Student Gov’t VP Hijacks Facebook Page to Comment on Unconfirmed Harassment Claims at Pirate Party

On Saturday, Claremont McKenna College (CMC) hosted its annual “Pirate Party” event, open to students of the college and guests. A day later, the Vice President of Student Activities for the Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College (ASCMC), CMC’s student government, used the group’s official Facebook page to address alleged instances of unacceptable behavior at the party.

In his post, the Vice President claims that during the event, “there were (predominantly white) men acting in aggressive, abusive, and otherwise unacceptable ways.” No further details of this alleged behavior were provided, but he apologized on behalf of ASCMC for “letting this happen on our campus.”

Retracted post (1/2)

Retracted post (1/2)

His claims were mirrored by the event’s DJ, who in a separate statement alleges that “White Men… Harassed, Abused, & Fought WOC” (Womxn of Color) throughout the event. He then encourages these white men to learn about their “masculine insecurities, deconstruct them, & then reflect.”

Post by one of the DJs

Lacking microphones by order of the event’s hosts, the DJ claims he was unable to intervene while the behavior took place in front of him during the event. He concludes by saying “[y]es, it’s an attack on you, as justly so, but really actually listen to it & digest it.”

Soon after posting on behalf of ASCMC, the Vice President was forced to remove his post as it was in violation of ASCMC policy, which stipulates that public announcements must “distributed internally for comment and editing prior to being published.” In an additional Facebook post, the Vice President adds that he knowingly “ignored procedure” to comment on the incident but felt compelled to do so without permission.

Initially, the Executive Board of ASCMC appears to have been divided on the Vice President’s statement, as only some board members were given the opportunity to examine and investigate the claims made in his post. Some members of the Executive Board had objections to the phrasing used in the post, according to the Vice President.

Since then, the Executive Board has published a joint statement, removing any references to a specific racial group but stating that “It has recently been brought to our attention that there were numerous instances of unacceptable behavior at Pirate Party, including sexual harassment…ASCMC does not only condemn racism and misogyny, among other forms of oppression, but we actively strive to combat these injustices on our campus.”

“While we had events staff, RAs, Advocates, and Deans at the event, we need to do more and do better to not only stop this behavior as it occurs, but address the underlying problems that allow these injustices to perpetuate. Again, ASCMC seeks to actively fight oppression of all kinds, especially those occurring in our CMC and Claremont community, and we will continue to strive to do better,” ASCMC added.

The new post (1/2)

The new post (2/2)

When asked by the Independent, the ASCMC President declined to comment on the post made on behalf of the organization, or discuss measures that will be taken to prevent these posts from occurring in the future.

 

Correction: A previous version of the article incorrectly stated that the Vice President made the Facebook post and that ASCMC prevents public statements from being posted within 24 hours; the Vice President of Student Affairs made the post, and public statements have no time limit but rather need to be discussed and edited internally. This updated version reflects those corrections.

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