Alice Chan – Pomona ’14
Kathy Lu – Pomona ’14
On February 24, 2012, the Student Affairs Committee of the Pomona College Board of Trustees (BoT) convened to discuss the proposals put forth by the Student-Trustee Task Force, formed as a response to the events of last semester, including the document check and resulting extended vigil. Aside from Nate Brown, ASPC president, not a single student member of the task force was present to introduce or defend the ideas contained within these proposals. The lack of student voice and student engagement in the eventual adoption of these proposals is not only emblematic of the problems inherent in the entire process leading up to the creation and structuring of the Student-Trustee Task Force, but also serves as a troubling indicator of how the task force’s proposals may be implemented by the BoT in the months to come. Continue reading
Quinn Lester – Pomona ’13
I must admit that, like most people, I had lost track of the Occupy movement over the last few months. Since the brutal police takedown of Zuccotti Park Occupy encampments across the country have fallen one by one. The Occupy groups who were not outright destroyed adapted to local conditions, acting with other progressive groups to protest home foreclosures, police profiling, anti-war protests, and all other kinds of issues. However, none of these local movements inspired the same kind of mass media appeal as the early weeks of Occupy NYC did, not even another general strike by Occupy Oakland. Part of this was undoubtedly a result of both corporate mass media denying Occupy coverage and further attacks by police on independent journalists, but it also says something about the movement itself. Two aspects primarily have characterized Occupy movements so far: a utopian idealism that both claims no demands and opens toward a revolutionary future, and the brute materiality of occupied spaces and sleeping bodies huddled together. Absent this material aspect, the literal presence of bodies, it has suddenly seemed like Occupy disappeared. Continue reading
Sarah Appelbaum – Pomona ’13
Following “basic societal norms,” as TSL recently asserted in an editorial board addressing incidents surrounding this year’s Bev Scavvy, is—and should be—our default. As long as we do this, we can avoid committing racist or sexist acts on campus.
However, the idea that our “basic societal norms” will lead us to avoiding these incidents, at least for the reasons that TSL seems to posit, is suspect. For this to be true, our basic societal norms would have to be devoid of racism and sexism, rather than dependent on them.
Racism, sexism, homophobia, and classism are present on this campus. In my time at Pomona, I have personally witnessed many events and incidents that attest to this, even without taking into account the innumerable stories from friends and acquaintances. It’s not just from a few “bad eggs,” either; these dynamics are deeply rooted in our College (including the student body, faculty, and administration). Sometimes, they’re obvious, as was the case with the assortment of incidents related to Bev Scavvy over the years, such as the graffiti on the rainbow-painted Walker Wall two years ago. Other times, oppression manifests itself in quieter, more implicit ways, sometimes referred to as microaggressions.* Continue reading