Flags Stolen From Keefe Campus Center
By Elaine Teng '12, Editor-in-Chief
The Black Student Union’s (BSU) weeklong celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture and heritage this week was marred by the theft of 13 flags they had hung up in the atrium of Keefe Campus Center.

The flags were valued at approximately $75 each, amounting to a total $975 loss, with Campus Police currently investigating the theft.

The flags, which represented all of the Caribbean countries, were stolen some time between the BSU’s set-up at 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 25, and 11 a.m. the next morning.

CaribFest, short for Caribbean Festival, is an annual celebration that features a guest speaker lecturing on Caribbean politics, culture and history.

This year, a former Amherst employee will speak and recite a traditional Caribbean story on Wednesday, April 28 at 6 p.m. in the Friedmann Room.

There will then be a dinner with traditional Caribbean food and a performance night at the same time on the following day, with steel drumming and traditional Afro-Caribbean dancing and storytelling to celebrate the festival’s theme this year, Caribbean Folklore.

The theme was chosen by the BSU Executive Board, who reflected on the CaribFest themes from previous years and settled upon folklore as an aspect of Caribbean culture they had not yet explored.

Members of the BSU have also tabled throughout the week in Keefe with fresh fruit, smoothies and activities such as bracelet making.

The flags were hung up to frame the environment, heighten awareness of Afro-Caribbean culture and provide a visual presence in the campus center.

According to Director of the Campus Center Hannah Fatemi, the theft of the flags was not only reprehensible and unfortunate in their very nature, but also in their importance to the event.

“I was disappointed to learn that the flags were taken,” she said. “The BSU has worked hard to plan a series of events to celebrate CaribFest this week, and the flag display has traditionally been a significant part of CaribFest.”

BSU Chair Jordan Roehl ’12 voiced her disappointment and anger at the theft of the flags, but asserted that the event has not been seriously affected by their absence.

“It’s just sad to see that people are disrespectful enough to steal the flags when they probably aren’t doing anything with them anyway,” Roehl said. “It’s a very successful CaribFest overall, but the feelings of the Caribbean students on campus are hurt.”

Issue 24, Submitted 2010-04-28 02:58:55