Debate is brewing over the Amherst College mascot

Students find Lord Jeff offensive

amherst college
Amherst College is seen here in a WWLP file image from January 2016

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s a debate that’s been going on for years, and now a resolution may finally be in sight. The Amherst College Board of Trustees will decide whether the school’s unofficial mascot, Lord Jeffrey Amherst, will stand.

“It’s a very controversial topic at the moment. I think it’s a good time to be rethinking the validity of this icon,” said Kelvin Chen, A senior at Amherst College.

Jeffrey_AmherstLord Jeffrey was a commanding general of British forces in North America during the French and Indian War. However, his name became tarnished amid reports he distributed small pox-infested blankets to American Indians. It’s a controversial accusation that might not be true.

“He’s an emblem of racism and genocide that we need to get rid of. I think the mascot is something the student body is supposed to rally around instead of being a divisive issue,” said Noah Lerner, an Amherst College student.

Many students agree. The Amherst College Student Government polled more than 1,600 students. 83 percent voted to remove the mascot.

Students 22News spoke with on campus Wednesday night said there’s actually a petition going to make a moose the new school mascot.

The Board of Trustees will meet Thursday night and Friday. A vote on Lord Jeff is expected then.

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