On Friday, Pomona College’s Draper Center for Community Partnerships informed the Pomona community that it will provide students with funding to participate in Saturday’s anti-Trump rally in downtown Los Angeles.
“We are sponsoring a group of 70 students to go to the anti-hate rally in LA tomorrow morning! Please share with your communities—as of now, this is open for Pomona students only,” stated the Draper Center in a post on its Facebook page. “Read the information on the form carefully and only sign up if you can commit and be on time.”
The form to sign up states “the Draper Center is responding to student responses/needs to engage with our wider SoCal community to unite against hatred. One way this week we will be supporting students is providing Metrolink passes and a group to go to the United Against Hate March starting at MacArthur Park in LA on the morning of Saturday November 12th.”
Information in the form includes a link to the Facebook event page of the protest, named “March in Los Angeles against Trump!” The march’s event page states that “it is our time as a movement to unite and fight back against Donald Trump and what he wants to do to this country!”
Further information on the form included a number to reach an on-call dean via Campus Safety “in event of arrest or other emergencies,” as well as a link to a guide on protesters’ rights.
A similar protest on Friday in Los Angeles resulted in the arrest of 187 adults and eight juveniles, although the Saturday demonstration was described by national media as more “peaceful.”
The Draper Center is Pomona College’s community outreach organization that “fosters mutually beneficial exchanges between Pomona College and the larger community of which we are a part,” according to the center’s mission statement. “We do this by connecting community members, students, faculty, and staff in support of education outreach, community-based research and learning, and other community engagement activities.”
Pomona College President David Oxtoby has previously stated in an interview with the South China Morning Post that he “don’t [doesn’t] think it’s good for universities to take political positions” and, referring to student demonstrations, “if there was any risk of violence or harm to anyone, the school would have to step in and halt proceedings.”
Some students felt that it was acceptable for the college to fund student protesters. “I personally don’t see an issue with it. The school can do what it sees fit as a private institution. I don’t see it as a political move so much as an attempt to help cover the financial costs of political activism. If it allows more people from disadvantaged backgrounds to protest, it’s fine with me,” Eliot Sands (PO’ 20) told the Independent in a message.
Pomona College is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.