On January 25, Vince Greer – the Assistant Dean of Students for Diversity and Inclusion at Claremont McKenna College (CMC) – distributed the following message to the students, faculty and staff of the college:

“Dear CMC community, The Cultural Influences on Mental Health Center at CMC is offering a FREE 8-week compassionate meditation program for ethnic minority students to learn how to heal from racism- and race-related incidents. Students must identify as an ethnic minority, must have experienced race-related stress, and must have attended one of the Claremont Colleges for at least one semester. If you meet these requirements and are in need of such services, you are eligible to sign up!” [emphasis original.]

Dean Greer’s email continues to state that while Professor Wei-Chin Hwang will head the  healing program, it will be “co-led by two students.” Hwang is a tenured, full-time professor of psychology at Claremont McKenna College with expertise in “Cultural Competency” and “Race & Social Problems.” Greer’s email to the community closes by making clear that the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of Claremont McKenna has approved the program.

Many students have expressed concerns about the racial exclusivity of the program. Shawn McFall, (CMC ’18), the President of the Claremont College Republicans, told the Independent, “I find it disturbing that school funding is supporting a cause which excludes the majority of CMC students. Too many school programming centers which claim to represent and foster diversity have become mere tools for exclusion.”

Alex Ohlendorf (CMC ’18) told the Independent, “It is troubling to see that CMC, an institution which just last year saw widespread movements against racism on campus, has approved and funded an event that specifically denies students the opportunity to participate on the basis of ethnicity. By creating such segregated programs, administrators only encourage political polarization and prevent dialogue.”

Following the above-mentioned protests at Claremont McKenna College in late 2015, President Hiram Chodosh wrote publicly that “We must ensure that each of our students shares a deep sense of belonging to the CMC community. Thus, I am committed to developing a thoughtful, productive, and responsible inclusion strategy, where every student is fully engaged and valued… No student or group on our campus should live and learn in isolation.”


Image: Flickr

Categories: Campus News
  • Jim

    The first thing that should be done is to cut the unnecessary waste like the position of Assistant Dean of Students for Diversity and Inclusion. To maintain job security for a position such as this would demand that there be racial strife. Along with this position I’d fire any of the other staff ignorant enough to believe this a reasonable solution to what in the real adult world of employment is a total nonissue.

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  • Josh

    I can’t even tell if the CI has finally devolved to satire, or if this is a legitimate opinion piece.

    In what possible way, shape, or form would a mental health retreat for ethnic minorities to *deal with race-based violence* be relevant for white students? It is deeply disturbing that the “majority”, as the article so happily mentions, at CMC just absolutely *needs* access something that is *completely devoid of any benefit to them*, a healing process where they are, in fact, the ones who had inflicted the pain to begin with.

    It’s as if there were a women’s retreat focused on healing from male-based aggression and/or discrimination, and then inviting men to come. Bottom line: IT’S NOT FOR YOU. I almost feel as if I am telling a child not to eat the last cookie in the cookie jar – IT’S SIMPLY. NOT. YOURS.

    • Miguel

      Wow, so when a bunch of white people get together and say “no minorities” that’s ok? How is it that younger minorities are more traumatized than the generation which actually FOUGHT the fight for freedom?? These are people who have never been told they’re wrong, that there is virtue in victimhood and that everyone with less melanin than them wants them dead. These kids have absolutely NO reason to feel attacked for their race in 2017. In this instance it’s pretty clear the only ones not invited are white people and that right there ladies and gentlemen (the only two genders out there) is racism. And please spare me your BS power + privilege. No one believes that crap outside of academic circles and it’s demonstrably false. These students are clearly privileged and unfortunately being brainwashed beyond belief.

      • Josh

        Your comment was about 10% related to the article and argument in play, and the rest is personal opinion and bigoted ramblings. Please properly form an argument, then comment back an appropriately.

        If you want to intelligently discuss the concept of racism and bigotry, gender expression and identity, or any of the other points you seem to be leading towards but never quite reaching, then I would first direct you to the helpful source http://www.google.com: quite a bit of information there. Once you are actually informed, then we will be able to speak on such issues.

    • Beth Burkhart

      Thank you.

  • Mike Snyder

    This is a waste of my tax dollars. Liberal colleges are out of control.

    – go Trump!

  • Mike Snyder

    Go Trump!

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  • Benjamin Blumenfeld Jones

    I’m sorry I accidentally sent the un-edited version and edited version: Please post this version, it is the edited one:

    I went to Harvey Mudd from 2002-2004. I dropped out despite maintaining a g.p.a of around 3.4 because the harassment of people, like me, who were poor and/or of ethnic minority was so extreme. It broke my heart because I was sold a bill that described a forward thinking and morally upright science school that promoted and taught moral values as much as it did science. I at least expected that the school would include some moral teachings. I also expected that the students attending would have been interested in learning and talking deeply about the moral implications of their scientific work and lives. I found neither. There was no real, honest, adult discussion of the issues inside or outside of the classes.

    The level of racially motivated hate crimes was outstanding. The amount of hate speech directed at me and among fellow students was very very high, occurring on a daily basis. It wasn’t uncommon to hear ignorant statements like the ones submitted above. Which while may sound innocent enough in a “joking” manner, actually aren’t funny. They are cruel, and can cause great pain to those that they are directed at.

    It doesn’t surprise me to read article after article to this day describing the presence of extreme hate and violence at the Claremont Colleges even to this present day in 2017. As far as I remember all of the major incidents even back when I attended in 2002-2004 were for the most part covered up. I believe that the worst punishment handed out was some sort of temporary suspension that I think didn’t even last a full semester. The event I mention which led to the punishment can be read about here http://articles.latimes.com/2004/feb/14/local/me-cross14

    The article actually further proves the cover ups because the reporter from the major news paper doesn’t even report on the deeper incident. I attended at the time so I will fill you in. The four students that stole the cross and burned it had been in a minor altercation with a black janitor the week prior. He had requested that they clean up the ashes and other assorted mess of stuff that they left behind while burning stuff. It was causing him to spend lots of extra time and effort cleaning that his job otherwise wouldn’t have required.

    As I’m sure we all know of North dorm they do like to burn stuff, or at least did back then. Anyways, a week after the incident in which the janitor had requested they be cleaner they stole the piece of art work, that was a cross, and burned it in the courtyard in front of this black janitor. The final outcome, as far as I remember, involved a minor expulsion for the students. The janitor felt quit (lost in essence) his job because he felt in a very real and reasonable way that his life was in danger!

    Was there a police investigation? No! Was there even a real protest about the incident? No! the part about the Janitor was left out such that even a Times reporter never got told the full story. The article even says “Officials don’t consider it a hate crime.” Well then what do you consider a hate crime??? I don’t think that the artist who made the cross ever even found out exactly what happened.

    All goes to show it doesn’t surprise me that such things continue on to this day. Until there is a real attempt to do something about this it will continue to be a pervasive problem and the Claremont schools will continue to ruin the lives of minorities of all types. Someone should really sue these people for selling and charging for one thing, a progressive learning environment. Then actually providing another, a massively bigoted hate filled campus in which you can expect to be targeted for bullying, name calling, and even very real threats on your life if you are a minority. They will take your money and provide little to no outreach for you when you drop out.

  • Benjamin Blumenfeld Jones

    More in relation to the article…There need to be safe spaces for minorities to discuss and heal among themselves as part of a holistic process. Does anyone make a fuss when they hear about a Women’s retreat? Or how about any retreat for that matter in which a specific group of people with something in common come together to discuss a particular topic…no matter what the topic.

    I for one applaud the professor who started this initiative. It sounds like a tiny step in a good direction.