Tag Archives: Motley

Why not just CMCers should care about sexual violence policy

On Mar. 1, we attended the “5C Deans of Student Life Panel on Sexual Assault Policies,” hosted by the Motley and Sexual Assault Awareness and Resource Committee, both student organizations at Scripps. Five deans from each Claremont College were present for the 2 hour presentation, which consisted of the deans’ answers to pre-screened questions and a brief, live Q&A period.

It was an overdue opportunity for administration to engage students directly for a discussion of changes to sexual assault policies across the 5Cs. The discussion covered many questions ranging from “What do you intend to address in the policies?” to the concern that “previous policies didn’t address all [sexual] identities.”

More insightful, however, were the deans of the other colleges’ answers in relation to those of Dean Mary Spellman, Title IX Coordinator and effective spokesperson for CMC’s changes to sexual violence grievance procedures in light of the Dear Colleague Letter. Dean Spellman pointed out that CMC’s sexual violence grievance procedure policy was already “technically in compliance” before the recent changes. However, it became clear from the discussion that the other
deans were taking a strong lead from Spellman’s initiatives.

For example, Harvey Mudd College VP of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Maggie Browning, said that Harvey Mudd is in the process of revising its grievance procedures after they “took a look at what Dean Spellman was doing.”

Harvey Mudd College and Claremont McKenna College have already finalized the changes to their sexual violence grievance procedures. However, the other three colleges in the Consortium are still in the process of revising their policies.

Most of the deans emphasized that cross-campus policies were of particular importance, and it seems that policies are shifting to require that grievance procedures be carried out on the respondent’s campus. Given the frequency that students interact with one another across the 5Cs, the changes to grievance procedure policies on any of the five campuses have implications for any student at the Claremont Colleges.

Dean of Students at Scripps, Bekki Lee, acknowledged, “in cross-campus cases, the learning curve is to know each other’s processes.” It is concerning that any type of learning curve is involved in the context of serious accusations. Such comments point to the need for students from all 5Cs to educate themselves on changes to grievance procedure policies and their accompanying implications, especially in the area of the 5Cs’ differing definitions of consent and incapacitation. For example, CMC’s rules explicitly state that an individual can give consent under the influence, while other Claremont Colleges consider intoxication prohibitive of consent.

According to Dean Spellman, “each institution has its own culture of how to conduct processes. But what is really important is that where we do intersect, we have to be in agreement.”

The burden is now on students to educate themselves on how and where 5C policies intersect and agree. This starts with the sweeping changes to CMC’s sexual violence grievance procedures, and their problems, something to which we have already dedicated several articles, and something from which several 5C deans say they are taking the lead.

The Motley monopoly

It’s Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, and the spring semester has officially started at the Claremont Colleges. Back to late study nights that entail midnight snacking and caffeine highs. In order to face another intense study schedule—staring at a textbook with blood-shot eyes, unkempt hair and a growling stomach—we need grub. Pomona’s Coop Café? Check. CMC’s Hub Store? Bustling. Pitzer’s Grove House? Open. Mudd’s Jay’s Place? Got it. Scripps’ Motley? Dark, dead, with a “Closed” sign hanging from the door for well over the first two weeks of this academic semester.

When questioned about their late opening, the Motley management claims that they need to train their baristas and make a work schedule during the first weeks of the semester. (Meanwhile, the managers use the space as a personal study lounge.) Yet all the other student-run food joints on campus open early, with trained workers and a running schedule! What? Who? How does the Motley get away with this when all the other colleges’ food Meccas are open and serving? The Motley permeates entitlement with its pristine location in the center of all 5-C’s, freshly baked goods, good-looking baristas, and quirky atmosphere strewn with colorful breast-castings and tampons next to the register. Regardless of when the Motley officially decides to open to the public and regardless of how much we all complain about our caffeine deficiency, nobody will boycott the Motley! We are upset about their late opening because we love them so much. Boycotting the Motley would mean choosing to deprive our taste buds of an experience in addition to prolonging accessible caffeine.

Sure, we all have coffee machines in our cafeterias, and a few other school cafes provide us with drinks, yet we rush to the Motley after class and wait in long lines out the door. We’re even willing to pay that extra dollar to have a “to-go” cup because the Motley is worth it. 5-C’s! The Motley has a monopoly over the coffee business and we need to speak up! The rest of the Consortium’s café’s face market competition. They keep each other in check. Yet, why do we put up with the Motley’s dawdling? In addition to their late opening, the Motley is constantly running out of supplies—occasionally without the proper juice for their smoothies, without straws for their iced drinks, and without cream cheese for their bagels. I have experienced the displeasure of strawlessly sipping my “to-go” iced chai as I lifted the cup and was forced to avert my focus from my studies in order to avoid spilling. 

A coffee shop in the consortium competent enough to challenge the Motley is nonexistent. What then should we do? Should we oblige to the Motley’s schedule and put up with their occasional lack of ingredients? We justify our Motley excursions, reasoning that we only have to put up with this for four years and it’s not that big of an inconvenience. And after all, there are other coffee venders on campus (which is comforting to know, even though it is unlikely that we will utilize any other café). Will we just sit back as the Motley drains our Flex with their “to-go” cup policy, or opt to inconvenience our schedules by refusing to pay and sit inside the lively atmosphere and sip from a ceramic mug? Are we audacious enough to boycott?  Perhaps not, because if one is, she or he was never truly an ardent coffee lover and this entire dilemma is deemed irrelevant anyway. So as I am contemplating how to overcome this power struggle that is the “Motley monopoly,” I am currently sitting in the Motley, listening to Florence and the Machine and sipping a non-fat, large Chai tea Latte from my personal ceramic coffee mug, daringly defying the extra dollar “to-go” cup policy.