Center. On Soul Fire Farm, located in Grafton, New York, Penniman manages a subsidized farm share program that provides fresh food to families that otherwise would not have access to it. Penniman also organizes training programs for black and Latino farmers, as well as an alternative program for local teens facing incarceration. Penniman, whose Haitian ancestor helped start the Haitian revolution in 1791, began her talk by sharing the history of her ancestors and emphasizing the importance of ancestry in her work. “My family taught me that you never start going about talking about your work — or really doing anything — without acknowledging where you came from,” she said. In her talk, Penniman emphasized the connection between the history of racism and land ownership, focusing on slavery and colonialism in the U.S. She described how Native Americans had their land stolen and were then used for slave labor. Slave labor from Africa was crucial to the American economy, Penniman said, because African slaves were especially skilled in farming and cultivating the land. The booming economy of the 1800s came as a result of torturous slave conditions, she said. Penniman also noted that the connection between slavery and land ownership didn’t end with the abolition of slavery. Black codes, Jim Crow laws and sharecropping still tied African Americans to white landowners. “That stolen land and stolen labor continues,” she said. Using this historical context to frame her talk, Penniman discussed why the work she does on
Continued on Page 3
College Releases Draft of Self-Study for Reaccreditation Emma Swislow ’20 Managing News Editor A draft of Amherst’s self-study, the first step in the process of renewing accreditation with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), was sent to members of the college community for feedback on Feb. 9. The process of reaccreditation began in Feb. 2016 when the Steering Committee on Reaccreditation, which is made up of a variety of administrators, faculty and staff, was first formed, according to Amherst’s reaccreditation website. Over the past two years, data on all aspects of the college have been collected and compiled into a 140-page draft. NEASC requires the self-study to look at nine standards in particular, according to Dean of Faculty Catherine Epstein, who is one of the members of the committee. Some of these standards are Academic Program, Educational Effectiveness and Institutional Resources. The reaccreditation process happens every 10 years.
The draft includes data on the college’s faculty, major distribution, student body and campus organizations. Since 2007, around the time that the last study was completed, the percentage of tenure-line faculty has decreased by about 1 percent, although Amherst is still about even with peer institutions. Although there has been an increase in the enrollment in STEM fields, women continue to be underrepresented in the math and statistics departments. According to the study however, “more Amherst women than ever before are graduating with a degree in this field. The trend in mathematics course enrollments shows even greater gender parity.” Additionally, varsity athletic teams remain less racially and socioeconomically diverse as compared to the student body as a whole, although Amherst has the most racially diverse athletic program in NESCAC, according to the study. While the document did show room for improvement in certain areas, it also highlighted some of the college’s accomplishments over the
past 10 years. Some of these accomplishments include exceeding the school’s fundraising goal by $77 million, expanding financial aid offerings and building the Greenway residence halls. Generally, Amherst continues to graduate a large number of students in the humanities, and the study reports that the school has the highest percentage of humanities majors among peer schools. Despite this, enrollment in STEM fields has increased by 61 percent over the past decade, partially due to an increase of 200 students in the college’s overall population. “We were struck by the depth and breadth of the work that the college has done over the past decade — identifying needs, developing plans, launching initiatives, and accomplishing goals across the institution — while identifying work that remains to be done,” Epstein said. “The selfstudy demonstrates that Amherst remains dedicated to critical and open self-evaluation and is a college in motion — not one resting on its laurels.” Since sending the study to the community the
committee has not received much feedback, mostly minor grammatical or factual errors, according to Epstein. The next step in the process will be an evaluation of the college by a team of outside investigators. This group is headed by President of Brandeis University Ronald Liebowitz and includes a variety of other people from peer institutions. The team will visit later this year and then submit their evaluation and recommendations, according to Epstein. While it is unlikely that Amherst will not be reaccredited, Epstein still believes that it is a valuable process. “By virtually every metric, Amherst is a stellar institution, and I have no doubt that we are meeting the standards for accreditation,” she said. “The accreditation process takes a tremendous amount of time and effort, but it results in a significant level of internal and external self-reflection that is valuable at many levels. The college is succeeding on many fronts, but we also know that there are areas in which we need to improve.”
Dan Langa Feb. 6, 2018 - Feb. 12, 2018
>>Feb. 6, 2018 2:11 a.m., Hitchcock House While in the building, an officer discovered unattended alcohol in a common room. It was disposed of. >>Feb. 7, 2018 12:26 a.m., Hitchcock Road An officer checked on a woman found asleep in a parked car. No assistance was needed. 10:02 a.m., Churchill House An officer investigated an intrusion alarm and found it was accidentally set off by an employee. >>Feb. 8, 2018 2:36 a.m., Off-Campus Locations An officer assisted a student in locating a lost cell phone. It was found in the center of town. 5:25 p.m., Charles Drew House Officers investigated a smoke detector sounding on the first floor and found it was activated by someone cooking in the kitchen. 9:21 p.m., Wieland Dormitory An officer responded to a complaint about the odor of marijuana on the first floor. Nothing was found when the officer investigated. >>Feb. 9, 2018 2:11 p.m., Greenway Building B An officer investigated a smoke detector sounding in a fourthfloor room and found it was activated when a resident accidentally bumped it. >>Feb. 10, 2018 3:53 p.m., LeFrak Gymnasium A visitor complained about the type and volume of music played at a basketball game. The game manager was notified.
people. The gathering was shut down due to a fire safety violation and it being an unauthorized event. 12:48 a.m., Cohan Dormitory While in the building, an officer located a burning candle in a second-floor lounge. After speaking with a student, the candle was extinguished. The matter was referred to Student Affairs. 12:55 a.m., Seelye House An officer detected the odor of marijuana on the first floor and spoke to a resident. No marijuana was found, but the resident was using a candle in violation of the housing regulations. The matter was referred to Student Affairs. 1:16 a.m., Plimpton House An officer detected the odor of cigarette smoke on the third floor and spoke to a resident. The matter was referred to Student Affairs. 1:17 a.m., Mayo Smith House An officer detected the odor of cigar smoke on the second floor. After speaking with a resident, the officer discovered the room’s smoke detector was covered with plastic. The plastic was removed and the matter was referred to Student Affairs. 1:20 a.m., Hitchcock Hall An officer responded to assist security with an unruly male. After speaking with the man, he left the area. 8:38 a.m., Valentine Dining Hall An officer investigated a property damage incident.
4:45 p.m., College Hall An officer investigated an alarm and found it was accidentally set off by an employee.
11:06 p.m., King Dormitory An officer responded to a noise complaint on the second floor and found a group of students watching television in the common room. The volume was lowered.
9:38 p.m., Seelye House An officer responded to a noise complaint and spoke to a firstfloor resident. The volume of music was lowered.
>>Feb. 12, 2018 2:08 a.m., Hitchcock Hall A resident reported the theft of a pair of sweatpants from a restroom. They are valued at $128.
>>Feb. 11, 2018 12:11 a.m., Hitchcock Hall An officer observed a large unauthorized party involving over 150
2:09 a.m., Hitchcock Hall A resident reported fixtures in a first-floor restroom were vandalized.
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Thoughts on Theses Department of Music
Dan Langa ’18 is a music major. For his thesis he composed an original score for the film “The Passion of Joan of Arc.” His thesis was performed at the Buckley Recital Hall on Feb. 2. His advisor is Lecturer in Music Ryan Vigil from the University of New Hampshire.
Q: What is your thesis about? A: I wrote my own original film score for the 1928 film “The Passion of Joan of Arc,” which is a silent black-and-white film that recounts the trial and execution of Joan of Arc. My thesis was a look into the process of what it is like to write from film. From budgeting the project, writing the music and finding the performers, everything was similar to how it would be in the real word except for I didn’t have to work with a director. The absence of a director was good for me because it meant I didn’t have to get approval for the music I was writing. The film, “The Passion of Joan of Arc,” is famous because it is one of the first films to use closeups, so there are lots of long shots of characters’ faces throughout. This makes it easier to draw emotion from the film and add music to it. I actually saw it in a film class I took with Professor Timothy Van Compernolle called “Knowing Cinema,” … during my freshman fall. I didn’t have emotional connection to the film, but I liked it, and now it is cool to see my Amherst career come full circle.
obligations I had that prevented me from working on it all the time. However, there was usually one day a week when I worked on it from the time I woke up until it was time to go to dinner, and those were the best days. On other days, there would be two to four hours when I would be working on it in some way.
Q: Where did you get the idea for your thesis? A: I knew I wanted to write a music composition thesis, but I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to write. I spent the summers before junior and senior year in Los Angeles, and that helped me realize music composition was my main interest. The summer before junior year, I took a class at UCLA [University of California, Los Angeles] and worked at a music prep company where we did a lot of the busy work that goes into preparing for a recording session. The summer before my senior year, I continued to work with the same music prep company and also worked as an assistant to an individual composer. I got inspiration from seeing two films performed with live music: “The Triplets of Belleville” and “Birdman.” I first saw “The Triplets of Belleville” when I was in about third grade, and then I saw it performed with a live film score about five years ago. I also saw the movie “Birdman” at UMass Amherst where drummer Antonio Sanchez performed a live version of the film score. Seeing how these two performances integrated live performance with a film inspired my own music composition thesis.
Q: What was the hardest part? A: Well, there was a lot of music to write so it was exhausting in that way. I also conducted, and I had never done any conducting, so learning what goes into that was challenging. In learning conducting, I didn’t realize all the different places your brain needs to be at one. It was hard to be both the composer and the conductor because at times I would want to write a certain thing, but then think to myself, ‘Oh, that would be hard to conduct.’ Mark Swanson, who helped me learn to conduct, also helped me understand that you can’t compromise what you write in order to make it easier to compose.
Q: What was the timeline for this project? A: I loosely started working on it the last week of my junior year. During that time, I mainly worked on creating a timeline and putting together a budget. I started writing the music in June and wrote a little less of a quarter of it during the summer in Los Angeles. The rest of the music was written between the end of August and the first week of December. After I finished writing the score, I had to split it up into parts because I wrote it all on one sheet, so then I then had to go and split it up into the sheets that each performer with a different instrument will see, which is a tedious process. My goal was to give the performers the music so that they could look over it during winter break, and then rehearsals started the last week of interterm and continued until the performance on Feb. 2. Q: How long did it take for you to put it all together? A: I always wanted to be writing music and working on my project, but there were other
Q: What was the creative process like? A: I wrote the music at a piano and I would listen to two to three minutes of the movie at a time to try and see what was going on at that moment in the film. After watching I would have some idea of what I wanted to happen during that time, and then I would get to work writing and try and make it happen. As I was writing, there was a software I used that mimics the sounds of instruments, but it’s not good to get in the habit of listening to that because it is often not what the instruments actually sound like. If I was lucky to be writing the music with a performer present they would help me with what it would sound like and [what] was and wasn’t possible.
Q: Did you experience anything unexpected during the process? A: It was difficult to sync the music to the film, so in order to help I used a click track, which was something I put in my ear to have the tempo of the music in my ear while I was conducting. I initially thought the click track was going to be helpful, but it wasn’t at all, so I ended up doing the tempo from memory so that when I was conducting the music matched the film. Other than that, sometimes in rehearsals we would change small things, but nothing major. Q: What’s the most valuable lesson you learned from writing a thesis? A: I think the most important thing was learning the value of thinking ahead and really planning something out. The project never would have come together if I hadn’t planned it out, and I had to have a full vision for what was going to happen before I even wrote the first note. Q: What was your favorite part of the process? A: My favorite part was probably picking it up from the printing press and holding this huge thing in my hand that I had worked on for so long. It was also cool to hear it played live for the first time because for so long it was only ink on a page.
—Emily Young ’20
The Amherst Student • February 14, 2018
Activist Speaks on Food’s Connections to Social Justice Continued from Page 1 Soul Fire Farm is important to social justice. “In this country, if you have brown or black skin, you’re only 25 percent as likely than if you have white skin to be near a supermarket that you can afford the food at,” Penniman said. “We need to talk about this food apartheid situation.” She pointed to the environmental injustices Soul Fire seeks to combat. “Farming the way we’re doing it now is driving climate change, is driving mass extinction, is driving land conversions, is driving water withdrawals,” she said. Soul Fire Farm’s mission is composed of “three stones.” The first stone in the mission is the farm’s survival program. A part of the program is “solidarity shares,” in which people can buy fresh food for neighbors that otherwise would not have access to it. Among the people who need food are refugees, immigrants and families whose relatives have been incarcerated. “Feed the people and care for the land,” Penniman said of the first stone. The second stone in Soul Fire’s mission consists of training programs for farmer activists. One of the main programs Penniman focuses on is Black-
Latinx Farmers Immersion. The weeklong training program teaches young farmers of color the basics of agriculture and activism. Many of the program’s participants go on to take leadership roles on the farm, Penniman said. The farm also runs a program called Project Growth, which serves as an alternative to juvenile incarceration. Rather than serving sentences, convicted youth have the opportunity to work on the farm. If the the farm workers’ grades are maintained, their criminal records are wiped clean. The program has served 14 young people. The last stone is “movement building.” In this component of the mission, the farm extends support to other activist groups. One initiative the farm has implemented, Penniman said, is establishing a regional and national reparations network, which provides resources to farmers in need. After presenting her work, Penniman opened the floor so the audience could brainstorm ways to solve food injustice before concluding with an excerpt from Toni Morrison’s “Song of Solomon”: “Grab this land! Take it, hold it, my brothers, make it, my brothers, shake it, squeeze it, turn it, twist it, beat it, kick it, kiss it, whip it, stomp it, dig it, plow it, seed it, reap it, rent it, buy it, sell it, own it, build
Photo courtesy of Alura Chung-Mehdi ’19
Activist and farmer Leah Penniman spoke at the college about the intersections of racial and environmental justice and her work solving food injustice. it, multiply it, and pass it on.” Lisa Zheutlin ’21, who attended the event, said that Penniman’s talk illuminated key issues while remaining optimistic. “The talk was so informative because she went through the history of discrimination in America
and showed how that has translated into institutionalized racism in our food production system,” she said. “Even though these facts were disheartening, she showed that she was able to remain positive and combat these issues with her farm which was really inspiring.”
Students Voice Frustrations with Administration at AAS Town Hall Continued from Page 1 down. “I think that’s a great observation,” Brassord answered. “I just want to say that this has been foremost on our minds in the past few years … That was the impetus for the Powerhouse, which preceded the socials, and Greenway A … to create these types of spaces for you.” Students, however, took issue with the perception of the Powerhouse and Greenway A as sufficient spaces for parties. Matthew Charles Ezersky ’21 spoke about a negative experience being subjected to full-body patdowns, wanding and identification before being allowed into parties at the Powerhouse. In addition, the Greenways are not “partyfriendly,” Rebecca Jordan ’19 said. “I don’t buy that they were ever intended to be party spaces,” she said. “Never once have I been to a party there. Those spaces are falling into the same problem as the Powerhouse has fallen into. I would keep that in mind and not have this misconception that the Greenways are this fun, desirable place to go.” According to Gallegos, Student Activities is required to apply wristbands for identification and accordance with legal drinking ages by Massachusetts law. He added that he is interested in further examining the perception of security. “A very serious issue that I want to raise is the long-term planning of student spaces and the way that I think the lack of a real replacement for the socials, a real organic placement, that isn’t just the Powerhouse, has I think concentrated parties in these kind of overcrowded spaces,” Nolan Lindquist ’18 said. “I think there needs to be a more open dialogue about the long-term integrated planning about space use and policy, because policy doesn’t really make sense without thinking about the space it takes place in.” Brassord agreed with Lindquist but stated that space developments are constrained by compliance with “stringent” code requirements
around occupancy and safety regulations. He referenced the Rhode Island Station nightclub fire that occurred in 2003 due to overcrowding and left 100 people dead and 230 injured. Life safety is the utmost priority, he added. To develop and implement a successful building project will take time, he said. “If we were to come together as a community and thoughtfully consider all the balanced needs of what makes a great party space, … it’s a process of designing it, contracting it and then building it,” he said. “Just to be realistic, from the administrative perspective, we’re not going to be able to wave a magic wand and deliver a project in the short term. … What we do know is we have a number of spaces that are underutilized. We ought to take two parallel paths here — make appropriate planning for long-term solutions and look programmatically at what we can do to make current spaces work better.” David Merkel ’19 asked administrators how the college can reconcile the lack of adequate physical space with the desire to be inclusive and throw inclusive parties. “We’re in a student body of 1,800 … If 20 percent of the people try to go to the Triangle, we’re way over capacity,” he said. “If I’m throwing.a party on the Triangle, it’s not rational for me to open it up to anyone else because they always get shut down.” “I don’t think the number of spaces available and the way we’re using them is sufficient,” Gendron responded. “I think there are spaces we can ramp up pretty quickly to serve parties easily. There are other spaces on campus that we haven’t contemplated using for that purpose that we could begin to contemplate using for that purpose.” In response, Coffey acknowledged a lack of foresight in anticipating this exacerbation. “Replicating those party spaces in some kind of way is something we want to do,” she said. “But I don’t have perfect answers.” Gendron also clarified the inclusion of language expecting party sponsors to work with
staff assistance. Professional staff, he said, might mean the Green Mountain security team that works with Amherst Campus Police Department around crowd management or on-call assistant directors of Residential Life who are “trained to a much greater extent than our student staff and know how to marshal other resources in a very quick way that’s necessary.” Students voiced frustrations with the system of party registration, however, saying it hampers spontaneity and is incompatible with social life on a college campus. Jordan called it “not realistic” and “a bureaucratic system.” Though Gendron said the system is set up to allow ACPD to anticipate areas of high density and potential issues on the weekend, Sarah Weintraub ’20 later added that “ACPD should know where the parties are happening by now” and that the system could be disposed of. After the town hall transitioned into the feedback portion, Cornell Brooks ’19 suggested increasing off-campus options, while Shirley said she hopes students can create a committee solely focused on party policy issues and work with administrators to produce long-term solutions. Kalogiannis said the college should consider separating social spaces from living spaces and added that he would like to meet with Brassord for further conversation. Adelaide Shunk ’20 called the new policy requiring party sponsors to clean up within one hour of the designated endtime unfair and suggested it be reverted back to the previous deadline of noon the following day. Elizabeth Turnbull ’18 emphasized the need for transparency and better communication between administrators and students. Throughout the town hall, administrators referenced wider surveys and invitations for more dialogue regarding the party policy. Students were encouraged to submit questions on notecards, to which administrators would personally reply. In an email statement to The Student, Coffey wrote that “I am grateful to the students who
spoke last evening. I appreciate their honesty, feedback and input. We have already heard from a number of students who want to participate in an advisory committee, which is a positive next step. We will also be looking forward to hearing many more thoughts and ideas through a survey generated by the college’s office of institutional research.” In an interview, Krishnamurthy said she felt the goal of the town hall — to bring students and administrators together so students would feel heard — was achieved. “A lot of times they weren’t answering questions directly and students were calling them out on it … which I think probably put a lot of pressure on the administration — they’re also human [and] don’t have the answer to everything,” she said. “I don’t know the overall student sentiment on how it went but people have come up to me and said, ‘It was good, thanks.’” The best outcome, she said, is if administrators realize students want to work with them and give suggestions year-round as opposed to once a year in a town hall. The language she used in the AAS letter sent on Dec. 10 regarding administrator walkthroughs on Dec. 9, Krishnamurthy added, focused on a specific problem: lack of transparent communication between the student body and administration and a “you versus us” tension on campus. “I hope making it clear that that’s the problem, not all this other stuff that’s symptomatic of it but that … we don’t have a relationship with the administration, will help student leaders on campus help solve some of these problems as time passes,” she added. According to Krishnamurthy, the Office of Institutional Research will send out a survey within the next few weeks about reactions to policy changes and social life in general. Coffey also mentioned to Krishnamurthy the possibility of an advisory committee composed of students and administrators prior to the town hall, though details have not been finalized.
College Receives Beckman Grant for Independent Research Kathleen Maeder ’20 Staff Writer Amherst College’s life sciences departments, after receiving a substantial research grant, plan to select students for participation in an independent research program. The college received the grant from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, which honors the legacy of the late Dr. Arnold Beckman, a chemist and philanthropist. 12 other colleges around the nation, including Barnard College, Boston College, the College
of William and Mary and Texas A&M University, were also selected to receive a portion of the $1.5 million grant. Amherst College received $104,000 in total, which will go toward creating its own chapter of the Beckman Scholars Program. The Beckman Scholars will be chosen from the class of 2019 and will receive $20,000 in total research and travel stipends to conduct an independent research project over the course of the summer prior to their senior year, during their senior year and the summer after graduation. Eight professors — Anthony Bishop, Ashley
Carter, Sheila Jaswal, Helen Leung and Mark Marshall from the chemistry and biochemistry-biophysics departments, Jill Miller and Michael Hood from the biology department and Joe Trapani from the neuroscience department — will mentor the Beckman researchers. Bishop, a former mentor to a Beckman Scholar, was selected as the principal investigator of the grant. As principal investigator, he will serve as the head faculty member involved in the preparation and administration of the research conducted. Bishop said that he appreciated the Beckman Scholars’ dedication to funding student research
that extends past graduation. “One of the major challenges of carrying out research with undergraduates is how quickly accomplished researchers graduate and leave the lab,” said Bishop. “Support for research after a student’s thesis is completed can be critical for taking the research project to the level of completion necessary for publication and/or presentation at scientific conferences,” Bishop added. According to Bishop, the college plans to release a public statement in April after finalizing the selection of students for the program.
Opinion A Minor Option with Major Results
STUDENT E X E C U T I V E B OA R D
Last fall, the college’s Curriculum Committee published a draft report with recommendations and proposals for topics such as pass-fail, course withdrawals, first-year seminars and so forth. One of the most anticipated topics the committee was reviewing and considering was the introduction of minors. The report weighed the pros and cons, and while the committee agreed that introducing a minor would reduce the number of both double majors and majors in some of the larger departments, it expressed worry about the risk of relegating some departments to “secondary status.” In short, the minor might make some departments solely a “minoring department.” While this is certainly a fair concern to raise, as is their suggestion that departments should have control over whether to offer a minor, large departments should certainly take the initiative to develop academic minors to increase choice and academic exploration and also reduce stress. In the current system, students mostly end up either double or single majoring. A common issue with the first option is losing academic flexibility to take classes outside a student’s comfort zone. If students then choose to have one major, many end up accumulating course credits in a second department with no official recognition. This puts students in an awkward situation where they feel compelled to complete a second major, but are also worried about missing out on unexplored topics and disciplines. The addition of minors would add another possibility that could potentially give some students the best of both worlds. Granted, the need to feel compensated by a “minor” for particular coursework is a sentiment that many advisors, professors and professionals characterize as unnecessary, but it is still something that affects how students go about deciding their majors. Whether advisors continue to dissuade students from loading their schedule with course requirements from too many majors or minors is their prerogative, as well as the college’s. The point remains that an academic minor doesn’t impede this mission.
Actually, it might serve as a useful middle-ground. Another dilemma the academic minor might ameliorate is that of study abroad. While many students would like to study abroad, often times juggling that desire, a thesis and two majors becomes very difficult. A minor might make these choices easier for students, or at the very least increase their options. By opening up the possibilities, the academic minor provides a balance to these goals in a way that relieves the stress students feel when trying to choose what road they want to take. Deciding between a thesis, a double major or study abroad can be especially cumbersome given that choosing can logistically disqualify you from another. This predicament tends to pressure students into deciding fairly quickly what their four years of college are going to look like, which defeats the purpose of the liberal arts. The minor might be a way for students to feel less conflict between exploration and expectations. The committee’s recommendation to establish “joint majors” as a way to deal with these issues is laudable. Joint majors would combine two majors — say, biology and chemistry — into one (biochemistry). This would certainly help with some of the aforementioned issues, but seems to focus more on inter-STEM disciplines. It does little to help those that are interested in crossing STEM and the humanities, like double majors in history and physics. Ultimately, departments, like Statistics or languages, where it makes sense to offer minors should consider taking steps to provide this additional choice for students. With that being said, important qualifications such as not allowing students to double minor are important to retaining a commitment to the liberal arts. Introducing minors where reasonable, however, seems to bring more good than bad. While academic minors certainly bring important considerations to the table, perhaps that is the minor’s greatest strength: it increases choices and possibilities, which in turn facilitates a balance between exploration and requirements.
If I May: Hypothetical Late Night Hosts Jake May ’19 Columnist On Monday, Feb. 12, it was announced that Michelle Wolf (who is my favorite comedian) will be getting her own weekly Netflix late night show. I was very, very excited when I heard this news; I have been a big fan of Wolf ’s for a while, and it has been wonderful to see her gain notoriety and success. However, there was a small part of me that was saddened by this news, since Michelle Wolf was my go-to suggestion for who should host one of the “major” late night shows on CBS, NBC or ABC. I wrote last year about how Jimmy Kimmel has suggested that he may not renew his contract when it expires in the fall of 2019, and I hope to see a non-white and/or nonmale host replace him. As Michelle Wolf has become more and more popular, I started to believe that she really had a chance to get that job when it opened up. She still might, as we don’t know how this Netflix series will turn out, and the fall of 2019 is a while from now. However, I now have been wracking my brain thinking about who I want get Kimmel’s job if he does decide to retire. (I think about this stuff a lot, okay. I like it. Sue me.) I will now present five potential candidates that I would want to see host a major late night show. As you will see, these candidates are mostly completely unrealistic, but I don’t care because this list doesn’t matter. I care enough, though, to analyze why I think it is or is not realistic that these choices will ever
actually end up hosting a show. Therefore, I will give each of my choices two scores out of 10: one, a score of how good they would be at hosting (read: how much I would want them to host, and we’ll call it the host-o-meter) and two, a score of how realistic it would be that they would actually host (We’ll call it the realistic-o-meter. Yeah, I didn’t think that hard about these names. You can sue me again if you want). Without further ado, here is the list, in no particular order. 1. Tina Fey Host-o-meter: 9 Realistic-o-meter: 4 Tina Fey would be a fantastic late night host. She is obviously hilarious, but furthermore, considering that she was a longtime head writer for SNL, she would also be excellent at managing the processes necessary to host a late night show. That being said, I think it’s very unlikely that she would choose this type of grind again after going through it at SNL and having some time off. That being said, you never know, as she is not involved in a major project at the moment (to my knowledge). 2. Tiffany Haddish Host-o-meter: 8 Realistic-o-meter: 7 Tiffany Haddish blew up this year after her scene-stealing role in “Girls Trip.” She is a fan-
tastic comedic actor and a hilarious stand-up comedian. As she is a recent breakout star, we will have to see if she chooses to pursue acting or stand-up as her career progresses. However, I could certainly see her taking a late-night hosting job if the opportunity presented itself, as it would move her from semi-household name to full-on, no-holds-barred household name. The only reason she is a point below Tina on the host-o-meter is I’m not aware of her having held a managerial role in the content-creation process. Obviously, she is talented writer as she writes her stand-up material, but a part of running a late night show is also managing staff and synthesizing content from writers. I’m sure she would be excellent, but she hasn’t yet had the opportunity to prove it, so I had to dock a point. 3. Hasan Minhaj Host-o-meter: 7 Realistic-o-meter: 7 Hasan Minhaj is, in my mind, the most realistic choice on this list. He already is a correspondent on “The Daily Show” (which is a breeding ground for future hosts), and he has shown that he can create brilliant original comedy in his Netflix stand-up special “Homecoming King.” Furthermore, he hasn’t moved towards acting gigs yet, and if he was offered a late night hosting gig today, I can’t see a scenario where he wouldn’t take it.
Continued on Page 5
Editors-in-Chief Nate Quigley Isabel Tessier Executive Adviser Jingwen Zhang Managing News Shawna Chen Emma Swislow Managing Opinion Kelly Chian Daniel Delgado Managing Arts and Living Olivia Gieger Managing Sports Connor Haugh Henry Newton Julia Turner Managing Design Justin Barry Design Editors Julia Shea Katie Boback Zehra Madhavan Head Publishers Nico Langlois
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The Amherst Student • February 14, 2018
If I May: Who Should Be The Next Late Night Host? Continued from Page 4 4. Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams Host-o-meter: 8 Realistic-o-meter: 2 What? Two hosts? Yes. Phoebe Robinson and Jessica Williams already host the amazing podcast (and now four-part HBO special) “2 Dope Queens.” They already have the relationship nec-
essary to co-host a show. They are both hilarious in their own right, but their chemistry together is unstoppable and infectious. Plus, Williams has experience working at a daily late night show from her time at “The Daily Show.” I would love to see a network make this gamble, but alas, I really cannot see it happening. Furthermore, I’m skeptical that the two of them would want to share a job like that, as I bet it could result in some tension. But a guy can dream!
5. Former President Barack Obama Host-o-meter: 10 Realistic-o-meter: 0
The holy grail of hypothetical hosts, Obama has proven that he has comic timing and is able to deliver jokes (see any of his White House Correspondents’ Dinner speeches). Furthermore, he has obviously shown that he can run a complicated operation. In the current moment, it would be appro-
priate for Obama to steer his show into a more serious discussion of current events issues, in addition to the interview and comedic segments. That being said, I don’t know if I can think of a currently-alive person less likely to end up hosting a late night show. But, President Obama, if you’re reading this as I assume you are, please consider this: wouldn’t it be pretty cool to have been both the President of the United States and the host of a major late night talk show? No? Well, it was worth a shot.
A Letter to the Administration from the Residents of Hitchcock Hitchcock Residents Contributing Writers The relationship between dorm damage, the social spaces available to students, party policy and administrative oversight has emerged as a major problem facing the campus community. The email sent to the student body from Suzanne Coffey and Dean Gendron on Jan. 30 fails to accurately identify the problems or their sources. Further, their communication as a whole with the student body as well as the policies they have implemented have done nothing to improve the situation. As residents of Hitchcock, one of the most severely impacted dorms, we feel strongly that the inaccuracies and oversights from the administration on this issue be corrected. Key to devising policies that solve these issues is understanding who is causing dorm damage, who is being impacted and most importantly, the ways in which the administration’s decisions (and lack thereof) around party policy are the underlying cause. Hitchcock Hall, as one of the most frequent locations of student parties as well as one of the most severe sites of dorm damage, is a perfect case to understand what is happening. Dorm damage arose as an issue for us on Dec. 29, 2017, when Residential Life applied a charge of $55.22 to the Student Accounts of Hitchcock residents for “Common Area Damage.” No explanation was given for what had occurred, when it had happened and whether or not the entire dorm had been charged, and there was no notification that the charge was being added to our accounts. Hitchcock residents individually discovered the charge and began contacting ResLife asking for an explanation and context. Many resident’s individual emails were ignored for days and weeks. Eventually, residents heard from ResLife via an email on Jan. 19, 2018, providing limited context. ResLife asserted that $14,855 of unattributable damages had been done to residence halls in the Fall 2017 semester. Information was not provided regarding the amount individual residence halls had suffered, what constituted damages, what specific dates the damage had occurred or why they were considered un-attributable. This information would not be provided until Jan. 30 after a continued effort from Hitchcock residents to get basic information out of ResLife. The lack of transparency and communication throughout this process is representative of the relationship between students and ResLife. That residents of Hitchcock were not alerted that dorm damage charges were being incurred against them until the semester was over and were not provided information regarding the specifics of these charges until after the next semester began is absolutely unacceptable. The inability for ResLife to clearly communicate policy changes and implementation as well as provide information to students is one of the core issues that needs to be resolved. To begin, ResLife should provide immediate updates to Hitchcock residents whenever damage they believe is unattributable has occurred, so that we are aware of it and are able to respond with information about what might have happened. ResLife asserts that certain dorm damage is
“unattributable” and therefore that cost should be spread equally among all residents of the dorm. There are two problems with this: (1) The current state of the Amherst party scene involves a very limited number of students, in part due to the limited amount of spaces available. (2) This “unattributable” dorm damage is largely the product of officially registered student parties. Each of these registered parties last semester had a student “party sponsor” who was responsible for the event. The purpose of the registration system is in part so that party sponsors can be identified in the case of damage occurring as a result of the event. In the case of Hitchcock, when comparing the breakdown of dorm damage provided by ResLife to the list of party registration requests and party sponsors in the main Hitchcock common area, it is easy to identify the groups and individuals that registered parties the weekends that damage occurred. It is therefore ridiculous for the administration to assert that this damage is “unattributable,” let alone that it should be dispersed among dorm residents, most of whom are not involved in the events happening in their common spaces. When identifying the groups registering parties in Hitchcock, it becomes apparent just how small a group of students are utilizing the space. Approximately 77 percent of the groups that registered parties on weekends in which damage occurred during last Fall Semester were varsity athletic teams. Further, three teams — Men’s Lacrosse, Men’s Football, and Men’s Ice Hockey — constituted roughly 67 percent of registrations on such weekends alone. About 72 percent of all registrations during that period, regardless of whether damage occurred that weekend, were made by varsity athletes. While it is certainly true that there are cases of non-athletes attending parties registered by athletes, party sponsors, both athlete and non-athlete, need to accept responsibility for controlling attendance or calling ACPD when destructive individuals are attending their events, regardless of if they were invited. It is also because of this that simply banning the members of one or two groups from registering parties would not solve the problem. The underlying structures and policies that produce these situations are what require immediate attention. ResLife and Student Affairs have made no meaningful effort to hold party sponsors of any affiliation accountable for cleaning up after their registered events in Hitchcock. Instead, by attempting to disperse dorm damage costs to all of the residents of a dorm, they have allowed a limited number of students to act in a destructive manner and then pass the consequences onto the rest of the student body. The result has been that from the beginning of this academic year, parties in Hitchcock have been continually destructive to the space and those registering parties have never been incentivized to meaningfully address it. The administration’s answer has been to burden students not participating in these registered parties to become watchdogs over the students who are, or be monetarily penalized. This policy needs to be understood alongside the knowledge that varsity athletes dispropor-
tionately register parties on the weekend. The athlete/non-athlete divide is relevant because it also represents a class and racial divide. The class divide is particularly important to understand when policies are resulting in students being monetarily penalized simply for choosing to live in a specific dorm. 6 percent of men’s and 2 percent of women’s varsity teams are low-income students while 31 percent of non-athletes are low-income students. 73 percent of men’s and 74 percent of women’s varsity teams are white, while only 35 percent of non-athletes are white. (This data is 2-3 years old and comes from the Place of Athletics at Amherst Report released in 2017. The administration should update the student body with new data if the numbers have changed significantly). Knowing this, it becomes clear that through this policy of placing the burden of dorm damage on entire dorms, administrators are pressuring non-athletes, as well as varsity athletes not in attendance, to spend their weekends watching over party registrations which are dominated by varsity athletes to ensure that damages are “attributable” or to face financial consequences. The diffusion of these financial consequences allows for students registering parties, who are disproportionately athletes and therefore much less likely to be low-income, to essentially push out low-income students from living in certain dorms out of fear for having to pay for someone else’s damage. It’s also worth talking about what being a student watchdog would actually mean in the moment. Many of us do not know the names of every face we see partying in our dorms. Without being able to provide a name, it is rather difficult to send a report to ResLife afterwards to attribute damages to destructive individuals. Calling the ACPD is ineffective as well, considering even RCs have had experiences of calling ACPD to handle a situation only to have them never arrive or arrive too late, after the destructive individual has left. This leaves students under this policy forced to directly confront destructive, intoxicated violence that could just as quickly be aimed at people as it is at furniture (and cases of physical and verbal assault happen too frequently in party spaces as it is). Knocking holes in ceilings, breaking furniture and punching walls (all of which have occurred across campus) are often the product of a violent, toxic masculinity that can be physically dangerous to those present. The danger of this violence is especially true for RCs and residents who are not men but are expected to directly confront these situations. Coffey and Gendron’s policies quite literally put some students in the situation of choosing between potentially putting themselves in physical danger or facing financial consequences. That the administration failed to recognize the intersections between their policy and the dynamics of class, race and gender at Amherst or to acknowledge the ways in which their policies impact various groups at Amherst differently is completely unacceptable. While Coffey and Gendron’s most recent email on the subject mentioned the “sickening conditions” faced by our custodial and facilities staff who are left to clean up after these events,
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they failed to recognize that this issue is a result of their refusal to make serious effort to hold party sponsors accountable for ensuring their events are cleaned up. Most importantly, they have failed to recognize that those “sickening conditions” deeply impact student welfare as well. The experience of the residents of dorms who live in conditions in which vomit, trash, broken ceilings etc. occurring on Friday or Saturday night and could sit for 48-72 hours until Monday afternoon before it is removed, continues to go unaddressed. Coffey and Gendron have failed to recognize or address the ways in which students, including those who were placed in Hitchcock for medical housing (as well as other dorms in which dorm damage is severe) and did not make the choice to live there (as well as students who did choose to live there but could not have possibly expected what has happened), are now being made to live in unsanitary conditions which present a health risk. Coffey and Gendron’s most recent response highlighted that their newest policies reflect those of several other liberal arts colleges. That they would attempt to mimic the student life policies at schools with dramatically different and varied student life frameworks, simply because Amherst has a similar academic mission, speaks to their incapacity to find a productive and relevant solution for this campus. Further, despite their newest policies, as residents of Hitchcock we can confidently say that the destructive behavior and unsanitary conditions have not changed, and all of the concerns and problems that we have outlined, remain relevant. The student body needs leadership among the staff that are knowledgeable about what student life is like at Amherst and can produce solutions that specifically address the issues that are faced on this campus. We need policymakers that are willing to acknowledge the divisions within the campus community and actually work to address them instead of treating every problem as a campus-wide issue. More importantly, the administration needs to accept responsibility for the fact that what is occurring now is the product of a long string of failed and misguided decisions across Student Affairs and that it is not the job of students, who have no interest being at a specific social event, to monitor or police it. As residents of Hitchcock, we hope that going forward, solutions will reflect the student experience. Illen Asmerom ’18 Christina Bourne ’18 Ricky Choi ’18 Faith Chung ’18 Miriam Eickhoff ’19 Emma Griese ’18 Jennifer Krems ’18 Catherine Lindsay ’19 Kristen Molina ’18 Helen Montie ’18 Michael Shi ’19 Andrew Smith ’18 Brenna Sullivan ’18 Lerato Teffo ’18 Alex Toupal ’18 Will Zaubler ’19
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“The Shape of Water” Delights with Endearing Depiction of Love
Photo courtesy of cinezapping.com
Sally Hawkins’ performance as Elisa Esposito is charming, convincing and has earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress, one of the film’s 13 nominations. Seoyeon Kim ’21 Staff Writer Set during the height of the Cold War, “The Shape of Water” tells the story of Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins). The film opens with Elisa’s daily routine: every day she makes breakfast, bathes and polishes her shoes before heading to work, where she serves as a night-time janitor in a government laboratory. Mute and only able to communicate with others using sign language, Elisa lives alone and her routine remains unchanging. She has two friends — Giles (Richard Jenkins), her next-door neighbor and artist who is ostracized from society due to his homosexuality, and Zelda (Octavia Spencer), who also cleans at the laboratory and acts as Elisa’s translator, all the while complaining endlessly to Elisa about her unappreciative husband. Despite these companionships, it is easy to see that Elisa is unfulfilled; at the beginning of the film, she has a faraway
look in her eyes, always wishing for more than just the ordinary. Everything changes when an unidentified tank arrives at Elisa’s workplace, said to contain “the most sensitive asset ever to be housed” in the facility. The “asset” turns out to be an amphibian creature captured in the Amazon by the vile Colonel Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon), who incessantly abuses the creature with an electric cattle prod. Elisa’s curiosity and sympathy bring her closer to the creature, leading her to visit him in secret, and eventually they fall in love. She describes their connection in one sentence, saying “when he looks at [her], the way he looks at [her]… he does not know … [she is] incomplete.” Their relationship becomes threatened when Strickland wants to euthanize the creature and dissect its body, claiming the discoveries will help the U. S. one-up the Soviet Union. Elisa, with the help of her friends Zelda and Giles, as well as the kind-hearted scientist
Dr. Hoffstetler (Michael Stuhlbarg), succeeds in stealing the creature away from the facility before the procedure, but the group must then deal with Strickland, who will stop at nothing to get his plaything back in his grasp. “The Shape of Water” leads the 2018 Oscar race with a whopping 13 nominations, including a Best Actress nomination for Sally Hawkins and a Best Director nomination for Guillermo Del Toro. Sally Hawkins, previously best known for her Oscar-nominated performance in “Blue Jasmine” in 2013, portrays Elisa with irresistible charm and intense desperation. She is endlessly endearing and manages to be convincing in every scene, signing and tap-dancing her way out of her silence. Octavia Spencer delightfully portrays her fiercely loyal best friend Zelda, and Richard Jenkins delivers a heartbreakingly real representation of a person who’s been deprived of love his entire life as the lonely Giles. Some of Michael Shannon’s scenes seemed gratuitous, especial-
ly the one where he goes shopping for a new car, but nevertheless he is the perfect villain — gruesome, violent and increasingly crazed. Even common fairytale tropes do not feel very common in this film, which combines elements of “Beauty and the Beast” with director Del Toro’s reimagining of “Creature from the Black Lagoon.” The movie portrays a team of society’s outcasts (especially in the 1950’s) — a mute, a black woman and a gay artist — as heroes, while the establishment is vilified and exposed. It is a poetic story capable of making us believe in true love. The message is especially relevant in today’s society, where we are constantly fighting the battle against established societal norms. The film’s title is rehashed with a particular resonance in its ending lines: “Unable to perceive the shape of you, I find you all around me. Your presence fills my eyes with your love. It humbles my heart, for you are everywhere.”
Hitchcock Fellowship The Department of Physical Education and Athletics invites applications for the Hitchcock Fellowship for the 2018-2019 academic year. The Hitchcock Fellowship is awarded to a graduating senior who wishes to pursue a career in the field of athletics, primarily teaching and coaching. The Hitchcock Fellow will be an Assistant Coach in at least two intercollegiate programs and may be assigned/elect other duties. Individuals interested in the position should send a letter of application and current resume no later than February 16, 2018 to: Jen Hughes Assistant Athletic Director Women’s Soccer Coach email@example.com
The Amherst Student • February 14, 2018
Arts & Living 7
Mix Up Your Routine with Easy, Creative Twists on Val Staples
Photos courtesy of Julia Shea ‘21
By February, eating from a set menu can become monotonous, but the selections at Val allow for creativity, with options like cereal ice cream and DIY pancakes. Annika Lunstad ’21 Staff Writer At this point in the year, many students find eating from a set cafeteria menu to be redundant. However, with some creativity, you can make meals that fit your personal tastes. Plus, the act of actually making the food creates a greater connection with it and increases the enjoyment in eating it as well. Try one of these ideas, some of which are mine and some of which are crowdsourced. Cereal and Soft Serve This is a classic combination of crunchy cereal and soft ice cream. The best way to make this is by adding chocolate Chex cereal to chocolate soft serve, but I encourage you to experiment with other cereals. Also, if you’re not allergic to peanut butter, it’s a great addition to this chocolate-heavy
recipe. This combination is also delicious because of the texture contrast between the crunchy cereal and the soft ice cream. Smoothie Bowls Val’s thick smoothies provide the perfect consistency for smoothie bowls. Make sure to get a bowl that’s big enough, and fill it with the smoothie. Next, pick out your favorite smoothie bowl toppings that are available in Val: chia seeds, granola, peanut butter, oats, bananas, strawberries, blueberries or any other fruit that’s on hand. Iced Mocha Though perhaps less desirable during the chilly winter, an iced mocha is still delicious. Just get a cup and add ice, coffee, either milk or half and half and chocolate syrup from the waffle station. Yogurt and Jam Clearly, eating yogurt is hardly a creative find.
However, my roommate pointed out to me that adding jam to the plain Greek yogurt, along with some almond butter, makes for a healthy and delicious breakfast. I also like to put granola and blueberries in my yogurt. Different combinations of this yogurt parfait can make the mornings more interesting and help you get a healthy start to the day. Marinara Sauce on Veggies Adding some marinara sauce, or really any other pasta sauce, to the cooked vegetables from the Lighter Side makes them more enjoyable to eat and adds a bit of variety to the cycle of available vegetables. Pancakes If you’re not eating waffles regularly, you’re definitely missing out. However, it can be good to mix up the normal routine of waffles. It’s easy enough
to use the available waffle batter to make pancakes on the panini presses. I would only ask the people doing this to be careful and make sure to clean up after yourself. Don’t expect others to do it. Pesto on Everything Similar to the marinara sauce recommendation, pesto tastes great as an addition to nearly anything. Mix it in with the pasta sauces for something a little different. Make a healthy adaptation of a pasta salad by adding pesto to quinoa before mixing in various veggies and meat. If you haven’t been doing this already, add pesto to your sandwiches, add it to the Lighter Side’s chicken or even just the daily dinner. If you have any additional ideas or recipes that you would like to share with your fellow students, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or email email@example.com.
New Kendrick Album Stirs Excitement for “Black Panther” Film
Photos courtesy of supereroi-news.com
On his newest project,“The Black Panther: The Album,“ Kendrick Lamar (left) draws parallels between himself and T’Challa (right), the hero of the upcoming movie. Hugh Ford ’20 Staff Writer Friday marks the opening of Marvel’s highly anticipated “Black Panther” movie. The film has been eagerly awaited ever since the Black Panther character was introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War.” Chadwick Boseman excelled in his role as T’Challa/Black Panther and quickly became a fan favorite. Hype for the new film, which is currently sitting at 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, is at an all-time high for superhero moveies. And last Friday, as part of the promotion of the new film, Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) released “Black Panther: The Album,” a concept album inspired by the movie. TDE’s own Kendrick Lamar spearheads the effort. Lamar has an impressive history of narrative albums, the most recent being last year’s “Damn.” On “Black Panther: The Album,” Lamar coordinates a team of some of the most talented artists in hip-hop and R&B to create a cohesive and exciting album. The project consists of 14 songs that alternate between intense bangers and flavorful R&B tracks. While only three of the 14 songs, “All of the Stars,” “Opps” and “Pray For
Me,” appear in the movie, one of the most impressive aspects of the album is how well it explores the themes of “Black Panther” in new contexts. In the film, T’Challa takes over from his father as the ruler of Wakanda, a hidden, futuristic African nation. At the same time, T’Challa must uphold the mantle of the Black Panther, the legendary hero tasked with protecting Wakanda. On the opening track, “Black Panther,” Lamar addresses the responsibility and expectations that come with both kingship and the appearance of heroism, establishing a parallel between himself as “King Kendrick” and T’Challa. The album goes deeper, however, reflecting on the villain Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), an American trying to capture the throne of Wakanda. Killmonger serves as both the film’s antagonist and a foil to the Black Panther. Nevertheless, the artists on “Black Panther: The Album,” often empathize with him. The album examines the dichotomy between T’Challa, an African king, and Killmonger, an African-American from Oakland. On “Paramedic,” SOB x RBE, a group from of Northern California, rap from the perspective of Killmonger about the violence growing up in Vallejo, California and becoming successful despite a system rigged against them. On “Seasons,”
the duality of Killmonger and T’Challa is ultimately resolved. Kendrick brings together Mozzy, a Sacramento rapper, and Reason and Sjava, two South African artists. In the end, Kendrick acknowledges, “I am T’Challa; I am Killmonger,” embodying both the hero and the villain. The collaboration on “Seasons” is indicative of impressive synergy among artists from diverse spheres of the music world throughout the album. “Black Panther: The Album” includes a varied array of high profile and lesser-known artists, including five South African musicians. Each artist adds their own unique personality to the album, from 2 Chainz’s punch-line rap to Swae Lee’s beautiful crooning, from Anderson .Paak’s smooth soulful R&B to Vince Staples’ quick, sharp cadence and from James Blake’s ethereal singing to The Weeknd’s Auto-Tuned blend of pop and R&B. The South African artists also distinguish themselves on the album. On songs like “Seasons” and “Redemption,” Sajava and Babes Wudumo add verses in Zulu, celebrating the African setting of the movie. Of course, overseeing the whole coalition is Kendrick Lamar, who makes his presence felt with powerful verses and hooks throughout the project.
Unfortunately, the album lags on the features from some of the most prominent artists. On “King’s Dead,” Future stops the song dead when he attempts to go falsetto, and on “Big Shot,” Travis Scott’s verse sounds generic and phoned-in. Despite those weaknesses, the album holds up with consistently strong production from TDE’s in-house producers. Each beat is fully developed and fresh. On “Opps” and “Pray For Me,” the instrumentation reinforces the Afro-futuristic imagery of Wakanda. “Opps” sees Vince Staples rapping over electronic-influenced production paired with tribal drums. In the same vein, “Pray For Me” features a futuristic, heavy 808-drum beat. With “Black Panther: The Album,” it seems that Kendrick Lamar has once again hit the mark. Though it features a variety of artists, the TDE album consistently excels in every direction. Furthermore, although the album reflects on the narrative themes of “Black Panther,” each featured artist — for the most part — adds their own personal experience and perspective to the music, making it enjoyable even outside of the context of the movie. Expectations are high for “Black Panther,” and if it’s anything like this album, it should hold up nicely.
The Amherst Student • February 14, 2018
Arts & Living 8
Dorm Room Decor That Will Brighten Gray Wintry Weather
Photo courtesy of Hildi Gabel ‘21
Muji’s aroma diffuser comes accomodates a variety of essential oils that freshen the air and provide much-needed humidity in these dry winter months. Hildi Gabel ’21 Contributing Writer The naïve December belief that we will never tire of the snow has disappeared while we forge ahead into the late stages of the Massachusetts winter. Despite our best efforts to stay inside, burrowing in with windows shut and the heat turned up as high as possible is only conducive to intense stuffiness and cabin fever. While a home that consists of one room will always have its limitations, it’s important that we find the spaces we live in to be habitable and comforting. Whether in the smell of lavender ushering in the new day or in the afternoon communion with friends over warm drinks, it’s easy to incorporate coziness and comfort into the Amherst home. The following items are great solutions to help battle cabin fever and feel cozier in these closed-window months. All can be found for affordable prices at Target or on Amazon.
An Ode to Aroma Diffusers Aroma diffusers disperse scent by emitting mist mixed with essential oils, and in this simple function, they can both transform a sparse room into a home and refresh the air. They are easy to use; all you have to do is plug in the cord, pour in water and a few drops of essential oil and let the diffuser do its work, sending out scented water vapor. Essential oils, more natural alternatives to plug-in air fresheners, come in a wide variety of scents. Citrus and floral scents are perfect for nightly down time — eucalyptus feels bright and fresh, and lavender is a classic, soothing scent. A multitude of vendors sell diffusers, but the Muji aroma diffuser stands out. Though on the pricier side, its minimalist design and soft glow makes it the most effective gateway to intense relaxation and that perfect mid-afternoon nap. Microwave Neck Wraps A heated neck pillow will provide more warmth than a scalding shower or any Valen-
tine’s Day date. These neck wraps, very similar in design to the neck pillows used on airplanes, only require a quick stay in the microwave. Once heated, you can wrap the pillow around your neck and sink into prime coziness. RGB Strip Lights In dorm rooms, it is commonplace to see string or fairy lights used to mellow out harsh dorm lighting and provide a gentle illumination before bedtime, but RGB strip lights have flown under the radar. RGB — standing for red, green and blue — is most commonly known as the system that combines these colors to create the seemingly infinite color range seen on computer displays. These dorm lights similarly use red, green and blue to produce an array of colors for your room. The lights come in a lightweight strip that can be mounted on a wall, and their remote allows you to switch between washes of navy blue, dusky pink and teal on cold winter nights. It’s an exciting alternative to traditional string lights, and they let you lay in an atmo-
spheric glow of deep color on otherwise gray days. Electric Kettle and Hot Tea Access to hot drinks in one’s place of residence is a luxury that borders on necessity in chilly weather. The standard electric kettle, which boils water, is incredibly useful and a worthwhile purchase. Boiled water is the basic ingredient for so many college foods and drinks, such as instant ramen, hot chocolate and tea. Tea, in particular, is a great option for winter. It’s the overlooked sibling to coffee, aromatic and mild enough to drink well into the evening without the dangers of a caffeine rush. The most cost effective solution is to find a website that ships loose-leaf teas. Stash Tea and DavidsTea both have great selections of affordable loose-leaf packs. Start with a sampler to find a blend you like, then order it in bulk. You can steep loose leaf herbs in a strainer, and it’s always smart to keep honey on hand for natural sweetener.
“Grown-ish” Honestly Portrays College Life, Bringing Relatability
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Taking after its parent show “Black-ish,“ the Freeform comedy “Grown-ish“ tackles today’s social issues with an eye towards the concerns of college students. Whitney Bruno ’21 Contributing Writer As a first-year in college, it seems as if Freeform’s latest hit-TV show “Grown-ish” could not have started airing at a better time. As the show’s central character, Zoey Johnson (Yara Shahidi), struggles to adapt to her new life at the fictional California University, I find myself relating all too well with the experiences she goes through. Indeed, it is the show’s relatability that has made it the sensation it currently is. With its premiere as Freeform’s most successful in years and the overnight explosion of its online fandom, the show currently holds a remarkable grip on pop culture. “Grown-ish,” which began airing last month, serves as a spin-off of ABC’s popular sitcom “Black-ish” — although lack of knowledge about the latter series will not impede a viewer’s enjoyment of “Grown-ish.” The new show follows the eldest daughter of the Johnson family, the central focus of “Black-ish,” through her first year of college.
The show is a comedic narrative that in the spirit of its predecessor, remaining unafraid to tackle serious topics among the laughs. Such a diversity of topics creates a show that mirrors life and its natural ups and downs, perhaps making it easier for the audience to connect with Zoey. As such, we are almost able to grow with her; we cheer when she first makes friends in a late-night class session, much like the friendships made in the classic “The Breakfast Club,” we are hopeful for her when she enters new relationships and we feel remorse for her when they don’t work out the way she thinks they will. The show covers issues college students face today with an ease unmatched by other shows that try to relate to young-adult audiences. The show dives into Adderall-abuse, hook-up culture, the pressure surrounding college athletes and harmful biases within youth LGBTQ culture. Credit for the show feeling as grounded as it does can be attributed to the wisdom of its creator Kenya Barris, who is also the executive producer and an occasional writer. Barris’s ca-
reer has flourished in recent years with one success after the other. As the creator of “Black-ish” and screenwriter for both last year’s breakout hit “Girl’s Trip” and 2016’s “Barbershop: The Next Cut,” he has established himself as a prolific producer and writer of comedic content that helps to normalize African-American narratives within the mainstream. A few criticisms of the show have gained traction, mainly those centering around the dissonance that exists between the teen-oriented narrative the show conveys and the nuances of the actual experiences of contemporary youth. Such a critique is almost inevitable, however, and usually accompanies fictional media that tries to imitate the contemporary lives of youth in any fashion; there will always be an almost tangible barrier between media and reality that usually goes unfelt by most, but is especially felt and prevalent when said media focuses on youth culture, which is constantly changing and formed of intricacies that can never truly be replicated by the adults behind the camera. That being said, I feel that the extent of the care with
which youth-oriented topics are presented in the show cuts away this barrier between media and reality better than other shows that attempt to do the same. Another critical commentary arises around the perceived weakness of its romantic sideplots, which some have deemed unrealistic, generic and even boring. Despite this, I find the love-triangle between Zoey, her sophomore friend Aaron (Trevor Jackson) and star basketball player Cash Mooney (da’Vinchi, or Abraham D. Juste) to be a little generic but still entertaining enough to keep me watching from week to week. Ultimately, though, the show excels in other areas to such an extent that it’s easy to look past the few flaws that it has. With its stellar cast, near-perfect writing and charming relatability, “Grown-ish” is a must-watch for college students, first-years or otherwise, and also those who simply wish to relive the chaotic newness of college life all over again. “Grown-ish” currently airs on Freeform each week on Wednesday at 8 p.m.
The Amherst Student • February 14, 2018
Men’s Track Competes at Valentine and Kelley Invitationals
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Tucker Meijer ’19 finished 45th out of 170 in the 3000-meter run at BU. Veronica Rocco ’19 Staff Writer The Amherst men’s track and field team split up this weekend, with one group travelling to compete at the Boston University Valentine Invitational and the other at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Gordon Kelley Invitational. The track at BU is banked and is often regarded as the fastest indoor track in the United States, and perhaps the world. With competitors from all three NCAA divisions in addition to amateur and professional athletes, the meet gave the Mammoths a great opportunity to post fast times going into the DIII New England Championships next weekend. On the other hand, the track at MIT is flat, and thus it was mostly Amherst athletes whose events do not take place on the track that competed there.
The day at BU started for the Mammoths in the 800 meters, where junior Kristian Sogaard competed in the fourth heat, placing fifth with a time of 1:54, slightly slower than the time he ran at Tufts the weekend prior. Jacob Silverman ’19 led a slew of Mammoth 800-meter personal bests for the day, when he placed third in his heat with a new personal best time of 1:55. Estevan Velez ’20 set a personal best with his 1:57 to place third in his heat, while teammate Ermias Kebede ’19 wasn’t far behind in eighth place in 1:59. Jack Malague ’19 also set a new personal best, breaking two minutes for the first time with a time of 1:59. The junior rallied over the last lap with a strong kick to break the two-minute barrier. In the 400 meters, Vernon Espinoza ’19 narrowly missed breaking 50 seconds, running 50.04
Women’s Basketball Secures NESCAC Regular Season Title with Two Wins
to place second in his heat. Just two heats later, first-year Ryan Prenosil broke 50 seconds for the first time, running 49.83 and taking third in his heat. Stanley Dunwell ’20 ran a collegiate personal best in the 400, finishing the event in 51.72 seconds and later coming back to run the 200 meters in a solid time of 23.60 seconds. The mile was a popular race at BU, as there were 29 heats for the event. In the 11th heat, sophomore Spencer Ferguson-Dryden ran 4:21 to place 11th. In the 25th heat, Chris Stone ’20 ran 4:35, a worse time than he had hoped for due to his heat going out slower than expected. The Mammoths assembled an excellent 4x400 relay, as captain David Ingraham ’18 led off and handed the baton to Prenosil. The first-year standout then gave the baton to Sogaard, who was coming back after finishing the 800 earlier in the morning. Sogaard gave the Mammoths the lead, which Espinoza maintained to finish first in their heat with a time of 3:18, which is currently ranked 17th in the nation in DIII and constitutes the thirdfastest mark in Amherst history. “We knew going into it that [BU] was going to be a fast meet,” Prenosil said. “For the 4x400, I think the combination of the atmosphere and our training created an opportunity for us to excel.” In the 3k, Cosmo Brossy ’19 ran a new personal best time of 8:24, but was tripped up several times in the race by other runners. The remarkable junior looks to qualify for nationals in the event later in the season in addition to his likely qualification in the 5k. First-year Braxton Schuldt ran an excellent race in his heat of the 3k, qualifying for DIII New Englands next week with his time of 8:47, while captain Justin Barry ’18 ran a consistent race, finishing in 8:55. Over at MIT, Biafra Okoronkwo ’20 placed second in the 60-meter dash in 7.32 seconds. In the 400-meter dash, the Mammoths contin-
ued to excel, as first-year Kyland Smith ran a time of 52.89 seconds to set a personal best and claim third place. The trio of sophomores Brad Besson, Teddy Lane and Alexander Mangiafico ran times of 53.48, 53.49 and 53.63, respectively. Jack Dufton ’20 continued the wave of sophomore success, winning the 800 meters with a time of 2:07. Hurdlers Maxim Doiron ’19 and Yonas Shiferaw ’20 placed back-to-back in fifth and sixth, running times of 8.86 and 8.87 seconds, respectively in the 60 meter hurdles. In the field events, the Mammoths only entered throwers, as Elorm Yevudza ’19 placed 19th with a throw of 10.09 meters (33’ 1.25”) in the shot put and 16th in the weight throw with his 11.83 meters (38’ 9.5”) throw. Next weekend, the Mammoths travel north to Middlebury for the DIII New England Championships, a meet the team has been aiming to perform well at all season. With a more well-rounded team than in years prior, the Mammoths will hope to surprise its competition.
Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios
Kyland Smith ’21 set a personal best in the 400 meters.
A conversation with Boston Globe journalist Kevin Cullen and
THOMAS J. BRENNAN Marine Corps veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, recipient of the Purple Heart medal
Photo courtesy of Amherst Athletics
Senior Hannah Hackley scored 14 points in the 55-44 win over rival Williams. Katie Karczwesci ’18 Staff Writer The Amherst women’s basketball team finished off the regular season with to back-to-back victories over Williams and Middlebury, winning 55-44 and 68-41, respectively. The victories marked Amherst’s 56th and 57th consecutive wins and ensured the Mammoths’ second consecutive undefeated regular season and, by extension, their second consecutive NESCAC regular season crown. Senior Hannah Hackley put up 14 points in the contest against the Ephs to lead Amherst to yet another victory Williamstown. For her preformance, she earned NESCAC Athlete of the Week honors. Williams trailed the entire game, but never let the Mammoths run away with it, keeping its turnovers to a minimum and receiving valuable contributions off the bench. Amherst’s ability to out-rebound the hosts and dominate the paint proved invaluable in keeping the Ephs at bay — Jackie Nagle ’18 snagged 11 rebounds and put up 10 points as the spear-point of the Mammoths’ dominance down low. At the final whistle of the hard-fought contest, the scoreboard read 55-44 in favor of the Mam-
moths, who clinched a remarkable eighth consecutive victory over their hated rivals. The next afternoon, Amherst travelled north to face Middlebury in the final game of the regular season, having already clinched the regular season crown and thus only playing to keep their perfect season alive. Hannah Fox ’20 led Mammoths in scoring with 16 points, and Hackley was close behind with 15, the two players combining for nearly half of Amherst’s total points. Emma McCarthy ’19E led all rebounders, snagging the few offensive boards that were available in the wake of Amherst’s hot shooting and also adding 11 points. A monster third quarter pushed the Mammoths far ahead of the Panthers, as the visitors put together a 13-5 run in the first five minutes of the frame. The lead grew to as many as 26 points after a three from junior Meghan Sullivan with 11 seconds left in the third. The Mammoths maintained this margin and returned home with a dominant 68-41 win. The Mammoths, who went 10-0 in NESCAC play, earned the top seed in the conference tournament and will host Trinity in the NESCAC quarterfinals on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 2 p.m.
Co-Author of Shooting Ghosts: A U.S. Marine, a Combat Photographer, and Their Journey Back from War Founder of The War Horse, an award-winning nonprofit newsroom dedicated to chronicling the effects of post-9/11 conflict
February 15, 8 p.m. Stirn Auditorium Amherst College
The Amherst Student • February 14, 2018
Men’s Hockey Hits Stride in Time for Start of NESCAC Tournament
Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios
David White ’18 has notched nine assists this season, but has only scored one goal. The forward also boasts a plus/minus of +17, which leads the team. Delancey King ’18 Staff Writer In what was a great weekend for the Amherst men’s hockey team, the Mammoths claimed two huge NESCAC wins to bring their overall record to 11-7-4 and leave the team second in the conference standings. “We’re coming into our own at just the right time,” junior Jack Fitzgerald said. “We’re playing well and feeling really confident as we approach the postseason. It’s exciting to see it all come together.” On Saturday, the Mammoths hosted NESCAC rival Tufts. The Jumbos took the first lead of the game, as Edward Hannon took advantage of a counter-attack at the end of the first period. Intercepting the puck at the Jumbos’ blue line, Hannon sped down the ice and fired a shot into the top corner from the right dot. Amherst did not find the equalizer until early in the second period, when Joey Lupo ’20 notched a short-handed goal to keep the Mammoths in the game. Patrick Daly ’20 then provided Amherst with the go-ahead goal during a power play just before the second intermission. Finding the rebound after a shot from senior David White, Daly one-timed the puck over the goaltender’s shoulder to record his team-high ninth goal of the season. Thomas Lindstrom ’18 increased the Mammoths’ lead to two during another power play in the third period. Following a shot from Phil Johansson ’19, Lindstrom beat his man and ripped a shot past Tufts’ Nik Nugnes. The next day, Amherst took on Conn. College, which they had lost to earlier in the
season. The Mammoths got off to a quick start, as Fitzgerald found the back of the net only 1:21 into the game. Receiving a pass from Lupo in a threeon-two situation, Fitzgerald sent a wrist shot over the shoulder of the Camels’ goaltender. Conn. College responded 10 minutes later, when Bryan Ackil buried a rebound in the top corner of the Amherst net. Fortunately, Lindstrom restored the Mammoths’ lead before the first intermission. The rebound from an initial shot from Daly landed right on Lindstrom’s stick, and the senior captain had an easy tap-in to make the score 2-1. In the second period, Lupo recorded his second goal of the weekend off a beautiful no-look pass from Fitzgerald. Finding himself one-on-one with the Camels’ goalie, Lupo deked to his backhand and went top shelf. The final blow came in the third period, when Lindstrom capitalized on a power play opportunity. Redirecting a shot from Johansson, Lindstrom tucked the puck just inside the post to secure the 4-1 victory for the Mammoths. Following Sunday’s game, the team honored their six seniors: Tyler Granara, Lindstrom, Patrick Mooney, White, Connor Girard and Will Vosejpka. Over their four years with the program, the Amherst men’s hockey class of 2018 has compiled an impressive record of 58-31-13 for an overall win percentage of .629. Next up, Amherst will travel to archrival Williams on Saturday, Feb. 17 to kick off their last weekend of regular season play.
Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios
Senior Connor Girard, the Mammoth’s primary netminder, boasts a save percentage hoverin around 93%, and notched 27 saves against Tufts.
Johnny McCarthy ’18
Kaitlin Hoang ’21
Favorite Team Memory: Beating Tufts in their gym to make it to the Final Four my sophmore year. Favorite Pro Athlete: Larry Bird Dream Job: General Manager of the Boston Celtics Pet Peeve: People talking when they’ve lost their voice Favorite Vacation Spot: Cape Cod Something on Your Bucket List: Winning a NESCAC Championship Guilty Pleasure: Late night McDonald’s runs Favorite Food: Burger and fries Favorite Thing About Amherst: Being a part of the Amherst Basketball program How He Earned It: In McCarthy’s final regular season games as a member of the Amherst men’s basketball team, he continued to be a force on the court for the Mammoths. In Amherst’s showdown against Williams on February 9, McCarthy helped the Mammoths clinch the 72-57 victory with nine points, eight rebounds and five assists. In the NESCAC-clinching victory over Middlebury, McCarthy recorded a double-double, scoring 11 points and pulling down 14 rebounds.
Favorite Team Memory: Beating Elmira Favorite Pro Athlete: Jack Eichel Dream Job: Oncologist Pet Peeve: Whistling Favorite Vacation Spot: Lake house in North Carolina Something on Your Bucket List: Going to Antarctica Guilty Pleasure: Binge watching the Food Network Favorite Food: Hawaiian pizza Favorite Thing About Amherst: The people are really friendly How She Earned It: Hoang and the women’s ice hockey team completed a two game series against Hamilton over the weekend, winning the first game 4-1 and tying the second 2-2. Hoang was an integral part of both victories, filling up the score sheet last Friday with a goal and two assists in the 4-1 win. Her three points led all skaters in the contest. Hoang has been a consistent force on offense for the Mammoths, contributing 11 points over the course of the season. Furthermore, Hoang has displayed great discipline, having only picked up two penalties the entire season.
Women’s Track and Field Competes in Valentine, Kelley Invitationals
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Ella Rosa ’21 ran the 60-meter hurdles this weekend with a time of 9.12 seconds which was good enough for 17th place at the Kelley Invitational. Henry Newton ’21 Managing Sports Editor Over the past weekend, the Amherst women’s track and field team competed at two indoor invitational meets, the Valentine Invitational, hosted by Boston University, and the Gordon Kelley Invitational at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. On Friday and Saturday, at BU, the Mammoths competed against over 3,500 athletes representing over 90 teams. In addition to collegiate athletes, numerous post-collegiate and professional runners competed in the event. Notable performances from the Mammoths included Ella Rossa ’21, who in the 60-meter invitational event that compiled some of the event’s best runners, finished in 17th place with a time of 9.12 seconds. Rossa was one of only five DIII runners selected to participate in the event. In addition, Leonie Rauls ’18 recorded her best 800-meter performance of the season, finishing 55th in the field of 167 harriers with
a time of 2:16.29. Jordan Rhodeman ’21 and Sophie Friedman ’21 also recorded personal-best times of the indoor season, with Rhodeman finishing the 400-meter dash in 1:01.86 and Friedman recording a mark of 26.63 in the 200-meter dash. The weekend also saw the Mammoths compete at the Gordon Kelly Invitational hosted by MIT. This competition saw the field component of the team excel, with multiple Amherst athletes recording impressive results. Arguably the most impressive result of the day came courtesy of Kaitlyn Siegel ’20, who clinched first place in the high jump with a leap of 1.59 meters. Another Amherst jumper recorded a competitive finish in the event, as Becki Golia ’18 came in fourth place with a result of 1.54 meters. The Mammoths will return to action this Saturday, Feb. 17, when they compete at the DIII New England Championships, hosted by Springfield College.
The Amherst Student • February 14, 2018
The Mazzola Minute Jamie Mazzola ’21 Columnist Jamie Mazzola examines the flurry of trades from the Cavaliers surrounding the NBA trade deadline, and the potential playoff implications of these transactions.
Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios
Junior Jamie McNamara notched a goal in the Friday night win over Hamilton.
Women’s Hockey Rises to Third in NESCAC With Win over Hamilton Mary Grace Cronin ’18 Staff Writer The Amherst women’s hockey team both defeated and tied Hamilton to move into third in the NESCAC this past weekend, now boasting a record of 13-5-4 overall and 8-3-3 in conference play. The two contests over the weekend saw the high-scoring Mammoths take on a stingy Continental defense. Amherst, the most prolific in the conference, claimed victory in the weekend’s first contest against the Continentals in a commanding 4-1 victory. Hamilton’s Olivia Hawes posted the first and only goal of the opening period, but 15 minutes into the second stanza Katie Savage ’19 capitalized on the rebound from a Kaitlin Hoang ’21 shot to knot the contest at one goal apiece. While the rest of the second period remained scoreless, Amherst exploded in the third period with three goals to clinch the win. Sophomore forward Eliza Laycock tallied her third goal of the season on another redirected shot from Hoang, putting the Mammoths up 2-1. Continuing her dominant performance, the phenom Hoang finally got her own name on the score-sheet, launching a pass from senior Brenna Sullivan into the back of the net. With just under two minutes left, Jamie McNa-
mara ’19 put the final nail in the Continentals’ coffin, capitalizing on an empty net opportunity. Returning to Orr Rink the next day, Hamilton attempted to exact some measure of vengeance against the Mammoths. However, Amherst scored first just 4:06 into the game. The Mammoths’ leading scorer Alex Toupal ’18 used her speed to crash into the offensive end and rifle a quick shot past the Hamilton goaltender. Emma Flynn ’21 and Laura Schmidlein ’19 were credited with the two assists on Toupal’s goal. However, Hamilton’s Hawes provided a quick answer on a man-up opportunity two minutes later, leveling the score at one apiece. The second period was a defensive deadlock, with neither team able to finish their chances on net. In the third, Hamilton quickly grabbed their first lead of the contest at 2-1, but Toupal evened the game with a deadly accurate wrist shot off a pass from sophomore defender Anne Malloy to send the teams into overtime. Despite the back-and-forth action, neither team managed to emerge with the game-winning goal. Bailey Plaman ’18 posted 20 saves for the day, helping to anchor the stalwart Mammoths’ defense. Amherst will conclude regular season play this weekend, first travelling to Wesleyan on Friday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m., before returning home for the season’s final game against the Cardinals on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 3 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Clarus Studios
Alex Toupal ‘18 notched both goals in the Mammoths’ 2-2 tie on Saturday.
The Cleveland Cavaliers just traded a former NBA Finals MVP, the youngest MVP in NBA history and last season’s fifth-place finisher in the MVP race (and three other role players) for four players with no major accolades, yet these transactions may have been a smart move for the struggling franchise. The Cavaliers are 6-4 in their last 10 games, a dismal record for a team that has contested the past three NBA finals. LeBron James’ dissatisfaction with the Cavaliers may lead him to opt out of his contract at the end of the season, and, although he likely won’t “take [his] talents to South Beach” again, he has been linked with numerous other teams. As a result, the Cavaliers are making moves to simultaneously entice LeBron to stay and prepare for his potential departure. In one of the bigger roster reconfigurations at the trade deadline in NBA history, the Cavaliers shipped off Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Channing Frye, Dwyane Wade, Iman Shumpert, Derrick Rose and both their 2020 second-round and their 2018-first round picks in three separate trades, receiving George Hill, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr. and a heavily-protected second-round pick in return. In considering these trades, I first looked at the individual players involved and assessed the impact of each acquisition and loss. The deals, however, were only possible through the combination of players, so I will focus on the net impact of all acquisitions and losses. We will define an “acquisition” as a player Cleveland gained from the trade and a “loss” as a player Cleveland traded away. I will only look at the current NBA season in assessing the players, a particularly important consideration for the players the Cavaliers traded away, as this will account for how well they had fit with the Cavs before their departures. The real plus-minus statistic (RPM) provides a good starting place for comparing the impact of the acquisitions and losses. By measuring the scoring difference in the game when a player is on the court as opposed to when a player is off the court, RPM adjusts for lineup changes to isolate the impact of each individual player. As such, a player’s RPM is not heavily impacted by the quality of the teammates with whom they are playing. The collective RPM of Cleveland’s acquisitions (Hill, Hood, Clarkson and Nance Jr.) is -3.85, considerably higher than the collective RPM of Cleveland’s losses, -10.42. Isolating defensive RPM (DRPM), Cleveland’s losses (-2.95) actually outperform their acquisitions (-4.29). This is a somewhat surprising statistic, as Cleveland currently ranks 28th of the 30 NBA teams in defensive rating, so it was assumed they would target strong defensive additions at the trade deadline. Nance Jr. ranks 10th among NBA power forwards in DRPM, but the struggles of Hood, Hill, and Clarkson on the less glamorous end of the court outweigh Nance Jr.’s positives. Although RPM is useful in judging the quality of players, it does not account for differences in playing time. The win-shares statistic estimates how many wins a player’s contributions resulted in for their team. Interestingly, the cumulative win-shares of Cleveland’s acquisitions (9.5) greatly outnumber those of their losses (3.5), even though the Cavaliers have a better record than all the teams to which they dealt players. The defensive win-shares of the acquisitions (3.9) also outweigh those of their losses (1.9). One of the more fascinating considerations in player comparisons concerns
the pace at which a team plays. Analysts at FiveThirtyEight alluded to the pace (measured in possessions per 48 minutes) differential between the Lakers (102.90 possessions/48 min, first in NBA) and Cavaliers (99.85, 13th) as a crucial issue, one to which Nance Jr. and Clarkson must adjust. In reality, pace adjustments may prove more difficult for Hill and Hood. While the Jazz (97.40, 25th) and Kings (97.26, 26th) play at paces more comparable to the Cavaliers than the Lakers, Hill and Hood played at slower speeds than their teams did. Considering the differential in pace between each acquisition and the Cavaliers (calculated by taking the absolute value of a player’s pace minus Cleveland’s pace), Nance Jr. (2.49) and Clarkson (2.79) will actually need to make smaller adjustments than Hood (2.85) and Hill (4.25). More important than comparing the acquisitions with each other is comparing the acquisitions with the losses. The average pace differential of the acquisitions (3.08) is considerably higher than that of the losses (1.70). At first glance, this difference indicates a significant adjustment period, but these figures are inherently misleading. Since the recently traded away players were on the Cavaliers, the pace of the Cavaliers was partially dictated by the pace at which they played. Further, the pace at which a player plays is not determined solely by their individual style of play, as the overall pace at which their team plays is a factor. Looking at the acquisitions relative to their previous teams in terms of pace differential yields a value of 0.74, suggesting that these players conform better to the pace of the Cavs than the recent trade losses did. It’s worthwhile to note that there is no significant relationship between the pace at which a team plays and their win percentage, and the top 10 teams in the league are almost equally distributed among the bottom, middle and top thirds of teams by pace. Chief among non-statistical considerations related to these trades is how they will affect Cleveland’s locker room dynamics. The good news for Cleveland is that it can’t get much worse, and better news for Cleveland is that they’re unloading two significant sources of drama. Dwyane Wade’s veteran leadership presence will be missed, but Isaiah Thomas’s petty conflict with Kevin Love and Derrick Rose’s threats to quit basketball will not. George Hill, on the other hand, has already embraced his (and his teammates’) new role as Robin to LeBron’s Batman, and Larry Nance Jr. is excited to join his father’s former team. Considering all these factors, I would argue that this trade is to Cleveland’s benefit in the short term. Advanced statistics seem to be in their favor, their locker room dynamic will inevitably improve and the adjustment for new acquisitions shouldn’t be too steep. The real winner of all this player movement, however, is the Lakers. In unloading Nance Jr. and Clarkson, the Lakers opened up enough cap space to sign two max contract free agents next season (hello Paul George and LeBron James?), while picking up a first-round draft pick and some additional role players (sorry, Isaiah Thomas, but “role player” is a generous term given how you’ve played so far this season). Kevin Love’s recent injury will make it hard to assess this trade in terms of Cleveland’s team performance before and after. However, comparing RPM figures of the acquisitions after the trades to the players they replaced should provide a usable metric in evaluating the moves.
Photos courtesy of Clarus Studios
Johnny McCarthy ’18 recorded a double-double during the Mammoths’ 80-68 victory over Middlebury, finishing with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Men’s Basketball Takes NESCAC Regular Season Title with Win over Middlebury Katie Bergamesca ’18 Staff Writer This past weekend, the Amherst men’s basketball team concluded its roller-coaster ride of a regular season with a pair of wins to clinch a thoroughly unexpected NESCAC regular season title. On Friday, Feb. 9, the Mammoths returned home to LeFrak Gymnasium to take on archrival Williams, knowing that any hopes for regular season accolades required a win. The energy inside the gym was palpable, and Amherst managed to hold the then-No. 8 Ephs to under 60 points. Captain Michael Riopel ’18 found his groove and had an incredible game, with the Mammoths’ leading scorer going 3-5 from beyond the three-point arc en route to racking up a team-high 19 points.
Riopel and fellow-captain Johnny McCarthy ’18 each came down with eight boards to pace the team. Sophomore Josh Chery provided some welcome scoring depth with his 10 points, and the Mammoths led for the entirety of the game, finishing with a 72-57 win. Although victory over Williams was a major win for Amherst, the Mammoths were back in LeFrak the next day for the final regular-season game against Middlebury, a contest that doubled as the team’s senior day. Before the action began, co-captains Riopel and McCarthy were recognized for their illustrious Amherst basketball careers. McCarthy has been a starter since his first year at Amherst and Riopel has emerged as the team’s offensive workhorse the past few years. Fellow senior Christien Wright was also honored. Wright suffered a career-ending in-
Men’s Squash vs. Babson, 7 p.m.
Women’s Swim and Dive NESCAC Championships @ Williams, 10 a.m.
bench added another 10 points for the Mammoths, who easily brushed aside the Panthers, 80-68. Riopel and McCarthy walked off the court to a standing ovation, as did head coach David Hixon, who collected his 800th win in his 41st season at the college. With these two huge wins against ranked opponents, Amherst finished first in the NESCAC regular season standings, courtesy of winning the tie-break among the five teams that finished at 7-3 in NESCAC play. The Mammoths finished the regular season with a 16-8 record overall and 7-3 mark in conference play. Amherst will open up postseason action in the quarterfinals of the NESCAC tournament on Saturday, Feb. 17, against the eighth-seeded Bowdoin in LeFrak at 4 p.m.
THU FRI GAME SCHE DULE
jury a few years ago and was never able to return to the court as a player, but he continued to dedicate his time to the team as an assistant coach. After Riopel, McCarthy and Wright were honored, the starting five stepped onto the court to face off against the No. 5 Panthers. Saturday’s game proved to be similar to the previous night’s contest against Williams, as Amherst set the pace of the game right from tip-off and did not relent for the next 40 minutes. Riopel and McCarthy were stellar; McCarthy collected 11 points and a team-high 14 rebounds, while Riopel shot well and led the team with 17 points. Fru Che ’21 and Joe Schneider ’19 each contributed 13 points in the winning effort. Junior Dylan Groff ’s sharp-shooting off the
Women’s Ice Hockey vs Wesleyan, 7 p.m. Women’s Squash vs. Drexel 7 p.m.
Women’s Squash Women’s Track and @ CSA Championships, Field TBA. DIII New England Championships @ Springfield Men’s Track and College, TBD Field DIII New England Women’s Swim and Championships @ Dive Middlebury, TBD NESCAC Championships @ Bowdoin, 10 a.m.
Men’s Ice Hockey @ Williams, 3 p.m. Women’s Ice Hockey vs Wesleyan, 3 p.m. Men’s Basketball @ Bowdoin, 4 p.m.
Women’s Basketball vs. Trinity, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, February 14, Volume 147, Issue 16