Amherst Suspends Men’s Cross-Country Activities Over Sexist Emails

The men’s cross-country team at Amherst College has been suspended from team activities after a student magazine published an email chain among team members that referred to women on the campus with racist and sexist language, according to a statement issued by the Massachusetts college.

The student magazine, The Indicator, published a report on the email chain on Sunday. Written as a “welcome” message for first-year recruits, the emails named and insulted eight women across the campus.

The Indicator reported that similar emails were sent to team members in the summer of 2015.

In a written statement, Carolyn A. (Biddy) Martin, Amherst’s president, said that the messages violated the college’s principles. Ms. Martin also said that during the investigation into the messages, all team activities would be suspended.

“The messages are appalling,” Ms. Martin wrote. “They are not only vulgar, they are cruel and hateful. No attempt to rationalize them will change that.”

Don Faulstick, Amherst’s athletic director, said in a separate statement that the college has “zero tolerance” for the messages.

“The exchanges and the behavior described in the article — which team members acknowledge — are disgusting,” he wrote.

In a written apology, team members wrote that they were “embarrassed” and “ashamed” of the messages.

“At this time, our team is looking at our individual roles in fostering a toxic culture, meeting with the specific groups who were directly impacted by the email contents, meeting with the athletic department, and reaching out to resources on campus that can best help us understand how we have affected others and what concrete steps we can take as a team,” they wrote.

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