On Sept. 14, the Pomona College Dean of Students informed the 5C community that date-rape drugs may be available on campus. Since then, nothing more has been done to educate and inform our community about the issue. We have received no further information on what Pomona and the other four colleges are doing in response to this serious problem. Instead, the issue seems to have been pushed aside and placed on the back burner. Pomona’s leaders are not stepping up to their responsibilities. Do they really think it will be enough to tell us to watch our drinks? That doesn’t do anything—those are just words. Where is the action? Where is the communication?
They are being extremely casual about this issue, and that makes me concerned that the administration has not taken further steps. If this alarming indication of the presence of sexual violence on our college campuses is not treated with seriousness or urgency, what is needed to get their attention?
The responsibility doesn’t fall just on the leaders of the colleges. It also falls on the students. As students, we should be angry and demand more action, because every single one of us is at risk every time we go to a party. Date rape is a real thing and exists on far too many college campuses. The Claremont Colleges are just as vulnerable as any other campus to this depressing demonstration of sexual violence. A single e-mail from the Dean of Students and a couple written articles don’t even skim the surface of how much attention this issue needs to be given. But the silence is about to end.
Starting this Friday, the managers of the Scripps College Motley Coffeehouse are taking action and talking back. We are leading a campaign called “Talking Back: A Movement to End College Date Rape.” Students can stop by the Motley on Friday and Saturday afternoon to participate by writing letters and signing a petition to encourage Pomona to take action. Over the next weeks, the Motley will be a space to gather and talk about campus date rape and what needs to be done. We will personally be contacting Pomona’s Dean of Students, as well as working with various groups on the 5C campuses to start a dialogue around the steps that need to be taken to end sexual violence on our campuses. This is just the beginning, and we hope that our actions spark others to get involved and add to this important conversation.