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.
In early November, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) publicized a cache of over 13 million confidential documents, all relating to the offshore — meaning tax-exempt — investments of world leaders, politicians, and corporations. Included in these entities are over 100 colleges and universities.
Kayla Dillon ’20 was filling up her water bottle on Wednesday, Nov. 29 when she saw a familiar-looking man on the fourth floor of the library. She said that he looked around before entering the alcove where the restrooms are located, and went into the single person bathroom.
Student government officials from the Seven Sisters gathered at Mount Holyoke on Nov. 11 for the annual Seven Sisters Leadership Conference. The conference, which takes place at a different Seven Sisters college each year, provides students with the opportunity to network and discuss student governance.
Mount Holyoke Broadcasting Channel (MHBC) is a new student organization and a filmmaking resource on campus. Students can create films to use as informational or promotional material for the student organizations in which they are involved.
“If someone is dying, you’re not going to be telling them molecular equations,” said Maddy Berkowitz-Cerasano ’18, director of the Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT). MERT is a student-run organization consisting of 24 first responders and six certified EMTs. For many volunteers, MERT offers real world experiences, unlike the textbook equations they learn in class.
Since the start of the 2017 fall semester, Mount Holyoke students have been experiencing problems with the dorm laundry, including washers and dryers that shut off at random, bad card reads, money getting lost in transactions and one incident of a smoking washing machine in Prospect. But according to Doug Vanderpoel, director of Auxiliary Services, all these problems may be coming to an end sooner than it seems.
The Mount Holyoke Weissman Center for Leadership welcomed award-winning journalist Tanzina Vega as part of its “Advocacy and the Public Domain Series” last Thursday. Vega, a visiting professor at Princeton University who specializes in reporting on race, previously worked for The New York Times and now works for CNNMoney. Her lecture “The Media and Race: Why it Matters” discussed her professional experiences as a reporter and as a female journalist of color.
Ever since the Mount Holyoke Campus Store moved out of its previous location in Blanchard to make room for the Student Life suite, students have had difficulty accessing personal goods the campus store used to stock, notably pads and tampons.
Nancy Apple, Associate Director of Sustainability for the Miller Worley Center for the Environment, and Shannon Seigal ’19, Miller Worley Center for the Environment’s fellow and task force member, met with Mount Holyoke students on Friday, Oct. 27, to discuss draft recommendations in light of a report released by the Sustainability Task Force earlier this month which evaluated Mount Holyoke’s current level of sustainability.
At Senate on Tuesday, Oct. 31, Assistant Dean of Students Latrina Denson and Dean of Religious and Spiritual Life Annette McDermott presented on the work of both departments to encourage diversity and inclusion initiatives on campus.
A yellow pamphlet titled simply, “Rape,” was circulated through Mount Holyoke in November 1977. Produced by a student organization called “Women Concerned About Rape” in conjunction with Residential Life, the pamphlet addressed questions like, “What is rape?” “What should I do if I am attacked?” and “How unsafe is hitchhiking?” It was the second year that the student organization, later known as W.A.S.H. (Women Against Sexual Harassment), existed, and discourse about sexual harassment was uncommon on campus.
Mount Holyoke’s weekly senate meeting on Oct. 24 included presentations from a member of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Committee, a statement from Doug Vanderpoel regarding laundry machines and procedures and information about the College’s financial status.
The Mount Holyoke campus shut down to allow faculty, students and staff to participate in the BOOM Conference, a new community-wide initiative that stands for “Building On Our Momentum” and is the first step in the College’s newly born Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (or DEI) initiative on March 27, 2017.
Mount Holyoke’s community advisors (CAs) and senior community advisors (SCAs) scored a major victory this year in securing a significant increase in their salary, putting the college on par with most other institutions.
This school year, Mount Holyoke is using a different health insurance provider, enrolling participating students with Blue Cross Blue Shield instead of the previous provider, UnitedHealthcare. The premium, or the annual cost to enroll in the plan, increased from $1,900 to $1,930 according to fact sheets about each of the plans.
Mount Holyoke Professor Andrea Foulkes was awarded a $452,759 grant by the United States Department of Health and Human Services — specifically from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) on Sept. 21, 2017. Congressman Richard Neal (D-MA), who represents Massachusetts’ first Congressional District (where Mount Holyoke is located), congratulated Foulkes in a press release issued from his office.
Mount Holyoke’s weekly senate meeting on Oct. 17 featured a busy agenda with speakers from AccessAbility, Residential Life, “Superblanch,” and the Health Center. There were also updates from student representatives regarding SGA Executive Board, Auxiliary Services, event security funding and the Seven Sisters Leadership Conference.
“I will not be killed by a tree branch.” That was the thought that went through sophomore Xiomara Nunez’s head on the night of Oct. 10 outside Abbey Hall as she planted her feet and pulled Francesca Ferri ’20 out of the path of the descending limb.
Colleges and universities worldwide are on the front lines of climate research and education, and the Sustainability Task Force is calling upon Mount Holyoke to join them. Comprised of both students and faculty, the Task Force was created last year to advance sustainability on campus. An exhaustive report that the task force released earlier this month outlines a multifaceted approach to sustainability which they are urging Mount Holyoke College to adopt.
The recent announcement that the Department of Education has rescinded and replaced the Title IX guidelines put forth by the Obama administration marks a significant change in the way colleges are required to address sexual misconduct on campus. Nevertheless, Mount Holyoke’s policy remains unchanged.
Patricia Brennan, a visiting lecturer of biological sciences at Mount Holyoke, is a “basic scientist,” meaning she does research to provide knowledge on previously unexplored topics. She has spent her life studying the genital evolution in vertebrates.
The first official Senate meeting of the 2017-2018 academic year took place on Oct. 3, which also coincided with the annual Mountain Day tradition. Turnout was still strong. Senate chair Liz Brown ’20 ran the meeting and featured Acting President Stephens, Dean of Students Marcella Runell Hall and Dean of Faculty Jon Western as speakers.
Recently, Mount Holyoke students found an unfamiliar-looking guacamole package available in Blanchard Cafe. Unlike the previous unbranded container, the popular dip now comes in a pre-packaged container, labeled with the brand, “Casa Solana.”
Members of the Mount Holyoke Community gathered on the steps of Blanchard to stand in solidarity with the victims and those affected by natural disasters in Puerto Rico and Mexico on the evening of Sept. 28.
Early in the morning on Saturday, Sept. 16, Amanda DeBellis ’18 and her rabbit, Hazel, were woken up around 1:30 a.m. in Mead Hall by the sound of a blaring alarm. When DeBellis went out into the hallway to check it out, she immediately smelled smoke. Grabbing her rabbit and her roommate, the trio made their way down from the second floor and outside into the night.