Campus Strictness

Amherst, MA
Admission Difficulty
Very Hard
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3 Recent Alumnus

Campus Strictness: The college campus is adjacent to the town green and the main strip of Amherst, and also takes steps to integrate the local community into its own offerings. For example, local residents can use the Amherst College library and enter the campus center, etc. This also sometimes means that folks from the town make it into dormitories and parties as well, which has caused safety issues in the past.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Student

Campus Strictness: Not sure. Seems to be changing.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: In previous years, strictness was a lot less of a big deal. However, a new Dean just instituted a policy that prohibits drinking in open spaces, which has caused people to have to take shots in their rooms and then go out. The good thing is, if a police officer catches you with alcohol- and you're not being obnoxious- they'll just tell you to put it down and go home. They're not here to get you in trouble, they just want to stop a loud party or make sure that nothing too weird is happening. All minor alcohol charges stay within the college's jurisdiction.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Strictness: Due no small part to freshman conduct during orientation, new alcohol policies have been implemented that severely restrict public consumption. Furthermore, the Amherst College police are taking a more proactive role in curtailing underage drinking. There are not significant sanctions for being caught, but the stricter enforcement has put a damper on an already dismal party scene.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Usually if you are caught for underage drinking you just have to speak with the dean but it is not a serious offense. The campus police are just generally looking out for disruptive people and aren't trying to breakup the fun.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 548th
    Best Campus Police
  • 658th
    Most Lenient Parking
  • 691st
    Strictest Honor Code

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Lem Atanga McCormick
Chicago, IL
Pre-Med (Biology and French)
View all previous student authors

Amherst College, to the relief of those students who, on occasion, might find themselves disregarding the Massachusetts minimum drinking age, employs a small but adequate police force. The campus police officers are far more lenient than  Massachusetts state police officers, and usually the worst case scenario is that a college police officer reports you to the Dean of Students Office. This is not to say that you can’t get in trouble. Massachusetts has quite a few idiosyncratic bylaws concerning drinking, the most notorious being the one that forbids anyone from holding an open container of alcohol while outdoors. More than a few students have been taken into custody because they walked out of a party with a bottle still in their hand.

The College itself seems to be hospitable to the concept of a second chance. No one has been known to be permanently expelled from Amherst for any reason other than blatant academic dishonesty, and if someone has, they must have done something so atrocious as to warrant jail time. If the college administration recognizes a disciplinary problem, usually that student will be suspended for a year, and in cases of substance abuse, may be asked to take part in a rehabilitation program.

Facts & Statistics

Students Are Most Likely to Get Caught...
  • Drinking underage, although usually campus police are lenient about this, and nothing will come of it.
  • Having unauthorized kegs
  • Holding an open container of alcohol while outdoors
  • Holding an unauthorized party
  • Parking illegally
  • Smoking indoors

Student Polls

Rate strictness of administration policies on the following topics    Based on 12 responses

Very strict
Very lenient
  • Alcohol use in dorms
  • Attendance
  • Creating new student organizations
  • Drug use
  • Honor code
  • Noise violations
  • Parking
  • Protests/demonstrations
  • Underage drinking
  • Visitation in dorms

How do the campus police or safety officers affect your campus experience?    Based on 14 responses

  • 0% Very negatively. They treat everyone like criminals.
  • 0% Fairly negatively. They're only interested in breaking up the fun.
  • 57% Fairly positively. They're pretty easy to get along with if you respect them.
  • 43% Very positively. Officers are kind and helpful.
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