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413.545.2082

Crotty Hall

412 North Pleasant Street

University of Massachusetts 

Amherst, MA 01002

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2018 Economics Graduate Student Organization UMassAmherst

Tel: 123.456.7890

About

egso

History of

EGSO

Among the charges facing former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his right-hand man Richard Gates is failing to register as agents of a foreign government, and making false and misleading statements about that. The grand jury indictment unsealed Monday accuses the men of working on behalf of Ukraine and telling the Justice Department their activities "did not include meetings or outreach within the U.S."

Those charges are controversial, in part because violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act are rarely enforced. Kevin Downing, a lawyer for Manafort, told reporters outside the courthouse that prosecutors have used that "very novel" charge only six times since 1966, winning just one conviction.

On Capitol Hill, however, Senate Republican Charles Grassley of Iowa offered praise for that approach: "It's good to see the Justice Department taking seriously its responsibility to enforce" the law, Grassley said in a written statement.

History of

UMass Economics

On this day 500 years ago, an obscure Saxon monk launched a protest movement against the Catholic Church that would transform Europe. Martin Luther's Protestant Reformation changed not just the way Europeans lived, fought, worshiped, worked and created art, but also how they ate and drank. For among the things it impacted was a drink beloved throughout the world and especially in Luther's native Germany: beer.

The change in beer production was wrought by the pale green conical flower of a wildly prolific plant: hops.

Every hip craft brewery today peddling expensive hoppy beers owes a debt of gratitude to Luther and his followers for promoting the use of hops as an act of rebellion against the Catholic Church. But why did Protestants decide to embrace this pretty flower, and what did it have to do with religious rebellion?

 

New Student Guide

Places To Live

Amherst is the town the university is in. It consists of the school itself and a small downtown area on North Pleasant St. Buses go to the university frequently and most of the town is close together so you can walk nearly anywhere. It is a small town that has most of the necessities but it is quieter then Northampton.

Rental Offices and Landlords

Northampton Many graduate students choose to live in Northampton. It is a little larger than Amherst and almost everything is within walking distance. 

Rental Offices and Landlords

Sunderland

Rental Offices and Landlords

Belchertown

Rental Offices and Landlords

Transportation

Cars Some people drive. I don’t know much about it. Do you pay to park on campus? How much is insurance? Does MA require different things than other US states? What about for international students?

Bicycles Entirely possible to get around the area by bike. There is a paved bike path running from Northampton center straight to UMass (and Belchertown beyond that), allowing cyclists to avoid deadly Route 9 traffic along the way. The bike commute from Northampton to Amherst is anywhere between thirty minutes to one hour depending on your speed and how often you stop. Be warned, the Northampton-Amherst Path (also known as the Norwottuck Rail Trail and UMass Swift Way Connector) is paved in recycled glass and is tough on narrow road bike tires (but great for commuter, mountain, or hybrid bikes). Another bike path runs from Easthampton to Northampton (Leeds), which is scenic. Biking in town (either Amherst or Northampton) is good, but cyclists should be careful with narrow, bumpy roads and lots of car traffic. PVTA busses are often equipped with bike racks if you'd rather catch the bus than ride.

Good places to buy an affordable used bicycle: Hampshire Bicycle Exchange located near campus on University Drive and for repairs/accessories the UMass Bike Co-op in the campus center (a student run business!). For more expensive bikes: Valley Bike and Ski Werks in Hadley, Northampton Bicycle, or Laughing Dog Bicycles in Amherst. For information on bike commuting in general see: MassBike 

Locally by Bus
The Pioneer Valley Transit Authority (http://www.pvta.com) is the local bus system. Buses run frequently and are generally on time. Most buses are free to everyone excluding the B43 which goes between Amherst and Northampton and costs $1. Student (with their student ID) ride for free on all of the buses. The PVTA website has schedules with maps on their website. 
To/From Boston and To/From NYC You might be able to get rides to/from Boston or New York with another grad student in the department. Another place to check is the Jolt Ride Board (http://amherst.dailyjolt.com/rideboard2.0/), where you might find another student that you can ride with. 
Otherwise, you can take the Peter Pan Bus (http://www.peterpanbus.com) to/from Amherst/Boston for $26 one way or $50 roundtrip. The bus leaves at least twice a day; it runs more frequently on the weekends. 
The bus to/from Amherst/NYC is $40 one way or $74 roundtrip and also leaves at least twice a day plus more on the weekends. You can take the Amtrak train (http://www.amtrak.com) from the center of Amherst for about $41 one way or $82 roundtrip. The price goes up over the weekend. 
If you need more detailed information about transportation (i.e. within New York) please send and email to EGSO email list at: egso-L@econs.umass.edu and we will do our best to help you out. 

Banking

You will need to get a checking account in order to have you University checks deposited. There are several options for opening an account in the area. 

Bank of America: Probably the largest bank. It is convenient because it has bank machines all over the country so you can use them if you travel without having to pay for withdrawing cash. However, they have instituted various kinds of monthly maintenance fees that come unto anywhere between $8-$12 per month. There are various options/types of accounts that are not charged such fees. This is an important point to look into with the banking representative who is opening your account, if you are opening with Bank of America.

Smaller more local options: UMass Five College Credit Union: Great option, since it doesn't charge fees as Bank of America and even provides you with interest on your deposit. Although they have few ATMs, you can get the usual fees for using other banks' machines waived (they can tell you how). Furthermore, they are a good option for opening a credit card (which will give you some credit history, if you are from outside the US and will allow you to get a cell phone, etc.) as they charge a relatively low interest rate.

 

Phones

Cellular Phones: Many people opt to have a cell phone instead of a landline phone. There are several companies to pick from: ATT/Cingular (https://www.cingular.com), T-mobile (http://www.t-mobile.com), Verizon (http://www.verizonwireless.com), Sprint (www.sprint.com).

All seem to offer decent service to the Pioneer Valley area. Prices vary a lot depending on the service you want.

There are two broad options that you can go for — annual service that comes with a contract, or annual service without contract (different from pay as you go options that are typically more expensive). If you are an international student without credit history in the country, then you may not be able to get a contract with most companies (unless you put down a large deposit). Virgin mobile offer annual services without contract (http://www.virginmobileusa.com/), as do AT&T, and Verizon. 

Landlines:
If you want a landline phone you will need to contact someone and request service. Someone else knows more about this I am sure?

Calling Cards:
If you use them then you probably already know about them. You can always email EGSO to find out if someone knows of a good one for a particular country. Or share the info if you know of one.

 

Utilities

Electricity:
If you are not living on campus you may need to request that you power be turned on through the Western Massachusetts Electric Company (http://www.wmeco.com). Your landlord may have already turned it on for you so you might only need to set up an account with your name for your new address when you move here. You should check with your landlord or rental office to see what steps you should take. Be sure to contact WMECO before you get here to make sure that your power will be on when you get here.

Gas?

Computing

At School You will need to go to Office of Information Technologies (http://www.oit.umass.edu) when you get to campus to set up a umass email address. You can use any of the computers on campus including the 8? Available on the 8th floor of Thompson in the economics department for economics grad students.

At Home
If you are living off campus you can order internet access through Comcast but it is expensive. You might find that you can log onto wireless networks in your home. If not, you might want to ask your neighbors if they want to share a wireless connection so that you can split the bill.
If you are live on campus in student housing your living space will have an ethernet connection included in the cost of the rent and required phone service. The first time you connect your computer you have to register your machine in the University's system and renew your registration each year.

In Town
Many cafes in Amherst and Northampton have their own wireless connection that is free to use while you are there.

ERIC HAMAKO'S TOP TEN U-TIPS

1. If you rent or own off-campus, CommunityAction provides FuelAssistance – and grad students generally qualify, even if heat isincluded in your rent. You might get back $500 per person – or more!http://www.communityaction.us/index.php?id=396

2. If you have (or want) a cell phone, as a UMass state employee, most providers will give you a discount (10-15%) on your cell phone bill. For example: http://www.chrisboulton.org/academics/verizon.html

3. If you can't pay your UMass fees all at once, you can pay on aninstallment plan, deducted from your paychecks.

4. If you want a place to work, store work-stuff, or take a nap – getan office carrel at the library. They're free, but go fast. Sign upat the circulation desk.

5. If you want support for your teaching, check out the Center ForTeaching's resources, online or in Goodell. http://www.umass.edu/cft/ 

6. If you want other kinds of trainings, check out Workplace Learning& Development's training brochure – the trainings are free for gradstudents and employees (unless otherwise noted). http://www.umass.edu/wld/

7. If you need magazines for teaching activities (or fun), you can getlots of them for FREE, at Mail Services, on the third floor of Goodell.

8. If you're shopping for furniture, the Amherst Survival Center holdsa used furniture sale on the Town Common 9/11-9/12.http://people.umass.edu/support/asc/

9. If you're shopping for software, OIT Software has a great deal withCDW, and you can get Microsoft and Adobe software for HUGELYdiscounted prices.

10. If you want to learn how to use software, OIT does softwaretrainings. And, UMass has an account with Atomic Learning – whichprovides online video tutorials on LOTS of commonly used software. And if you need computer repairs, OIT Hardware Support does repairs –often cheaper and faster than local businesses