Sometimes things are just plain hilarious. So it is with Pomona's TSL's latest piece, "Smiley '80s Sells Out Tickets; Students Retaliate," (link not yet available) which shed light on the fact that as many as thirty students are facing disciplinary action after they created fake wristbands using craft store supplies to get into the party.
According to one anonymous student, the fakes were "pretty flawless." But of course, Pomona still busted most of the students anyways. The article further reports that those students will be "required to attend a meeting with Dean Gerard to discuss these consequences."
(On a side note, I am informed that the Dean who emailed the students forgot to bcc them all and so, they all know who is getting punished. One student, apparently, emailed all the others and invited them all to get beers and work together on figuring out a way to get out of their rather sticky situation. Never underestimate the power of )
But why, oh why, were these these rules are established in the first place? Let's look at the article again.
"The reason we need to limit the party is based on the fire code of the building," said Kayleigh Kaneshiro '10 Co-chair of the Annual Events Subcommittee.Well, I think fire codes are silly laws: They restrict the movement of the people! Down with fire codes! Party on, baby! Disco inferno! (Yes I know that's a song from the Trammps and written in 1976, but I'm trying to stay close to the 80s theme.)
But wait. Why is Pomona following the law this time but not others?
I've found a parallel situation. (I know some Pomona readers of this blog are such a fan of analogies, so I hope they'll permit me to indulge myself.)
I guess I'll draw the parallel with immigration: Pomona makes a habit of admitting illegal immigrants and then giving them copious amounts of aid. If that weren't bad enough, Pomona gives almost no aid to legal immigrants. (To be sure, it picks six poor students to admit and give money to, but this policy has the net effect of saying, as Kelvin Lee, "Let only the eager, thoughtful, reverent, and rich internationals enter here.")
Putting aside the whole incentivizing-people-to-come-to-America-illegally-argument, I've got something of a moral problem with paying to educate people who come to America illegally and then giving nothing to people who come to America legally. Pomona effectively calls the legal international students suckers and proceeds to take all their money from them, while giving the ones who hopped the fence or overstayed their visa carte blanche. Call me old-fashioned, but I think that's wrong.
Will Dean Gerard or any other member of Pomona get a talking to for this behavior? I somehow doubt it.
Pomona restricts access to some of the most qualified applicants in the world. They just happen to have non-U.S. passports and play by the rules. Like the people who made fake wristbands to go to the dance, all they want to do was get in.
P.S. (I am informed that one of the authors of the piece, Travis Kaya, also wrote about "undocumented citizen" in a news piece in The Student Life several months ago.)