Amherst Struggles (…Sigh)
Amherst has had yet another incident – another bias-related one. Someone attempted to vandalize a Menorah and an associated sign on campus between 4 and 5 pm yesterday, to which the Amherst Administration responded swiftly with a message requesting any information that passing pedestrians may have had. Students responded too. This one Facebook status gained wide popularity:
President Biddy Martin and Dean of Students Charri Boykin-East sent out the following email today, inviting students to come together in solidarity at the site of the incident and to celebrate Hanukkah’s triumphant message:
Dear Amherst Community members,
Last night a campus-wide notice was sent out by Amherst College police regarding damage to the sign attached to a Menorah. There is also a report of attempted vandalism to the Menorah itself. Witnesses have come forward with helpful information, and this incident remains under investigation. The lighting of a Menorah on Hanukkah symbolizes triumph over persecution and spreading light at the darkest time of the year. We respect and hold inviolable each individual’s beliefs and values. Any injury to any group of people on our campus is an injury to all of us.
Hanukkah’s celebration of light and joy in the overcoming of persecution provides an occasion for all of us to end the semester with a commitment to a safe and welcoming community. In light of all of this, we invite the campus community to come to the Valentine quad today at 4:00 p.m. to stand in solidarity with the Jewish community for a brief Menorah lighting ceremony.
Biddy Martin and Charri Boykin-East
An all-together graceful reaction to an ugly act. But seriously, Amherst, let’s get it together. We’ve had enough take place for one semester.