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Social media fuel Blarney-style gatherings in hard-to-predict ways

Thursday, March 5, 2015

AMHERST — Last year, social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram led Blarney Blowout revelers from one epic bash to another, leaving destruction and empty beer cans in their wake. Social media have changed the way the masses gather. Real-time tweets let wandering revelers unite under common hashtags. “It was like an amoeba, like a huge school of drunk fish,” UMass senior Brad Finn said of the crowd that …

Wellesley College to admit transgender students

Thursday, March 5, 2015

WELLESLEY (AP) — Wellesley College is joining a growing list of women’s colleges that accept transgender students. President H. Kim Bottomly and trustees’ chairwoman Laura Daignault Gates said in a letter Wednesday that “Wellesley will consider for admission any applicant who lives as a woman and consistently identifies as a woman.” Transgender men are not eligible for admission to the private liberal arts …

UMass students, officials have different ideas about successful Blarney Blowout

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

AMHERST — Some plan to attend. Some plan to steer clear. But few if any University of Massachusetts Amherst students doubt this year’s Blarney Blowout will be the raucous event it’s known as despite the unpopular university policies that aim to tone it down. Electrical engineering major Edward Townsend, 20, of Falmouth, Maine, …

Five College Consortium hopes to build library annex for 2.5 million volumes on Hadley farmland

Friday, February 13, 2015

HADLEY — An unpopular piece of property may finally have found its use — storing unpopular books. The Five College Consortium announced Friday that it hopes to build a 2.5 million volume library annex on a vacant piece of Hadley farmland between North Maple Street and Rocky Hill …

Deaf advocates sue Harvard, MIT over closed captioning

Friday, February 13, 2015

CAMBRIDGE (AP) — Advocates for the deaf sued Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Thursday, saying the universities failed to provide closed captioning for online courses, podcasts and other educational programs. The National Association for the Deaf filed class action lawsuits in federal court, saying …

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance pledges $2 million to boost data science programs at Mount Holyoke, Smith colleges

Thursday, February 12, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — The Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. is making a $2 million investment in local women’s colleges to train what it hopes will be future employees. The Springfield-based company’s grant, called the MassMutual Women in Data Science program, will fund a four-year program beginning this fall at …

Former Amherst College student Angie Epifano speaks out in documentary about college rape

Thursday, February 12, 2015

AMHERST — A new documentary shining a light on sexual abuse and rape on college campuses focuses on Amherst College’s past troubles and hopes for the future. When film producer Marjorie Nielsen began the project, called “It Happened Here,” she said she knew she wanted former Amherst College …

Amherst celebrates Black History Month with flag-raising, other activities

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

AMHERST — A red, black and green flag representing the Black Liberation Movement that began in the 1960s will be raised above the Town Common Saturday morning as part of the town’s recognition of Black History Month. Judy Brooks, a retired elementary school teacher, organized the flag-raising event …

Mount Holyoke College physics professor Alexi Arango seeks new ways to produce solar cells

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

SOUTH HADLEY — In the custom-designed, state-of-the-art solar cell fabrication laboratory at Mount Holyoke College, Alexi Arango and his students are performing cutting-edge research on new semiconducting materials. Arango, 39, an assistant professor of physics, is exploring ways …

UMass environmental conservation professor Bethany Bradley suggests saving plants by expanding habitat

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

AMHERST — As climate change affects the habitats of plants, the best way to save some of them might be to plant them in gardens hundreds of miles away from their native homes. That’s what Bethany A. Bradley, …

College professors, students coping with canceled classes every Monday this semester

Monday, February 9, 2015

AMHERST — Mondays are generally unpopular, but Mother Nature seems to have directed a particular ire against them the past few weeks. That has made things difficult for the students and professors who have been unable to meet for Monday classes. In some cases, students in classes that …

UMass names 21-member presidential search committee

Friday, February 6, 2015

DARTMOUTH (AP) — University of Massachusetts trustees have named a 21-member search committee to find a new president for the five-campus system. The committee established Friday at the trustees’ meeting at UMass Law School in Dartmouth includes trustees, faculty, administrators, students and alumni. The university is seeking a …

Harvard enacts ban on professors having sex with undergraduates

Thursday, February 5, 2015

CAMBRIDGE (AP) — Harvard University has instituted a total ban on professors having sex with undergraduate students, strengthening language the school said did not reflect the faculty’s expectations on appropriate relationships between students and faculty members. In a statement released Thursday, Harvard said the change came as part …