In Solidarity with Hampshire Students

A pro-Hampshire protest on the Amherst Commons on Sunday.

In recent days, many have protested the decision by Hampshire College’s President to remove the US flag from campus. The silence from the Amherst College community and administration on this issue is deafening and shameful.

We, the undersigned, pledge our solidarity with Hampshire students, faculty, and staff who repudiate white nationalism despite fervent opposition. We also promise to assist their struggle for free expression and uncensored, safe education. We dedicate ourselves to push our administration to commit whatever resources it can to their cause.

We believe in the fundamental right to free expression, as stated in the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. In support of that right, we stand with those who dissent and speak truth to power. The burning of American flags and the removal of them from campuses, when performed as symbolic acts in opposition to white nationalism, must be defended. Colleges and universities must join this cause.

Furthermore, it is our view that the recent events at Hampshire College constitute not just a threat to free expression, but a threat to education itself. Pro-flag protesters at the College have argued that a debate on the flag can be had – but only after it is once again flown at Hampshire. This sets the terms of the debate in a loaded manner. It compels all members of the Hampshire community to defer to a symbol that, for many, represents white nationalism and racial oppression. None of this resembles the free and critical academic environment that the Five Colleges seek to foster. Although the flag at Hampshire has been restored, unqualified patriotism should never be a prerequisite for debate.

We also wish to recognize and call attention to the legitimate fears currently confronting  Hampshire students. When three hundred people from across the country converge on your college campus – your home, the buildings where you live – in defense of a controversial symbol and in opposition to free discourse, that constitutes a threat to education. We offer our words and our actions to those intimidated by this crude excuse for discourse.

We urge the Amherst College faculty, staff, and administration to join us, and particularly call on the administration to express uninhibited support for the right of Hampshire College to make whatever decisions it wishes regarding the flag.

In solidarity,

Aaron Yang ‘19
Adelaide Shunk ‘20
Alyssa Snyder ‘19
Aubrey Grube ‘18E
Bobby Shogren ‘19
Brian Z. Zayatz ‘18
Brittanie Lewis ‘17
Bryan Doniger ‘18
Cristina Rey ‘19E
David Keith ‘17
Esperanza Chairez ‘19
Eunnie Lee ‘18
Felix Alexandre Edwards ‘19
Frank Tavares ‘18
Grace Brotsker ‘18E
Huey Hewitt ‘19
Jackson Wrigley ‘19
Jada Palmer ‘19
Joanna Booth ‘19
Jonathan Jackson ‘19
Kali Robinson ‘17
Kyle Ferendo ‘17E
Marc Daalder ‘18
Morgan McGann ‘19E
Nadim El Kak ‘19
Paula Peña ‘19
Saharsha Karki ’18
Sharline Dominguez ‘17E
Siraj Ahmed Sindhu ‘17

If you are an Amherst student interested in adding your name to this statement, please contact