Office of Student Affairs and Campus Life

Dear Students,

In the midst of one of the coldest winters in recent memory, we're writing to share a red-hot lineup of events and activities, along with important information for the spring semester and beyond.

Hear from an alumnus whose amazing career is the subject of a Disney feature film being released this May. Be inspired at the second annual Lead UMass Spring Leadership Conference or enter the MinutePitch idea competition – your 60-second video could win startup money to help make your dream a reality.

Read on for many more opportunities to get out, get involved and keep your inner fire burning, no matter what the forecast!

Best wishes,

The Office of the Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs and Campus Life
319 Whitmore
Phone: 413-545-2300
Student Affairs and Campus Life Website

Reminder: "Blarney Blowout" is neither sanctioned nor condoned by the University.
While the vast majority of UMass Amherst students act responsibly every day – both on campus and in the surrounding communities – for those students violating the University Code of Student Conduct or the Town of Amherst Bylaws, the consequences can be significant and lasting.

Campus events

For more details about campus events, visit the UMass Events calendar.

Meet the 'Million Dollar' man
Sports marketer J.B. Bernstein, '90, comes to the Student Union Ballroom Tuesday, March 4 at 4 p.m., sharing a behind-the-scenes look at his groundbreaking reality TV show, The Million Dollar Arm and insights into how he develops his next big ideas. Bernstein's story is the subject of a new Disney movie starring Jon Hamm, releasing in May. Learn more and watch the film trailer on the Alumni Association website.

Register now for leadership conference
Sign up now for the second annual Lead UMass Spring Leadership Conference – a day of informative, inspiring workshops and presentations – Saturday, March 8, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the Campus Center auditorium. Register by March 3 on Campus Pulse.

MinutePitch contest underway
Put your best business ideas to the test in the MinutePitch innovation competition, going on now until Monday, March 10. Individuals and teams make a 60-second video pitch and submit online; winners take home prizes worth $2,500! Learn more and enter.

"Black Women in the Arts"
Nobel Prize-winning novelist Toni Morrison; singer and social activist Bernice Johnson Reagon; and poet and playwright Sonia Sanchez share the stage for a conversation about "Black Women in the Arts in the 21st Century," Monday, March 10, 7 – 9:30 p.m. in the Mullins Center. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. Hosted by the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies, the event is free and open to the public.

Meghan Beebe memorial vigil
Join the campus community for a candlelight vigil in memory of Meghan Kyla Tateo Beebe, Friday, March 7, 5:30 p.m. on the west/Hasbrouck side of the Campus Center. Immediately following, come to the Amherst room on the 11th floor for warm drinks, baked goods and memory sharing.

Contribute to a fund in Meghan's name by sending checks, payable to UMass with a note designating the "Meghan Beebe '14 Memorial Scholarship," to Susan McDonough, 202 Draper Hall, UMass, 40 Campus Center Way, Amherst, MA 01003-9244. Credit card contributions will be available soon at the university's online donor page. Under the "designation" tab, select College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. A new tab will appear; Meghan's scholarship will soon be available underneath the Sociology department option.

Celebrating Crowe
Join WMUA-FM and the Journalism Department in celebrating the 95th birthday of legendary Pioneer Valley peace activist Frances Crowe, Tuesday, March 11, 7 p.m. in Bowker Auditorium. Amy Goodman and Mike Burke of "Democracy Now!" host the free program, which also airs live on WMUA, 91.1 FM.

Freedom Seder
Don’t miss the 16th annual Freedom Seder: A Multicultural and Interfaith Celebration, Monday, April 7, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. on the 11th floor of the Campus Center. The free event welcomes people of all cultural and religious backgrounds for an evening of ritual, stories, poetry, international food and music commemorating the civil rights movement and other modern liberation struggles. Register by March 27 if requesting a Glatt Kosher meal and by April 2 for all attendees.

It's an emergency!
What if a tornado hit Amherst? What if there was a fire in your room? The UMass Amherst Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) knows ... and you can, too! MRC events this semester include a full-scale disaster drill and trainings in psychological first aid and fire safety. Get the spring schedule at the University Health Services website.

Banned 4 Life/Red Cross blood drive
Donate blood and advocate for other potential donors Tuesday, March 4, 1 – 6 p.m. in the Crampton Hall basement. Banned 4 Life is a national organization formed to challenge the FDA ban on men who have sex with men from donating blood. Participants will have the opportunity to sign a petition against the ban. Co-sponsored by the Stonewall Center.

LGBTQ panel series
The Stonewall Center is sponsoring a series of panel discussions with students and staff on multiple identities. Events include "Being LGBTQ and a Person with a Disability," March 5, 7 p.m. in Campus Center room 168C and "Being LGBTQ and an International Student," March 26.

International coffee hour
International students – stop by The Spot, in the Student Union building Wednesdays, March 5 and April 2, 4 – 5 p.m. Meet faculty, staff and other students while enjoying free refreshments and snacks. Sponsored by Student Legal Services, the International Programs Office, Student Affairs and the Graduate Employee Organization.

Queer, Gender and Sexuality Conference
Join the Five Colleges community for the fifth anniversary event, Friday and Saturday, March 7 – 8 at Hampshire College. All workshops, panels, talks, performances and socials are free, open and inclusive. Visit the event website to learn more; connect with peers and program leaders on Facebook.

UMass Date Night
Thursday, March 6 is Date Night! Grab your significant other or best friend(s) and head over to the Student Union from 7 – 10:30 p.m. There'll be dance lessons, great food, a movie and more, all for only $5 per person. Visit Campus Pulse for more info.

'Generation Out' athletes' group forming
A new group for LGBTQ athletes and allies is starting this semester; e-mail the Stonewall Center to learn more.

Living off-campus
Thinking of moving off-campus? Start at these upcoming programs:

  • Before signing a lease, come to Renting 101, Tuesday, March 4 at Franklin DC or Monday, March 10 in room 314 at the Student Union; both are 6 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Know Your Rights sessions are Tuesday, March 4, 6 – 7:30 p.m. at James Hall and Lincoln Apartments.
  • Learn to plan and manage finances after moving off-campus at Renting 102, Wednesday, March 5 at Franklin DC or Tuesday, March 11 in Student Union room 314; both are 6 – 7:30 p.m.
  • Get info about apartment complexes and much more at the Off-Campus Housing Fair, Thursday, March 6, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the Cape Cod Lounge at the Student Union.
  • Take a bus tour of apartment communities Saturday, March 8 and Sunday, March 9, noon – 5 p.m.
  • Become a certified tenant with a quick and easy online program recommended by landlords and UMass Amherst.

Create care packages
Come help CMASS assemble care packages, write encouraging letters and welcome incoming first-year students! Stop by 201 Wilder Hall Friday, March 7 between 1 – 4 p.m. Refreshments are provided.

Support, therapy groups
Register for groups offered by the Center for Counseling and Psychological Health (CCPH). The schedule is posted on the CCPH website; for more information, call (413) 545-2337.

Academic, career events and information

Majors, minors: spring deadlines

  • Isenberg School of Management information sessions for on-campus students seeking to transfer major are Tuesday, March 25 and Wednesday, March 26 at 5:30 p.m. For the BBA degree program, come to the Bernie Dallas room, 5th floor, Goodell. Sport Management meets in Isenberg 108; Hospitality in Isenberg 106. Attendance is mandatory for students applying to the sport management or hospitality majors.
  • Interested in applying to the Public Health Sciences major? The priority deadline to enroll in courses for fall semester is Monday, March 3. Questions? Come to the Peer Advisor Center, 330 Arnold House, with a copy of your academic requirements report; check the Public Health website for hours. Students are also encouraged to attend the next info session, Thursday, April 3, 7 p.m.; location information and updates will be posted on the Public Health website.
  • Friday, March 28 is the last day this semester for students to declare the Sociology major. Come to Thompson Hall, rooms 712 or 722.

Hospitality & Tourism Management career day
Studying hospitality and tourism management? Come to a career day, Wednesday, March 5, 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. in the Campus Center auditorium. Wear your best business professional attire and bring 20 copies of your resume; you'll have the opportunity to meet with representatives of more than 60 companies. Learn more on the Isenberg School of Management website.

More than your major
Learn from upper class students about getting the most out of UMass through majors, minors, internships and more. Undergraduate Advising hosts free sessions Tuesday, March 4 and Thursday, March 27, 4 – 5 p.m. in the Bernie Dallas room, 5th floor, Goodell.

Math exemption tests
Basic math skills (R1) exemption tests are Mondays, March 10 and April 28, 7 p.m., in Marcus, room 131. Bring your student ID, a #2 pencil and a calculator. More information is on the Math Department website.

CMASS career events
The Center for Multicultural Advancement and Student Success (CMASS) hosts several career events this month:

  • Mock interviews, March 3 – 6, let you practice interviewing skills and get immediate feedback. Register for one or more 30-minute mock interviews with recruiters from seven different organizations.
  • Learn how to launch your federal career Wednesday, March 12 and discover communications careers Wednesday, March 26. Both networking events begin at 5:30 p.m. in Wilder Hall, room 201.
Register for interviews and get more information on the CMASS website.

International student panels, workshops
Get important information from campus and community experts. Sessions are in Campus Center room 165-169, 12:30 – 2 p.m.; free lunch is available.

  • Tuesday, March 4: Interviewing practice for international students
  • Wednesday, March 5: Harassment in the workplace for international graduate students
  • Tuesday, March 25: Using LinkedIn effectively for international students
  • Tuesday, April 8: Immigration workshop for international graduate students

Free tutoring
If you're having trouble with some of your course material, meet with your professor or T.A. first. Asking questions early can help solve small issues and prevent larger ones.

  • Get free calculus tutoring at the Calculus Help Center, 140 Lederle Graduate Research Tower. Sessions for Math 127 and 128 are Monday – Thursday, 3 – 8 p.m. Math 131, 132 and 233 sessions are Monday – Thursday,10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • The Learning Resource Center on the 10th floor of the W.E. B. DuBois Library offers free tutoring, workshops and supplemental instruction. Check this semester's schedule, stop by or call (413) 545-5334.


Final exam schedule
The spring final exam schedule is available on the Registrar's website and on SPIRE.

SGA elections
Student Government Association elections are taking place Sunday, March 9 – Tuesday, March 11.

Residence Hall spring break schedule
All residence halls except Break Housing Halls close Friday, March 14 at 6 p.m. and reopen Sunday, March 23 at 10 a.m.

Fall, 2014 room selection

  • Defined Residential Communities/SophoMORE Experience:
    Application due: Feb. 28
    Appointments post: March 7
    Room selection: March 10 – March 13 at 11:59 p.m.
  • CHCRC rooms:
    Appointment request: Feb. 24 – March 6
    Appointments post: March 7
    Room selection: March 10 – March 13 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Multi-year rooms:
    Appointment request: March 7 – 27*
    Appointments post: March 28
    Room selection: March 31 – April 14 at 11:59 p.m.
* March 27 is the last day a student can request an appointment to participate in the On-Time Room Selection process for fall, 2014!

Key dates for undergraduates

  • March 6: Last day for undergraduates & Continuing Education students to drop courses with a "W," or change a course to Pass/Fail grading. A "W" is nearly always preferable to an "F." Consult your Academic Dean's office for advice and appropriate procedures. You must carry 12 credits to be considered full-time for financial aid/health insurance purposes.
  • March 7: Tentative date when Fall, 2014 enrollment appointments should be available on SPIRE.
  • March 17: Tentative date when the Fall 2014 course schedule should be available on SPIRE.
  • March 31: Confirmed online registration for Fall, 2014 begins. For the best possible course selections, check SPIRE for your enrollment appointment time and register as soon as possible after it begins.

Financial Aid update
For the upcoming academic year, 2014-2015, Financial Aid Services will begin sending email award notifications instead of paper award letters. When your financial aid award is available, you will receive an email sent to your University email account letting you know you may log into SPIRE to view your financial aid award. We anticipate awarding to begin mid-June.

Remember to check your To Do List in SPIRE to ensure any necessary paperwork has been submitted so that you can be awarded financial aid.

Going to the dogs!
Have a blast and de-stress by petting and playing with dogs! The new UMass Paws Program, led by the Center for Health Promotion and its Peer Health Education group (PHE) is bringing pet therapy dogs to campus twice each semester. Watch the PHE Facebook page for upcoming events; to learn more or find out about hosting a session, contact April McNally, (413) 577-5186.

Be a Minute Mover
Apply to be a Minute Mover beginning Monday, March 10. Volunteers serve as a primary welcoming team, helping and help students and families unload and move belongings from the curb to their rooms.

Now hiring: Off Campus Student Center jobs

  • Live off-campus? Are you creative and outgoing? Enjoy planning events? Apply by March 14 to become an off-campus student life coordinator!
  • Be a Walk This Way off-campus student guide, working in the Southwest area to encourage pedestrians to reduce noise on residential streets and take alternate routes. Applications are accepted throughout the semester.

Phallacies at State House
Members of the UMass Phallacies men's health theater and dialogue program are performing at the Massachusetts State House Thursday, March 6 as part of the state's White Ribbon Day events. Campaign chair Governor Deval Patrick is leading the observance, which calls on residents to become part of the solution in ending violence against women.

First- and second-year students wanted
You may be eligible to join a new research study of the Epstein-Barr virus, one of the most common affecting humans. Join and earn $25 for each visit! Learn more at the University Health Services website.

Free trolley service
Hop on the new Amherst Downtown Trolley Thursdays and Fridays, 5 – 9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays, noon – 8 p.m. during the semester. Shuttles run continuously, with stops at the Orchard Hill, Central, North and Southwest residential areas, the Mullins Center and Franklin DC; and three stops in downtown Amherst.

Use UCard off-campus
Your UCard's debit feature (not meal plans) can now be used at many off-campus restaurants and stores. The list is growing all the time – check the UCard website for participating merchants.

Connect with your representatives
Office hours and contact information for the Student Government Association's cabinet members are now available on the SGA website. The office is located in room 420 of the Student Union – stop in and get to know your peer representatives!

UMass pride
UMass Amherst has been named one of the nation's top 25 gay-friendly campuses by the Campus Pride Index. The campus received five out of five stars, and is ranked 20th overall among the list's "Premier Campus" schools.

Know your neighbors
You know your roommates, people on your floor or in your apartment building ... but new posters and videos produced by Amherst Middle School students are reminding us that area residents and families are also our neighbors. "We Live Here Too" messages are shared at orientation and on display in residence halls and apartment complexes; check them out on the Off-Campus Student Center website

Advocate for education
Join hundreds of students, faculty, staff and other public higher education advocates at the State House Wednesday, March 5 to talk with our legislators. Advocacy Day will include inspiring speakers, lobbying training, discussions with legislators, a chance to bond with like-minded folks, and free lunch! Sign up here.