CMCers of Color: Official Statement

Released: Nov. 13, 2015

Story Contact(s): CMCers of Color, mediaforcmcersofcolor@gmail.com

We, CMCers of Color, want to set the record straight in light of the media’s inaccurate representation of our movement and recent events at Claremont McKenna College:

Our movement did not begin with an insensitive photo posted on Halloween.

Our movement began eight months ago, when we first presented the administration with our recommendations. The photo was a symptom of a larger problem.

Our movement stems from the desire to rid a culture of discrimination against marginalized communities on campus, which has been deeply embedded in our institution since its inception.

Our movement never called for the resignation of Dean Spellman.

While we support students who have been marginalized by the Dean of Students Office, we only endorse our written proposals. Our demonstration, on Wednesday, November 11, CMCers of Color, in collaboration with Brothers and Sisters Alliance (BSA), Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA), Asian Pacific American Mentoring Program (APAM), and Generation University (GenU) was meant to counter the culture of discrimination at CMC. The departure of one administrator is not the solution to the institutional problems that persist at CMC.

This demonstration was in response to the administration’s failure to address requests made by students of marginalized identities for a resource center on campus as well as other resources.

Students of marginalized identities had been in correspondence with President Hiram Chodosh and the administration for the past eight months, demanding support for a resource center, as well as other resources for students. At the demonstration, President Chodosh made a commitment to students to provide a permanent physical space on campus for students of marginalized identities. We will hold President Chodosh accountable to that promise.

We are glad that the administration has finally begun to act on our needs, but this action is eight months too late and is incomplete. We will continue to act and make sure that the administration not only carries out their promises, but does so in a way that centers marginalized voices. The needs we have detailed below will catalyze a change in campus climate, helping our community become more inclusive for all students. We will hold the College accountable for the recommendations that we have made.

In order to put our words into action and achieve tangible results, we offer up the four most pressing actions the administration should take to support us on campus:

  • The creation of a general education requirement that focuses on an understanding of social, historic, and cultural experiences of marginalized communities.
  • An increase in tenure opportunities for faculty members of all marginalized identities in all disciplines, specifically those disciplines that specialize in intersectionalities, including race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, ability, and religion.
  • Increased access to and number of resources for therapy and mental health services, specifically hiring those trained to work with students who are from marginalized communities.
  • The centering of marginalized communities in the discussions of our needs, including but not limited to: the hiring process for the new Dean of Students who can work with and support us, the development of the new resource center, and the search for the new diversity and inclusion positions in both faculty and student affairs.

We recognize that the experiences of members in CMCers of Color and other affinity groups do not represent all students of all marginalized identities.

We appreciate the outpouring of support from many members of our CMC community, including the student body, faculty, and staff. We regret that people in our community feel alienated by this movement, and we hope to foster an open and inclusive dialogue about these issues.

We ask that our allies recognize that the fight is not over; it has only just begun. Please do not simply tell us you support us. Show us.

For all interested in supporting the movement, we will be hosting an open forum on Sunday to create a space for allies to ask questions and start a dialogue on allyship.

Thank you,

CMCers of Color

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