When I sat in the crowded Merrill 1 lecture room early in the fall for the Association of Amherst Student’s budgetary committee’s mandatory introductory meeting, I found myself annoyed when Treasurer Paul Gramieri ’17 announced new caps on food spending by insinuating that if a club’s event needed food to get people to go to it, it probably wasn’t a very good event. I probably muttered something to myself about neoliberalism or austerity.
Amherst Uprising brought the school community to a tremendous cathartic release. Students called for accountability from their administration, support from their faculty and understanding from their peers. While the movement may not capture our attention now as intensely as it did in November, it still prompts us to revisit our notions of safe spaces. Some believe that safe spaces only serve as intellectual hiding holes devoid of critical engagement, while others see safe spaces as valuable and necessary additions to the Amherst College community.
I remember the heat of the hot asphalt on my feet as I circled on the edges of my elementary school’s blacktop. Watching the boys play soccer and the girls play “Snow White,” I wondered when I would stop being an outsider. It got better in middle school, and then worse again in high school. I didn’t seem to fit in any group I joined. While I experienced vocal rejection in my earlier years, I learned silent rejection as I grew older. First, they would stop inviting me. Then, they would stop recognizing me.
Trigger Warning: Rape
Last year, a prospective student asked the professor of my women’s studies class if she could sit in and watch for the day. My professor said no due to the nature of the topic, saying “if it were another topic, I would let you sit in.” That day, we discussed rape — rape as a manifestation of male domination over women and a result of the culture of objectification and commodification of female bodies. The critical analysis of rape within the complex power structures of racism, heterosexism and patriarchy was difficult yet brave.
The advance of dark money in politics has severely hurt our democracy, and the possibility of a liberal appointee to the Supreme Court might change that. Here’s why that’s important:
For many students, spring break supposedly promises trips to warmer climates, time spent at home with family or simply a chance to recharge from academic pressure. As the word “break” suggests, students look forward to enjoying a week off from the high intensity Amherst workload and lifestyle. However, most students found themselves swamped during what ended up being a week away from school with the same amount of work, and many students even opted to stay on campus to catch up on work.
Last weekend, posters mysteriously appeared around campus. Although not officially affiliated with the movement, the writer of the poster printed the Amherst Uprising logo at the top and began the message with the accusatory question,“Where have you gone Amherst Uprising???” followed by a sarcastic “Congratulations!!!” At first glance, the poster seems to suggest that students bring back the Amherst Uprising movement more publicly, but the poster’s actual language instead diminishes the work participants of Amherst Uprising have put into the movement.