Kirsters Baish| It was reported that Scripps College will be having a pool party tonight at the Sallie Tiernan Field House pool. Only non-white people will be allowed to attend the party.
Scripps’ Latinx group “Cafe con Leche” announced the event on Facebook. They described the event as the “first ever POC (people of color) pool party in Claremont.”
It was claimed that the three-hour party is meant to work towards making “a safe space for 5C students that identify as POC to come together and build community.” The party will only be open to students who are of color and attend the Claremont Colleges, a group of schools which also includes Pomona College, Claremont McKenna College, Pitzer College, and Harvey Mudd College. The event will be tonight between 7:00 PM and 10:00 PM, after the pool’s normal hours of operation are over for the day.
Cafe con Leche also posted about the event on their own Facebook page, insisting that the party will be “POC ONLYYYY.” Cafe con Leche is a registered student club at the college. The group has said that their main goal is to “provide a forum for the discussion of social, political, and economic issues that affect women, particularly those of Latinx decent.”
“We welcome all members of the Scripps community regardless of racial and cultural heritage to join us in this pursuit.”
The event, sanctioned by the college, appears to violate Scripps’s anti-discriminatory policy. The policyreads, “Scripps College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity, and no differentiation will be made based on race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status, or the presence of a disability.” This event is clearly advertised as a party for individuals that identify as people of color to the exclusion of white students.
Even if the event is in accordance with Scripps College policy, it may run afoul of federal law. Because Scripps College receives federal assistance, it is bound by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VI states, “Schools and colleges that receive federal funds must operate without discriminating when it comes to race, color, and national origin.” Educational programs and services that must abide by this law include recreational facilities such as Sallie Tiernan House Pool. Consequences for violations of Title VI can include loss of any sort of federal assistance. It is unclear whether hosting the pool party after regular hours affects the application of civil rights legislature.
There have been mixed opinions on the party around campus. One student who claimed to identify as a person of color told the Claremont Independent that the meaning of the party is to build sense of community among people of color. This student also claimed that Cafe con Leche was an inclusive club: “First of all, this is a POC party. No one is saying, ‘it needs to be all Latinx or all black students etc.’ The point of this event is to promote inclusivity and congeniality between ethnic minorities. Most POCs at any of the Claremont Colleges (which are historically PWIs (Predominantly White Institutions)) interact and enjoy interacting with people of all races (obviously including white people), but sometimes it’s nice to have a time to be with people who identify in the same or similar way that you do. And that’s also why no one is forced to come—if a POC identifies more with their white peers, they’re not forced to go to this party or any [racial affinity group] meetings. The fact that they’re holding this party after hours also shows that they’re consciously not taking away the right of their white peers to go to the pool on a hot day.”
A student who attends Pamona College told the Independent that he felt that the pool party was, indeed, exclusive saying, “I am white-passing with a diverse friend group, most of whom were invited to this party except for me.”
“Talking to my friends, I felt as though the hosts of the event had gone through people’s social media profiles to determine their skin color and then explicitly allowed or denied people admission to the event on the sole basis of their skin color,” he continued.
Can you just picture what liberals would say if a group of white students had a party and said “no people of color allowed?” I can assure you that the left’s reaction would be much different.