CMC Suspends Multiple Students for Policy Violations at April Protest

In a statement this morning, Claremont McKenna College announced sanctions placed on ten CMC students for violating college policy during the protests against Heather Mac Donald that took place in early April.

Of the approximately 170 protesters who “breached the perimeter safety and security fence” and blocked entrances and exits of the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum during the protests, twelve were identified as CMC students eligible for punishment by the college, and of those, ten received sanctions including suspensions and probations.

Another four non-CMC students have had their on-campus privileges limited for their “significant roles in the blockade.”

The announcement marks the conclusion of CMC’s investigation into the protests, which has been ongoing since at least May. The college undertook “a review of available video and photographic evidence” to identify the students involved in policy violations in the course of the protests. Ultimately, the college charged ten students with violations of college policy, only to find that three of those students “were not responsible for any violation.”

“After a full conduct investigation and review process for the remaining seven students, an independent community panel found each student responsible for policy violations,” the college said. “Three students received one-year suspensions … Two received one-semester suspensions … Two were put on conduct probation.”

The college added that “all sanctions include strong educational components.”

These sanctions come three months after students from across the Claremont Colleges—a consortium of five liberal arts colleges which includes CMC—protested a talk by Mac Donald, a vocal critic of the Black Lives Matter movement. After labeling Mac Donald—a Stanford University-educated attorney and conservative political commentator—an “anti-Black fascist,” the protesters organized a blockade of the Athenaeum to deny her an in-person audience, prompting CMC President Hiram Chodosh to vow to bring to justice the students who violated policy during the protests.

In its latest statement, the college described the specific transgressions of the protesters, who “breached the perimeter safety and security fence and campus safety line, and established human barriers to entrances and exits,” thereby “depriv[ing] many of the opportunity to gather, hear the speaker, and engage with questions and comments.”

“The blockade breached institutional values of freedom of expression and assembly,” the college stated. “Furthermore, this action violated policies of both the College and The Claremont Colleges that prohibit material disruption of college programs and created unsafe conditions in disregard of state law,” the statement continued, referring to the illegal blockade of fire exits.

The college completed “a full, fair, and impartial student conduct process before determining the findings, sanctions, and the resolutions of appeals,” the College declared.

CMC also said that it has sent information regarding policy violations by students from the other Claremont Colleges to their respective schools.

“CMC has also provided evidence of policy violations by students of the other Claremont Colleges to their respective deans of students.” Accordingly, in a letter released to the student body, “consistent with inter-college policy, CMC has asked each campus to review this evidence under their own conduct processes. In addition, CMC has issued provisional suspensions of on-campus privileges to four non-CMC students who appear to have played significant roles in the blockade.”

In a statement to the Independent last month, however, Pitzer College claimed that it was not in correspondence with Claremont McKenna regarding any student code violations. Administrators at Pitzer have not yet responded to further requests for comment on this matter.


Update: In a response to the Independent’s most recent inquiry on whether Pitzer College received a report from CMC regarding Pitzer students at the protest, a Pitzer College spokesperson stated that “Pitzer is in communication with Claremont McKenna College. We are currently reviewing all information provided.”


Photo: Jenifer Hanki / CMC

25 thoughts on “CMC Suspends Multiple Students for Policy Violations at April Protest”

  1. That protest was the greatest example of brain washed white virtue signaling that I’ve ever seen. What a flock of sheep! Evergreen State students will soon learn what employers think of their brown shirt bulls**t. I hope 5C students don’t suffer the same fate.

  2. How many of the suspended students had already graduated, making their suspensions meaningless gestures? I suspect the longest suspensions were reserved for those students who just graduated in May.

    1. Not meaningless. They have holds on their degrees. They will be official class of 2018 graduates, they did not receive their degrees, nor can they access their transcripts

      1. I guess opinions differ on whether this sanction is mild or draconian. While I imagine something of an inconvenience to a recent graduate, the effect does not appear too lasting to me. Nothing will appear on the person’s transcript when the suspension is over.

  3. I suspect that these sanctions are are entirely without teeth, imposed upon a minimum number of students. Why is it that that no students were mentioned either by name or year? Their actions were public, why shouldn’t the punishments be so too? We will find, I think, that the administration wanted to avoid looking spineless, and did so by imposing a sanction that fails to punish. If the students have already graduated, a suspension has absolutely no consequence. Time for the Claremont Independent to do some deep digging and figure out who the students are and what effect the suspensions will truly have. Expose these non-sanctions for what they are!

    1. actions weren’t actually public. the campus is private. they can deal with it as privately as they please–in fact, it’s quite possibly against policy to make the names public.

      1. It’s actually against the law for CMC to make the names public – look up FERPA. And if the punishments were without teeth, why is their lawyer so worked up? Grad school, fellowships, jobs, scholarships, fin aid, etc. are probably at risk.

        1. It seems their lawyer was worked up about the possibility of expulsion rather than about the ultimate imposed sanctions.

          1. I think she’s still worked up. Look at the recent Inside Higher Ed and TSL articles where she is quoted. If the ultimately imposed sanctions were a slaps on the wrist, she wouldn’t continue to spew her complete nonsense – her clients would tell her to zip it. When Middlebury imposed probation for the Murray shout down and assault did any of the students or their lawyers complain about those toothless punishments? Nope, not a peep.

    2. I was there and surprised they were able to identify as many as 7 from CMC. Looked to me like virtually everyone was from Pitzer, Scripps, and Pomona. Real question for CI is what will those admins do? If they do nothing, isn’t that a free pass for them to do it again?

    3. Because there is a history of cyber-bullying by fans of the CI that has already caused the suicide of one Claremont student.

      Students who graduated did not receive their diplomas, are not official graduates, and cannot access their transcripts until May 2018. They will be graduates of the school one year late, and cannot call themselves the graduates until then. For students on probation, they cannot get in trouble again or there will be punishment.

      It is not time for the CI to find out who the students are. It’s not relevant to anyone.

      1. Do you know for a fact that students who graduated did not receive diplomas? Because the investigations were not concluded until recently. I would be surprised if diplomas were withheld during on-going investigations.

      2. According to the article on Campus Reform, the students did conditionally receive degrees at graduation even though under conduct review. If sanctions were to be applied after graduation, the conditional degree becomes permanent after fulfilling the sanctions.

      3. I’m surprised at the assertion that the CI created cyber-bullying that caused a suicide. It’s the first I heard of this….

  4. “Hey Hey Ho Ho these race baiters have got to go!”

    “From Oakland to Greece, f-ck PC police!”

    I am so outraged that the the school even considered enforcing the rules, people of color should be exempt from any and all rules, along with responsibility for their actions.

  5. If the students have already graduated, a suspension will not show up on their transcript beyond the time of the suspension. Nor will any suspension, ultimately, regardless of graduation status. So it is unlikely the suspensions will affect graduate schools, employers, etc..

  6. Some schools do permanently note suspensions on transcript – don’t know if CMC does. If they’ve already been accepted to graduate school or a post graduate fellowship, that will definitely be affected – mostly likely a rescission though possibly a deferral. Jobs would be up to the employer – doubt any of note would/could look the other way. As for current students, a one or two semester gap would need to be explained – good luck doing that with grad schools, fellowships, employers.

  7. So, if you’re a Pitzer, Scripps, or Pomona student, you allowed to run riot at CMC, and then hustle back to the protective embrace of your own admins? I’m a Pomona alum, and I believe Pomona misbehavers should be sanctioned.

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