Office of Student Affairs

Important Policies and Dates

 


Fall Semester Classes 

ll students are expected to attend the first meeting of each class.   See the Academic Calendar for other important dates and add/drop for information about course registration.  For other questions about classes, please contact the Registrar's Office: 413-542-2226.

Registration   First-year students and new transfers will register for classes during Orientation, in conference with their Orientation Advisors.  Upperclass students have pre-registered during the spring. 

Arrival   Housing for first-year and new transfer students will be available at 9:00 a.m. Sunday, August 24.
Housing for returning sophomore, junior, and senior students will be available Thursday, August 28.  Because of the limited time available for maintenance between the end of summer programs and the beginning of the semester, upperclass students cannot move into their rooms before that date. See important dates on the Residential Life Calendar.

Keys   New students may collect their keys and New Student Packets at Converse Hall lobby on the first day of Orientation.  Other students (and new students who arrive late) should pick up their keys at the Amherst College Police Department in the Service Building.

Students Living Off Campus   Students living off campus must submit their off-campus addresses and telephone numbers to the Office of Student Affairs as soon as possible.  Although it is necessary to have this information on record, you may choose to have it unlisted publicly.

Furnishings  Students are responsible for the contents of their rooms until their departure at the end of the semester.  Charges will have to be made for loss or damage and for extraordinary cleaning or repair.  Unless it is possible to bill an individual for a particular item, College policy provides for costs to be divided among members of the appropriate living unit (room, suite, floor, dormitory, etc.).  Those responsible for breakage are asked, therefore, to report it to the Service Desk of the Physical Plant Department (542-2254) as promptly as possible.  By not reporting the individuals responsible for acts of damage or vandalism, the residents of the living unit accept the financial burden of replacing lost or damaged property.

Telephones:   See information here regarding student telephone services.

Cable Television   Cable television is provided in all dormitory rooms.  For a current channel line-up, go to Campus TV Network.

Storage and Parcel Post  Resident Counselors will be issued the keys to storage areas and will be available to open them once students arrive/return to campus.  Please consult the schedule posted by the Resident Counselor in your dormitory for the hours he or she will be available to assist you with storage of belongings.  Area Coordinators can be contacted to open storage areas when Resident Counselors are not available.  Please keep in mind that the College does not guarantee the availability of space to store large furniture, nor does it assume responsibility for any stored items.  In addition, because of limits on availability of storage space, all students who intend to ship any of their belongings must arrange for these shipments to be delivered after they have arrived on campus to receive them.  All shipments, including those sent via UPS, should be addressed as follows:  your name, AC #, Keefe Campus Center, 31 Mead Drive, Amherst, MA, 01002-5000.  Do not use "P.O." with your box number -- some delivery people might interpret "P.O." to mean the Town of Amherst Post Office -- and do not address any shipment to Physical Plant.

Motor Vehicles 

Students are eligible to receive a parking permit when they are in their sophomore, junior, or senior year. First-year students are only allowed permits with permission from the Office of Student Affairs, and this permission will only be given upon compelling argument that an exemption is necessary.  The fee for student parking permits is $60.00 per year. This may be pro-rated by the Parking Division on a semester basis. Short-term parking permits for students are available for $2.00 per week with a one week minimum.

Upperclass students may not register a motor vehicle belonging to a first-year student. Attempts to circumvent this rule will result in fines, booting, and possible revocation of parking privileges.

Students receiving a parking decal for a car registered in another state must complete an application for a Massachusetts Non-resident Student sticker. Forms and stickers are available at the Amherst College Police Parking Office.

The College does not guarantee parking will be available. A permit is merely permission to park legally in one of the College lots.  Amherst College has no space to accommodate Five College student parking.  Parking lots that are available to students are the Hills Parking Lot, O'Connell Parking Lot and Temporary Parking Lot. Parking is also available at the Off-campus Residence Houses.

Students are responsible for all violations and fines incurred by a vehicle registered to them regardless of who was operating the car.

For non-resident registration and detailed information about motor vehicle regulations and campus parking policies, please visit AC Motor Vehicles/Parking, or contact Campus Police at (413) 542-2291.

Health Services and Health Insurance: 
Outpatient services will be available at the Keefe Health Center, 95 College Street (413-542-2266).  Coverage will be by a physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays any outpatient or short-stay urgent care services will be provided by the University (of Massachusetts) Health Center.  Medical transportation assistance will be provided by the Amherst College Police (emergency number: 413-542-2111) or arranged by them via the Amherst Fire Department ambulance crew.

Students expecting to participate in fall intercollegiate sports are reminded that they must be cleared by the Health Center before obtaining equipment and reporting for practice.

By July 15, the Health Center must have received completed medical forms for all new students, or the students must bring the forms with them.  The forms are needed to complete registration.  By Massachusetts law, any new student who has not received the required immunizations within 10 days of the beginning of the term will not be allowed to remain at Amherst for the semester.  Questions about immunization should be addressed to the Health Center.

All students must be enrolled in the College-sponsored health insurance program or some equivalent coverage.  The student health insurance charge is included in the fall term bill and covers twelve months of accident and sickness insurance for the period August 15th through August 15 of the next year.  Any clinical services provided on campus at the Student Health Service are covered by the comprehensive fee for all students. Further details concerning the Student Health Service and student health insurance plan appear in the on-line Student Handbook at Student Medical Insurance. If a student has comparable health insurance coverage, the student health insurance fee may be waived by completing the on-line waiver at www.gallagherkoster.com. By state law, Amherst College requires that all students either participate in the College's health insurance plan or have comparable medical coverage. Note that health insurance coverage provided through a state Medicaid program may NOT be available outside of the state. Likewise, coverage provided by a health maintenance organization (HMO) may NOT be available outside its primary geographic area.

Textbooks  Amherst Books, located at 8 Main Street, sells textbooks for most College courses.  The book orders are placed by faculty members, and the bookstore stocks these texts by course number.  The bookstore will accept all major credit cards and checks, provided appropriate identification is presented.  Because of unforeseen difficulties that may arise, you should arrange to purchase your textbooks as early as possible and alert your instructor to any problems in obtaining books.  Unused texts free of damage and marking and accompanied by sales receipts can be returned during the add/drop period.

The Option, a student-run bookstore in the basement of Garman House, sells and buys used course books at the beginning and end of each semester. 

Graduate and Professional School Tests  Information and counseling regarding applying for graduate/professional school is available through the Career Center.  Registration deadlines for testing dates can be obtained from the following sources:

GRE:         www.ets.org/gre 

MCAT:       www.aamc.org/mcat  

LSAT:        www.lsac.org  

GMAT:       www.gmat.org or call 800-GMAT-NOW

 

Fellowship and Scholarship Deadlines
Preliminary application deadlines for national fellowships and scholarships that require endorsement through the Office of Fellowships, located in 213 Converse Hall - these dates are often early in the fall semester, so it is wise to get information about fellowship and scholarship opportunities before your senior year begins.

Student Employment  Student employment at Amherst College is open to all students, whether or not they are eligible to receive financial aid.  During the first two weeks of the fall semester, however, priority is given to employment of students who receive need-based financial aid, such as Federal Work-Study.  For more information, see Student Employment.

Billing  Computerized statements of payments due are sent out regularly by the Comptroller, and recipients should give particular attention to amounts due and dates for payment.  Billing questions should be directed to the Comptroller's Office: 413-542-2101.

Questions about specific items generated by other offices should be discussed with the appropriate College office (Librarian, Campus Police, Physical Plant, etc.).  

Fire and Safety  Students and their guests should immediately evacuate residence halls during a fire alarm.  To ensure speedy, orderly, safe, and complete evacuation, fire drills will be held periodically during the year.

Inspections of rooms and public areas take place at several times during the year to ensure that all buildings comply with the most recent regulations, and that potential fire, safety, and health hazards do not exist.  Individual room inspections are usually announced and scheduled for the several College vacations. However, Physical Plant and Campus Police personnel may have to enter rooms at other times for safety, maintenance, and security reasons.

Seemingly minor violations can be critically dangerous, so please avoid blocking escape doors and stairways, using faulty wiring, cooking on hot plates, storing combustibles indoors, improperly ventilating electrical equipment, or leaving electrical appliances switched on and unattended for prolonged periods.  These are all very dangerous violations of housing regulations (please see the Student Handbook).  Halogen lamps and all cooking appliances are not allowed in dormitory rooms.

For more information, please see Fire Safety.

Pets  For health and sanitary reasons, dogs, cats, reptiles, birds, and all other animals (except aquatic ones) are not permitted in College-owned or -rented student residences.  Failure to comply with this policy carries the penalty of a $100 per day fine and possibly the student's ejection from College accommodations without reimbursement.

Honor Code/Drug & Alcohol Policy  All Amherst College students will be required to sign the Honor Code during the first weeks of a student's first year at the College.  You can review the Honor Code here.

Students should review Appendix F of the Student Handbook regarding the College's Drug and Alcoholic Beverage policy.  Violations of this policy are handled in the Office of Student Affairs.  Repeated violations may be cause for dismissal from the College. 

Noise Complaints  All students should be aware that the Town of Amherst has an ordinance making it illegal “to create . . . excessive, unnecessary, or unusually loud noise” and mandating stiff fines or the possibility of arrest as penalties for violations of the ordinance.  The town police have indicated that they will enforce this ordinance strictly, so all students who live in houses in or near town residential areas, or who travel to and from those areas, especially at night, will have to be particularly careful in order to avoid incurring serious penalties.

Property Insurance Coverage  As you think of packing for your trip to the College, you should consult with your family’s insurance agent about the possibility of their current or a modified policy covering your bicycles, cameras, computers, jewelry, and other valuable personal property.  Even though you may have some coverage under your current policy, you may want broader coverage available with a product called "CSI Student Personal Property Protector Plus" (http://www.collegestudentinsurance.com/).  This policy can provide targeted coverage for items such as laptops or computers.  To assist you in managing the risk of loss of personal property, this is one possible avenue for your consideration.  A sufficient amount of theft and vandalism takes place in the Amherst area to warrant thoughtful consideration of what items to pack, how you will secure your belongings, and the adequacy of insurance coverage for any losses that might occur.

Guns and Fireworks  It is a criminal and College offense for a student to keep a dangerous weapon in any College building.  Under the state’s strict gun control law, those caught with unlicensed guns face a mandatory one-year minimum sentence upon conviction.  The College prohibits students from bringing any firearm or fireworks onto the campus.  Violations of the state and College policies on guns and other dangerous weapons are considered extremely serious and may lead to the imposition of a range of sanctions, including jail and dismissal from the College.  The Commonwealth of Massachusetts also prohibits the possession and discharging of any type of fireworks.

Commencement  Commencement is scheduled for Sunday, May 24, 2015.  To prepare rooms for parents and families attending the festivities, all non-graduating students must vacate their rooms by 5:00 p.m. Saturday, May 17.  Students working for the College during Commencement and Reunion Weeks will be relocated.  Some seniors will be asked to consolidate to open up suites for families and relatives.  Seniors will have to vacate their rooms by 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 24, so that preparations for Reunion Week can begin.

Because local lodging fills quickly, the College provides a limited number of dormitory rooms to families of graduating seniors for a modest fee. Rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The College does its best to meet all requests, but housing is limited and lodging cannot be guaranteed. The Office of Public Affairs will mail preliminary information to the graduating seniors and to the parents of graduating seniors in February.  If you have questions, please call the Office of Public Affairs at (413) 542-2322.

Additional Information 

Copies of the College Catalog and the Student Handbook are available online.  Please read them carefully for more information about policies, options and resources.  The Calendars and News links provide a variety of valuable information about the calendar and other important College announcements.

If you have a special situation or would like to speak with someone about your options, questions, concerns, or suggestions, please write or call the appropriate office below:

Office of Student Affairs -- 413-542-2337

Residential Life -- 413-542-2161

Health Services -- 413-542-2266

Career Center -- 413-542-2265

Financial Aid Office/Student Employment --413-542-2781

Comptroller's Office -- 413-542-2101

Student Activities Office -- 413-542-5773

Writing Center -- 413-542-2139

Quantitative Center -- 413-542-8331

Fellowships Office -- 413-542-2536

Center for Community Engagement --413--542-5140

Office of Religious Life -- 413-542-8489

The Counseling Center -- 413-542-2354