In the wake of the controversy surrounding the Mudd Goes Madd, it’s becoming clear what issues actually matter to students. On the Facebook event page for the party, comments deriding political correctness received hundreds of likes, as students expressed outrage at their inability to attend the party. In a chorus worthy of a Beastie Boys song, students fought for their right to party with all their might.
The impulse is understandable to some degree—making the drunken trek up to Harvey Mudd on a Saturday night is a time-honored Pomona tradition. Yet the backlash against ASPC when it appeared that Pomona students could not attend is also indicative of a larger social ill, one worth inspecting closely.
Put more directly: Where was this mass outrage on campus last year when vandals defaced a quilt celebrating Rosa Parks’ legacy with the N-word at Scripps College? Where was the outrage when two men physically assaulted a student on the night of Queer Prom and hurled homophobic remarks at her? Would the students who spoke out when their access to a 5C party was taken way raise their voices again, or would they remain silent, complicit?
First-years may not have known that these events even occurred, but they serve as a reminder that there are bigger issues than whether or not they can trapeze inebriated on a weekend night. As friendly as the admissions brochures make it out to be, Claremont can be a hostile place. If we are to build a community at the Claremont Colleges, we must act in solidarity with one another and consider carefully what we choose to advocate for.
The first-year class is yet untested. This is the first of many inevitable campus dialogues to be had during your time here. We only hope that the next time something happens in Claremont that calls for solidarity with Black students, with queer students, with women, with survivors of sexual assault, every voice that fought for the right to party also fights for the rights of their fellow student. If not, we'll have failed our classmates.