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New England News

After Assault, Simon’s Rock Cancels Classes

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Classes are cancelled at Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, after authorities say a student of color was assaulted.

The Berkshire District Attorney’s office says authorities are investigating an alleged assault that occurred “in a wooded area on campus” Friday afternoon.

In an email Sunday, the college’s senior leadership said: “In response to the intensity of the last week’s events and the impact on campus, especially for our Black students, faculty, and staff, we have worked with the Black Student Union and faculty to cancel classes for the week. We will still provide opportunities to engage with one another for support and inclusion-related programming. Although there will be no classes, all faculty will be available at the times of their scheduled classes and office hours all week. They will communicate whether you can find them in their offices or another location on campus."

Vice Provost Susan Lyon said in a statement that the college is focused on “helping our community process and engage in a conversation about the events of the past week. We are committed to the care, well-being and safety of every member of our community, and we want to ensure we’re providing them the resources and support necessary. We remain in contact and responsive to the needs of law enforcement as they continue their investigation. Our primary responsibility remains unchanged—a focus on the well-being of our campus community."

The DA’s office says it’s investigating with the Great Barrington Police Department, campus security, and state police. The college will hold a community meeting on Wednesday, and says it has "supplemented our standard Campus Safety and Campus Life oversight of our campus with additional officers from the Great Barrington Police Department and from the main Bard campus. This will also ensure constant communication with the local police as they continue their investigation into the matter."

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