OPINION: A community worth fighting for — thank you, CMC

Reflecting on a year as the president of ASCMC, in the midst of a global pandemic that has reshaped every aspect of being a Claremont McKenna College student, is disorienting. However, my main takeaways seem as applicable as ever, and I’d like to share some of them with you, the CMC student body. 

Student government plays a unique role at CMC; we are simultaneously responsible for funding and overseeing student clubs and organizations, planning and executing inclusive programming and events, and serving as a representative voice advocating for the student body. ASCMC has so many functions that actively make CMC more inclusive. 

I’d like to leave you with a few thoughts on how our student body can best build and support each other and this community.

We need to work together 

CMC is filled with students and student groups that put so much effort and dedication into improving the CMC community. By working together, we can be a bigger force for change at CMC. 

For instance, ASCMC signed a memorandum of understanding with CMC Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence so we can better support them and the work that they are doing. We hosted Wellness Week with the College Programming Board, where we combined forces to host events for the student body surrounding personal well-being. 

While these are just two examples of ASCMC partnering with student groups, they show how much we can accomplish by teaming up. Affinity groups, athletic teams, clubs, institutes and more are already doing so much work to support students — we can accomplish more when we work together.

Student government matters

If ASCMC doesn’t stand up for student interests, who will? 

Students should utilize ASCMC as a mechanism to work with administration and stand up for student interests. ASCMC is uniquely positioned to gather and voice the sentiments of the student body to faculty, college administration and the CMC Board of Trustees. Every CMC student is a member of ASCMC, all CMC students can become senators, and many positions on ASCMC’s Executive Board are directly elected by the student body. 

There are many mechanisms through which ASCMC stands up for student interests — we can appoint students to sit on College and Board of Trustees committees, pass resolutions through Senate and regularly meet with allies throughout the college who actively want to incorporate student feedback. 

In our recently passed constitution, we added a mission statement and diversity statement that fundamentally commits ASCMC to being a voice for student interests, and centers social justice in everything that we do. While I am so proud of the many accomplishments and achievements of our Board, I am most proud of the values that we brought to every conversation and decision. 

ASCMC can and should be the voice representing students, and when students want to see change on campus, they should feel that their voices will be amplified by working through and with ASCMC.

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This community is only as strong as our investment in it 

My favorite part about CMC will always be the community. I am constantly in awe of the ways in which CMCers come together and support each other, in the best and worst of times. CMC, both as an institution and community, has changed in profound ways because people have invested in its growth. 

Now more than ever, we should embrace a critical love of CMC — to recognize the complexity of the institution and the individuals inside of it — and work to improve it because we love it and know it can do better. This community is only as strong as our willingness to keep fighting for it.

Critical love for this community will look different for everyone. Whether through direct student advocacy (join Senate!), serving as a first-year guide or resident assistant, or being a generous teammate, classmate, and friend, there are so many ways we can support each other. I hope you feel that this community is worth investing in. 

Please know that this kind of love can be exhausting and heartbreaking. I still think it’s worth it. 

Thank you 

I want to say my sincerest thank you to everyone who provided me with so much support and mentorship while in this role: Devon MacIver, Dianna Graves, Sharon Basso and the whole Dean of Students office; Hiram Chodosh, Peter Uvin, Nyree Gray and Matt Bibbens; David Mgrublian, Jeff Klein and the entire CMC Board of Trustees; as well as countless other staff, faculty, administrators and offices that have given their time and wisdom to myself and ASCMC. 

Thank you to ASCMC’s 2019-2020 Executive Board for the consistent hard work and dedication you brought each day — I am so lucky to have worked with such brilliant and thoughtful individuals. 

Mostly, thank you to the CMC student body for giving me the immense privilege and honor of serving you in this capacity. The best part of the job was having a reason to talk to every student. 

I love you, CMC. Thank you for everything. 

Dina Rosin CM ’20 is a guest writer and a philosophy and public affairs major who is passionate about student advocacy and impromptu dance parties. She served as the 2019-2020 ASCMC student body president. 

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