On behalf of the Association of Amherst Students (AAS), I would like to welcome the Class of 2021 and incoming transfer students. I write to introduce new students to the AAS in terms of what student government at Amherst looks like and what we do.
The AAS is made up of eight senators per class as well as an executive board. We work to address student concerns, connect students with a variety of campus resources and fund Registered Student Organisations (RSOs) on campus. AAS senators sit on a variety of committees focusing on issues from first-year life to Title IX review to resource allocation. Our senators are also required to complete a “Senate Project” each year. These projects have ranged from purchasing chargers for student use in the Frost and Merrill libraries to extending gym hours (Will Zaubler ’19) to hosting “Everybody Has a Story Week,” a series of lunches bringing together students, faculty and staff (Maeve McNamara ’19).
In addition to the work of the senate, the budgetary branch of the AAS makes a number of services available to students annually. These include unlimited access to certain PVTA bus lines with your Amherst College ID card, copies of The New York Times and Wall Street Journal in the dining hall and the use of three AAS vehicles. As treasurer last year, I also introduced the issuance of a semesterly subsidy to the Queer Resource Center, the Multicultural Resource Center and the Women’s and Gender Center, all of which are woefully underfunded. This subsidy will continue to be issued this academic year in order to help these centers continue to provide excellent and necessary programming to students.
At the end of the day, it is our job to work to better student life here at Amherst. While this is not always easy or straightforward, we rely on communication with students to keep our dialogue with the administration relevant and productive. We are here to help you! Senate meets Monday nights at 8:30 p.m. in the Cole Assembly Room in Converse Hall. Our meetings are always open to students and the general public, and we encourage you to attend. We would love to hear from you, whether in the Red Room or in an individual meeting.
Elections for eight senate positions for the Class of 2021 are coming up. A speech night will be hosted for the candidates on Thursday, September 21st at 7:30 p.m., and elections will take place on Friday, Sept. 22. I encourage all interested first years to run for office.
If you are looking for a campus resource or just want to chat with an upperclassman, please feel free to reach out to me or any other senator.
Once again, welcome to Amherst! We are so excited you are here.