On Feb 17th, a Claremont student visiting the Oldenborg Center, Pomona’s international residence hall, found a hallway’s painted map of the world defaced; the word “Israel” had been scraped off hastily. This heightened tensions between those who support and those who oppose the state of Israel. For weeks, they went back and forth replacing Israel with Palestine and vice versa.
On March 1st, almost two weeks after the clash began, Pomona Dean Josh Eisenberg and Oldenborg Director Paul Cahill sent an email to the students living in the residence hall, writing, “we all are aware of the longstanding conflict in that region of the world. Vandalizing a map is not the form of expression we espouse in our campus community.”
According to the email, the college administration’s main response is a restorative justice circle set to take place on Monday, March 6th at 6:30 p.m. in the Oldenborg dining hall. The circle is for Oldenborg students and specific invitees only.
The Pomona administration’s email continued, saying, “we will remove the map from the hallway. Plans have not been finalized for what will replace it. We hope that we can work as a community to find a visual expression of the community we aspire to in Oldenborg.” As of March 2nd, the vandalized map remains on full display.