Amherst College cancels classes, hosts sexual misconduct event

By Mary Reines

Flickr/Elizabeth Thomsen

Amherst College will not be holding classes today in response to the alleged on-campus rape of Angie Epifano, who published a first-person account of her experience in the Amherst Student, according to an article on MassLive.com.

In the piece, Epifano alleged that school officials told her to “forgive and forget,” according to an article in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.

The college’s sexual assault counselor Gretchen Krull also left her job at Amherst following the recent tumult, according to another article in the Gazette. Amherst College President Carolyn “Biddy” Martin confirmed Krull’s departure on Wednesday and declined to comment on whether Krull was fired or resigned, the article stated.

Instead of holding classes today, Amherst College is hosting an event called “Speaking to Silence: Conversations on Community and Individual Responsibility,” which will be centered on sexual misconduct. Amherst students, faculty, and staff, “may participate in a program of presentations and small group discussions,” according to a press release from the Amherst College website.

Attendants are instructed to arrive at the Coolidge Cage by 9:15 a.m. and the presentations will begin in LeFrak Gymnasium with opening remarks by Martin, according to the press release.

Gina Maisto Smith, a “nationally recognized legal and policy expert on sexual assault and misconduct,” will lead the first presentation along with four Amherst students, according to the press release. The presentation will run from 9:45 to 10:30 a.m.

The release also stated that a second presentation, led by Rhonda Cobham-Sander and William R. Kenan Jr., a professor of black studies and english, is scheduled to run from 10:45 to 11:30 a.m.

Following presentations, participants will break into small groups to discuss the issues presented by the speakers. Lunch will be provided from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. in the Valentine Quad, according to the press release.

Mary Reines can be reached at [email protected]