Scripps hosts 'no whites allowed' pool party

Scripps College will be hosting a pool party Friday that only non-white people will be allowed to attend.

Organized by Scripps’s Latinx group “Café con Leche,” the event was announced via Facebook under the claim of being the “first ever POC [person of color] pool party in [Clare]mont.”

The three-hour use of Scripps’ Sally Tiernan House Pool is aimed at the creation of “a safe space for 5C students that identify as POC to come together and build community,” and will be open to all students identifying as POC attending the Claremont Colleges. The event is set to take place between 7:00 PM and 10:00 PM, after the pool’s normal hours of operation.

Café con Leche also advertised the event on its own Facebook page, adding in its post that the pool party will be “POC ONLYYYY.” Cafe con Leche is a registered student club at Scripps College, with a stated goal of providing “a forum for the discussion of social, political, and economic issues that affect women, particularly those of Latinx decent.” The group also claims to be welcoming of all members of the Scripps College community. 

“We welcome all members of the Scripps community regardless of racial and cultural heritage to join us in this pursuit,” it states.

The event, sanctioned by the college, appears to violate Scripps’s anti-discriminatory policy. 

“Scripps College is committed to a policy of equal opportunity, and no differentiation will be made based on race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, veteran status, or the presence of a disability,” the policy states. 

Students on campus have expressed differing opinions about the party. One Scripps student who identifies as POC told the Independent on the condition of anonymity that the pool party is necessary to build community between POC and is indeed inclusive.

“First of all, this is a POC party. No one is saying, ‘it needs to be all Latinx or all black students etc.’ The point of this event is to promote inclusivity and congeniality between ethnic minorities. Most POCs at any of the Claremont Colleges (which are historically Predominantly White Institutions) interact and enjoy interacting with people of all races (obviously including white people), but sometimes it’s nice to have a time to be with people who identify in the same or similar way that you do,” the student remarked.

 ”And that’s also why no one is forced to come—if a POC identifies more with their white peers, they’re not forced to go to this party or any [racial affinity group] meetings. The fact that they’re holding this party after hours also shows that they’re consciously not taking away the right of their white peers to go to the pool on a hot day,” they added. 

However, one student attending Pomona College told the Independent that he believes the pool party is exclusive in nature.

“I am white-passing with a diverse friend group, most of whom were invited to this party except for me,” he stated. “Talking to my friends, I felt as though the hosts of the event had gone through people’s social media profiles to determine their skin color and then explicitly allowed or denied people admission to the event on the sole basis of their skin color.”

The organizers also posted a link to a form to let those invited notify who the hosts should keep out of the pool party, saying “here’s a link to anonymously let us know of people that would keep this experience from being a safe and comfortable one.”

The event description of the pool party ends with “It’s a great time to enjoy a pool party by the people and (more importantly) FOR THE PEOPLE!!”

The organizers of the event did not responded to inquiries by the Independent at the time of publication. 

This article was originally published in The Claremont Independent, a conservative student newspaper affiliated with the Leadership Institute’s Campus Leadership Program. Its articles are republished here with permission.

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