The Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Student Affairs held a “Community Conversation” event in the Powerhouse to discuss transgender issues that have recently affected both the nation and the college community on Wednesday, March 1.

The event resulted in a college-wide email from Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Norm Jones on Monday, March 6 to affirm the college’s renewed and urgent commitment to transgender and gender nonconforming students.

President Biddy Martin sent out a community-wide email on Monday, Feb. 27 announcing that Dean of Students Alex Vasquez will leave his position at the college after the spring semester.

Vasquez, who has been at the college since 2014, helped restructure the Offices of Student Affairs and Student Life, developed updated residential and community standards and participated in planning the Greenway dorms’ interior design, according to Martin’s email.

The Residential Life website and Director of Residential Life Corry Colonna have provided details regarding dormitory rooms’ designations by gender that contain discrepancies.

In an interview for an earlier article for The Amherst Student, Colonna said that Residential Life will designate rooms as “gendered male [and] gendered female, and then we also are going to have a handful of rooms — not a lot, but there’s some pretty much in every building — that are registered as coed.”

In fall 1975, as the first women arrived on Amherst’s campus for orientation, the student coach for men’s crew was recruiting novices to join the team. In an effort to fill more boats, he decided to hang flyers in women’s dorms as well as men’s.

“That kind of kicked off the athletic program for women,” said Professor of Physical Education Michelle Morgan, who arrived at Amherst a few years later in 1978.

A group of students traveled from Amherst to Washington D.C. on Saturday, Jan. 21 in a trip organized by student activist group Reproductive Justice Alliance to participate in the Women’s March on Washington, a demonstration against President Donald Trump’s political agenda.

Students marched carrying posters with slogans such as “My Body My Choice,” “Nasty Women Fight Back” and “Build Bridges Not Walls.” Twenty students attended the event, along with Director of the Multicultural Resource Center Bulaong Ramiz and Director of the Women’s and Gender Center Jesse Beal.

President Biddy Martin released a report on the status of athletics at the college in an email to the college community on Jan. 31. The special committee that assembled the report was co-chaired by college trustee and Princeton University president emerita Shirley Tilghman and Amherst biology professor Patrick Williamson and studied the place of athletics within the college’s social life, academic mission and admissions policies.

Hundreds of students, faculty and community members participated in a walkout and march on Wednesday, Feb. 1, to protest President Donald Trump’s recent executive order restricting U.S. entry and to demonstrate solidarity with members of the college community who were affected by the order. A smaller group of students also staged a sit-in in President Biddy Martin’s office.

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