In a flyer introducing her course on “Southern California Earthquakes and Water,” a geology professor at Pomona College sells her class as an intriguing hands-on look at the unique “tectonic and hydrologic challenges” faced in the Golden State. She then explains how she will exercise racial preference in choosing which students may enroll in the course.

Unlike in most Pomona classes, seats in the earthquakes course are offered on a permission-only basis, which means that students must submit a written request—colloquially called a “PERM”—to the professor seeking “permission to enroll.” The professor sees all of these requests and may choose among them to fill his or her course.

Typically, professors treat PERMs as a waitlist, selecting students in the order in which they submitted their PERM requests. To the extent that preferential treatment is exercised, it is typically used to ensure that students majoring in a particular field of study are able to enroll in courses for their major ahead of others, who may simply be taking them to fulfill general education requirements.

Linda Reinen, who will teach the earthquakes course this fall, plans to use her approval authority to prefer students from marginalized backgrounds, such as non-Whites and low-income students, who she believes will derive “particular benefit” from a smaller and less competitive course.

“I encourage students who PERM this course to indicate how their background, experience, and/or interests could contribute to diversifying perspectives in the course,” she writes. “In resolving PERMs I will strive to identify students for whom the small-section setting has the potential to be of particular benefit. I am especially interested in seeing PERM requests from students of color, first generation or low-income students, international, and students early in their college career (first two years); such students are especially encouraged to apply.” (emphasis original)

Reinen does not explain how preferential approval on the basis of race, income, national origin, or age might provide a tangible benefit in a course on geological science or why the students she prefers stand to benefit more from a small-section class than other students.

Professor Reinen did not respond to the Independent’s requests for comment.

Categories: Campus News
  • Fred Gould

    Great article! I love how you guys talk about excluding white people from the sciences! Love!

  • Repsak Nivek

    Blood letting. Objectivity is anti-Blackness. Palm reading. Truth is immoral. Astrology. Free speech is oppression. Alchemy. Seeking truth is white supremacy. Phrenology. Discriminating against students from courses if they’re white is good. Haruspicy.
    Got it. Hallmarks of a Claremont Colleges education. You kids will definitely be more fun to interview for jobs than those silly M.I.T. or Cal Tech kids that spent their time learning how to figure out things and make stuff.
    (Psst. George Orwell’s “1984” is not an actual manual for you to follow. Employing “Blackwhite” is actually wrong, and was meant as farce. Sorry.)

  • Charlie M

    This makes me angry! I hope you all do something about how illegal this is!

  • KimJongNong

    This is absolutely sickening. What next, will every Pomona student receive a “marginalization quotient” which will inform them of what courses they are allowed to enroll? We need to get IT on this asap!

  • NiggerJim

    This bitch needs to be fired now!

    • Danny

      Agree. I understand your anger but don’t stoop to her level. Remember, two wrongs do not make one right.

  • Danny

    She has unlawfully violated the civil rights of those white students she rejected on the basis of race. For those white students admitted to her class, if any, she may as well tell them to sit at the back of the classroom (to allow the non-whites a better view of the board and other posted lecture material). Even Rosa Park would turn over in her grave. Sad that Pomona has allowed an imbecile to teach at an institute of higher education. I am certain Pomona can find a non-discriminatory professor to teach Geology.

  • Sage man

    Imagine the reverse. “Only wealthy white students will be admitted. This will be of particular benefit.”

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  • CC

    Why is this allowed by the university? Where is the legal action taken against the professor and the university? “Equal rights,” my um… foot!

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