The Associated Students of Pomona College hosted the 18th annual Pomona Student-Trustee Retreat on Friday, Sept. 30. The theme of the dinner was “Pomona among the Claremont Colleges,” with a focus on exploring Pomona’s position as a member of the Claremont University Consortium.
The aim of the retreat was for students to engage in dialogue with trustees about how shared resources, infrastructure, and policies could be more effectively structured.
“The trustee retreat offered an opportunity for important conversations among factions of the Pomona community that do not often have chances to talk,” Carlos Hernandez PO ’18 said. “It is one of the things that makes Pomona very special–the fact that students and trustees get a chance to engage in conversation at the beginning of the year.”
The event began with remarks from Miriam Feldblum, Vice President and Dean of Students, and Meg Lodise PO '85, member of the Board of Trustees. The talks were followed by a presentation about the history of the Claremont Colleges and a trivia quiz.
Student speakers Carly Grimes PO ’18, Shreyas Kadaba PO ’18, and Alaina Woo PO ’17 also talked about their personal experiences regarding shared resources. They spoke about the benefits of having access to large-scale university resources, but also highlighted improvements that could be made.
Students and trustees then participated in two breakout sessions, comprised of about seven groups with roughly 12 students and four trustees each. In the first session, influential policies and resources were identified, while the second session was meant to brainstorm ideas for improvement.
The breakout sessions were followed by dinner in Edmunds Ballroom, during which each group shared what they had discussed. Popular topics included Monsour and its lack of support for students, a cross-campus interdepartmental gathering, a 5C alumni directory through Handshake, and new gym facilities open to all students.
“Most people I talked to in attendance said that the meetings were both productive and enlightening,” Liam Reese PO ’18, ASPC Junior Class President, wrote in an e-mail to TSL. “You're given an entirely new perspective when you're talking about the issues you face with the people who have ultimate control over the direction of our school, and it's heartening to see that those people are mostly willing to listen to our concerns.”