Off-beat. Intellectual. Philosophical. Artsy. Thought-provoking. Political. Eclectic. There are about as many student organizations at Amherst as there are adjectives to describe them. And if you have an interest that's not represented in the 100 groups already on campus, you can start your own group or join a student organization at one of the other colleges in the Five College Consortium. Representatives of Amherst's student government, not college administrators, decide how to allocate about $250,000 among student organizations.
All first-year Amherst students live in new or newly renovated residences on the Main Quad. These residences feature well-designed living spaces, along with common spaces for studying, socializing, playing music and performing. Ninety-eight percent of students live on campus, and housing is guaranteed for all four years. When hunger pangs hit, check the menu at Valentine Dining Hall, which offers an extraordinary range of food options.
At Amherst, academics come first. But athletics are a vibrant part of the living and learning experience, too. Most students take part on some level, from informal recreation to intramural and club sports to the 27 NCAA Division III teams. The extensive athletic facilities—open to all students—include excellent playing fields, an 8,000-square-foot fitness center, pool, courts and an ice rink. Beyond Amherst, you can jog the Norwottuck Trail that borders campus, kayak on the Connecticut River or mountain bike the Robert Frost Trail.