Yet Again, Hitchcock Hannukkah Overshadowed by Crossett Christmas

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


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.”

New Student Life Initiative: Social Clubs


AMHERST, Ma. – The administration has unveiled their plan to introduce social clubs, a tool meant to return to students their power to form small, exclusive groups.

“Social cups are a way for students to indicate their willingness to meet others,” said Provost Peter Uvin. “But what if you don’t want to meet others? Well, now we’ve got just the thing for you.”

“Clubs will come in many different forms,” said Chief Student Affairs Officer Suzanne Coffey. ” Your club will depend on your preferred method of attack,” she continued. “We’ll have small cudgels, old police batons, truncheons, baseball bats, and tire irons. And we’re looking into golf clubs for 2016. What we get next will depend on a variety of factors, including student feedback, death toll, and long-term considerations about effects on campus life.”

The school will test the new social clubs with a trial run next semester. “Students interested in athletics will have their first meeting in the gym,” Coffey said. “Incidentally, we have scheduled students interested in Dungeons and Dragons for their first meeting in the gym at the exact same time! While they’re all together in the same room, we’ll hand out some bludgeons and baseball bats, and just let the kids bleed out all the bad blood.”

Many students have applauded the move, calling it a sensible option after the decision to ban fraternities. “Social clubs will be great for when we throw parties in our suite and Melvins start crowding in,” said Crossett resident Teddy Donaldson ’17, twirling a 6-foot long club with thick, metal spikes on each side. “This is a honest attempt to resolve the crisis of student rights we’ve experienced over the past year or so. Plus, the design has the sleek Amherst ‘A’ on it, which matches my sweater!”

Still, some students have voiced opposition to the idea. “I just feel like this puts more power in the hands of the powerful on campus,” said Karla Samson ’15. “I mean, the cool kids on campus already exclude people. I don’t see why they’ll distribute heavy wooden clubs with sharp spikes on all sides, designed to bludgeon people into a bloody pulp, which will only further the sense of alienation on this campus.”

“Especially when we have the Powerhouse,” she added.

ResLife: New West African Theme House “NOT A Quarantine”


CONVERSE HALL, Amherst, MA — Representatives today responded to backlash coming in the wake of the recent creation of a West African Theme House, to take up the entirety of Seligman Dormitory.

“We felt that embracing the rich culture of the West African people was long overdue. Charles Drew House is a crucial part of residential life at Amherst, but it falls short of our goal of providing theme housing to students from ALL walks of life,” a Residential Life spokesperson told reporters.

The decision ends the 1-year run of the Chinese-Japanese Language House at Amherst’s most recently renovated dorm.

“There are numerous advantages to this change. Seligman’s security is unparalleled, and as the dorm most distant from campus, it offers unparalleled isolation. Not to mention it’s the closest to the UMass Health Center, making it perfect for establishing a tight-knit, closely monitored theme house community.”

ResLife added that creating the theme house shortly after growing Ebola cases exceeded 10,000 in West Africa, with disparate infections occurring in the U.S., was purely coincidental, and not a crass public health ploy, as student organizations have alleged.

“I want to stress that this is NOT some kind of racial quarantine. In fact, I encourage anyone who is interested in West Africa, or who has visited the region within the last 4-6 months, to apply.”

ResLife concluded by saying that plans are also in the works to open the second floor of Seligman to students from Atlanta, “particularly those who live near or around the CDC.”

Two Die in “Tragic Misunderstanding” at Cougar Formal

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HITCHCOCK DORMITORY, Amherst, MA – Two students are dead, and three more are in critical condition after, in what has been called a “tragic misunderstanding,” one senior invited a live cougar to last night’s cougar formal.

The annual event typically involves senior girls inviting a freshman boy to a formal dance. Things took a turn for the worse, however, when Amy Edmonson ’15—a frequent volunteer at the nearby large cat sanctuary—brought in a cougar, variously known as a “puma” or “mountain lion.”

“He was so well behaved at Panda, but…well, you know how we all get after one too many scorpion bowls,” Edmonson related to press shortly after the incident. “A little touchy-feely,” she added, while making smooching noises.

Other formal-goers were surprisingly understanding about the casualties.

“Honestly, we all have bad days. I think the cougar was just a little intimidated by all the upperclass girls,” noted fellow senior Crystal Koh ’15. “Plus, she dressed him up in a nice bowtie and taught him some dance movies. Here, I’ll show you the snaps.”

Senior girls were mostly upset to hear that the cougar, since incapacitated by animal control, was actually a female who, in cat years, was roughly twice Amy’s age.

“Major buzzkill hearing that,” said Miranda Bostaph ’15. “It’s like, ok, stopping the party [by causing the deaths of two people] is one thing, but disrespecting the tradition? You’re supposed to bring a guy who’s younger than you. Not a girl who’s twice your age. C’mon now. Cindy and Jen didn’t die for this.”

“I thought [the cougar] was growling because he was a little hungry,” Edmonson ’15 said. “Actually, on second thought, I guess he really was,” she chuckled.

Investment Club Reincorporates to Cayman Islands


Amherst, MA — Amherst College’s investment club recently announced that it had completed the steps necessary to undergo a corporate inversion, reincorporating itself offshore to the Cayman Islands. Primary operations of the club will remain in the United States.

“It just seemed like the right move,” said investment club spokesperson Trent Blackstone ’15. “Big corporations and hedge funds do it all the time. We just wanted to insure that, at Amherst, we have the best balance sheet moving forward.”

When asked what, if any, taxes were being avoided in the move, Blackstone had already been hired by Bain, and was gone.

[SPONSORED] Amherst College Laundry Expands Services to Dressing, Spoonfeeding

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