Editorial: After Men’s XC Emails, Examine All Athlete Spaces

by Helen Mayer, Sam Wohlforth, and Daniel Ahn

We were motivated to write this editorial because we believe that the national conversation started by Donald Trump’s “locker room talk” comments has added precious little to the conversation around sexual violence and athlete culture. Until recently, we had no reason to believe that the Amherst administration might be prepared to act on team-wide messages of the kind exchanged by the Harvard men’s soccer and cross country teams and Columbia men’s wrestling team. We obtained emails from a team-wide mailing list maintained by the Amherst men’s cross country team between June 2013 and August 2015 and found that the contents bear a striking resemblance to the Harvard and Columbia messages.

Our peer institutions’ decision to publicly condemn and discipline their athletes for messages similar in tenor to the Amherst men’s cross country team’s racist and misogynist email exchanges suggest to us that the Amherst administration might be able to craft an appropriate response. This editorial is intended to frame the impact of discourse between athletes in virtual spaces on Amherst writ large.

Members of the team frequently wrote explicitly racist messages that were either not addressed or praised by teammates. A former track team captain who also ran for the cross country team asked, “do asians really have horizontal vaginas?” In a GroupMe message, a white team member used the N-word. A current captain’s “fetish for the Orient” was noted. A then-rising first year on the team wrote, “If Rachel Dolezal can be president of an NAACP chapter, I can be a sophomore,” equating deceit about academic standing with the actions of Rachel Dolezal. One of the current seniors on the team wrote to a incoming recruit, “we may have to get you working out with mid d[istance], where we value bigotry, racism, being better than the distance squad and traditional conservative values.” The claim seems to stand.

Current team members repeatedly dehumanized women. An email from a current junior on the team and current Student Health Educator refers to two current women Amherst students as “meat slabs.” Another email, also by a current junior, was intended to introduce the incoming first years to the “friends of Amherst (XC)” and referred to a woman as a “walking STD.” The “Qualified Amherst Survival Guide” produced by a current junior on the team states that one of the current seniors on the team “won’t acknowledge anyone on the girls team as a human being.” No one on the team condemned any of these messages. In fact, the “Qualified Amherst Survival Guide” was widely praised, including by current captains of the team. If a group of men is comfortable referring to women as inanimate pieces of meat and refusing to acknowledge them as human beings, they are likely to think of women as undeserving of respect. Two years into campus-wide discussions about sexual respect, including mandatory athlete-specific education about sexual respect, this group of men consistently chose to not respect women.

The “Qualified Amherst Arrival Guide” includes a picture of a current junior who was kicked off the team during his first week of college. The description reads: “To put things in perspective: there are roofies in that Rubinoff […] To be honest, [current junior] really isn’t a bad guy. But much like a Bull in a China Shop, he did far too many drugs while allegedly sexually harassing a girl and got kicked off the team.” This description manages to casually refer to a person’s ongoing practice of using date-rape drugs and to his previous alleged act of sexual violence, and then to state that he “really isn’t a bad guy.” At best, this is a failure to condemn a suspected rapist. But it’s hard to see how this message doesn’t exonerate and glorify this current student who is elsewhere referred to as a “legend.”

In their offline interactions, both within the team and with other members of the Amherst community, team members might act respectfully towards women, people of color, LGBT people, and members of other marginalized groups. But those who feel policed in face-to-face interactions may realize the potential for duplicity and choose not to voice their misogynist and racist comments in public but instead voice them in a space where they can reasonably expect impunity.

It’s worth noting that the cross country team doesn’t have a reputation for being a hotbed of toxic masculinity. But being exempt from a reputation as a hotbed of toxic masculinity does not absolve the men’s cross country team of its responsibilities toward the larger Amherst community. If Amherst is serious about bridging the student/athlete divide and minimizing the toxicity of athletic spaces, we must insist that every team mandate respect for all members of the Amherst community, within and without the team.

The degree to which the team discourse rapidly devolves into degrading remarks when team members are placed behind keyboards should give us pause. The email chains’ explicitly stated purpose was to provide rising first year athletes with a window into team culture and culture at the school at large. In using misogynist and racist speech in this introduction, the older members of the team signalled to first years that the team would condone misogynist and racist speech and behavior.  

In maintaining this toxic email chain, the team leadership fails its first mission to its first years and to the school community. Team leaders are supposed to model and enforce a culture of respect towards members of the team and of the Amherst community at large. Even if the team does not generally condone this behavior during the year, celebrating it on the summer emails signals to first years that they need not take their obligations to respect others seriously during the year.

Racist, homophobic, transphobic and misogynist messages exchanged in a GroupMe for members of the Columbia men’s wrestling team recently came to light. Most of the seniors were kicked off the team after a Columbia investigation revealed that they had played a driving role in the messages. Hudson Taylor, who was an assistant coach during the seniors’ first season, penned an editorial for the Columbia Spectator. In examining the role of coaches in team culture, he wrote, “Maybe our vigilance pushed that kind of language out of the locker room and into cyberspace. Maybe our conversations focused too much on optics and not enough on attitudes.” His comments suggest that virtual spaces are a blind spot for coaches and athletic directors, which is confirmed by these emails.

The national debate about athlete culture has been framed by President-elect Donald Trump’s description of his bragging about acts of sexual harassment as “locker room talk.” This defense prompted many athletes around the country, including athletes here at Amherst, to adamantly assert that their locker rooms are free of “locker room talk.” But if we allow the debate to be framed in terms of “locker room talk,” we are centering our discourse on the words of an assailant. Every time we say “locker room talk,” we are also suggesting that athletes need to keep one another accountable only in the locker room. If we keep using this phrase and choose to keep ignoring the role of virtual spaces in athlete culture, we will allow this discourse to keep unfolding with impunity. It’s time we critically examine all athlete spaces.

69 thoughts on “Editorial: After Men’s XC Emails, Examine All Athlete Spaces”

    1. These are not just people, they’re also students. They’ve literally signed contracts that say that they won’t do these things, at risk of disciplinary action. They’re also not just students, they’re a sports team, which means that they possess a large influence on campus culture; if they’re advocating or condoning sexual assault, racism, homophobia, or more, then the school has an imperative to demonstrate that bigotry is more than a political position and should not be given a place at the table. They’re also not just athletes, some of them are captains, whose job is fairly expressly not to do this.

      Lastly, real crimes were mentioned above. Using date-rape drugs is illegal. Sexual harassment is illegal.

    2. Can you elaborate on why this is thought policing?
      Are harassment laws thought policing?

      Is anti-racism thought policing? Critiquing rape culture? Poking the nest full of fragile meaty boys?

  1. “examine ALL athlete spaces” – because athletes are the only people who have ever said something racist or misogynistic? you want to look at every one of my texts/emails/internet search history just because I play a sport? to save you some time, this isn’t an athlete-specific problem

    also, whats a “space”? you want a camera in the showers? maybe a microphone in my room? is where i’m sitting an athlete space? wanna pat me down for misogyny and racism? what if i take a walk? should we just hire a guy to follow me around, just to be safe?

    you wont find anything, big brother

    1. Can you point to the spot in the article where it suggests this is solely an athlete phenomenon? No? I thought so.

      You should also read 1984. I don’t think you have, because whatever parallel you’re attempting to draw here isn’t just unfounded, it’s hilarious.

    2. If you have evidence suggesting that there are other large social groups on campus whose vocabularies and attitudes reflect bigotry to such an extent as sports teams have, then I hope that you’d be turning it over to the school so justice can be served there as well.

      The notion of examining “all athlete spaces” referred firstly to the comment above it that was from an ex-coach of a now-disgraced team saying that virtual communications were an athlete space not often monitored. No one wants to follow you around, but the college (and its students) have some stake in what you say to groups of freshman eager to find friends, pushed to live up to social norms, and generally insecure, because it is what they will live out in potentially dangerous situations.

  2. I challenge the co-author of this shockingly illiberal editorial, Mr. Daniel Ahn, to release all of his emails, texts, and private facebook group posts. After reading his slanderous and unfounded social media posts publicized by the Amherst Muckrake, I’m sure we’d find a goldmine of questionable remarks he’s made about his peers.

    His moral grandstanding, and that of his ilk, is getting stale. Once (if?) he becomes an alum like me, he’ll realize that the term “safe space” elicits laughter. Grow up people.

    Cue up the SJW angry mob in 3,2,1…

    1. So do you have anything to say about the contents of these e-mails? Like, do you have any desire to meaningfully engage with the article, or are you seriously more interested in your tragically ironic accusation of grandstanding?

      1. This article is not about the contents of the emails; rather, it is a call for the administration to invade the privacy of a select group of individuals in response to those emails. The purpose of my comment was to show, as you so eloquently stated, the tragic irony of this demand.

        Note that I did not post on the other article regarding this topic, as I have nothing to criticize about it. Everyone with a moral code can agree the contents are shameful. Apologies if that nuance went over your head.

        On another note, sir (maam?) – did a football player steal your lunch money once? Where is this animosity coming from?

        1. A deep frustration with seeing people get hurt because of toxicity produced and reproduced by (disproportionately!) athletes. There is a cultural problem. It is worthy of a critique.

          The students sending those emails knowingly and willingly violated a zero-tolerance anti-bigotry policy for athletes using an institutionally provided email hosted on an institutionally provided mail server. You know what a false equivalency is, yes? I suggest you take a step back, remove yourself from whatever it is that’s clouding your ability to approach this rationally and reconsider where you’re coming from.

          1. So you would agree with Donald Trump that we should vet every single Muslim coming into our country because Muslims (disproportionately!) account for much of the world’s terrorist attacks (many of which are inflicted against their brethren).

            I suggest that you tone down the drama, sweetheart, and answer my question. The institutional server remark is a red herring; you would be equally outraged if this were on a gmail server. You have nothing to hide, no doubt, so put your money where your mouth is and disclose everything!

            Perhaps you’ll begin to see things clearly once you leave the leftist bubble of Amherst. I hope for your sake it’s a matter of time.

        2. My fellow alumnus, please… just… stop.

          I promise the article is indeed about the content of those really embarrassing and repugnant emails.

          Athletes (like me) were/are already bound to a set of requirements and obligations- o hi Arkes. The college, in turn, is required to uphold sports teams on that collective promise. I’m sure there shall be much talk (not from u tho, ok?) about how this measure is actually accomplished before anyone goes trampling liberties.

          Paying attention to the “messengers guilt” is boring and is very circular. No one wants to ride down that vortex with you, bud.

          That nuance went over everyone’s head, I guess.

          Also, side note, just between you and I… that whole “sir mam sir” awkward phrasing? It is quite literally one of the weirdest ways I’ve ever seen or even heard of someone trying to joke about misgendering someone…. or maybe possibly not quite knowing how to articulate that they are beginning a quote? Is that what was going on? I can’t even anymore. Sorry(Not sorry?).

          1. I would be equally outraged, yes. You’re dancing around the fact that the institution most certainly has a right to access these emails.

            If it were a GMail account, I’d suggest leaving the team in a perpetual investigation until those emails were turned over. Are we supposed to stop investigating because of noncompliance?

            I think it’s pretty laughable to draw a parallel between student athletes and Muslims. Do you seriously see those two situations as equivalent? Are you aware of the context in which the student athlete exists? Muslims?

            Should Amherst students stop asking questions just because people are unwilling to care?

        3. Might I suggest refraining from calling strangers “sweetheart” if you don’t want to come across as patronizing?

          (Sorry if I’m violating your right to free speech by making that comment. I can’t help it because I was raised in a leftist bubble)

  3. The title of this article is “Examine all Athlete Spaces.” Seems like a tough thing to miss, but you’ve proven me wrong on that point.

    My issue lies in the definition of examine. Should every athlete turn over their phones and passwords, so that individuals can peruse through content that may, or more likely, may not be in the same vein as the brutal emails sent by certain individuals on this team? This is an invasion of privacy to which you would never submit. If it means we ought to have a discussion about this, then hasn’t this article done its job? I’m allowed to question too, pal.

    I’d love to hear your view on the context in which Muslims exist. No doubt Israel is the real enemy, yes?

    To the other alum, I look forward to reading your work on Jezebel.

    For the record, I don’t care whether Morgan is a man, woman, or a sack of potatoes. I just care about what’s in Morgan’s head.

    1. “Examine” means “interrogate”, “consider”, “critique”. It does not imply the full release of text messages and what-not.

      The relevant email threads *should* be examined. If a GroupMe was used, it’s absolutely pertinent to the investigation.

      I’d say that Muslims (and given the conflation of Muslim and Arab, quite a few other folks) experience actual and meaningful marginalization on the basis of faith or race.

      Nobody is marginalized on the basis of their team membership (which is also a separate dynamic to begin with). Nobody is being killed for being an athlete. Nobody is being denied a job for being an athlete.

      This has nothing to do with Israel, that unnecessary (and absolutely gigantic) leap is a pretty useless diversion from pretty blatant Islamaphobia.

      Here’s a fun fact: this is a critique of your words. Don’t bother trying to pull that “you’re calling me islamaphobic! damn sjw!” card. If I intended to call you islamaphobic, I would very directly do so.

      1. Yet again, the title of the article is “Examine all Athlete Spaces.”

        The use of the word “all” implies you wish to expand the investigation beyond the XC team to anyone who has ever worn purple and white competitively. Having interacted with people like you in my time at Amherst, I know that “all” actually means “those with a penis.”

        Examine also means “investigate thoroughly.” Do you see how I might get the idea that you want to check out my texts, if cyberspace is one of these “spaces” that you speak of?

        Your characterization of the Muslim experience in much of the West is accurate. It is also irrelevant. It does not address my point about you generalizing the actions of a small group to a larger and more diverse group, and seeking punitive action on that larger group in the name of “safety.” After all, Jihadism is a cultural problem deserving of critique. Sound familiar?

        An 8 year old would agree that what was written is abhorrent. Congratulations on making that point. Are you refusing to address my specific argument about invasion of privacy (not for these athletes in particular, but for the half of the student body who has done nothing wrong), or are you simply unable?

        When the fight for equality is over, what will you do in your spare time?

        1. Can you specifically point to where “explore all athlete spaces” begins to imply a universal breach of privacy?

          You left out a word: “Critically examine.”
          This does not mean “trawl through each and every text message, email, facebook post, and diary entry of each and every athlete.”
          It does not imply “trawl through each and every text message, email, facebook post, and diary entry of each and every athlete.”
          It means we should think critically about how these spaces operate and function, the discourses within them, and the culture they produce.

          Critiquing your context is not persecution. It’s due diligence.
          Stop acting smug on the basis of a ludicrous extrapolation substantiated by selective quoting.

          You aren’t actually engaging with the article, you’re engaging with a strawman.

          Also, on this bit:
          Having interacted with people like you in my time at Amherst, I know that “all” actually means “those with a penis.”

          Another gigantic leap, for starters. Anywho, given that the team’s conduct pretty explicitly reproduces toxic masculinities, it’s natural that an investigation is… wait for it… probably going to center around the conduct of men’s teams. I imagine this emphasis might also spawn from people’s experiences with men’s teams being gross and predatory in general (see: lacrosse as one example).

          Nobody is being subpoenaed. They are being asked to think.
          Which is why we’re here, unless I’m mistaken.

          1. Since I feel as though I probably need to explain, the penis comment’s absurdity is rooted in its presumption that a) a penis is a prerequisite for expressing masculinity toxically and b) a penis is a prerequisite for men’s team membership.

            Make a real argument.

          2. Re: your ridiculous remark about the guys on male sports teams not needing to have a penis. Sure, just like if I don’t think the bearded Danielle Muscato is a beautiful woman, I’m a bigot. Only in academia does this kind of BS fly – and you all wonder why that idiot Trump got elected…

            Can you give me an example of the lacrosse team at Amherst being gross and predatory – one that you’ve experienced personally – besides that whole charity thing where they sent computers to children in need? I’m sure those children feel the same as you.

            Will you condemn the slander of that team by an individual who I assume has never spoken to a single player (someone who I also assume is one of your pals)?

            Look at the title of this article. It’s missing a word. Forgive me for assuming the authors meant what they wrote.

        2. Are you actually trying to argue that the discrimination (???) that white male athletes experience as a result of their gender and race at Amherst is in any way equal or even comparable to the legitimate discrimination, marginalization and oppression that religious and ethnic minorities in the United States experience on a daily basis? Literally fuck you for even thinking that. Do you realize that white male athletes at Amherst hold almost every privilege imaginable (race, gender, higher education, often high socio-economic status, great social capital … the list goes on….)? Amherst clearly failed to compel you to take a class in history, anthropology, sociology, American studies, black studies or LJST if you left the college without understanding that white American men with an elite education comprise the most historically privileged group on the planet (that includes at Amherst, too).

          Also, if you want examples of the lacrosse team (or any other team!) being gross and predatory, ask any girl that has ever been to the socials. I also didn’t know doing unrelated charity work and sexually disrespectful behavior were mutually exclusive. Bye!

          1. You literally want to fuck me? I might need to call the title IX committee as I feel threatened.

            I’m saying nobody should be judged based on anything besides who they are as an individual. If you’re going to be outraged, at least be consistent.

  4. Current students, please know that not all alums are like the one who keeps posting above. Those types are just the loudest.

  5. I wasn’t aware that trans people exist solely within the realm of academia.

    People literally warn each other when Lacrosse players walk into the room at parties. I’m under no obligation to give you the dirty details about what has happened to people I know. It’s not my place to do that.

    and Honey, the authors did mean what they wrote.
    What they didn’t write was “fork over all communications.”
    If they meant that, then perhaps they would write “fork over all communications.” There is no dogwhistling here.

  6. @notsoproudalumnus: “I’m saying nobody should be judged based on anything besides who they are as an individual. ”

    As an alumni (and ex-athlete) who works with college, professional and Olympic athletes, I think it is important to bring a different perspective to this thread. The athletes who compete for Amherst represent all of us in the Amherst community, past, present and future. It is a great privilege, and one that these individuals have apparrently grossly neglected.

    The vocal alumni makes assertions about “thought police” and political correctness that are timeworn and tired. They also don’t really apply in this case. No athletes are being prosecuted; instead, the school is taking the appropriate step of suspending their privilege of representing the school. The administration has determined that these athletes’ actions do not meet the standard the board of directors has empowered them to set for the Amherst community. Full stop.

    There is a strange confusion of principles at work in the alumni’s argument: somehow, the outrage we all feel about these athletes’ actions is a demonstration of Ivory Tower political correctness, and yet the legitimate, appropriate and legal response is a demonstration of overreach.

    Any professional or national team athletes who did the same as these runners would suffer the same backlash, if not worse. That’s not a result of political correctness or thought-policing. It’s the real world (that mythical free-market, if you’re so inclined) at work enforcing community standards. The loud voices of a few entitled reactionaries can’t change the direction of that tide.

    Bravo to President Martin!

    1. You probably live in Ohio, work at Stifel, and vote for people like Jill Stein. Stay out of current Amherst affairs and get back to work Chad

      1. I’d call your discourse bad, but there is none here.
        Stay out of current Amherst affairs and learn to critically think.

      1. So what Amherst are you proud of, then?
        One where casual racism is ignored more than it is now?
        How about sexual violence?

        1. One where people like you didn’t hold a silent majority of rational thinkers hostage.

          Where obvious jokes among friends weren’t interpreted as political statements by SJWs whose sense of humor resembles that of a tree stump (man, eating dinner with you would be painful). And yes, to anticipate your response, nothing is off limits. Get over it.

          Where you actually had to be qualified to do the work to get in (irrespective of your background, black, white or magenta, athlete or regular Joe).

          This mentality of victimhood by the invisible bogeyman – which you call institutional prejudice – is juvenile and poisonous. When you inevitably fail, it will always be somebody else’s fault. This road leads you to your parents’ basement (jobless due to all those mean, bigoted interviewers thinking you’re probably not the best fit) – there will be plenty of room to hang up your gender studies degree down there.

          1. @anotsoproudalumnus “where you actually had to be qualified to do the work to get in”…except if your daddy went here, right?

            Ah for the good old days before they let all the black people and women attend!

          2. Here here. The authors of this piece and most of the commenters here are clearly so convinced of the moral superiority of their crusade that they do not possess a capacity for self-reflection or consideration of an alternate perspective.

            What Amherst are they proud of? The one where everyone gets an A for parroting the party line back at the professor.

            Back to the echo chamber…

          3. “One where people like you didn’t hold a silent majority of rational thinkers hostage.”
            For all the right screams of leftist alarmism, it’s truly adorable that your so-called “silent majority” lacks the intellectual fortitude to express themselves. Wouldn’t we call that cowardice?

            “Where obvious jokes among friends weren’t interpreted as political statements by SJWs whose sense of humor resembles that of a tree stump (man, eating dinner with you would be painful). And yes, to anticipate your response, nothing is off limits. Get over it.”
            Oh, kiddo. This one is a doozy.
            Are we going to seriously suggest that context doesn’t exist? Those jokes don’t exist in a vacuum, even if they were shared privately. Literally everything is political. I didn’t think Amherst could teach context-aversion, but I guess I was wrong.

            “Where you actually had to be qualified to do the work to get in (irrespective of your background, black, white or magenta, athlete or regular Joe).”
            Can you explain how this isn’t true now?
            Like, give me a real and tangible example. Prove to me that admissions standards are empirically lower than they were when you attended. You’re making that claim, so I’m assuming you can back it up.

            “This road leads you to your parents’ basement (jobless due to all those mean, bigoted interviewers thinking you’re probably not the best fit) – there will be plenty of room to hang up your gender studies degree down there.”
            Joke’s on you, our basement isn’t large enough to live in, let alone furnished.

          4. You know that you’re implicitly stating that black people are less intelligent and need lower standards to get in, right?

            I wonder if Clarence Thomas would agree, Josh.

          5. “obvious jokes among friends”

            Please qualify this.

            Also, please note that jokes in different context has implications and consequences. Others who overheard the contents of these jokes may not view them as jokes. When the fun and laughter is built upon the suffering of a particular group/groups, then it is no longer a joke.

          6. This was a private email chain. The members knew the tone of the chain was one of absurdity and sarcasm.

            The people offended ought to toughen up.

            People make jokes about everything. 9/11, the holocaust, whatever. You don’t need to find them funny, but you don’t need to engage in a witch hunt either.

          7. No, I’m explicitly stating that legacies/athletes need lower standards to get in, which implies that your meritocratic wet dream never existed.

          8. “Private email chain” & “absurdity & sarcasm”

            Privacy and the lack of accessibility of information does not negate the moral value of that information. I could harbor a thought on how XXX (insert noun) seems YYY (insert adjective/adverb) to me and bring this thought to my grave without telling anyone. That won’t change its moral value of this thought, or the lack there of. As for deeming something absurdity and sarcasm, it depends on what school of morality you personally subscribe to, which then determines if any thoughts/actions/words, regardless of any observer present, is morally reprehensible or simply absurd and for a good laugh.

            Speaking of graves:

            “People offended need to toughen up”

            In reference to the point about the implication of actions/words/behaviors, the offending information carries a societal and communal impact. It is this kind of talks, deemed as simply jokes, that legitimize behaviors, because jokes perceived by one group can be interpreted differently by another group as mutual acceptances of the mentioned behaviors. Technology is also not helping because it is just so much easier to share information currently. This turns mere talks into actions, and it is very hard to toughen up after an African American or a Muslim gets killed by racism and/or xenophobia, or a person gets sexually assaulted and ends up with PTSD. But fundamentally, the problem with this nonchalant “ought to toughen up” solution is that you believe it as the correct course of action, which then reinforces this status quo of implicit condoning of those supposedly absurd and sarcastic jokes. If you feel the status quo is fine, then I rest my case.

            About “witch hunt”:

            As some other replies have pointed out, there is a Student Honor Code that every Amherst undergrad student signs, and with association, abides by. So the joke perpetrators are intentionally violating the Code. To qualify as an Amherst College student athlete, the individual has to qualify first as an Amherst College student. Part of that qualification relies on the compliance with the Code, which the call for investigating other groups, be it athlete teams or else, helps to verify and reaffirm.

          9. Josh – that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t strive for meritocracy. You haven’t answered my question. Do you think minorities need a lower bar in objective terms (lower SATs, lower GPA, etc) to get in? I hope you don’t. If this is the case, you ought to agree the bucketing applicants by race is wrong.

            Let’s banish all the comedians from our country. They’re ruining lives with their bad language and jokes about flamboyant gays.

            I’ll say it again. Toughen up. If you don’t like it, ignore it.

          10. “Let’s banish all the comedians”

            Well, again, the comedians jokes and the jokes from ACXC men are different, in both words, contents, and hence moral value.

            “Toughen up. If you don’t like it, ignore it.”

            How ironic and oxymoronic.

          11. You’re clearly not a fan of comedy. Some of their lines were gold and were tamer than what many popular stand up comics say today (see: bill burr). Many comics don’t bother going to colleges anymore because it’s not worth the headache.

            And I do like this. Which is why I’m not ignoring it.

          12. Well, we like to ensure that various groups on campus, be it women, LGBT, immigrants, POC or else, are not oppressed and mistreated in any form what-so-ever, in any context what-so-ever, joke or not joke. This is the prevalent college stance. Toughen up. If you don’t like this, feel free to ignore.

            And it seems like we have difference definitions of comedy, and by that, comedians.

          13. I like that you feel compelled to engage. Free speech is wonderful.

            Do you work in a corporate setting? Something tells me you’re a professional activist (my tax dollars are paying for your healthcare. You’re welcome).

            The current state of higher education is routinely mocked; yes, even by women and minorities who don’t need anyone to protect them, thank you very much!

  7. Stop whining, reactionaries; you can still be president of the USA, even if Talking About Diversity Makes You Uncomfortable. Or maybe, especially because of it.

  8. And all the while I thought “undocumented students” would be this year’s campus cause celebre…

    Good to know that this politically correct diatribe has come around to shaming the lacrosse players, the living embodiment of wealthy, handsome white male patriarchy. I bet you they like Vladimir Putin too. Off with their heads.

    It’s hard to believe Amherst was once a happy place. Now, lots and lots of anger and resentment. Disparate identity groups roam the campus, looking for their next targets.

    This is what you get when omnipotent school administrators decide to use the admissions office as a grand social experiment, destroying a once proud brand. FUBAR.

    1. What’s the social experiment? Admitting students of color? Gender minority students? Women?

      Did you actively try to squander your four years here?

      1. Admitting people who couldn’t do the work in the name of social progress, and then enabling them to blame all those mean white dudes for every misfortune they’ve experienced.

        And you are the manifestation of that noble endeavour. We’ve created a monster, folks.

          1. As for my point about admissions standards, this is a well-documented consequence of Affirmative Action. From the WSJ (a must-read publication): “The complaint against Harvard last year cited third-party academic research on the SAT exam showing that Asian-Americans have to score on average about 140 points higher than white students, 270 points higher than Hispanic students and 450 points higher than African-American students to equal their chances of gaining admission to Harvard.”

            Don’t you see a problem with that? Forget this racial bucketing and bring in the brightest.

          2. Right, but I want to see data about Amherst that substantiates your claim.

            Not about Harvard, but rather about Amherst.
            Because we’re talking about Amherst.
            Not Harvard.

          3. Now you’re just being silly. Do you actually believe any elite admissions office exists in a vacuum (you’ve been so adamant about context until now). Rest assured, they all talk to each other, and they all undertake roughly the same initiatives.

            The delta between Asian and Black at Amherst could be 450 points, it could be 300 points. The discrepancy still exists.

  9. We haven’t really come very far, have we? Back in the early 1970’s when I was at Amherst, the Amherst Student published a satiric piece called “Sleazing” that the sort of Jock Culture Frat-Boy mindset towards women. It appears to be still alive and well at Amherst despite 40 years of “progress”, and as the most recent election demonstrated, in the American populace as well. The problem is thinking that these views are somehow related to jocks; it is probably true of any group of people who if they have sufficient power, will misuse it or imagine how they might misuse it. The thought-police on the Left are one example, as are the Tea Partyers on the Right. Groups of males tend to congregate on sports teams and in frats, and so those institutions have often been the loci of prejudice, myogeny and their ilk on college campuses.

    I don’t think that we will mitigate these problems by assigning them as problems to groups; it is the group structure that may allow them to develop, but the latent seeds are in us all.

  10. As an alum and a former men’s XC team member, as painful as it is this situation is a form of progress. Back when my father went to Amherst women were at Smith and Holyoke and not even part of Amherst life (except for his frat stealing Sabrina an activity very open to metaphorical analysis). When I was at Amherst, the XC team said all kinds of crap on long runs, when stretching after practice, but there was no social media, no paper trail, so our misogyny etc. was not questioned and an opportunity for education was missed. Now call it PC, call it thought police, the students involved will learn to live in a diverse world with empathy and sensitivity instead of needlessly belittling their peers.

  11. @ not so proud alumnus: each of your “arguments” are truly hilarious but I’ll address just one: admissions standards aren’t “lowered” for minority students, the socioec

    1. *socioeconomically disadvantaged, or other groups you feel “can’t do the work.” Students are evaluated in the context of the opportunities they’ve been given to succeed and how they’ve made use of them. Not everyone has a daddy who can pay to train a three-sport athlete, send him to Exeter, and bring him on international trips. Not everyone, shockingly, was even raised in an environment where they could attend an adequately funded public school or participate in “extracurriculars” at all. The college’s sorely-needed initiative to increase campus diversity ensures that people like you aren’t the only ones privileged enough to receive an elite education and enjoy its associated benefits.

      1. So, the ones who can’t do the work because of the environment they grew up in are subject to lower standards. Got it.

      2. And I never said that specific “groups” can’t do the work. I said if you’re qualified, you should be considered for admission – period. And if you’re not, even if you’re a “diversity” candidate, you should not get in.

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