News Bites Week of Oct. 6

Current Pomona art museum to become temporary athletics office building

As Pomona College’s art museum moves to its new home at the Benton Art Museum, its current home, the Montgomery Art Center, will be temporarily used to accommodate administrative staff from the Rains Center. 

The Rains Center is the next Pomona building that will undergo renovations, slated to begin May 18, 2020.

“It will be essentially administrative space for the current athletic coaches and administration,” said Robert Robinson, assistant vice president of facilities and campus services at Pomona. 

In addition, the building might provide room for team meetings or laundry facilities. 

“Nothing is actually set in stone at this point in time, but we’re planning to try to use existing facilities to maintain the athletic program and the recreational sports programs,” he said.

Robinson also said his team hopes that other schools will open up their facilities to students who typically use Rains while it’s being renovated.

“We’re hoping that we’ll be able to do something similar [to what] CMC did … when they were building Roberts Pavilion, meaning we provided facilities for basketball and volleyball and things like that,” Robinson said. “So [for] court-type practices and games, we’re going to be asking our partners at CMC, and possibly Harvey Mudd as well, to help us out.”

— Aalia Thomas

QRC director departs 7Cs

Queer Resource Center director Manuel Diaz left Claremont on Oct. 4 to pursue a career in teaching and research, Pomona College senior associate dean Tracy Arwari said in an email to students Monday.

Diaz became the director full time in December 2017 after an arduous search process. He had previously been the interim director.

Pomona had originally hired one person, Jonathan Higgins, for the position in June 2017, but abruptly fired him in July 2017 citing differing “visions.” 

The College Fix had published an article featuring Higgins’ controversial tweets the day before he was fired. Then-Dean of Students Miriam Feldblum claimed the college knew about his tweets before it hired him and President G. Gabrielle Starr said his firing was unrelated to the article.

Arwari praised Diaz’s work at the QRC, citing his accomplishments in making the center more utilized, fostering a sense of belonging among queer and transgender students of color, creating a group for queer faculty and staff, bringing back a mentorship program for queer faculty and staff and developing ally training for faculty and staff.

“His tenure at the QRC was notable for his commitment to inclusivity and for holistic thinking about how to incorporate the experiences of faculty, staff and students into programs and initiatives undertaken by the center,” she said.

Assistant director Pharalyn Crozier, who was appointed at the same time as Diaz, will become the interim director for the rest of the 2019-2020 academic year. The school will hire an interim assistant director, and will start its search for a permanent director in the spring.

— Marc Rod

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