New CMC group to improve social life announced after controversial resolution and committee termination

CMC established a new working group to address student concerns regarding social life. (Wendy Zhang • The Student Life)

On Feb. 12, Claremont McKenna College’s Committee to Consider the Resolution on the Protection of CMC Social Life officially dissolved.

The committee was established in late January at an ASCMC Senate meeting to address CMC party culture through the passing of a controversial resolution proposed by Austin Andersen CM ’25 to reduce restrictions on social life.

At a Feb. 5 senate meeting, which around 20 percent of CMC’s student body attended, students intensely debated the resolution. Supporters stood alongside members of the committee and responded to criticisms regarding the resolution and its lack of inclusivity.

When the meeting adjourned after nearly two hours, no conclusion had been reached — one noticeable change for some students, however, was the tension felt throughout the room.

“I feel like the atmosphere in the senate is one that lacks decorum,” said Senator Thomas Walker CM ’26. “If they want change to happen I think that the number one thing they have to be is respectful and do it in a way that’s conducive to change and not something that creates tension.”

In a statement released on Feb. 17, the Social Life Committee cited this tension as one of their reasons for dissolving the committee, claiming that it was “indicative of a cultural divide on our campus.”

After the Feb. 5 senate meeting, leaders from the Social Life Committee asked to meet with Camille Forte CM ’23 privately. Forte had been instrumental in the large turnout on Feb. 5, having emailed over 500 CMC students asking them to come to the senate meeting and share their concerns about the resolution and its lack of inclusivity.

ASCMC officers, including Diversity & Inclusion Chair Nisha Singh CM ’23 and President Josh Nagra CM ’23, asked to join the meeting with Forte. Singh joined Forte in sharing her concerns.

“During that meeting, Camille and I voiced a lot of the concerns of the opposition and basically articulated that this is an issue that is going to require a lot more gradual change,” Singh said. “It requires you to bridge gaps and that doesn’t necessarily happen in a body like [the] senate.”

A working group of about 18-20 members will replace the committee to address social life at CMC. The ASCMC president, executive vice president, D&I chair and vice president of social affairs will serve as ex-officio members alongside the four leaders of the now-dissolved special committee.

All other seats will be filled by CMC students who apply to serve on the working group. The ex-officio members will select applicants, with the goal of forming a group that represents CMC’s student body.

The group will meet with Dean of Students (DOS) staff and use student feedback to make positive changes to CMC’s social life, according to an email Dean of Students Dianna Graves sent to CMC students.

In her email, Graves said that the purpose of the group is to “collaboratively analyze” the school’s current social life and “identify ways to make improvements.”

Starting March 1, the group will meet once a week to discuss issues involving alcohol accessibility, event registration, student fees and inclusivity.

Graves highlighted the working group’s holistic approach to social life in her email.

“At its core, this is a conversation with the student body about the community you want to have. The people you want to meet and get to know, the experiences you want to have together, the friendships you want to build,” Graves said.

In an email sent to CMC students, Singh said she hopes that new approaches to CMC’s social life — such as the new working group — will help foster inclusivity on campus.

“[ASCMC officers] want to ensure that this process will continue and be inherently inclusive of the many voices and experiences that make up our campus, including but not limited to affinity groups, CMC Advocates, student-athletes, club and organization participants, DOS, and many more.” she wrote.

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