Live Blog: BLACKOUT Frost Sit-in

sit in at frost

PC: Andrew Drinkwater

12:45 – Line is forming out the door as hundreds await their chance to voice their mind and concerns about racism in higher education.

12:53: Junior Erika Flambert begins to share her experience, and is promptly shushed, as it is not yet time.

12:56: People begin to file in, each getting their “Ally” stamp.

1:00: The Blackout event begins, and the students leading the event take attendance. Attendance is paltry.

1:02: Dean Epstein draws the short straw.

1:05: First-Year Cameron Campbell wonders if she will do the black dress, or the black leggings and blouse.

1:12: The fashionably late begin to file in.

1:17: First-Year Cameron Campbell wonders if black lipstick is a bit too much.

1:22: Students begin to share their experiences, and receive glares from people working in Frost Cafe.

1:34: Amherst College republicans arrive, carrying casket containing free speech, and offer to deliver eulogy.

1:47: Sophomore Alan Keezer walks in to print out a reading, cannot leave so as not to appear racist.

1:58: Amir Hall ’17 melts our hearts.

2:06: Paramedics arrive to resuscitate those whose hearts were melted by Amir Hall ’17.

2:13: Biddy Martin watches Season 2, Episode 7 of “Friends” on Netflix.

2:25: The profile pictures begin changing.

2:32: Racism is explained to the lacrosse team.

2:47: Conservative first year Jack Smith is trapped in A-Level after printing out more free speech fliers.

3:20: Librarian canned for shushing students having loud, enthusiastic conversation about race. “I wasn’t trying to make a statement or anything… it’s just second nature,” said the racist librarian.

3:36: Biddy Martin can’t decide between taking a nap or re-watching her favorite episode of “Friends”, “The One Where No-One’s Ready.”

3:42: Kid studying who isn’t on social media conveniently wears his black northface. He just goes with the flow as people start solemnly piling in next to him.

3:54: Many note that Frost is a low-key great place to mack right now.

4:10: Prospective students wanders into Frost. Put off by large class size.

4:13: Biddy Martin warms up some hot pockets she found in the freezer yesterday.

4:20: Stoners lament that racial tension is so high, but they are not.

4:34: The fashionably woke begin to file in.

4:44: Make a wish!

4:52: Two people with conflicting experiences settle it in the only way Amherst students can: single combat.

5:02: Lazy Junior Sam Fifer notes that this is the longest he’s ever spent in frost in one sitting.

5:13: Sophomore who deleted his facebook thinks he just walked into an emo pizza scavenger hunt.

5:22: All students of color approached to begin small group discussions, despite how able they are to lead small group discussions.

5:41: Muck-Rake liveblogger realizes that only people not at the event will be reading this, and should adjust journalistic lens to match that.

5:42: Why do people need to talk about race when a black president has been elected? #AC4FreeSpeech

5:48: I’ve never been racist, and my father’s hedge fund hires black people all the time! #AC4FreeSpeech

6:02: Why would we want to get rid of racism? Until 1865, it was the biggest job-creator in the nation! #AC4FreeSpeech

6:10: Muck-Rake liveblogger is physically disgusted with himself, and decides to change his journalistic lens again.

6:14: Student who missed class this morning due to “sickness” is trying to cough convincingly while speaking to professor about social justice.

6:21: Senior chooses apple pie at Val over solidarity with students of color. “I’m sure they’ll understand,” she said, pouring soft-serve over her dessert.

6:32: Lax team finally understands racism, never has to think about it ever again.

6:43: Pizza makes all the difficulty of race dialogue melt away in a mixture of cheese and tomato.

6:47: Back room Val “Sit in” enters record 9th slice of pie.

6:52: Black student struggles to come up with more experiences to share to a sea of expectant faces.

7:01: Student torn between desire to show solidarity by remaining seated and  standing up to relieve horrible, horrible pins and needles feeling in left leg.

7:12: Grab-n-Go shows racial solidarity in the only way it knows how: Bacon Avocado sandwiches.

7:25: The perfect time to finally make moves on that cute first-year that’s into social justice.

7:35: Student’s video makes it onto “Somber Discussions about race” snap story.

7:42: “Free food in Frost!” – Senior who was in C-level this whole time.

7:53: Biddy Martin shakes Japanese flight attendant to tell the pilot to “go faster,” then wakes up from her hot pocket-induced fever dream.

8:00: Racial solidarity raffle winners announced.

8:08: Campus Republican puts the final touches on mental rebuttal to the experiences of fellow students.

8:13: Guy walks away with jacket full of Bacon Avocado sandwiches, fancy chips, and apples.

8:22: First person ever takes notice of display case in lobby of Frost.

8:31: Front window of Frost covered in greasy fingerprints. Further evidence liberals don’t wash hands.

8:43: Student who stayed at protest for 20 minutes writes email to professor explaining why he can’t take his econ test tomorrow.

8:54: Biddy commences shaking in her boots.

9:02: Shruti Badri ’16 defends India’s war record, to critical acclaim.

9:11: Siena Eileen ’17 speaks to the issue of invisibility of Asian student issues; I just wish I could have seen her from my seat in the back corner.

9:23: Abbas Shah ’18 discusses the extra burdens placed on international students; is assured he does not need a visa to remain in our hearts and minds.

9:34: David Zhang ’17 explains the culture shock he experienced with the American sense of humor; with that in mind, this update will not feature a joke.

9:46: The list of demands is completed, and deliberations about who gets to read which demand begin.

9:54: Biddy Martin arrives, having woken up from her nap in the car.

10:03: The order of demand readers is finalized.

10:11: Athri Ranganathan ’16 revels in the ability to say “fuck” in front of Biddy Martin.

10:13: Lerato, Sanyu, and Katyana are honored at the attempt at a chant, but since none happened, agree to do one backstage amongst themselves.

10:22: The organizers begin to read their demands.

10:24: People learn about all types of racism and exclusion they never tried before, and start to get ideas.

10:32: Lord Jeff’s spirit cries out in pain of being officially exorcised from the Amherst College Student body.

10:42: The list of demands is completed, and President Martin appears disappointed that they did not request an immediate performance of an original song and dance, as she had been preparing one.

10:44:  Students get to learn about the cool organizations they attended once, and never again.

10:47: The Muck-Rake, though present for the entire afternoon, is excluded from the list of campus groups present. The exclusion stings just as it did in middle school gym class.

10:56: Biddy Martin wonders if she left the oven on.

11:02: Biddy agrees to look over the demands before signing it in front of a thousand angry students, preferring instead to consult a thousand angry alumni.

11:06: Three students agree to go on hunger strike, to end whenever.

11:07: The students have released the conditions under which they will end their strike, and they are as follows:

11:11: If everyone wishes for racial harmony, it might come true!

11:23: Everyone wonders which filter makes solidarity pop more.

11:36: The sit-in continues  while people go to their rooms and wonder what they’re going to do with all the time they have now that others have worked to get classes cancelled.

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Did Val’s ‘Yogurt and Cereal Night’ Really Happen?

Chief Amherst Correspondent reporting from on the scene in the Scott House Counseling Center

trixr4kids

It is a conversation that has played out many times across campus recently.

“Yeah dude, stress will do weird things to you,” begins one student, “it gets really bad for me near finals. I remember at the end of last semester, actually, I had the strangest  fucking stress-dream. They were serving cereal and yogurt in Val at like 10 o’clock. It was super dark and depressing, and everyone was just ambling around like zombies with cups full of raspberries.”

“Wait…” replies another student incredulously, “was there—was there a giant Trix rabbit there?”

“Yea, how did you know?”

“I…I had the exact same dream.”

And so too, it seems, have dozens of other students. Details of the event have been recalled with varying certainty in front of a variety of Amherst College counselors, therapists, and psychoanalysts; but there remains a solid consensus on a certain set of facts surrounding this supposed ‘Val Yogurt and Cereal Night’: there were lots of berries, there was granola, there were bags—bags—of yogurt, there were temporary tattoos of beloved cereal characters, there were students, aimlessly and sluggishly wandering about under dim lighting, and, of course, there was the rabbit.

A big Trix rabbit.

A goddamn man-sized Trix rabbit.

Why was it there? Nobody knows for sure. But, as the consensus grows, it becomes harder and harder to deny that it definitely was there and that this definitely happened.

The agreement between students on these specific details is surprising to a point past mere coincidence, leading some (this author included) to believe that Val’s Yogurt and Cereal Night may have actually been a real thing, and not the sugar-induced, fever-dream of a madman, as I once thought.

Student, counselors, and other experts have developed several theories to explain the mysterious, and mass-psychotic, night-terror event. The most popular involves a group dream-hypnosis scheme supposedly cooked up by inception psychologists at the General Mills Corporation. And though more outlandish theories have implicated or involved Suzanne Coffee, others have ranged from bad mushrooms trips, to black ice trips, to expired ancient grains, and to former dean Torin Moore.

Yet Again, Hitchcock Hannukkah Overshadowed by Crossett Christmas

Chief Amherst Correspondent reporting from on the scene in the Hitchcock ballroom

hitchcockhanukkah

The lights in the common room are dim, as 90’s pop hits resonate from speakers at a (quite reasonable) 40% volume. Drops and splotches of keystone speckle the floor surrounding a central table. There, densely huddled around the table’s edge, a dozen or so students, their expressions stern, play yet another game of slap-cup. Few speak, and when they do so, it is in hushed tones. Slap, slap, slap go the red solo cups. The game is over, the bitch cup solemnly had, and another game set up. Hitchcock Hannukkah is here again.

“Sure, Crossett Christmas may get all the attention from Amherst Students,” explains Matthew Fletcher, ’15, “but Hitchcock Hannukkah is an ancient and important tradition. It’s been a sacred part of Hitchcock house for longer than anyone can remember. In fact, many say that the man who threw the first Crossett Christmas party was himself a Hitchcock Hannukkah party-goer.”

“It all started on one frosty December’s eve,” regales Jerry Tao, ’15E, one of the houses most elderly members. “I wasn’t there, but my buddy Mike was. Anyway, him and a bunch of his friends wanted to play slap-cup to blow off some steam before finals. But, alas, there was only enough beer to last for one game. How could the party go on? But then, a miracle happened. The beer didn’t last just one game. It lasted eight games. Eight! not six, not seven! Eight!”

Tao pauses, a single tear rolling slowly down his cheek.

“And now, to celebrate–to celebrate, but also to remember– that glorious night, we play slapcup every year, eight nights in a row. We play one game the first night, two games the second, and so on, until the eighth night,” Tao says, nodding solemnly.

“I converted last year,” says Erica Fields, ’16. “I was just so fed up with the commercialism of Crossett Christmas. Everything got so crazy last time – it just lost touch with its roots. Cops and broken windows and fire alarms? That’s not what the holidays should be about. They should be about friends. Friends and dangerous amounts of alcohol.”

Fields walks outside, as if to remind herself for a moment of the cold world beyond Hitchcock Hanukkah. She sighs. “The one thing that gives me hope is that we are not alone in resisting Crossett Christmas.” She whispers, “Somewhere in the night, Coolidge Kwanzaa rages on.”

As Winter Approaches, Great Salmon Shorts Migration Begins

Chief Amherst Correspondent reporting from on the scene with BIOL-434

salmonshortsmigrating1

“Aren’t they just so majestic?” whispers Professor Ethan Temeles. Two dozen students stand on the shores of the Connecticut river, in awe of the thousands of salmon-colored shorts darting and splashing through the currents.

Dennis Shenberg ’15, who is writing his senior thesis on the shorts’ migratory patterns, explained that he has been studying the various species of  salmonum bracis for years. “Following the mating season, the various families of shorts, known as ‘frats,’ congregate here to begin their great migration.”

A pair of Nantucket Reds dives in a great arc across the water’s surface, landing with a splash. “The majority will find their way to South America, traveling some 8,000 miles.” Shenberg pauses. “But some fraternities will not make it,” he adds softly.

“The shorts will then restart their yearly cycle, gracing the legs of Peruvian, Chilean and Bolivian prepsters,” says Temeles, nodding reverently. “They are known to the locals of those countries as Pantalones de salmon.”

A majestic fraternity of Dark Pink lacostes gathers at the bank of the river, signaling to the others that the school is ready to take flight.

“Those of you who are interested”, Temeles quietly adds, “should join me in a few weeks to watch the Bean Boots arrive.”