Campus Conversation

Legions of Amherst folk eagerly awaited Saturday night’s annual Computer Dating Tap, shunning old-fashioned fate for a night after spilling the contents of their inner psyches into a survey a week earlier.

Some of those who came simply expecting a match made in Hamilton Heaven, however, found themselves in royal company, as Prince Albert ’81 was spotted amidst the beer, sweat and echoes of “The Thong Song.”

Amherst’s royal alum had brought a team of soccer cronies with him from Monaco to play friendly games against both a team of visiting alums and the College’s varsity team.

Afterwards, the Prince sampled the party scene and was spotted at Stone, Davis and TAP. Mike Sproul ’02, who played host to a shindig graced by the royal presence, praised the Prince: “He’s a really cool guy, very down-to-earth, and I think he enjoyed the familiar setting of this campus.”

Tyler Thornton ’03 also got to chat with the Prince. “I lived in one of the rooms that was named after him in James, and he said he had never lived there and had no idea why it was given that name,” she said, thus making the history behind the so-called Prince Albert suite all the more mysterious.

A Frolic Through Frost

At any given TAP, hordes of girls dressed in tight clothing dance wildly and meet guys. This is as normal an occurrence at Amherst as long lines in Valentine on turkey and mashed potatoes night or scarcely attended Friday morning classes. What’s not normal, however, is when girls dressed in tight clothing dance wildly in an attempt to meet guys in Frost Library.

According to several people in the library on Thursday, things in Frost had been pretty standard: students were sleeping and checking their e-mail.

The diligent students were interrupted, however, when a group of Five-College girls dressed in black-some in Matrix-style leather pants-burst through the doors in a congo line and began to do the bunnyhop.

Eyewitness Daniel Teague ’03 was shocked. “I didn’t know what had happened,” he said. “Things were quiet. Then all of a sudden a bunch of girls were gettin’ jiggy out of nowhere.”

After dancing, the girls handed out Hershey’s Kisses while trying to get phone numbers from male students.

“It was a pretty bizarre way to meet people. I, personally, am usually a little more subtle and smooth than that,” said Peter Colarulli ’03.

The identities of the girls and the reasons for their performance at the library remain unclear. What should be made clear to them, though, is that TAP is never, ever held in Frost.

Climb Every Mountain

On Saturday night, Buckley Recital Hall was filled with the sweet lilt of reed pipes, the notes of “Dust in the Wind” and the energy of people dancing in the aisles. No, the gathering wasn’t a flower child powwow-although Amherst is the kind of town where just such an event might find its way into Campus Conversation. This, however, was a performance by Machu-Picchu, a Peruvian musical group invited to the College as part of La Causa’s Latino Heritage Month.

“My mom is from Peru, and I grew up with that culture, I thought it wasn’t represented at Amherst,” explained Aimee Wilczynski ’03, who organized the event. “I wanted to share it with the campus. It just touches my heart.”

The group’s name means “Old Mountain,” and its musical canon transported the audience to the mountains of the Andes, with songs from Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia, among other countries and cultures.

“The reason why it was a success was because they wanted to be there.” said Jorge Alves ’02. “It showed that they were having a really good time.”

Part of the fun came when the group put a surprising twist on their genre. “At the end, [the singer] said, ‘I’m going to attempt to sing an American song, and excuse my English,'” said Jane Ha ’02. “And then he sang ‘Dust in the Wind.’ That was really great. It was the perfect song for the sound of the instruments.”