On Tuesday, Claremont DISCOVR (IG:@claremontdiscovr) posted a petition calling on the Claremont Colleges to provide an online alternative for disabled students. DISCOVR, also known as Disability Community and Validating Relationships, is “a coalition at the 5Cs organized for a future where every student can get the medical, social, and educational support.”
The petition demands that the colleges “live-stream all in-person lectures with students having the choice to go in person or attend the live-stream[.]” It also demands that the colleges “repeal the in-person attendance requirement” and “ensure that students with COVID-19 can access their classes remotely.”
DISCOVR claims that “the Claremont Colleges are denying requests to learn remotely -- even from students who have high-risk health conditions.” So far, the petition has gathered more than 780 signatures with the goal of reaching 1,000.
The petition comes at a time of change at the 5C’s, as many classes have shifted to in-person teaching. Some classes will remain online for the duration of the semester, others are taking place in person.
DISCOVR released this statement:
“Let us be clear: this is about equitable access to education. During the midst of a pandemic, disabled students are being told to either risk their health or forfeit their education. Students are being denied remote accommodations for classes that are required to graduate. The Colleges are even advising students to drop out until the pandemic subsides. At some of the Colleges, even faculty members who want to provide a hybrid option are barred from doing so.”
The post specifically takes aim at Pomona College, posting a black-and-white photo of the gates that reads “let only the eager, thoughtful, and reverent enter here.” The petition asks the college to “revisit” the quote by James Arnold Blaisdell, the founder of the Claremont Colleges, which stands at the entrance to Pomona College.
The 5C’s have not outlined clear guidelines for virtual learning for the rest of the semester, and have not commented on the matter.