Dare to Discuss: The Wonderful and the Fearful

In a 1948 letter to the editor, one Elizabeth Cawthorne of Pomona College wrote, “one reads such fearful and wonderful things in the SL!” We came across this line in an attempt to give our office a halfhearted spring cleaning, during which we encountered a slew of TSL (formerly the SL) newspapers past, charmingly tanned and faded in their four-page glory.

We’ve been enjoying these historic pieces of TSL in the weeks preceding our first issue of the semester for a humorous reminder of our 125-year history. However, Cawthorne’s opening line stuck out to us as we’ve been preparing for the upcoming semester. As we look to increase the breadth of our content, we encourage you to look at the 5Cs with a critical mind. Challenge the fearful and embrace the wonderful–but don’t let either slide by.

Moving on to the present, the campuses were abuzz with talk about the Claremont Police Department’s unexpected presence on Claremont McKenna College’s campus last Saturday night. Most distressingly, allegations of racial profiling recently emerged (see Diane Lee’s story on page 1). While yet to be investigated, these allegations make it clear that dialogue and transparency among students, administrators and law enforcement are severely lacking.

Police force diversity correlates with its credibility, but our neighboring cities have some of the highest race gaps between officers and the population, according to The New York Times. At 69 percentage points, Montclair leads the Los Angeles metropolitan area with the highest gap between the percentage of whites on the force and in the communities it serves, with Pomona close behind at 54 percent, a number comparable to the disparity in Ferguson, Mo.

We here in Claremont have a 22 percent gap–still significant. We hope that everyone involved can use this incident to spur a serious reconsideration of social responsibility and what it means in our individual contexts.

We also aim to contribute to 5C discourse through increased investigative coverage, with a revamped team dedicated to pursuing issues that too often go overlooked. The first in this series (Page 2) concerns political donations made by trustees at the 5C. Stay tuned for more in-depth reporting in coming weeks.

But don’t just read our stories, talk to us. Let us know what’s going on in your mind, in your dorm, in your college. Tweet at us, comment on our Facebook, follow our newly-christened Instagram (@TSLnews).

Remember: It’s never the wrong time to start a conversation. Even in the face of the most fearful topics, the fact that students are discussing these issues and taking action is wonderful in and of itself.

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