Hi everyone! On behalf of the Association of Amherst Students (AAS), commonly refered to as the student government, I would like to welcome the class of 2020 and incoming transfer students.
I would like to formally introduce you all to the AAS. Our student government is made up of eight senators from each class that serve to represent your interests and voices to the administration, finance campus clubs and activities as well as put on campus-wide events and programming.
In addition to the class-elected senators, we have a school-wide elected Executive Board. The Executive Board and the class Senators hold a weekly Monday night meeting where they work to address student concerns. The meetings typically take place in Cole Assembly Room (the Red Room) in Converse hall beginning at 8:30 p.m.
Do not think of the AAS as a distant body, but instead think of us as an organization that is rooted in working alongside you to make real changes at Amherst. Do not be afraid to reach out to your class senators or attend our weekly meeting to ensure that your voice — the voice of the students, is heard.
With the help of AAS, we hope to continue to improve Amherst for all of the students, staff and faculty. We encourage you to ask questions, make suggestions and run for senate this fall. The class senator election for the Class of 2020 will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 28 with a short speech night to be held the night before.
Please know that we are here to help and you should feel free to reach out to anyone of us! Being on campus will take some getting used to, so here’s a list of things we’ve learned and think that all first-years should know that might help make your life here at Amherst a little easier.
1. The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (PVTA) is the local bus system. It’s free for students so check out their website for bus times and locations. This bus will take you to the shopping center (Hampshire Mall) so make sure you hop on every once in a while.
2. Download the Amherst app! It allows you to access laundry services (when machines are available), includes Val &Grab-n-Go Menus, updates on Campus events, accesses your AC Dollars account (money that you or your family can put on your account for laundry and snacks), and links to Moodle!
3. Look for resources on campus! Amherst is your home now, so it’s only right that you feel safe and comfortable. Talk to your advisors, RCs and upperclassmen to find out about social resources on campus. We have a Multicultural Resource Center (MRC), a Queer Resource Center (QRC), and a Women and Gender Center (WGC), which are open to any and all students, and act as sites of learning, where you can find a vast array of resources.
4. If you’re having any issues with a class or assignment, do not hesitate to contact your professors. They want the best for you, but you have to reach out and ask for their help. So that means do not miss office hours
5. Do not be afraid to be yourself. Amherst is made up of people from various backgrounds with different ideas and beliefs. Stay true to yourself but be open minded and leave room for personal growth and development. You will be surprised by how much you will learn inside and outside of the classroom in your first year at Amherst.
Again, welcome to Amherst, good luck and here’s to a great first semester for the class of 2020’s first semester!