Fighting for Funding: Sustaining TIXC in 5C Party Culture

The Title IX Coalition (TIXC) was effectively
shut down this week by an Associated Students of Pomona College (ASPC) budget committee protocol
that prevents TIXC from
receiving the full funding needed to continue hosting events. This
decision not only affects our organization; it also affects you. As progressive
colleges, we must be allowed to continue providing safe spaces and
emphasizing consent culture across the 5Cs. 

Our organization is founded upon the basic principle of equality for individuals of all gender identities provided by Title IX of the United States Education Amendments of 1972. We strongly believe that the most important step toward eradicating the negative aspects of party culture in the Claremont community—such as sexual assault—is to involve a more diverse group of students in the process of organizing parties.

TIXC emphasizes the intersectionality of sexual violence and the need to include all underrepresented groups in the creation of social spaces on campus. Primarily, our initiative involves members who represent the interests of students who identify as female, because they have historically had the least agency in the fraternity-dominated party culture at Pomona. 

Everyone is impacted by
the pervasive college culture of sexual assault. The current silencing of TIXC’s voice is inconsistent with the long-awaited
emergence of sexual violence as a hot button issue. We need funding to continue to proactively confront the
existing relationship between party, substance and consent culture.
TIXC does this by hosting inclusive social events for the 5,806 members of the Claremont community.

In the last year and a half, we have successfully begun
the process of constructing a party culture that reflects the values and preferences
of more than just fraternity and student government members. TIXC’s work has
already attracted national attention. We are working with the White House and
Generation Progress’ sexual assault awareness campaign, It’s On Us, to expand
our bold
approach outside of the Claremont Colleges bubble. They have offered us their
help, guidance and support. They recognize the potential of our cause.

At TIXC’s core is a social
mission to affect culture; hosting TAP is merely the first step in our battle. TIXC has, and hopes to
continue to have, a powerful impact on our campuses.
With 30 active members, we are rapidly growing. This semester we are
focusing on reaching out to the broader Claremont community, an endeavor
that has proven successful. We have also co-hosted a
variety of events with a wide range of organizations at the Claremont Colleges. 

It
is our objective to expand TIXC from merely hosting TAP. We want to be a
resource on campus, continuously cultivating a female-centric social life beyond
just parties. Many more collaborations are in the works for this spring, such
as working with It’s On Us and
hosting Pussy Riot, a female comedy show. Since our founding, we have
established our voice on campus and claimed our right to create a safe and fun
space in Doms Lounge. However, without the funding we have requested, TIXC is
prevented not only from achieving our goals but also sustaining our
presence on campus.

The
ASPC security stipulation, made
apparent to TIXC this week, denies TIXC full funding and
essentially excludes TIXC from
participating in the 5C party culture, consequently preventing us from fulfilling our mission. It also has the unintended
consequence of hindering TIXC from expanding
our network, collaborating with It’s On Us,
having a national impact, including more students
in our enterprise and supporting 5C efforts
such as Take Back the Night.

This poses a unique problem for TIXC and ASPC Senate. As an
inclusive organization with no existing alumni base, we depend on the ASPC Senate for
our funding. The Senate’s guidelines pertaining to security costs limit student
organizations to hosting three events with alcohol each semester, unless they
obtain outside funding. This policy ensures that the only groups that can
participate consistently in Pomona’s party culture are historically
deep-pocketed, male-dominated organizations and the Pomona Events Committee.

This policy is a reversion to the status quo that stifles female agency and disables us
from actively combating party-related issues that affect the female community
disproportionately. If the Senate is truly committed to empowering women who strive
to actively prevent sexual violence at the 5Cs, which we know it is, TIXC must be allotted the
resources required to fulfill its scheduled programming for the spring semester
of 2015.

We know ASPC Senate is a dynamic organization, run by engaged, progressive individuals; however, its security funding policy has an extremely regressive effect. It prevents
consent-minded, female-focused, active Claremont students from having access to
the space that institutionalized, fully-funded
organizations have. TIXC is reaching out to alumni, deans and other
administrators in the hopes of getting enough funding to continue our objective
of changing the party and substance culture in Claremont. However, we know the members of the Senate are in full support
of our cause, so we believe that the ASPC Senate policy should be changed, and
the discrimination against fledgling organizations should end.

Women are raised to fear the threat of sexual violence.
Women are warned not to go out late at night and to avoid unknown individuals
in order to protect themselves. This puts the blame and responsibility for sexual violence on women. This should not be the case at the 5Cs. Those
threatened and victimized by sexual violence, repression and institutionalized
sexism should not be barred from participating in the social culture on campus.
TIXC will not stop fighting for the voice and resources that the female
community deserves.

Please join us in making our voice heard on campus. Email
TIXC at titleixcoalition@gmail.com. We would love to hear what
you have to say.

-TIXC

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