College-Funded Queer Resource Center Excludes Non-Black Students From Networking Event
On Feb. 6, the Queer Resource Center (QRC), a student resource operated and funded by the Claremont University Consortium (CUC)—which includes elite undergraduate liberal arts colleges Pomona, Harvey Mudd, Claremont McKenna, Pitzer, and Scripps Colleges—is hosting a “BlaQ Mixer” event. According to the event’s Facebook page, “This is a closed event for black queer, trans, & intersex students, staff, & faculty at the 7Cs [Claremont University Consortium].” This event is presented as a way to “[k]ick off Black History Month,” serving as the first of a series of events intended to celebrate students of black heritage at the CUC.
The segregated event has also been advertised publicly by numerous college-affiliated organizations. The Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College (ASCMC) president sent an email to the student body of Claremont McKenna, encouraging students to “take advantage of the many opportunities here in Claremont to deeply engage with Black history,” despite many of the opportunities being explicitly exclusive of non-black students:
Email from ASCMC President
The QRC is funded by the Claremont Consortium, a consortium of liberal arts colleges and graduate schools in Southern California; however, Pomona College serves as the lead college overseeing the QRC. According to a recruitment form for the position of Director of the Queer Resource Center, the QRC has an annual operating budget of $350,000. All employees of the QRC are also classified as Pomona College employees. Because the QRC is a college-run and funded organization, the event, which explicitly excludes non-black students from the event, could be a violation of the federal government’s Title VI regulations on schools. Though the Claremont Consortium is a private collective of colleges, the colleges still receive federal funding and are therefore subject to those regulations. Violations of Title VI can result include loss of federal assistance, including financial aid support.
The QRC states that it “empower[s] queer and trans students at the 7C’s to have positive, identity-affirming college experiences. …[and] seek to cultivate a safe and inclusive campus by educating and engaging the 7C community through academic, personal, and professional development.”
As reported previously by the Independent, the QRC has previously struck controversy on campus. Last year, the QRC falsely reported that their transgender flag was stolen, and subsequently refrained from publicly admitting the mistake to the campus community. Additionally, in 2017, a Claremont Independent investigation discovered that Dr. Jonathan Higgins, the director of the QRC, had made numerous anti-white remarks on Twitter resulting in the college firing Higgins.
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