Subject: Incident on Pitzer's Campus
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 4:19 PM
From: Laura Skandera Trombley <Laura_Trombley@pitzer.edu>
March 12, 2004
To: Pitzer College Community
Laura Skandera Trombley, President
Alan Jones, Dean of Faculty
Jim Marchant, Dean of Students
Re: Incident on Pitzer's Campus
Thursday afternoon a studnet discovered a flyer titled: "What does kike mean?" in a urinal in the men's bathroom on the first floor of Bernard Hall. Since the student observed the flyer taped to the wall above the urinal earlier in the day, it is clear that someone intentionally placed it in the urinal.
This is a deliberate act of intolerance and hostility. This act is antithetical to our values as an educational community. In light of recent incidents, this incident is cowardly, shameful and personally repugnant. Anyone having information about this incident please report it immediately to a staff, administrator or faculty member.
Subject: Leaflets found on campus this morning
Date: Wed, 03 Mar 2004 11:38:26 -0800
From: Nancy Bekavac <Nbekavac@ScrippsCollege.edu>
March 3, 2004
To the Scripps College Community:
This morning before 8:00 a.m. maintenance workers and other staff took down five leaflets printed in red letters. They had been posted at Balch Hall, Seal Court, and the Dining Hall. There may be others around campus.
Three of the leaflets used the word "Nigger." One said: "'Nigger.' Renewing old hate in the new millennium." Another said: "'Nigger.' This is ignorance that a $35,000 a year education produces." The third lists the word along with certain incidents and labels this "The new 5C racism."
In the upper left hand corner of each leaflet is a small circle and an apparent stamp that says "Scripps Approved." The stamp is a lie. The posters were not approved. At the bottom of the posters the letters "NPR" appear above these words: "Inspiring Excellence, not Ignorance."
It appears that the intent of the posters is to provoke discussion of recent, and past, events on different campuses of The Claremont Colleges. The tactic is to shock -- and the words did shock, and offend, the staff who found the posters.
Those who posted these statements have every right to say what they want, including even the offensive words quoted above. But by doing so anonyously, and by lying about whether the posters had been approved, they undercut their credibility and violate campus norms.
Posting these leaflets also violates the Principles of Community, which states:
Scripps believes that learning and teaching thrive in an environment conducive to freedom of belief, inquiry, and speech, assuring the broadest range of opinion and beliefs. Scripps commits itself to maintaining that freedom, subject only to regulation of time, place, and manner.
Recognizing that such expression may offend, provoke, and disturb, Scripps affirms its dedication to encourage rather than limit expresssion. At the same time, Scripps encourages community members to show mutual respect and understanding and to employ reasoned discourse.
The students involved in the cross burning over winter break came forward promptly to admit what they had done. I call on those who posted these leaflets to do the same, and I urge them to go to the Dean of Students Office to report themselves for improper posting.
On this campus, we promote discussion even of difficult subjects. We proved ample opportunities for open debate. We had a Community Meeting on these topics on February 19th. There are other venues being developed. I urge students to contact College Council and the Diversity Coordinating Committee with their ideas for stimulating discussion on these topics. I urge them to write for the upcoming issue of The Voice and to explore the many opportunities open -- not anonymous -- dialogue about matters that are central to our community.
Facing serious and emotional issues requires clear and independent thinking, and confidence, courage, and hope.
Nancy Y. Bekavac, President
Subject: Weekend Incident in Our Community
Date: Mon, 01 Mar 2004 11:20:28 -0800
From: "Huang, Jefferson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear Members of the CMC Community:
I am writing to report a disturbing incident that took place yesterday (Sunday, February 29). Please excuse the language I am about to use, but in this situation, it is better to use facts than words that are less offensive.
At approximately 11:00am, in one of the CMC residence halls, it was discovered that a calendar which was hanging on a bulletin board in the hallway was written upon. The calendar featured noted authors, scholars, and artists, including George Washington Carver. Someone took a green marker and wrote "NIGGER" next to Carver's picture.
Campus Safety responded and notified the Claremont Police Department. CPD determined that this incident did not meet the specific parameters of a hate crime because it was not directed at a specific individual. However, the College will be taking it as seriously as if it did meet the parameters of a hate crime. I am reporting this to the community, I am taking a strong position against the incident, and an investigation will be conducted by our staff.
There is no excuse for this. This was not a prank. It is not acceptable behavior if one is under the influence of alcohol, and ignorance is no excuse either.
When I first learned of this, I was shocked and extremely disappointed. All the good things that get done in our community are negated by such an act. It hurts CMC and all of the other Claremont Colleges.
If the individual(s) responsible for defacing this calendar are members of our community, I encourage you to do the right thing and turn yourself in. You have offended many, and we are hurt because of it.
Dean Marana is already organizing a community forum. Hopefully we can come together as a community to show that those who oppose this action are far greater than those who support it. Please look for an e-mail from her soon.
Dean of Students
Subject: Homophobic Writing in Residence Halls
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2004 9:00 AM
February 17, 2004
To the Pomona Community
During the final exam period last semester vandals wrote "FAGS ARE GAY" in red spray paint across a shower in a Pomona residence hall used by an openly gay student. This incident follows one early in the fall semester in which a homophobic comment was scrawled in a residence hall stairwell.
Incidents in which queer students are made to feel uncomfortable, unsafe or are singled out for harassment happen far too often on the Pomona campus. As the Incident Response Team has met this semester to discuss bias related incidents that affect our campus, these acts of homophobia have been part of the context of our discussion.
A residential liberal arts college aims to create a community of engagement and respect in which each of us takes personal responsibility both to learn and to teach. In that context, the FAGS ARE GAY graffiti, like earlier incidents this semester, regardless of what the actors knew or intended, is an act of bad faith. The perpetrators failed in their responsibility to help make the Pomona community work.
If people want to express their views, can they not be brave enough to own them? In this case the perpetrators distressed and frightened other students and did not stay around to understand and accept any of the consequences. We wonder how much longer people on our campus will be insensitive and unaware of the impact of their actions on others.
Pomona should be a welcoming and safe place for all its students. As we move forward into the 21st century, the Incident Response Team deplores cowardly acts that serve only to marginilize queer students. We condemn homophobia and anti-gay actions.
Subject: Message from the Pomona College Incident Response Team
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2004 3:57 PM
From: Ann Quinley <email@example.com>
To: Pomona College Community
From: Pomona College Incident Response Team
Date: February 9, 2004
On Friday, February 6, members of the Incident Response Team learned of a serious and offensive situation that included a new student organization utilizing a racist "prank" as part of their initiation process. Students wishing to gain membership to the organization known as "OAD" were given several tasks to complete. One option was to "take a photo with 10 or more Asians."
The Incident Response Team does not consider this task a "prank," but rather an assault on the entire Pomona College community. The potential of having numerous students run around campus trying to snap photographs with ten or more Asian or Asian American people is racist, offensive and in violation of shared community values at Pomona College. In the days following the discovery of this situation, several members of the Incident Response Team received feedback from Asian American students, expressing their anger, rage and fear of the thought of being treated like "zoo animals" and "rare specimens." Under no circumstances should any member of the Pomona College community be made to feel this way, particularly by an organization that is sanctioned by the college. Many student leaders who are not Asian American also explicitly expressed their outrage and fear for the safety of their fellow students in the days following this incident.
This is a painfully flagrant example of the objectification and exploitation of Asian Americans and their use as simple props for the amusement of a few. Even a rudimentary understanding of Asian American studies would have informed the organizers and the participants in the OAD "initiation process" of how Asian Americans have, and still are, marginalized and objectified throughout the history in the United States.
This racist incident comes just days after the Pomona community learned of the cross burning at Harvey Mudd College. In that incident, students also claimed their behavior was just for fun and without knowledge of the social implications or the possible impact of their actions. We believe these two incidents point to larger problems of accountability of students for their actions, real or convenient ignorance of racial issues and the creation of a hostile campus climate for many members of our community.
We urge the Pomona College community to join us in our outrage over and condemnation of this racist incident and work toward creating a safer and more supportive campus climate for all members of our community.