"Decolonize Val," a student-led sit-in aiming to break down what organizers called the “toxic culture” of the back room in Valentine Dining Hall, took place during the evenings last week from March 27-31.

A student reported finding a hateful message against transgender people in Frost Library’s gender inclusive bathroom, said Chief of Amherst College Police John Carter and Chief Student Affairs Officer Suzanne Coffey in a community-wide email on Tuesday morning, Feb. 28.

The message, found on the previous night, was written in black marker on the mirror, said Carter and Coffey, and the police has initiated an incident report and investigation.

A New York Times report published on Jan. 18, which found that the median family income of an Amherst College student is $158,200, sparked conversation on campus about the place of socioeconomic diversity in the Amherst community and culture. The piece examined data from anonymous tax records and tuition records to compare economic diversity across national universities and colleges.

Students, faculty and staff gathered for a meeting on Monday, Feb. 13, to discuss the recent upsurge in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, which have arrested nearly 700 undocumented people in the last week. Held in the Powerhouse and open to members of the college community, the meeting provided information about the ICE raids and facilitated conversation about how to mobilize in response.

Six students from Professor of Biology Alexandra Purdy’s research laboratory attended the Pioneer Valley Microbiology Symposium on Jan. 15 at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The laboratory’s work focuses on interactions between bacteria and their hosts on the molecular level, and students researching these topics presented their work at the day-long event.

On Nov. 16 at noon, hundreds of students walked out of class to the steps of Converse Hall in a demonstration against President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to “deport all criminal aliens.” Intending to declare the college a sanctuary campus — where students “commit to putting our bodies between Trump and undocumented students” — students raised signs with words such as “No human being is illegal” and chanted, “No borders, no nations, stop deportation.”

The Amherst Association of Students partnered with TurboVote this year to help students register to vote in the general election, holding a “Get Out the Vote” drive spanning from the last two weeks of September to the third week of October.

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