The goal of the media relations operation of the Amherst College Office of Communications is, generally, to publicize strategically the stories of the members of our community and promote the excellence of the College’s academic offerings, financial aid program and other initiatives. We take the College’s commitment to freedom of speech and the press and the open exchange of ideas very seriously, and strive not to just serve as a conduit for reporters to potential sources within the College community, but also to disseminate accurate and timely information to the media when needed. We serve as the primary point of contact with the news media for both internal and external audiences.

The Office of Communications alone is responsible for these public-facing functions:

  • Issuing official news releases and statements on College matters
  • Responding to requests for interviews with the media
  • Approving and assisting reporters when they visit campus
  • Making a spokesperson or public information officer available to journalists
  • Maintaining institutional social media channels
  • Providing College-approved data, graphics, photographs and other materials 

Guidelines for the Media 

Our philosophy is to be accurate and as transparent and open as possible with the media. At the same time, our top priority is to protect our learning environment and the members of our community to facilitate their reasonable expectations of privacy and safety. Because of this priority, access to College property, which is private, can be limited or prohibited by the Office in some instances (such as an unfolding emergency) for health and safety reasons. That access will be determined by the Office of Communications.

Given the aforementioned, reporters should:

  • Contact the Office of Communications to schedule interviews with members of the community or when seeking access to campus. Our staff will help connect journalists to a credible expert or designated spokesperson.
  • Direct questions about any College legal matters to the Office of Communications.
  • Not enter residence halls, locker rooms and bathrooms. Reporting, photography and filming are prohibited in these areas.
  • When requesting to record events involving speakers, check with Communications about whether or not the speakers have granted the College permission. Some speaker contracts prohibit recording, and our staff is responsible for enforcing that legal stipulation.
  • Ask interviewees in advance if they approve being recorded. Massachusetts law requires the consent of any individual whose voice is being recorded.  
  • Sign liability releases, available from the Office of Communications, if they are approved to be on campus gathering film footage.

Recommendations For Members of the Amherst Community

As part of our general mission to publicize Amherst people and programs, we support members of the College community by disseminating news, assessing and preparing for media interviews, editing opinion pieces and producing and/or promoting campus events, among other functions. You can learn more about what we do and how we might help, as well as whom on our team to contact, on the Communications website.

If you are contacted by a reporter, we suggest you reach out to the following:

  • Office of Communications: 413.542.2321,
  • Caroline Hanna, Director of Media Communications (she/her/hers): 413.542.8417 (o), 413.658.4123 (c),
  • Sandra Genelius, Chief Communications Officer (she/her/hers): 413.542.5785 (o), 413.658.5036 (c),