Mammoth Moments in Miniature: Nov. 7 to Nov. 14

Mammoth Moments in Miniature provides quick updates on campus happenings. This week’s edition features Elliott’s response to a call to action regarding a ceasefire in Gaza and an inaugural philosophy series.

Mammoth Moments in Miniature: Nov. 7 to Nov. 14
Nina Emery, a professor at Mount Holyoke College, is speaking this Thursday. Photo courtesy of Mount Holyoke College.

Elliott Responds to Faculty Call to Action

At the Nov. 7 faculty meeting, President Michael Elliott took the opportunity to respond to a recent call to action published by a group of faculty in The Student. The letter urged him to “use his platform to urge the Massachusetts congressional delegation to call for an immediate ceasefire.”

“Respectfully, I am going to decline to do that,” Elliott said. “I thought very seriously about the request.”

He said there should be a “high threshold” for issues on which he and the college should make their voices heard. Citing the college’s public support for affirmative action, he suggested that it was only right for him to use his platform in cases in which “Amherst’s voice can be influential [and]” and “there’s a consensus of leadership and among the broader community.”

“At this moment, I don’t think we’ve reached either of those thresholds,” he said. “I also worry to the extent that the college is seen as having reached conclusions about these critical conversations, the harder it will be for our faculty, staff and students to engage.”

More generally, he encouraged the faculty to find wisdom and advice in the professors “who have been at this college for generations,” through multiple fraught political moments.

New Philosophy Club Hosts First Speaker Event

Philosophy Riot, a new club “founded around centering women and other marginalized voices in philosophy,” will be hosting its first talk on Thursday, Nov. 16 in Cooper House. Nina Emery, an associate professor at Mount Holyoke, will present a talk entitled “The Two Types of Naturalism in Philosophy.” Emery will consider the relationship between scientific and philosophical methods of understanding the world. Food and drink will be provided.