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Amherst College Cancels Classes to Discuss Sexual Violence, Other Topics

AMHERST, Mass. (WGGB) — Amherst College canceled classes to Friday to let students sound off on vital issues affecting campus life.

Students gathered to talk about sensitive topics like sexual violence at schools across the country.

It was a coming together on the campus of Amherst College. A topic so important that all classes were canceled to give students a chance to sound off.

Sexual violence on campuses across the country has been making headlines and the Amherst College community is taking action with a day of dialogue led by the students themselves.

“It’s been a big topic around campus lately and a lot of people may not have a lot of experience with this kind of thing so i think its kind of important to talk about it and get not comfortable with it but to know everyone’s views on it,” says student Cassandra Hopkins.

“It’s definitely a sensitive topic and something that needs to surface with all the occurrence going on right now. I think its great that the whole campus is coming together as one. All classes are cancelled so there is really no excuse not to be here,” adds Chris Tamasi.

The issue of sexual violence on campuses re-emerged when 4 men were arrested and charged with raping a UMass Amherst student on October 13th.

To respect the privacy of students participating in today’s forums, ABC40 did not bring cameras inside the gymnasium.

Amherst’s athletic director addressed the sensitive nature of today’s conversations.

“There are students that just want to be in the moment today and are not necessarily ready to share everything about there own lives there own fear there own experiences but they want to be in a circle of people that abviosuly care about these issues,” says A.D. Suzanne Coffey

And the importance of finding solutions was on every students mind today.

“I believe its totally important that we are having this day because this is a way for the whole community to come together and speak because this is not simply a policy issue this is more of a culture of the community,” says student Caroline Katva.

Another topic of discussion at Amherst today was the need for continuing diversity on all college campuses.

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