Over the summer of 2015, two Scripps College students spent approximately 500 hours creating the “Unofficial Scripps Survival Guide.” The 217-page guide, intended to help new students acclimate to the college, features lengthy discussions of topics ranging from food and money management to gender identity, race, and privilege.

The authors state that the term “Preferred Gender Pronoun” (PGP) should be replaced with “Gender Pronoun” to avoid offending students whose gender identity differs from their biological sex. “While it may seem new and positive, PGP is actually not a good thing,” they write. “There’s nothing wrong with Gender Pronouns! However once we say ‘preferred’ we’re invalidating the entire idea. How people identify is how they identify; it is not a ‘preference.’” Another section dedicated to being a “Trans* Ally” prompts new Scripps students to ask for each of their peers’ gender pronouns in order to avoid unwittingly enforcing the gender binary when they interact with others. The guide also sets forth what is required to become an authentic “ally” to marginalized groups: “Enacting a life of accountability and ownership over your own domination and privileges is the only way you can exhibit allyship.”

The Scripps Survival Guide defines “White Privilege” as “the set of unearned benefits white people gain as a result of systematic racism and discrimination” that “benefits even those white people who are disadvantaged by other forms of institutionalized oppression like ableism, classism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia.” The authors add that “asking people of color to educate us about racism,” “asking people of color to absolve us of our guilt,” and “identifying the ways that we are engaging in the perpetuation of white supremacy” are all things that “we need to stop doing right now.” In a section titled “Dear white students,” the authors explain that “[r]everse racism cannot exist because white people maintain power over people of color” and “because there are no institutions that were founded with the intention of discriminating against white people on the basis of their skin [color].”

Since the guide’s publication, several student movements across the 5Cs, including a “Hurting and Healing” event held by The 5C Students of Color Alliance, have advocated for racially segregated spaces (called “Safe Spaces”) which are off-limits to white students. The Motley, a student run café on Scripps’ campus, has already held events exclusively for people of color. The guide justifies this segregation by speaking to the “political” and “harm[ful]” nature of the “space” for people of color, as well as by arguing that creating segregated spaces is simply “the least we can do” for non-white students. Throughout the sections regarding racism, the authors of the guide agree that “a general distaste or hatred of white people” is a legitimate response to “oppression.”

Sections of the Survival Guide addressing “Mindful Language” and “Inclusive Language” tell students to watch what they say inside the classroom, identifying “capitalism and consumerism” as concepts which “can lead to [the] dangerous promotion of certain ideals and widespread circulation of stigmatizing information.” The guide also castigates “those who oppose trigger warnings,” accusing these people of being uncaring and “potentially sexist, ableist, homophobic, racist, classist, etc.”

The survival guide also roundly condemns ableist language, denouncing the use of words like “insane” and “stupid” as “using disability as a metaphor to describe something negative” and “reinforcing [the idea] that mentally ill people shouldn’t be listened to, believed, or valued.” Students also are urged to use the term “differently abled” rather than “disabled” when referring to those with physical disabilities because “differently abled” represents the idea that “disabled people are just as valid as everyone else” and that “being disabled in a [sic] ableist world means lack of power and access.” The authors conclude the section by urging students to replace words such as “crazy,” “dumb,” and “stupid” with words like “unruly,” “moody,” and “dismantled.” The authors also advise against describing young people as “kids” or “teens,” observing that such terms are “patronizing” because of how they “belittle and demean young people’s power” and play into the assumption that “teens are incapable of certain leadership roles or don’t have the mental capacity/self control/understanding to articulate or make good decisions.”

Though the Survival Guide is unofficial, administrators at Scripps College have expressed support for it. “This student-conceived and student-authored publication is an excellent example of how serious Scripps students are about supporting the newest members of the Scripps community,” stated Charlotte Johnson, Scripps’ Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, who recently described the phrase “#Trump2016” as “racism” and “intimidation.”

Edit: An earlier version of this story misquoted the survival guide’s suggestions for addressing white privilege.


Image: Scripps College

Categories: Campus News
  • Rob

    Scripps College clearly needs to assign more homework. Too much idle time and not enough supervision.

    • Let me get an


    • Ali

      This was constructed by dozens of students (there were sometimes up to 4 people for just one article of it) and was done over summer. Get your facts straight.

  • Andy

    The authors are correct, “reverse racism” can’t exist. There is only racism, which the authors are clearly guilty of.

  • Jenn

    And once again, modern day college students are proving themselves to have less emotional resilience than preschoolers.

  • YoSoy

    Oh… my…. god

    Well i guess the upside to all this is that at least the United States of Whatever is FINALLY in its death throws. And no, we dont want you as refugees, you made your bed, you can sit there and lie in it.

    • Dr. Necessitor

      Lol. Best comment.

  • Outraged

    The indoctrination of our society by the far left in our public schools by changing text books, forcing their values, removing grading and thinking that everything is a “right” has led to this immature, demanding way of thinking. They don’t even realize how much privilege they have and should be grateful for. If the classes are too hard they protest, if the people are hurtful they protest, if they are traumatized by world events they want their tests waived. In 30 years when I am old and grey, I will look at these foolish millennials when they finally realize that they DESTROYED the GREATEST COUNTRY under GOD, indivisible with LIBERTY and JUSTICE for ALL!

    • John

      Unfortunately, Millennials didn’t write this crap. But it does enable their emotional immaturity. I feel so sorry for an entire generation. Boomers weren’t a great generation, but at least they weren’t emotionally crippled, and they were supported by the Greatest Generation. Millennials have nothing – no previous generation that can help them, and largely incapable of helping themselves.

  • sav

    This book is differently abled.

  • JRC

    Four years ago my daughter was admitted to Scripps. I am very, very glad that she chose another school.

    • mstr rick

      Like that’s going to make any difference…

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  • Liz


  • Robin Thomas

    Scripps seems to be run by hate filled anti-white bigots.

  • D. Wayne Owens

    So non-whites are entitled to spaces of their own, but whites must share whatever space is left to them with everyone — including these people who hate us.

  • Carole

    Colleges such as these (brick/mortar) are soon to become a thing of the past …oh so yesterday, a fad gone away, what once was, reminiscent of the good-ole-days – and online colleges will become the new/improved version. Until that day comes, Whites are forced to endure the constant brow-beating into White-Guilt submission by a demographic who has contributed absolutely nothing but destruction.

    • John

      I don’t think they’ll go away. They’ve become the babysitters of an entire generation who is incapable of taking care of themselves at age 18 – or 25. Someone has to tend to them, give them some reason for getting out of bed in the morning.
      They just won’t be institutions of learning.

  • Nan

    Most whites don’t even think about blacks, but you insist on rubbing your big black a** in our faces. Chill, get a life, cry a river, go back to Africa from whence you came.

  • Michael

    Stay in college, or the expensive pre-school, for life as the real work will have you crying for your ‘widdle safth spacth’.

  • Sarah

    I will no longer be donating any money to Scripps. I am tired of this SJW nonsense that parades around wasting resources.

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  • Andy

    The capitulation under the yoke of the euphemism treadmill is almost amusing. Outside of words that have literally no usage other than being derogatory, the intent behind a word or phrase is what’s important, not the collection of glorified grunts and squeals that is human language. Every attempt to replace words that have been used to hurt people fails to accomplish anything regarding the underlying problem. This is not to say that one can’t say something in poor taste or that an individual you’re with doesn’t have the right to request you use a different word but this is rather ridiculous.

  • Robin

    Pretty sure the editors who compiled it were white.
    Also I read that thing cover to cover and barely even recall that much about white privilege. It was mostly about how to pass your classes, talk with professors, resources available at the colleges. Trust Claremont Independent to take something that really made a positive difference for nervous first years and try to make a non-existent scandal out of it almost a year later.

  • Bo Grimes

    “white people maintain power over people of color”

    Thus, Obama, the most powerful executive in the world, must be white, despite his skin color, right? Remind me again which aspects of reality are social constructs? Is Obama really white as a social construct because power and privilege are manifestations of whiteness or is he really black because he identifies as black?

    The Left needs to start leaving some breadcrumbs so they can find they way out of the labyrinth they are creating.

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