Thank God the students are back!
I often say that Amherst is a sleepy cow town in the summer, but the truth is it is less so each year. The University keeps expanding its summer offerings, and why not? The summer closing is merely a remnant of the days when students had to go home and help on the farm. I bet not even two percent of the students at UMass now come from a farm background. Eventually there will be three semesters a year - Fall, Spring and Summer.
But in the meantime, Amherst comes roaring back to life every Labor Day weekend, and none too soon for me, who can stand small town life for only so long. I think most of my fellow townies feel the same way, if only because of the student's wonderful check books and beautiful charge cards. In Amherst, it's student money that makes the world go around.
As the students come swarming into town, you can't say they don't give us fair warning, as this message board in the University Library attests.
Barely open all summer, now the library is filled with crowds of students.
Definitely there are big crowds outside the dorms as everyone moves in.
The big crowds result in big piles of trash!
The biggest crowds were at the UMass Labor Day picnic by the campus pond.
You have to give the UMass dining services a lot of credit for feeding literally thousands of people at this event.
Presiding over it all was the UMass Minuteman, who as usual was a babe magnet!
At noon today the Catholic Newman Center also knew the magic words to draw a crowd.
Frankly there's seldom reason to buy your lunch at UMass, since it seems everyday there's someone giving food away. Of course to take advantage of it you've got to have a strong preference for cheeseburgs, hot dogs and lots and lots of pizza.
The UMass Cannabis Club was putting out the call to all the party people.
At the other extreme was the UMass Republican Club - or are they really that far apart? After all, the GOPers advertise themselves as "The Best Party on Campus!" The two on the far left (not ideologically) are Springfield activist George Vasquez and Ben Duffy of Southwick, while Club President Brad DeFlumen is second from the right.
Today was the first day of classes, so there were crazily dressed guides out to help the lost freshmen find where to go.
Having been through the experience myself more years ago than I care to count, it is indeed confusing and a little bit scary your first day at UMass, but the truth is it's an adventure the memory of which you will smile over for the rest of your life.
Finally, poor Bo Burnham got interrupted by the Southern Tuber.