While I have stayed at L. Bergstrom (23)’s family in the past months as I am unable to obtain a VISA renewal in China due to Covid-19, the family made over fifty masks and gave out most of them to those in need, including 39 masks to a nurse at the Dignity Hospital in Folsom, CA. Heartwarmingly, it has been an effort of more than one family. Many in the neighborhood offered homemade masks to others who cannot access one, and one family put up a “mask tree” for zero-contact pickups.

-Hantong Wu ’23


Laptop Portrait Series

This photo series was initially begun at the beginning of the spring semester as a way to showcase the various identities and affinities that Amherst students display. This project began after my thesis advisor made a comment on one of my own laptop stickers, and I found that both of us had stickers that very much represented what we care about; for instance, my advisor has a rainbow mammoth and the cover of their most recent book. Laptop stickers are a form of self-expression like any other kind of sticker, and for the student they often are used as signifiers of interests and identities, peeked at in class, in the library, or in Val. I liked the idea of seeing which laptops on campus caught my attention, and for a few weeks I and members of the magazine staff approached people whose stickers we thought were unique and asked to take a photo of their laptop. I thank those who agreed to our odd request, and I hope you enjoy seeing yourself amongst your peers in these photos. 

But, then our semester moved online, and our student body dispersed. Instead of being able to peer at the backs of people’s laptops in shared spaces on campus, now I only stare at the screen of my own, connecting with my peers through my laptop but never being able to see the backs of theirs. This is yet another strange realization of remote learning.

Yet, I still wanted to share the laptop portraits I had already collected, to not abandon this project. Although I’m disappointed that I didn’t have two more months to collect many more photos, I am grateful for the ones here for at least allowing me to start this project. I hope you recognize some of the stickers and their meanings, and perhaps you can even identify who they belong to from the collaged identities they present. If you would like your own laptop to be included, please email me a photo at, and I will be happy to add it to this collection.

I recognize that laptops represent a certain type of privilege, and that these are indispensable resources for online learning that not everyone is able to access. Yet, I hope that there is still a universal echo in the stickers we place on them, of the desire to advertise our interests in the hope that someone else understands their meaning. This project is merely meant to be a testament to the myriad ways in which we seek to express ourselves and build connections. I hope you enjoy it.

Dean Dean Gendron’s Party Tips by Jake May ’19

We here at the Indicator recognize that the rift between Amherst’s students and its administration is growing every single day. Given our reputation as the “Undisputed #1 Best Voice of Amherst College” (look it up), we, here at the Indicator understand that we have a responsibility to aid in the mending of this rift. That’s why this month, we, here, at the Indicator, asked Senior Associate Dean of Students, co-author of the infamous email, and potential lizard-person Dean Gendron to provide some tips on how to make Amherst parties “even more fun than they already are.” (His words, not ours.)


Hello. I am Dean Dean Gendron, but you can call me Dean Dean Gendron. You may know me if you went to the AAS Town Hall meeting about the Party Policy-I was the ghostly man who looked like he hadn’t been outside in 10-12 years. (I actually want to take a second to clear this up right now: I have been outside in the past 10-12 years; in fact, I go outside at least once a week. It’s just that I only go outside at night, okay? Not that hard to understand.)

Anyway, I have some tips on how to improve your parties here at Amherst College. These all come from personal experience.

1. Sit in a circle on the ground and get to know each other. Ask each other questions like “What’s your favorite color?“ or “Where were you on the night of the Summer Solstice?” Classic getting-to-know-each-other stuff.

2. While your in the circle anyway, go ahead and grasp the hands of the people sitting next to you. Look at the person to your left in the eyes (NOT the person to your right; be extra careful about this). Once you have made eye contact, look to the sky and, in unison, say “Great and powerful Uungatuu, we are ready.”

3. At this point, whoever has been designated as the Shaman should place the ceremonial Orb in the middle of the circle. The Shaman should then sing The Pitch. Join in and create the sacred harmony. The Orb will begin to glow-hopefully blue. If it is blue, the great Uungatuu has blessed us for another cyle. If it is red, you must accept your impending doom, for the great Uungatuu is our lord, our rock, our reedemer.

4. Instead of a drinking game, try playing a different type of game, like Charades or Mafia.

Report on Athletics Raises More Questions Than It Answers by Sam Wohlforth ’17

“The place of athletics at Amherst is fucking ridiculous.”  I was halfway through my interview with a professor about faculty concerns with the recent report on the place of athletics at Amherst when she blew my hair back with this line.  I looked up from my notebook.  I expected professors to be frustrated with the failures of the athletic and admissions departments–the report itself points out some real problems with athletics at Amherst, and recommends several reforms–but not to this degree.  “The report is vague and biased,” she said, and the letter from Biddy appended to the beginning of the report is “even more of a gloss of something vague and biased to begin with.”  

Continue reading “Report on Athletics Raises More Questions Than It Answers by Sam Wohlforth ’17”