Follow-Up to AC Alerts Incident

September 1, 2022

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

I wanted to follow up on the message I sent last Friday regarding the inaccurate AC Alerts that were received that afternoon. I am appalled that this incident transpired, especially at a moment when we were welcoming the newest members of our community on a day when so many staff, faculty, and students had returned to campus to inaugurate our new academic year. I know the false alerts caused a great deal of confusion, fear, and anxiety in our community, and I’m deeply sorry that this occurred. Members of my senior leadership team and I have heard from many members of our community about how profoundly troubling and disturbing these events were. Please be reminded that all students, staff, and faculty have access to resources for support, as I outlined in my message last Friday.

Move-In Day and Inaccurate AC Alerts

August 26, 2022

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families:

Move-in day for our new students is such an important and exciting occasion ─ one during which our staff, faculty, and returning students join together to welcome the newest members of our community. I spent the morning on the Quad talking to many of you, and the enthusiasm and energy that I felt there made me even more eager to launch the new academic year. I want to thank everyone who came out this morning to make the day a special one for our new students.

Unfortunately, the afternoon was marred by a system malfunction of our campus alert software that resulted in inaccurate messages to the community regarding an active shooter. I know that many of us felt distress and anxiety when we read or heard the alerts. I am truly sorry that these false alerts transpired.

A Letter to the Community

A photo of Michael Elliott, president of Amherst College August 4, 2022

As I near the end of the first week of my presidency, I write with a note of gratitude. It has been inspiring and heartwarming to return to this campus where I first discovered the power of an intellectual community. I am truly grateful for all of the warm words of welcome that I have received. Even in the space of just a few days, I've had the chance to meet people from across the campus who share my passion for a campus community rooted in the liberal arts—from faculty leaders in the Office of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty, to the remarkable staff in facilities, dining, and IT who have done so much to support the operation of the College during the course of the pandemic.