Students gathered in Gamble Auditorium last Thursday to hear from a five-person panel of environmental activists at one of their stops on a nationwide tour of college campuses. The tour is sponsored by the Post-Landfill Action Network (PLAN), a national organization that equips students with the necessary resources to cultivate zero waste and sustainability movements on campus.
When Mount Holyoke’s new dining commons first opened at the beginning of 2018, the dish room was generally rumored to be chaotic, with an overflow of dirty dishes and food waste during peak hours. Alleged issues included a non-stop stream of dishes during rush hour and few opportunities for workers to take breaks, as well as a general lack of training.
On March 4, New York congressional candidate Emily Martz ’94 visited Mount Holyoke to meet current students and discuss her path to a political career. Martz was hosted by the Mount Holyoke College Democrats and addressed a dozen students in Skinner room 202 in an informal meeting.
On the afternoon of Feb. 25, the Unity Center in Blanchard Campus Center was transformed amid a flurry of activity. A hum of sewing machines, laughter and conversation filled the room, and a patchwork of mini quilts scattered all around represented the many faiths and cultures of the attendees. Assisted by Sisters in Stitches Joined by the Cloth (SISJBTC), students representing different religious and cultural organizations on campus came together Sunday to create their own quilted banners to be displayed in the Unity Center.
MERT, Mount Holyoke’s Medical Emergency Response Team, received a new Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on Sunday, Feb. 18. The device greatly improves their ability to respond quickly and effectively to incidents of cardiac arrest on campus.
On the morning of Feb. 12, students and faculty were met with an unfamiliar sight in Skinner Hall. The building’s bulletin boards had been covered up with a series of posters, all calling for greater diversity within Mount Holyoke’s history department.
The Feb. 20 Student Government Association (SGA) senate meeting included a continuation of the discussion of proposed scheduling changes for the PVTA, a presentation by the Be Well steering committee and updates from working groups. Chair of Senate Liz Brown ’20 spoke first, encouraging senators to sign petitions supporting an increase in funding for the PVTA and the bill H.2998, which has recently been introduced to the Massachusetts House Ways and Means Committee.
Junior Show, or J-Show, is a Mount Holyoke tradition that dates back to the early 20th century. Typical performances are entirely student-led and intertwine both comedy and student talent in a performance to both entertain the Mount Holyoke community and fundraise for the junior class. This year, however, the tradition was cancelled.
A new wellness space will open in the Pattie J. Groves Health Center on Feb. 26. The wellness space is a part of Mount Holyoke’s Be Well initiative, a student-focused and community-based program made up of 15 members of faculty, staff and student representatives who are in charge of promoting well-being on campus.
This week’s SGA Senate included discussion of PVTA schedule changes, increasing campus sustainability and use of locally sourced food. Camille Gladieux ’18, executive board president, spoke first. She announced a future increase in fresh smoothies at the Dining Commons once there is more staff available, as well as a grab-and-go station coming soon to the Dining Commons. She then explained proposed changes to the PVTA schedule.
Unoccupied rows of tables and chairs line what was formerly Prospect Dining Hall. Locked doors and an air of vacancy contrast starkly with the previous bustling environment and ever-changing culinary showcase the dining hall once held. However, as was announced Feb. 2, the 7,000 square-foot space will not stay empty for long.
When Maddie Desfosses ’21 and Lili Paxton ’21 arrived on campus in the fall, they were immediately struck by how prevalent smoking and tobacco-use are on campus. They felt that the campus policy of maintaining a distance of 20 feet from buildings while smoking was ignored and inadequate.
This week, The Weissman Center for Leadership announced a pilot program in which students may spend a semester in Washington D.C. The program will begin fall 2018, and it is coordinated by Associate Director Janet Lansbury with Calvin Chen, Associate Professor of Politics, serving as the faculty director.
Last month, Mount Holyoke’s Board of Trustees convened in New York City and decided to accept the Sustainability Task Force’s cornerstone goal of becoming a carbon-neutral campus by 2037. Still, to some students on campus, the Board’s decision last April to vote against divestment from fossil fuels serves as a reminder of the limitations of this long-term carbon neutrality goal.
This week a small committee, including several members of Mount Holyoke’s Board of Trustees, were present on campus to meet with students, faculty, staff and other community members to kick off the presidential selection process.
This February marks the 50th anniversary of Mount Holyoke’s Association of Pan-African Unity (APAU). Created in 1968 after multiple protests by students of color, the APAU is looking back this month at the legacy of black student activism on campus, as well as its history as an organization within the broader environment of the College.
A new set of class meeting times will be implemented for Mount Holyoke courses beginning in fall 2018. The new schedule will include longer lunch periods, classes that run later into the afternoon and designated meeting times for labs and seminars, as well as various other adjustments to the current system.
Last Tuesday, the SGA Senate convened in Hooker Auditorium for the semester’s second meeting. Student representatives shared a number of concerns and updates, but the main focus of the meeting was a presentation by Janet Lansberry, associate director of the Weissman Center for Leadership.
In an email sent out to the student body on Feb. 1, Rachel Aldis, assistant Dean of Students and director of Residential Life, announced that three new Living Learning Communities (LLC) will be added to Mount Holyoke housing at the start of the 2018 fall term: the Mi Gente LLC, for students who are of Latinx descent, the Interfaith LLC and the Outdoor Adventure LLC. Proposals for these LLCs were submitted by Nov. 10.
When Mount Holyoke first made the decision to transition from six dining halls to a centralized dining system, the question on many students’ minds was whether there would be the same number of work-study opportunities in the new Dining Commons. Until now, Mount Holyoke Dining Services has provided the bulk of jobs for first-year students, and the new dining system marks a dramatic shift in student employment.
The first SGA Senate meeting of the 2018 year was held in Hooker Auditorium last Tuesday, the official new location due to the closing of Blanchard Great Room, where it was previously held. One of the main topics of discussion for the night was Mount Holyoke’s Board of Trustees.
Daisy Vargas, a graduate student at the University of California Riverside, visited Mount Holyoke last Thursday to present a lecture on the criminalization of Mexican religious symbolism within law enforcement, border patrol and legal proceedings in the United States. The talk, which was held in Skinner Hall, was sponsored by the religion department.
Since its opening at the beginning of the spring semester, the Mount Holyoke Dining Commons (more commonly referred to as SuperBlanch) has been the talk of campus. And the display of plates on the wall in several areas of the Dining Commons are no exception.
As students returned to campus for the start of the spring semester, many were greeted with colorful cards dangling on their door knobs that read, “Stream anytime, anywhere included with campus housing.”
On Tuesday, Acting President Sonya Stephens welcomed community members to the unveiling of the first official Mount Holyoke College ice cream flavor, created in partnership with Herrell’s Ice Cream and Bakery in Northampton.
In the early morning hours of Saturday, Dec. 2, the U.S. Senate voted in favor of the Republican tax bill, “Tax Cuts and Job Act” 51-49. The bill focuses on cutting taxes for businesses, including lowering the tax rate for big businesses from 35 percent to 20 percent. Also, according to the Washington Post, the bill will make large changes to health care that may lead 13 million Americans to drop insurance, open up more land for drilling in Alaska and alter the treatment of state and local taxes, affecting local government budgets. The House of Representatives passed their version of the tax bill on Nov. 16.
As Puerto Rico continues to struggle in the wake of Hurricane Maria, many colleges and universities in the United States are offering students who experienced an interruption in their studies a place to continue their education. Mount Holyoke College is among these institutions.