Last week, I sent out a message regarding an incident that took place at the Women's Union on February 19th. As reported to us at the time, the conduct by some non-Pomona students during that event, including the continued recording of the event when asked to desist by the organizers, necessitated a response. In recent days, I have received a number of messages requesting some clarification. I want to take this opportunity to share with you some context, and invite you to a future forum.
Shortly after the reporting of the event, my office was in contact with the Pomona students in attendance at the event. At the same time, we were in contact with the CMC Dean of Students office so that they could engage in the process of finding out more about the event from the CMC students who attended. Beyond the campus message, my office subsequently issued ban letters to two of the students involved based on their reported conduct in the Women's Union. Although we understand that the individuals have made themselves known to the general public, we do not discuss the specifics of individual cases. When a restricted individual is a Claremont College student, a ban can be apart from any judicial process that may take place on the student’s home campus. At Pomona, my Associate Deans and I work with the other relevant Claremont Dean of Students office prior to issuing a ban, or when one of our students receives a ban letter by another campus. I am appreciative that the CMC Dean of Students office is continuing to work with us on this case, and is now gathering additional information.
A ban is not implemented lightly, and consideration is given to the nature and extent of the harassing or non-compliant behavior, or other actions that disrupt campus activities or threaten members of the community. This form of response is taken with respect to non-speech behavior, and not the content of speech or expression. Pomona College maintains as a core value the support for and commitment to free, robust speech and vigorous discussion around controversial and sensitive issues. Toward that end, I would like to invite students to work with us to host on Pomona's campus an open forum on abortion to take place this spring if possible. We invite all the students who attended the event on February 19th to work on developing the forum format and topic areas and to participate in the event itself. I am happy to announce that the CMC Dean of Students has agreed to co-host this forum with our office. Our shared goal is to host a forum that provides an opportunity for rigorous debate and thought-provoking discussion on topics that, while difficult, are central to our lives as individuals and as members of the broader community. We encourage students who want to help in organizing and developing the format for the public forum to contact Dean Daren Mooko before March 25th. Once more details about the event are available, an email will be sent out to announce the date and time along with any other information.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.
Miriam Feldblum Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Professor of Politics 101 Alexander Hall Pomona College 550 N. College Ave. Claremont, CA 91711 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 909-621-8017 Fax: 909-607-7288
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