Some of my friends and I just returned from an Amherst gathering at a beautiful apartment literally right by the Eiffel Tower (you can see the sparkling tower out of one of the bedroom windows). We listened to stories from alumni, what they’re doing now, what they did at Amherst, but it eventually boiled down to a discussion about the recent state of our school in the midst of Angie’s stories and everything that has happened since.
You know, after all that’s happened, my first instinct is real sorrow for Angie and all others who have shared their story. But my second instinct is that “Wow, I’m so ashamed to go to Amherst,” “This is so embarrassing,” and “Amherst is so screwed.” I think we can agree that Amherst and the administration have not responded correctly to Angie’s experience and past situations, and that there is a lot to fix and work on. But after reading all of this dialogue and all of the different stories and articles, I can’t help but think that this has its own silver lining. At this Amherst gathering, we brought up the fact that although it was an Amherst student’s voice that went viral, sexual assault and disrespect are very much present at any college or university. I am not trying to detract from anybody’s experiences or thoughts at all, but although betrayal was a prominent sentiment, Amherst is, fundamentally, the root of change. Although it is a change that stems from horrific, unfair experiences, it is change for the better, hopefully, to come nonetheless. And I think we can be proud that this place Amherst has created an open forum for honest dialogue nationwide, even if it’s not the most desirable subject. Alums and current students have come together, even all the way here in Paris, discussing what has happened. So despite mine and many other’s discontent with certain aspects of the inner-workings of Amherst, I think it is important to remember and fair to say that we can still be proud to be a Lord Jeff.