Senate Continues InterVarsity Debate, Funds Sex Week, Oct. 10


Senate convened for its weekly meeting yesterday with guests from the 5C InterVarsity Club and CMC Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. During open forum, Executive Vice President Patrick Elliot '19 brought up 5C InterVarsity, an active student-led Christian fellowship club. The club did not receive funding last spring from any of the student governments across the Claremont Colleges due to its affiliation with the national organization, which has been criticized for its discriminatory policies toward the LGBTQ community.

Senate questioned whether ASCMC should revoke the club’s charter, as ASCMC has already decided the club will not receive funding.

Michaiah Young ‘18, the main voice of the group at the meeting, emphasized that the club members at the Colleges do not support the national organization’s views and the club is considered a safe space for those of the Christian faith to gather and discuss sensitive topics. “5C IV will never be in violation of the non-discriminatory clause of ASCMC as the national policy applies to staff and not students,” said Young ‘18. When questioned why the group has continued to partner with InterVarsity, Young replied that she believes the club would not be as successful as it has been in terms of connections and networking if it were not partnered with the national organization.

Zippy Wilson ‘19, a CMC Advocates representative, was one of the first to speak up against the club and its association with the national organization. “I will not call you homophobic, but I will call you cowards,” said Wilson ‘19 in response to the group’s lack of transparency in its efforts to disassociate itself from InterVarsity.

President Pro Tempore Thomas Schalke ‘18 concluded yesterday’s discussion, stating that ASCMC will continue to think about the topic. However, no official stance has been taken.

CMC Advocates introduced Sex Week, which will take place from Oct. 23 to 27. This event will host speakers, discussions, and a carnival to create a safer and more informed sex climate on campus. The event is meant to educate students at any base level and to provide incentives for students to participate in healthy sex-related discussions. EmPOWER Center Director Rima Shah, Title IX Coordinator Lynzie De Veres, and CARE Center Director Vince Greer are supporting and funding the event. CMC Advocates is also hoping to get funding from President Hiram Chodosh, but nothing is confirmed. Wilson ‘19 made a request for $1,250 from Senate to help cover the remaining charges of the event, which was met in full.

Lastly, Campus Organizations Chair Chloe Amarilla ‘19 announced her new Campus Organization Committee. There are 57 active clubs on campus, and each new committee member will oversee a collective group of clubs to facilitate better communication between clubs and ASCMC. The members are:

  • Brendan Busch ‘18 (art and music clubs)
  • Teeana Cotangco ‘19 (responsible for interclub collaboration and making the social environment more inclusive)
  • Olivia Ison ‘21 (all academic clubs)
  • Christi Kennedy ‘21 (special interest and publication clubs)
  • Gonzalo Secaira ‘20 (identity-based groups)

The committee is looking forward to creating better avenues for club leaders to promote and advertise their clubs to the greater CMC community.

Senate will continue to meet at 9 p.m. on Mondays, but a set location has yet to be decided.