College signs amicus brief supporting Harvard and MIT lawsuit against ICE

In an email sent out to the College community on July 8, President of the College Maud S. Mandel condemned the federal guidance issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) which, among other restrictions, prohibits international students from returning to or remaining in the country if they are enrolled exclusively in online courses during the fall semester. 

Yesterday, the College signed an amicus brief — a legal document filed by parties that have an interest in a case — supporting the lawsuit filed by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) seeking to block the ICE directive. The College signed it jointly with 58 other institutions of higher learning, including Amherst and seven Ivy League universities.

Faculty face choice between in-person and remote instruction if campus reopens

Faculty members have been asked to inform the College by yesterday, June 20, whether they would teach in person or remotely if the campus were to reopen in the fall. The academic subcommittee of the working group tasked with determining what an on-campus fall would look like sent an all-faculty email on June 10 to address curricular planning in the case that campus reopens in the fall. The College has not yet decided whether or not to open campus in the fall, with the decision deadline still set for July 1.

Seniors complete theses amid pandemic

A senior thesis represents the culmination of many students’ academic journeys at the College. But this year, like most other aspects of College life, the senior thesis process has been heavily affected by COVID-19. 

For Anne-Sophie van Wingerden ’20, whose comparative literature thesis focused on a 19th century book about a Dutch civil servant in Indonesia, the biggest loss was not being able to have the same kind of informal conversation with her thesis advisor online as she could have in-person.

Record Recs: (Free) coming-of-age films and crime dramas

It has been more than a month and a half since most students left campus and returned home to finish the semester remotely. If you are anything like us and have found yourself in a bit of an entertainment rut, look no further than Swank, a free movie service offered by the College Libraries that includes hundreds of blockbuster movies you can’t find on Netflix.

CDE fellows continue living, learning on campus

(Photo courtesy of Melissa Simo.)

While most undergraduate students left campus after the last day of in-person classes on March 13, the 27 graduate students at the College’s Center for Developmental Economics (CDE) were all given the choice to remain even as the CDE transitioned to a remote learning model. Most of these students, who are known as CDE fellows, chose to stay.

How staff at the College prepared for the changes that came with campus closure

With President of the College Maud S. Mandel’s March 11 decision to bring normal College operations to a halt, staff at the College faced one of the biggest tasks in their entire careers: shutting down an in-person college campus and moving 2,000 students off campus, all while keeping the College running. And it has been a task that the College had been planning far in advance of Mandel’s email.