Scrolling Headlines:

UMass baseball falls to Boston College in a ‘wasted day’ -

March 30, 2017

Q&A: Jawad Awan, co-president of the Muslim Student Association -

March 30, 2017

Rally held outside Joint Ways and Means Committee meeting for tuition and fee freezes -

March 30, 2017

CEPA brings light to student activism at UMass -

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Eco-Rep Program brings leadership and sustainability to the classroom -

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Divest UMass proves student activism is alive and well -

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From textbook prices to clean energy, MASSPIRG fights for many issues -

March 30, 2017

UMass men’s lacrosse heads into Colonial Athletic Association play with confidence -

March 30, 2017

UMass track and field set to perform at CCSU Invitational to open spring season -

March 30, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse is riding the hot stick of Hannah Burnett -

March 30, 2017

UMass women’s lacrosse rides winning streak into A-10 conference play -

March 30, 2017

‘The Salesman’ is an intense drama that deals with contemporary issues -

March 30, 2017

People’s Market: Independent, cooperative, ‘radical-minded’ -

March 30, 2017

We voted and they endure: Trump’s effect on the global community -

March 30, 2017

Why hasn’t the Equal Rights Amendment been ratified? -

March 30, 2017

Pay for your own round, Mr. President -

March 30, 2017

Report: UMass men’s basketball set to hire Matt McCall as next head coach -

March 29, 2017

Community talks education, immigrants’ rights, climate change with state senators -

March 29, 2017

Q&A: Khalif Nunnally-Rivera, an advocate for access and affordability for underrepresented students -

March 29, 2017

Plant-Based Nutrition club promotes healthier, sustainable diets on campus -

March 29, 2017

Amherst to hold elections for Town Meeting positions

Although Amherst’s demographics have more than 50 percent of residents falling between the ages of 18 and 24, this overrepresented population bloc is underrepresented in one place that counts: Amherst’s 240 Town Meeting members.

This March, Amherst will be holding Town Meeting member elections, and a third of its seats will be up for grabs.

A Town Meeting member is an elected member of the community, one of 240 from the town’s ten precincts. These members are allowed to attend the biannual Town Meetings. At such meetings, issues including zoning bylaws and town funding are discussed.

Town Meetings can also result in new developments in town bylaws. As a result of a 2009 Town Meeting, more than four unrelated persons were banned from living together under the same roof, which some saw as unfairly targeting students.

In a community where more than half the population is between younger than 24, surprisingly there is only one Town Meeting Member in this age bracket. That member, Daniel Melick, a recent alumnus of the University of Massachusetts, hopes this representation will change.

“A lot of the laws that the town deals with affect students, and upset them,” Melick said.  “I want to see them represented at the town meetings.”

According to Amherst’s Town Clerk’s office, all are invited to run for the position of Town Meeting member, a position that currently has 80 full-term seats up for election, as well as many more partial term seats. A full term is three years, while a partial seat is one or two years.

Any person registered to vote in Amherst can seek election. Nomination papers, available at the Town Clerk’s office, require at least one signature of a registered voter of the precinct from which they are running. This one signature can be that of the candidate running. The nomination papers must be filled out quickly, though, as the deadline is Feb. 2 at 5 p.m.

At Town Meetings, members discuss warrants, or issues that citizens have brought to the legislative body.

“The time commitment is minimal. Each session starts at 7:30 at night and lasts for about two hours” Melick said. “Since my own election last May I think I’ve been to ten meetings and spent maybe 20-30 hours on Town Meeting related work.”

According to Melick, this spring, he plans to bring a revision to the current housing ban on having more than four unrelated persons living in the same house.

“I plan to bring an amendment to the meeting,” said Melick, “yet without backing, it won’t pass.”

For more information on how to run for Town Meeting member, contact the Town Clerk’s office by calling 413-259-3035 or by e-mail, townclerk@amherstma.gov.

Michelle Williams can be reached for comment at mnwillia@student.umass.edu.

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