April 17, 2014

Scrolling Headlines:

John Ashcroft faces criticism during speech -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass football continues move in new direction in annual Spring Game -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Student rally in support of Gordon, LGBTQ community -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thousands gather in Amherst Commons for 23rd Annual Extravaganja -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sexual violence is not ‘normal’ -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

One year after Boston Marathon bombings, UMass doctor Pierre Rouzier continues passion to help -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Photo Slideshow: UMass United Rally -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get Yourself Tested at UMass -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Library labyrinth targets stress -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

There is nothing to debate about global warming -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass hits the road to take on LaSalle -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

No. 11 UMass women’s lacrosse looks to extend winning streak against Richmond -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive latest McCormack Executive-in-Residence -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Got a little Irish in you? -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass doctoral student awarded Soros Fellowship -

Thursday, April 17, 2014

UMass Dressage Team discusses the lesser-known sport -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Canelas: Things worth watching in Spring Game 2014 -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

‘The Walking Dead’ finale resurrects a dull season -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Five places to study at UMass -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

UMass tennis team battles injuries as season comes to an end -

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Letter to the Editor

An open letter to the Amherst College community:

As students of the Five College community, we are writing to express our rage, grief, sorrow and sympathy for Angie Epifano and all students who have been sexually assaulted or raped at Amherst College.

We are appalled, but not surprised, by the response of the Amherst administration to Angie Epifano’s assault and those of other students who have been subject to sexual crime and abuse.

Amherst College sets the standard for many institutions of higher learning, and in light of that fact we express deep disappointment at the ongoing displays of sexual violence on campus.

To the students, and especially to survivors of rape and assault, we understand your grief and anger, and we want to stand in solidarity with you as you recover and rebuild your community.

For some time, Smith College students have been aware of a frat culture at Amherst that accepts and encourages violence against others, especially women. We now appeal not just to principles of individual autonomy, but to human compassion.

We expect members of our community to hold themselves accountable and display exceptional respect for others. Smithies wish to cultivate such an attitude in our community, and we believe the principle of respect is absolutely essential for protecting survivors of sexual violence.

Though it is not often acknowledged, sexual violence has happened on our campus too, and we are actively working to eradicate it. We have to encourage the development of a survivor-supportive, trauma-aware culture among the Five Colleges, one that supports and protects students.

To the administration, we expect Amherst College, as a leading liberal arts institution, to immediately reform its policies and practices concerning rape and sexual assault. No community should allow sexual violence and victim blaming, yet these actions have been condoned by Amherst authorities, who seem to see gray areas around the definition of rape.

Let us be very clear: lack of resistance does not equal consent, nor does a previous relationship with the perpetrator. We as Smithies highly value sexual agency, and we will be aggressive in protecting this basic human right.

We know the problem of rape and sexual assault did not begin with Amherst, and we know it will not end there. Sexual violence is everywhere.

We believe, however, that we can change the culture around us, and we are committed to supporting the efforts of all colleges and universities towards building communities free of sexual violence.

We as students have a right to be safe in our communities, and security is possible only when students and administrators cooperate in cultivating appropriate resources for survivors as well as a healthy campus environment.

It is our hope that the publication of this letter, set at the start of a new semester, will prevent further silence about sexual assault and rape on college campuses. The semester of Angie Epifano may be over, but the struggle against sexual violence is only beginning.

With love, rage and best wishes for the future,

 

Keturah Williams 2013

With the support of Smith College Students Against Sexual Assault (SASA)

 

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