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Amherst Suicide after Sexual Assault

GDMACKGDMACK Posts: 100Registered User Junior Member
edited February 2013 in Amherst College
Anyone see the Huffington Post Article yestdray about a suicide of an Amherst student? Just Google, "Amherst Suicide Huffington Post." to read the entire thing and come to your on conclusions. Very tragic.
Post edited by GDMACK on
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Replies to: Amherst Suicide after Sexual Assault

  • shinexaliveshinexalive Posts: 152Registered User Junior Member
  • sakacarsakacar Posts: 273Registered User Junior Member
    Amherst was a topcontender for my D until we visited, read the police blotter, and had every person we asked lie about it. Gorgeous campus, though. This is a very sad story, and I hope it will force change, but somehow I'm not optimistic.
  • kwukwu Posts: 4,759Registered User Senior Member
    Well, it makes sense: the Corporation of the Board of Trustees of Amherst College, and its employees, aren't going to expose themselves to liability to satisfy your morbid curiosity.
  • 'rentof2'rentof2 Posts: 4,327Registered User Senior Member
    Sakacar, what do you mean "had every person lie about it"? I feel like it is so hard to know the whole story in this case and the case of the female student recently in the news, or in any such case. The victims can tell their side of the story (and I'm not in a position to know whether their story is a subjective or objective experience of their treatment by the College, but I do trust that is was their experience), but the school for reasons of confidentiality laws, at the very least, can't say much. The students who've shared their experience of this crime are definitely brave and responsible to do so. I don't think there's any reason to think anything happened in the course of the crimes other than what the victims have described, but I do think the second half of the tale --how the college and its employees responded-- may well be an area with more shades of grey.

    I think the confidentiality laws that prohibit counselors, doctors, therapists, deans, etc. from talking about the details of these cases are critical and must be honored, but I'm wondering how you know what was a lie and not a lie since those of us outside the events can really know so little. Maybe the College is completely wrong, unethical, inept, unprofessional, mean and/or callous, and anyone who claims otherwise is lying -- but how do you know that?
  • sakacarsakacar Posts: 273Registered User Junior Member
    I am talking about weekly reports of crime published in the paper, not a specific incident. The sheer numbers of students being stopped and fined for drunken/inappropriate behavior reported by Amherst in the police blotter section of their paper was alarming, but no one that I spoke to was willing to say it was an issue. They all seemed to think it was funny, or kids being kids. The culture seemed to look away from bad/dangerous behavior and pretend it was something else - that is all I'm saying. Without seeing a problem, you can't fix a problem, and both students and admin seemed to ignore the problem of VERY frequent alcohol-related problems. (Ex. on one weekday, over twelve students were fined for public urination in the quad. This seemed to be just slightly higher than the norm of 7-10 students per night. Fun? Maybe, but I don't want to send my daughter there.)
  • sakacarsakacar Posts: 273Registered User Junior Member
    And, yes, I know students drink and get drunk, and yes, I applaud the use of campus police and reporting of incidents, but if you read Amherst's own student publications, the very real suggestion that students routinely act poorly with respect to alcohol, drugs, and women is everywhere. Others may feel differently, but I was bothered enough to ask everyone I saw, and got the same response - We don't have any problems here.
  • 'rentof2'rentof2 Posts: 4,327Registered User Senior Member
    Thanks for the clarification. Yes, there is a lot of drinking. My son was quite taken aback by the extent of it when he started as a freshman. (He was also on a sports team, so add an exponent of your choosing there.) He opted for the sub-free freshman dorm after two friends of his who were a year older had the same experience of way-too-many-drunks in their freshman years at their colleges (Northwestern and Stanford).

    My daughter had the same experience at her school, too, a flagship state u, where she had to step around puddles of vomit on the sidewalks on Sat. and Sun. mornings as she made her way to the dining hall for breakfast.

    Wherever your daughter chooses to attend, you might want to check out the sub-free housing option, if they have one, for freshmen. My son loved his dorm experience his freshman year at Amherst, he made his core-group of friends there in the sub-free dorm that year, and they remain close as brothers and sisters still.
  • katzeyezkatzeyez Posts: 22Registered User New Member
    ^ Does sub-free mean no drinking?
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Posts: 12,079Registered User Senior Member
    I think sakacar's reaction is one of those very important subjective responses we can have to certain campuses. Just that naggy feeling that should be accepted, for that kid or that family.

    Sub-free is supposed to mean no drugs/drinking.
  • 'rentof2'rentof2 Posts: 4,327Registered User Senior Member
    Yes, it's a dorm where the students agree to no alcohol and no drugs. It is of course not as though no student in the sub-free dorm ever drinks, but it is largely minimized, and when students do, it's usually done somewhere else on campus. The dorm itself stays pretty sober. It's a very different environment on Thurs/Fri/Sat nights from the more drinking/partying dorms.
  • arwarwarwarw Posts: 710Registered User Member
    The NY Times ran a story on this yesterday.

    The school president's response to the rape of the boy seemed weak I thought.

    "the College resolved the report through our disciplinary system, resulting in a finding of responsibility for the respondent."

    What does this even mean? Did the rapist get detention hall? Shouldn't the school be turning matters of rape over to the police?
  • hzhao2004hzhao2004 Posts: 102Registered User Junior Member
    Amherst is now off the list of schools my son will apply to.
  • GA2012MOMGA2012MOM Posts: 4,989Registered User Senior Member
    Sorry you would take Amherst off your sons list. As the parent of an Amherst grad, I am satisfied that the administration is taking positive steps to address the situations of late. Unfortunately, sexual assaults happen on every college campus, so if that is the reason you are taking Amherst off the list, he might as well not go to college at all. If I had another child, I would send him/her to Amherst today with NO hesitation.
  • FredaGFredaG Posts: 16Registered User New Member
    I'm not sure if I should apply now
  • GA2012MOMGA2012MOM Posts: 4,989Registered User Senior Member
    What is your concern about applying Freda? I see you are international and Amherst is very international friendly and diverse.
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