Campus Harassment and Disruption

Dear Pomona College Community,

I am writing to update the community regarding steps we are taking after a group of individuals refused to identify themselves to Campus Safety and Student Affairs staff, and proceeded to verbally harass staff, even using a sickening, anti-black racial slur in addressing an administrator. This is part of an escalating series of incidents on our campus, which has included persistent harassment of visitors for admission tours.

For the past week, masked individuals who are part of a protest have occupied a portion of the Smith Campus Center (SCC) lawn. This occupation was against our policies, but as we have expressed in the past, we work with students who are exercising their right to protest unless that protest impedes on the rights of others. In addition, we require all individuals on campus to identify themselves upon request by campus administrators or Campus Safety. This is imperative for the safety of our community, especially when these individuals are masked.

Early this morning, participants in the occupation of the SCC lawn voluntarily removed the tents in which they had been sleeping.

In preparation for events scheduled on Sunday, and in line with our policy, campus staff began to remove the signs and other material that remained. They informed the individuals present that they could move their own material or it would be stored for pickup.

Several individuals proceeded to verbally harass campus staff, including the use of a racial slur in addressing a campus administrator. This is unacceptable.

These actions are actively destructive of the values that underpin our community.

Campus safety and administrators offered to assist with moving the materials to the vicinity of Walker Wall, which has long been a zone in which active dissent can flourish.

Offering notice both verbally and in writing, we repeatedly instructed the individuals to stop their harassment and provide identification.

Individuals held on to the signs and continued their harassment for more than two hours.

There is absolutely no excuse for this harassment; and there is no excuse for refusal to identify yourself on our campus.

Students then, under false pretenses, entered Alexander Hall, and are occupying my office.

Any participants in today’s events on the SCC lawn or in Alexander Hall, who turn out to be Pomona students, are subject to immediate suspension. Students from the other Claremont Colleges will be banned from Pomona’s campus and subject to discipline on their own campuses. All individual participants not part of The Claremont Colleges community are hereby banned from campus immediately.

Individuals participating in this event must disperse immediately. Those who remain will be escorted off campus.

All members of our community who protest on our campus in compliance with our demonstration policy will remain unaffected.