New MAM Petition and Related Matters

Dear HMC community,

Thank you for the considered emails that have circulated yesterday and today. 

As was shared at the faculty meeting earlier today, the MAM group delivered their speech and petition outside the Office of the President today; it was received by my staff. It rejects the Task Force on Clinic and Corporate Partnerships and gives a deadline of April 25 to commit to their demands. They include an expanded set of demands that HMC cut all ties with defense, no longer partner with such companies effective for the 2024-25 clinic projects, and incorporate this commitment into the strategic vision, as well as prioritizing them in our fundraising efforts. The full speech and petition are attached below.

The Cabinet also received via email their statement committing to nonviolence and which has already been shared and attached again for completeness. We are pleased to hear of this commitment. We were saddened by the claims that we intend to sow dissent among the students. Again, we have heard directly from people who are frightened by the prospect of masked people crowding into their offices and some of the other behaviors seen on our sister campuses, even as we understand that is not the intent. In larger groups and protests, and in email communications and messaging, anonymity can magnify risks. We recognize that this is in tension with a desire to conceal identity to avoid the possibility of doxxing or other adverse actions. In any case, if someone–in MAM or not, faculty, staff, or student–has a concern about safety, Campus Safety is an available resource that can help bring other resources as needed. As Dean Tom Donnelly’s message also underscored, Campus Safety works for us. 

It is unfortunate that email, which really doesn’t work well as a form of genuine communication, is the medium that is being used at this moment. There are so many issues here, and I think conversation will be most effective in the long run. We’ve made some good starts; more will need to be undertaken. You may know that a student conversation is scheduled for April 24, and a community-wide conversation is being planned. Dean Cindy Martinez has reached out to MAM students and is available to any student who wants to discuss their safety concerns and/or fears of retaliation. There is true care and concern by this Cabinet for all members of this community. 

As for an immediate issue, as a Cabinet we also have to recognize and deal with the threat of escalation by the MAM campaign. While we fully accept that MAM members do not intend to resort to physical violence, we may anticipate a possibility of having to abandon programming for the Projects Day on April 30 due to their disruption of the event. Those involved with Clinic projects will receive a survey to register their preference for alternatives for this event. Broader feedback would be welcomed. Let us be clear that raising the question of alternatives is a part of our effort to get students’ input, not a reflection on the viewpoint of the MAM group or those in support of their demands. 

Again, I am so grateful for the care and concern that everyone has for one another here at HMC. It is heartening. The Cabinet is committed to doing the difficult work of navigating a path forward on behalf of our entire community.


Harriet B. Nembhard
President, Harvey Mudd College


MAM Delegation Speech to the President

Commitment to Nonviolence and Response to Cabinet Email