Claremont McKenna students want more than dean’s resignation

Nov 13, 2015

claremont mckenna college protests

Timothy Woods, a sophomore at Claremont McKenna College, joins in a protest on Thursday, November 12, 2015.; Credit: Jacob Margolis/KPCC

Protests over the racial climates at American universities have come to Southern California.

Claremont McKenna College is the latest of numerous schools around the country where students are protesting what they say is an unpleasant environment for non-whites.

CMC’s Dean of Students resigned yesterday following outrage over her response to a student who wrote about her unhappiness with the school. Lisette Espinosa wrote an op-ed describing how she didn’t feel welcome on the CMC campus. Dean Mary Spellman emailed Espinosa saying she would work to serve those who “don’t fit our CMC mold.” Some students were offended by that term.

But criticism of CMC administration goes beyond this past week. Back in early April, a Google Doc of proposals was sent to President Hiram Chodosh. Around 30 students of color proposed a Diversity Chair, school funding for multicultural clubs, a resource center for students of color, and mandatory racial sensitivity training for professors.

They also wanted to see a required class in ethnic, racial, and sexuality theory. The 1,300 student school is 43-percent white, 12-percent Latino, 10-percent Asian American, 8-percent mixed race, and 4-percent black.


Denys Reyes, a senior at the college who has been active in the recent protests

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