“On Behalf of the Amherst Men’s Soccer Team” has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you’re a member of the Amherst community, you couldn’t have missed it because the President of the College kindly placed it in your inbox. Despite all the attention, this article hardly deserves such enthusiastic praise. A claim like, “we have found success by valuing the ideal of doing the right thing even when no one is watching” puts on a façade that misrepresents how much work we still need to do to combat sexual misconduct on this campus.
Amherst students have done a great job promoting sexual respect and, what I like to call, consent-y sex. If consensual sex is an umbrella, consent-y sex lies underneath it. What does consent-y sex look like? We see the answer to this question all over campus, on posters, in presentations or even in class. It looks like asking for consent to begin a sexual act, asking for consent verbally throughout the act, and respecting the answers to those questions whether they are “yes” or “no.” I think it’s great that people are starting to have and enjoy consent-y sex.
As a print publication with nearly 150 years of history, the Amherst Student has a substantial archive of student writing. The Student’s office and the College archives house stacks of aged books with every issue that came before this one and will grow to include each one that will come after. Though this routine does document our history, successfully navigating our records seems harder than one might imagine. For example, how does one approach finding all articles on Asian American identities, or all articles discussing sexual assault?
Hypersensitive spoiled brats who prefer safe spaces to free speech. Dishonest scientists who cook up rigged studies of climate change. Elitist humanists who study books no one reads using words no one can understand. Humorless social scientists who indoctrinate their students with politically correct sanctimony. Administrators who pander to students’ unreasonable demands and refuse to address reasonable ones. Self-righteous bastions that profess to protect free speech but censor those they don’t wish to hear.
My high school was 48 percent black, 40 percent white, 12 percent other and completely segregated — students were put too early into tracks that seldom came together again. Since I grew up in such a racially segregated environment, Amherst shocked me upon arrival. The first time I entered Valentine Dining Hall was the first time I believed in diverse community instead of wishing for it.
I am not an Atlanta Falcons fan. Before this year’s Super Bowl, I’d never cared about the outcome of a Falcons game before. However, when Atlanta jumped out to a 21-3 first half lead, I was ecstatic. The Falcons had brought me more sports-related happiness in just one half of football than my actual favorite team, the New York Jets, had brought me all season. This is because the Falcons were playing the New England Patriots.
Amherst is often described as an elite institution, a label that typically carries positive connotations. Specifically, “elite” invokes prestige and rigor, framing Amherst as a beacon of achievement in higher education. To a large degree, our campus community embodies these ideals through the various academic, athletic and personal accomplishments on which The Student reports each week. While The Editorial Board is certainly proud of our college, we also wish to investigate the uglier side of the “elite” label.