This is particularly precious. It seems that various student groups at Amherst College (in Amherst, MA), obviously encouraged by the Jello-spined adults at Yale and the University of Missouri, have decided to go for broke. Consider their list of demands—yes, demands—courtesy of Steven Hayward at Powerline:
“Initiate within 24-48 hours and complete by Wednesday, November 18, 11:59 pm.
Please communicate this list to the Board of Trustees on behalf of the students.
This list includes demands not only for President Biddy Martin but for key people of the administration —
We, Students of Amherst College, refuse to accept the negative social climate created towards our peers of color and other marginalized groups. We have begun this movement, Amherst Uprising, in an effort to change the status quo for a more just and inclusive environment within our campus. We demand that Amherst become a leader in the fight to promote a better social climate towards individuals who have been systematically oppressed. Student leaders acknowledge and support the demands previously stated and currently being presented. Furthermore, we demand the College acknowledge its ethical and moral responsibilities as an institution and community of our world. Amherst College should not be complicit in oppressive organizations and systems, no less.
We as a compassionate student body have gathered to address the legacy of oppression on campus. If these goals are not initiated within the next 24 to 48 hours, and completed by November 18th, we will organize and respond in a radical manner, through civil disobedience. If there is a continued failure to meet our demands, it will result in an escalation of our response.
- President Martin must issue a statement of apology to students, alumni and former students, faculty, administration and staff who have been victims of several injustices including but not limited to our institutional legacy of white supremacy, colonialism, anti-black racism, anti-Latinx racism, anti-Native American racism, anti-Native/ indigenous racism, anti-Asian racism, anti-Middle Eastern racism, heterosexism, cis-sexism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, ableism, mental health stigma, and classism. Also include that marginalized communities and their allies should feel safe at Amherst College.
- We demand Cullen Murphy ‘74, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, to issue a statement of apology to students, alumni and former students, faculty, administration, and staff who have been victims of several injustices including but not limited to our institutional legacy of white supremacy, colonialism, anti-black racism, anti-Latinx racism, anti-Native American racism, anti-Native/ indigenous racism, anti-Asian racism, anti-Middle Eastern racism, heterosexism, cis-sexism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, ableism, mental health stigma, and classism
- Amherst College Police Department must issue a statement of protection and defense from any form of violence, threats, or retaliation of any kind resulting from this movement.
- President Martin must issue a statement of apology to faculty, staff and administrators of color as well as their allies, neither of whom were provided a safe space for them to thrive while at Amherst College.
- President Martin must issue a statement to the Amherst College community at large that states we do not tolerate the actions of student(s) who posted the “All Lives Matter” and “Free Speech” posters. Also let the student body know that it was racially insensitive to the students of color on our college campus and beyond who are victim to racial harassment and death threats; alert them that Student Affairs may require them to go through the Disciplinary Process if a formal complaint is filed, and that they will be required to attend extensive training for racial and cultural competency.
- President Martin must issue a statement of support for the revision of the Honor Code to reflect a zero-tolerance policy for racial insensitivity and hate speech.
- President Martin must release a statement by Friday, November 13th, 2015 by 5:00pm that condemns the inherent racist nature of the unofficial mascot, the Lord Jeff, and circulate it to the student body, faculty, alumni, and Board of Trustees. This will be followed up by the encouraged removal of all imagery including but not limited to apparel, memorabilia, facilities, etc. for Amherst College and all of its affiliates via a phasing out process within the next year.
- Dean Epstein must ask faculty to excuse all students from all 5 College classes, work shifts, and assignments from November 12th, 2015 to November 13th, 2015 given their organization of and attendance at the Sit-In.
- Do not threaten the jobs of the faculty, staff, or administrators that support our list of demands. Such threats will result in an escalation of our response.
- The Office of Alumni and Parent Programs must send former students an email of current events on campus including a statement that Amherst College does not condone any racist or culturally insensitive reactions to this information.
- Dean Epstein must encourage faculty to provide a space for students to discuss this week’s events during class time.
Please acknowledge that all of these statements of apology are not the end all – that they are only a part of short-term healing and by no means achieve all of the goals we will set forth. We are in the process of finalizing long-term goals which we hope to collaborate on regularly with all members of the community.
By no means does this start/stop with the administration.
African and Caribbean Students Union
Amherst Christian Fellowship
Amherst Equestrian Club Team
Amherst United Left
Athlete Bible Study
Asian Students Association
Association of Amherst Students
Black Students Union
Charles Drew Health Profession Society
The Charles Drew Memorial House
Chinese Student Association
Cross Country/Track & Field, Lacrosse, Softball, Women’s Rugby, Basketball)
Dance and Step at Amherst College (DASAC)
GlobeMed at Amherst College
Hip Hop Club
International Students Association
Japanese and Chinese Language House
Korean Students Association
Muslim Students Association
Multicultural Resource Center
Middle Eastern Students Association
Mental Health Education
Native American Students Organization (NASO)
Newman Catholic Club
Peer Advocates of Sexual Respect
Queer Resource Center
Remnant (Black Christian Ministry)
Roosevelt Institute at Amherst College
Sports Teams (Minority Students/ Allies in Football, Tennis, Field Hockey, Soccer, Baseball, Golf, Crew, Swim,
South Asian Student Association
Student Athlete Advisory Committee
Transfer Student Association
Women of Color Empowerment Group
Women’s and Gender Center
Women and Men’s Club Soccer
Women in Science”
Well. The obvious question is: if the school accedes to these “demands,” what could they possibly refuse any witless twerp when the next list of demands is presented? Free of charge, and with good will, I present this suggested response:
Response to “Amherst Soul,” and any related organizations:
Regarding the list of eleven demands: no, but thank you for sharing your concerns.
All classes will be held on schedule. Absence will be dealt with under established school policy. All illegal acts, including any attempt to hamper those that wish to attain a college education, will result in arrest and prosecution. In addition, those violating school rules will be subject to discipline, up to and including expulsion, under established school policy.
The First Amendment right to free speech will be recognized and honored for all, but crimes will not be tolerated.
This is an institution of higher learning. It will continue to function in that capacity. Those that sincerely wish to attend institutions willing to entertain demands rather than ensure a proper educational environment are encouraged to do so.