The following e-mail was sent to the QRC on Sunday evening:
Dear Staff and Students of the Claremont Queer Resource Center,
We are writing both to explain and to apologize for the painting of Walker Wall—and more importantly the painting over of the recently-painted Rainbow Flag—that occurred on Saturday evening.Those writing to you are the organizers of an event called “Beverage Scavvy,” a 5-C event, and are students of the Claremont Colleges. Beverage Scavvy is an annual event in which participants dress up and race to solve and complete all the clues given out on the scavenger hunt list; during the scavenger hunt, teams of three also must drink 24 beverages of any sort, either by themselves or with the help of others. Although this event does not violate any of the rules of the Claremont Colleges, it is, in the eyes of the administration (of Pomona College in particular), related to the event “Beer Scavvy” which took place in previous years, was run by Pomona College students, and which was considered to be a drinking game and therefore against the school’s policy. As a result of this association, we are choosing to remain anonymous. We apologize for this, as we realize it would be a far better situation if we could open this dialogue in person—or at the very least, not from an anonymous email account. We hope that you understand this decision.
We understand that many of those associated with the QRC—and many supportive students from around the Claremont Colleges more generally—were both sad and angry to find that the Rainbow flag only recently painted on Walker Wall had apparently been defaced over night. Although at this point the writing has already been done, we would like to make it clear that none of it was in any way directed at or related to the QRC, Gaypril or the queer community of the Claremont Colleges. The writing occurred specifically because of one of the clues on the scavenger hunt list, which asked students to find, make, and do certain things throughout the Claremont Colleges and the surrounding area. The clue in question read: “Your team’s name, written as large and indelibly as possible on Walker Wall.” Teams chose team names prior to receiving the list of clues (prior to finding out that they would be writing these names on Walker Wall), as we required teams to choose names in order to register for the event.
More importantly, though, the organizers of the event (the writers of the clues), wrote, finalized, and printed out the official scavenger hunt list significantly prior to the event itself, and long before Walker Wall had been painted and before we were aware of any plans to do so. We actually—and this is a fault of our own, as organizers of a 5-C event—were unaware that the wall had been painted until after the event commenced, and thus after a few hundred students were on their way to paint their team names on the wall. At this point, there was little we could do to change this clue; and students, in the rush to get to the finish line first, likely did not stop to question the clue or to think of the consequences of fulfilling it.
In short, we would like to apologize sincerely for the painting over of much of the Rainbow flag that occurred as a result of Beverage Scavvy, which we planned. We feel that this was a result of very unfortunate timing and an unawareness on our part for which we take responsibility. We want to make clear the fact that this was in no way meant to offend, hurt, or upset anyone—associated with the Queer Resource Center or otherwise. We realize that at this point the damage has already been done, and that a great deal of work went into painting the wall by many students. We hope, though, that we can fix all other damage done as a result of Beverage Scavvy by making it understood that no harm was meant in any way, by either the organizers of or participants in Beverage Scavvy. And, although we meant no harm, we do apologize sincerely for what happened. Organizers of this event in future years will make sure to be more careful of other events on the Claremont Colleges and make every effort possible to avoid this sort of thing from happening again.
We hope this clears up some of the concerns about the incident on Saturday night, and again, we apologize for the necessity of communicating with you anonymously. Please email us with any questions or concerns.
The organizers of “Beverage Scavvy”