Amherst College president Biddy Martin has, in a letter this week, urged students and other community members to call the campus or local police if they are the target of racial harassment in the wake of the coronavirus.
“Students, staff, and faculty who become the target of bias, harassment, or assault – verbal or physical – should immediately call for help,” said Martin in the letter on the college website, in which she also provided campus and local police phone numbers. “If you are a student, report all incidents of bias, threat, or harassment, whether online or in-person, to the Dean of Students … ”
This is the second such letter Martin has written to the college community following the targeting of Asian American students on or outside campus since the global pandemic began. The latest letter was in response to “racial banter” in dorms and verbal assaults in Amherst town toward two students who live on campus. Some students remain on the Amherst campus either due to travel bans or for other reasons, reported Mass Live.
“In addition to living with the extreme difficulty that everyone faces in this pandemic, these students, as well as faculty and staff, also live with the fear of prejudice and aggression,” wrote Martin. “This is abhorrent.”