More than 300 Amherst College students gathered Tuesday to peacefully demonstrate against racist acts on campus. Dressed in black, they held hands in a circle on Valentine Quad and declared their vision of a campus unified against hate.
The demonstration followed an investigation into a noose found at the College’s Pratt Field on Sept. 5. Amherst College police investigated the incident, identifying two juveniles—not members of the College community—as being responsible. As President Biddy Martin explained in a letter, College police have now turned over the case to the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office.
At the demonstration, organizer Irisdelia Garcia ’18 welcomed students and explained the reason behind the event, saying she and other students are disappointed in the current climate on campus. Following Garcia’s guidance, the students collectively chanted, “What do you need?” One by one, they gave their own answers, including: respect, community, safety, compassion, love, justice, friendship, change.
Lindsay Turner ’19, president of the Black Student Union, also spoke, and a third student organizer led a final chant that the crowd repeated: “We as a community are ready to move forward. Join us.”
The demonstration ended with a moment of silence, and a closing statement from Garcia. “Thank you, I love you, and I see you,” she told the crowd. She urged students to attend a Sept. 20 community meeting to continue the discussion.