Privacy Statement

The Trustees of Amherst College (“College”) last amended this Privacy Statement (“Statement”) on January 30, 2007. Please read it carefully.

Introduction

The College’s web site (“Site”) is intended to foster communication among the students, alumni, faculty, staff, friends, and others who together form the extended College community. It is a resource and forum for members of the community to exchange information of interest to them.

The College respects the privacy of those who use the Site. This Statement describes how the College treats information on the Site about students, alumni, faculty, staff, and any other users of the Site. This Statement applies only to information collected or made available through the Site, and not to any other information or privacy practices of the College.

By using the Site, you consent to the College’s collection and use of information about you in accordance with this Statement. This Statement is part of the Terms that govern your use of the Site, so please read the entire Terms. If you do not accept the Privacy Statement, please do not use the Site. The College reserves the right to change the Privacy Statement in its sole discretion and will post any changes on the Site. If the College decides that it is appropriate, it may also provide additional notice of more significant changes. Any modifications are effective immediately upon posting. By continuing to use the Site after the College posts a modified Privacy Statement, you consent to the Statement as modified.

Location of Servers and Transfer of Information to the United States

The College’s servers are located in the United States. If you are located outside of the United States, please note that your Personal Data will be transferred to and stored on a server located in the United States. By submitting your Personal Data to the College, you consent to this transfer and to the collection, storage, processing and use of your Personal Data in the United States.


The College collects two kinds of information from the Site’s visitors: personally identifiable information and anonymous information.

Personal Data

The College collects personally identifiable information about you, both through the Site and otherwise (“Personal Data”). Personal Data collected on the Site may include:

  • Name
  • Home and business contact information, such as postal addresses, email addresses, and telephone numbers
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Race and ethnicity information
  • Educational background
  • Professional and employment-related information
  • Awards, recognition, publications, and similar data
  • Family information
  • Financial information, such as credit card numbers and eligibility for matching contributions from your employer
  • Special interests
  • Other memberships and affiliations you have
  • Your preferences about the use or disclosure of Personal Data

Personal Data in the Online Community Directory

The Site features several interactive tools designed for communication and collaboration among members of the College community, such as students, alumni, faculty, and staff (together, “Community Members”). One of these tools is a special online directory available only to Community Members with valid user names and passwords. If you are a Community Member, some of your Personal Data may be available via this community directory. For example, if you are an alumnus, your name, contact information, and professional background may appear. Other Community Members cannot view particularly sensitive data about you, such as financial, race, or ethnicity information.

The College invites you to make informed choices about who has access to your Personal Data through this community directory. The Site’s privacy options allow some Community Members, such as alumni, to edit their Personal Data or to control the access that other Community Members have to it. (Please note that changing your profile on the Site will not necessarily alter your Personal Data in all of the College’s directories and databases.) If these privacy options are not available to you, please follow the instructions in the section entitled “Review and Correction of Personal Data” below.

Review and Correction of Personal Data

If you would like to review, edit or control access to your Personal Data , or if you would like to request that the College refrain from specified uses of your Personal Data, please use any privacy options available to you on the Site or:

  • Alumni, widows and widowers of alumni, and trustees of Amherst College: Please contact the Office of Alumni and Parent Programs at alumni@amherst.edu or 413-542-2313.
  • Employees: Please contact Human Resources at hr@amherst.edu or 413-542-2668.
  • Enrolled students: Please contact the Registrar at 413-542-2226 or visit the Registrar’s Office in Room 101 of Converse Hall between 8:30 am-12:30 pm or 1:30 pm-4:30 pm, Monday through Friday.

How We Use Your Personal Data

The College uses Personal Data for the purposes for which you provide it and for other purposes unless you ask us not to do so, such as:

  • Communicating with you
  • Fostering communication between you and other people affiliated with the College
  • Creating and supplying electronic and non-electronic directories (one of which is the special online directory for members of the College community, as described above)
  • Notifying you of College-related events and activities
  • Development and fundraising
  • Maintaining records of your relationship to the College
  • Tracking and processing any application you have made to the College, whether as a prospective student or employee

Sharing of Personal Data with Third Parties

The College does not share, transfer or release Personal Data to outside parties except as otherwise described in this Statement.

Some of the College’s outside service providers may have access to Personal Data when providing their services. To facilitate gifts you make to the College online, the College sends Personal Data relevant to the transaction (such as your name, credit card number, contact information, and the nature of your relationship to the College) to an outside firm for processing. For development purposes, the College may disclose Personal Data to outside research firms, which are obligated to keep the data confidential. Finally, the College may disclose some Personal Data to College-affiliated organizations and alumni groups in support of approved activities, other colleges and universities seeking the location of alumni with degrees from both the College and the requesting institution, student loan agencies requesting federally authorized student status confirmation reports, and College-authorized publishers of alumni directories.

The College may also occasionally refer you to a third-party web site to provide a special online service. For example, some College groups may send you to PayPal to receive a payment on their behalf. When you follow a referral or a link away from the Site, you leave the Site. You should review all third-party sites’ privacy statements to find out how they protect your privacy.

The College reserves the right to disclose and use Personal Data for necessary purposes, including: to protect users, other members of the College community, or the College’s interests or property; to prevent crime, fraud, or violation of the Terms; or when the College, in good faith, believes that the law requires it to do so.

User Content and Interactive Forums
The Site includes group activity pages, user-created pages, message boards, or other interactive forums that allow you to post User Content (as defined in the Terms. These parts of the Site allow you to communicate with other participants in selected College activities or the general public. In many cases, password protection limits access to a forum to appropriate participating users. But, because the College cannot guarantee the privacy or confidentiality of any User Content you post, you should consider all User Content public.

Security

The College takes appropriate precautions to ensure security for users of the Site. Of course, no mechanism can guarantee that information stored electronically or transmitted over the Internet is perfectly safe. Moreover, although privacy options may be available for controlling access to your Personal Data on the Site, please be aware that these security measures are not impenetrable, nor can the College control the actions of other users on the Site. Therefore, the College does not guarantee that User Content you post or Personal Data available via the Site will not be viewed by unauthorized persons. The College is not responsible for circumvention of any privacy settings or security measures contained on the Site. You understand and acknowledge that, even after removal, copies of User Content and/or Personal Data may remain viewable in cached and archived pages or in copies stored by other users.

The College makes no warranty, guarantee or representation that the Site is protected from viruses, security threats or other vulnerabilities or that your User Content or Personal Data is always secure. You should consider this when deciding what User Content you post or what Personal Data you authorize the College to post.

Anonymous Information and Cookies

The Site automatically logs certain information that does not personally identify you (“Anonymous Information”). The College uses this Anonymous Information to help manage and improve the Site. The Anonymous Information recorded by the Site includes, for example, your web browser, your operating system, and the date and time of your visits to the Site.

Some parts of the Site rely on cookies, which are small data files placed on your computer. The College uses cookies only to improve your browsing experience. For example, cookies allow the Site to keep your browsing session alive as you complete a web-based activity or transaction that spans multiple web pages on the Site. The College does not use cookies to track your preferences or to record your use of the Site. You can disable the cookies function, or delete existing cookies, through your web browser’s options menu, but doing so may affect the functionality of the Site.

Links to Third-Party Sites

Solely for your convenience, the Site may contain links to third-party web sites and content providers which may interest you. If you follow any link to a third-party site, you leave the Site. You should review those sites’ privacy statements to find out how they protect your privacy.

Children Under Age 13

The College does not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from children under the age of 13. In the event that the College learns that it has collected any personally identifiable information from a child under the age of 13 without verification of parental consent, it will delete that information. If you are a parent or guardian and you believe that your child under age 13 may have provided personally identifiable information through the Site, please contact web@amherst.edu.

Comments and Questions

To request a clarification of this Statement or to send comments about it, please contact the College at web@amherst.edu