A 20-year-old student was found stabbed multiple times in his dorm room at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. Police say the student was found at 1:04 in the morning on Sunday after a dorm party. Students have told the media that a fight broke out during the party, and that usually the parties are not violent at all. As a student from a nearby college, I agree that there is not much violence on the local campuses, however many of the local colleges, including Amherst have open parties that are often dangerously over-crowded.
Amherst is well known as a highly regarded academic institution, but in the area Amherst is also known as a great destination for parties. Unlike some of the neighboring schools, Amherst does not have much security at their parties, meaning anyone can walk in and join in on the fun.
Because of their reputation for throwing great parties, Amherst seemed like a great place to go on a Saturday night. I have gone to two parties at the dorms at Amherst, and both were terrible disasters. While no one was nearly killed while I was there, I will definitely never go to a party there again. The first time I went to a party at Amherst, it was the middle of winter and I went with one friend. We were able to simply walk into the dorms and join the party. The rooms were incredibly dark and so crowded that it was almost impossible to walk through them. During the middle of the party, the fire alarm went off and we all had to stand outside in the freezing cold. After a few minutes, my friend and I just gave up and went home. If the party on Saturday was as crowded as the party I attended, it seems very plausible that someone could get stabbed and people would not even notice.
I thought my first experience might be a fluke and decided to go to another party at Amherst College, this time with a larger group of friends. The party was much the same as the first one, except a drunken frat boy told us it was his friend’s birthday and he was going to give us to him as a gift. After we ignored him and arrived at the party, we were completely disgusted. There was a keg in the bathroom and people were peeing right next to where other people were getting their beer. The rooms quickly became overcrowded and once again a fire alarm went off. The stampede to the doorway almost ran me over, and probably would have if one young man had not noticed and helped pull me out of harm’s way. My friends and I decided to leave immediately and never go to an Amherst party again.
The student in question was stabbed, not trampled. But it is easy to see how during a loud, dark, overcrowded party that anyone can walk into, a fight might break out and someone could get seriously injured. The suspect, Marcus Smith, was not an Amherst student. The victim is in fair condition and expected to survive. Maybe the college will change the policies regarding dorm parties after this incident.