Pitzer Senate: “Yacht Club” is Too Offensive

At Pitzer’s weekly student Senate meeting this past Sunday, a proposed Yacht Club was turned down on the grounds that its name was offensive. “Student Senate voted against this club instatement last night, as the majority of Senators found the name ‘Yacht Club’ to have a particularly offensive association with Yacht Clubs and a recreation known for being exclusive,” wrote Taylor Novick-Finder (PZ ’17), an Environmental Senator, in an email on Pitzer’s Student Talk thread.

The club requested $5000 in funding to go towards renting boats and hiring instructors, though clubs do not have to receive the full amount requested from the Senate (or any money at all) if the Senate approves them. According to Senators, this was only the third club to be rejected by the Senate in the history of Pitzer College. The first two, the Hammock Club and the Cake Club, were denied because they were too similar to existing clubs already funded by Pitzer.

The Yacht Club’s would-be president, Jordan Fox (PZ ’16), is also a member of the student Senate at Pitzer. “We as a Student Senate have overreached our boundaries,” Fox stated in an interview with the Claremont Independent. “We should be looking for ways to fund clubs that promote a sense of community within the student body.” Fox has never sailed before, and was hoping to start a club that teaches and promotes boating and sailing. “It’s frustrating that we don’t really have a precedent set as far as which clubs we’re willing to approve and which ones we aren’t. It’s almost like this is a satire at this point.”

“We were turned down just because of our name,” Fox said. “We have been trying to talk about the description of the club, but everyone is so focused on the name. We never had intentions of making this club offensive in any way. I certainly never would have thought this name could be considered classist.”

According to screen shots obtained by the Claremont Independent, some students felt that the decision to reject the Yacht Club was justified, regardless of its name. “It doesn’t matter what it is called, the club itself is a classist and inaccessible activity for people who are not wealthy,” wrote one Pitzer student. “Pitzer’s money would be going towards a luxurious classist, elitist yachting activity (alienating students on campus who are lower income) instead of going to support for example queer and trans people of color, disabled students, working class students, indigenous/Native American students, etc.”

Other students disagreed. “I think you are missing the point that this club would open up access to sailing for people who have never been able to experience it, like myself,” wrote Kyle Dalrymple (PZ ’17), a member of the Senate’s Faculty Executive Committee. “Additionally, I will stress again the approval of a club has nothing to do with the budget allocated to it.”

Senators also criticized the decision to turn down the Yacht Club based on the precedent set when the Tattoo Club was approved earlier this year. The Tattoo Club’s proposal statement says that the club’s function “would potentially include but not be limited to: subsidizing transportation to tattooing locations, subsidizing the cost of the tattoos themselves, bringing speakers to the Claremont Colleges, providing information about tattoo related locations and events, and hosting stick and poke parties! (just kidding).”

Typically, the only criteria that the Senate considers when determining whether or not to approve a club is that it uses money from the student activities fund to pay for student experiences (as opposed to commodities), which Yacht Club stated it would do.

One Senator pointed out the hypocrisy of rejecting Yacht Club when Tattoo Club was funded for the same overarching purpose of opening up access to different experiences.  If anything, subsidizing tattoos for individual students constitutes more of a commodity than renting a boat for students to learn how to sail together. “Taylor’s student talk email was a disgusting misrepresentation of the situation and an attempt to rial [sic] up the student body in opposition to this club instead of having to deal with addressing some of the dangerous precedents set by this body. It should be noted that Taylor was adamantly in favor of tattoo club, which we openly opposed.”

Yacht Club’s founders hope that Senate will approve their club if they change its name. “I by no means want anyone to feel uncomfortable. I would just like a space on campus where we as students can enjoy and learn more about sailing, boating, the ocean, and sea chanteys,” said Fox. “After the meeting, we are planning to change the name of the club or possibly drop the matter altogether.”

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Image Source: Flickr

31 thoughts on “Pitzer Senate: “Yacht Club” is Too Offensive”

  1. “Yacht Club”

    “I certainly never would have thought this name could be considered classist.”

    That’s exactly why you had to be turned down. Nobody objects to sailing. They object to oblivious douchebags.

  2. I know that the founder of the club formed the club in an attempt to point out the flaws within the Senate. I don’t believe his main reason for starting the club was to actually go sailing and enjoy new experiences but instead to try and stick it to the Senate by making up this club to show that anything could be approved. This is just what I know from the student talk email chain and personal encounters with him.

  3. Wow people are dumb and sensitive, if the name is that offensive to people just call it a small boat sailing club. Sailing is one of the most friendly sports there is.

  4. This is a new low in stupidity, even for Pitzer. When will they get their heads out of the sand and wake up to the perils of their hyper-sensitivity, and over-exaggerated political correctness?

  5. Certainly you don’t think Yachts are offensive. l think almost anyone that had the opportunity to sail on one would be thrilled. If the “Yacht Club” is open to all students then I don’t see the problem. What is wrong with living it up from time to time and giving those who do not normally have the opportunity to do so sail.

  6. Well of course the writer of this article isn’t bothered by elitism or classism. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and has been given every privilege and advantage in his life. People who’ve had everything handed to them usually are incapable of understanding why flaunting it appears douchey to others. That being said, the tattoo club seems incredibly stupid too.

    1. Are you nuts? Sailing in a sailboat isn’t “flaunting” anything, and the fact that some people have more money than me doesn’t “offend” me, or anyone else who isn’t a grasping, hateful pathetic simpleton. This is a school where a year’s tuition costs over $50,000. And any student who thinks the words “Yacht Club” are antagonistic might as well have burned that money.

  7. Anyone Boat Club – how’s that. or Populist or Proletarian Boat Club. No Yachts allowed, motor,sail, row, paddle, jet ski or tube, just no yachts or aircraft carriers, or PT boats or mine layers or sweepers.

  8. As stupid as having this problem is and everyone participating in the stupidity (me now too) what is AMAZING is no one close to solving a problem that doesn’t exist. Sad day in a country of nincompoops. Mercy killings really should be used here, mercy for the rest of us from human waste.

  9. Shows the extent to which PC pseudo thought dribbles into idiocy followed in a goose step brown shirt manner with no reflection on anything except appearing to be “the right way” about things and then imposing you way on others. And the yacht club idiots acting innocent is equally despicable.

  10. OK, they think Yacht Club is offensive. No worries, don’t call it a yacht club, call it something else. BUT some some of the decision makers in this discussion ought to go sailing, or go to where sailing is undertaken and not a Yacht Club. This strikes me as people making decision in no or very limited information. I can guarantee you from 55 years of sailing that sailing is the defination of egalitarian. Plumbers accountants and Masters of the Universe can all share the same sense of awe, fear confusion satisfication and seasickness. Sailing requires the ocean and the weather and neither of these powerful phenomena not care how much money you may or not make. Hell even The Larry is on record as having said he thought he might die in the Sydney to Hobart race in 1998 or 9 or so. Bazillions would have been no help then. He was in the same boat, literally as the other 20 guys.

  11. I am a stupid elitist yacht club member – I don’t need the student body of Pitzer sailing with me. Fox and his buddies can sail with me any day.
    I also need help cleaning my bottom – something some of the senate of Pitzer would probably misconstrue!
    With an acceptance rate of 12.9% – some of the senate don’t know the meaning of exclusivity.
    Long live Sailing Scuttlebutt.

  12. With an experience of 4 Atlantic crossings and been a Cape Horner 2 Drake Passage crossings to Antarctica I am surprised for such a decision. If the decision makers of the future think that tattooing is a hobby to promote and sailing is an elitist sport they better rethink or go once sailing. I know some kids great kids from Claremont Colleges and cannot believe this decision was taken. Sailing is one of the sports, hobbies that should be at the top for manager students, social workers, for people who care for the envinroment. Just read the stories of the great navigators and the stories of simple people cruising around the world.
    Pity I wanted my kid to apply to one of Claremont’s Colleges…..now I know…..

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