Efforts to combat sexual assault on college campuses have been in the national spotlight with the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault and California’s “Yes Means Yes” bill, which required California colleges to define consent as a “conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity” to receive state funding.
These initiatives extend to the Claremont
Colleges, where students are uniting through the Title IX Coalition (TIXC) to
fight sexual assault on campus.
Emma Marshall PO ’14,
was the Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC) senior class president, founded
TIXC in fall 2013. The club, which started with a small number of
students informally meeting at Pomona’s Doms Lounge, aims to provide a safer space to enjoy parties, particularly for female students.
“Fundamentally, TIXC was created as a female-dominated
organization that represents female perspective generally and gives females as
a minority, and as an extension other minorities, an opportunity to shape party
culture on the 5Cs,” TIXC Outreach Chair Alice Timken PO ’16 said.
Libbbie Wilcox PO ’16, the current
president of the club, said that male-dominated organizations used
to throw most of the parties on campus.
“Females felt excluded from the party culture
at Pomona,” she said. “TIXC intends to fill this void and emphasize peace and culture.”
“It’s On Us,” a White House initiative to combat sexual assault on college campuses founded in September 2014, reached out to TIXC to establish a partnership with the organization, with the potential of spreading its model to other college campuses.
TIXC, now a 32-member
organization, is made up of primarily Pomona students, but seeks to expand to all the 5Cs. At the moment, TIXC’s most prominent activity on campus is
hosting TAP, a party at Doms Lounge, on Thursdays. Alcohol is
provided, but according to Timken, the party environment is safe and enjoyable.
“We make sure the music and the
setting and the people are very aware of consent culture,” Timken said.
Other activities include community building
events, meetings with Women’s Union and other organizations, inviting
speakers and participating in Take Back the Night, an annual nationwide event to bring awareness about sexual assault.
PO ’15, Kappa Delta President, wrote in an email to TSL that he had talked with past TIXC president Jess Liu PO ’15 to
find ways to work together.
“We regularly work with various groups
on campus, including the Advocates, to organize and fund a speaker series that
addresses themes of consent, masculinity, and inclusivity,” Whalen wrote. “We
welcome TIXC’s presence as a regular contributor to the party scene at Pomona
and the 5C’s and appreciate their shared commitment to consent culture.”
TIXC has been facing problems getting its budget approved, as ASPC will only fund three parties per student group to cut down on security costs. Talks with ASPC to increase funding will continue, but Timken said that TAP plans to continue for this semester in the meantime.
Daren Mooko, Pomona’s Title IX coordinator, said that he
would like to work with TIXC in the future, noting that the number of sexual assaults reported to the college has increased in the last few years.
“I would like students to talk
about sexual assault, walk in groups, walk in well lit areas but …
not the survivor’s responsibility,” Mooko said. “It’s the responsibility of
people not to assault others.”
TIXC meets Mondays at 8 p.m. in Smith Campus Center 217 and welcomes students from all 5Cs.