AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The men’s cross country team at Amherst College has been suspended from activity while the school’s athletic department looks into a series of emails and social media postings.
Amherst College President Biddy Martin has called the content of these emails “appalling” in a letter she sent to students and staff Sunday. The emails were exposed in an article that ran in the student commentary magazine, The Indicator.
The article said that the sexual histories of eight different women were allegedly detailed in a June 2015 email sent to incoming freshmen on the team. It was part of an email chain that was supposed to welcome new members of the team. Other emails included comments that Athletic Director Don Faulstick described as racist and misogynistic.
Martin said members of the team have confirmed the nature of the messages, and that such messages have been circulating for several years.
Amherst College President statement is below:
Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,Late this afternoon I was informed by the athletic director, Don Faulstick, of an article in the student publication The Indicator that exposes emails and social-media exchanges among members of the men’s cross-country team. These exchanges are supposedly meant to “welcome” new teammates and introduce them to the culture of the team. The messages are appalling. They are not only vulgar, they are cruel and hateful. No attempt to rationalize them will change that. My reaction is one of profound sadness, disappointment, and anger. The athletic director has informed me that members of the team confirm the nature of these messages. The exchanges have been occurring for several years.The conduct of those involved flagrantly violates Amherst’s principles and the most basic forms of decency and respect.The athletic director has informed members of the cross-country team that, pending an investigation, all team activities have been suspended. I expect to have more information within the next several days.Biddy Martin