Amherst Responds to the Earthquake in Haiti

January 15, 2010

Haitian Flag

The Amherst College community is deeply saddened by the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Haiti in the aftermath of the recent earthquake that devastated the region. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to all those affected by this terrible tragedy. We are currently gathering information about how Amherst students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and friends are responding to the crisis and are eager to share effective ways to help those who need our support.

Communication with Haiti remains very challenging, and we will provide further information as and when we can.

Amherst Students Challenging Williams Counterparts to Weeklong Haiti Fundraising Competition

February 4, 2010

Now that the semester has begun and students are back on campus, Amherst undergraduates are banding together to contribute to the Haiti relief effort. In an altruistic spin on the nearly 200-year-old rivalry, students are challenging their counterparts at Williams College to a friendly competition to see who can collect the most money in support of earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. Starting Feb. 5, the two liberal arts schools  engaged in a weeklong fundraising contest, and the final results were tallied at halftime of the men’s basketball game between the colleges at Amherst on Feb. 12.

Vigil for Haiti

About 250 members of the Amherst College community gathered at the War Memorial on a cold Thursday evening to light candles, offer prayers and hear songs by several of the singing groups on campus, all to honor victims of the Haiti earthquake. The group then processed to Keefe Campus Center, where the vigil was concluded with a special candle-lighting by students of Haitian descent. Following the vigil, “Vive Haiti” wristbands were available for sale, with proceeds benefiting Haiti relief efforts.

At the vigil, Rev. Dr. Paul Sorrentino, Amherst's Director of Religious Life, read the following statement from Rev. Jean-Luc S. Charles, a Haitian-American Amherst alumnus:

Results of Haiti Fundraising Contest

While it only results the beginning of a long relief effort at Amherst, the college is proud to announce that the student fund-raising effort has raised more than $7,500. Williams College won the month-long contest with a result of $10,203. According to Peter Tang '10, the competition organizer and president of the student body, "These numbers reflect the beginning portion of a larger, semester-long effort that will involve many student groups who are in the process of planning Haiti-related events and fund raising activity.