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Simon’s Rock Graduate: Students Of Color Fearful, Mistrustful After Alleged Assault

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In the wake of an alleged assault on the campus of Bard College at Simon’s Rock in Great Barrington, Massachusetts on Friday afternoon, debate has raged over the environment for people of color at the school for gifted young people. The Black Student Union has issued a series of demands to college leaders, who cancelled classes for the week. It all comes as law enforcement continues to investigate. In a statement, Simon’s Rock said it is “committed to the care, well-being and safety of every member of our community,” and that its “primary responsibility remains unchanged—a focus on the well-being of our campus community." Great Barrington Police Chief William Walsh said the investigation is ongoing and that that while things might change, investigators have found no evidence of a racial component to the incident to date. André Santana, who graduated in 2017, has been to the campus and spent time with students at Simon’s Rock this week. He spoke to WAMC about what he learned, and what students are seeking.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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