‘No Way You’ll House All 850 Female Students In There,’ Maisto-Smith Declares
AMHERST, Ma. – Student activists derided Amherst College’s proposed relocation of its Women’s Center Tuesday, saying it would be virtually impossible to house all of the college’s 850 female students in the small Keefe Campus Center space. “The proposed relocation could maybe hold twenty women at best,” claimed expansion advocate Meghan Dimon ’14E. “That’s barely two percent of women who need housing at Amherst.”
Students claimed it would not be feasible to erect the nearly 900 beds required for the school’s female undergraduates, noting that the campus center’s ten-foot ceilings would likely preclude the installation of more than 200 bunks in a ten-layer configuration. “That doesn’t even begin to accommodate shower space,” observed Keisha Richmond ’15.
Campus cultural consultant Gina Maisto-Smith observed that, while the proposed area could serve adequately as a meeting space, support office, and hub of women’s advocacy, such uses were wholly unrelated to the center’s intended purpose. “To think an office and a conference room would be sufficient reflects a total misunderstanding of the institution’s mission. This is Amherst’s female residency hall, not an advocacy center.”
Representatives of the Multicultural Resource Center endorsed the students’ sentiments, saying they too felt concerned that even their center’s proposed relocation would be inadequate to house Amherst’s 770 students of color.