The 2016-2017 Pomona Student Union application is now open. Click on the "Apply" tab in the title menu, or go to psu.pomona.edu/apply. The application should be saved as LastNameFirstName_PSUAPP2016 and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week in Chat and Chew -- "Pain, Pleasure, and Fear Across Glass Walls" on Vince Staples' "Señorita"
"Pain, Pleasure, and Fear Across Glass Walls" takes a critical look at the visuals that accompany hip hop artist Vince Staples' song "Señorita." The discussion will touch on privilege, suffering, race, class, terror. It will focus specifically on physical positions and the exchange of gazes as mediated through glass walls.
In June, Jennicet Gutiérrez an undocumented, trans Latina, and the head ofFamilia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement made headlines after interrupting President Obama during his speech celebrating "Gay Pride". Her demonstraton sparked a conversation about the exclusion of trans and queer people, communities of color, and immigrant communties from the mainstream gay liberation movement and lead to meaningful change.
Jennicet was speaking out against the violation of trans/gender queer immigrants in detention centers. One week after her demonstration the White House issued an executive order ensuring that detainees would be held in facilities according to their preferred gender. Jennicet's activism and its effects have been mired in ongoing always relvant discourse about the politics of respectability.
What should civil disobedience be, should disruption be a part of our civil ethos, and what does this look like at the intersections? Join us on October 13, Tuesday night at 7:00pm for Jennicet's address and workshop on critical resistance, civiliy, and civil responsibility.
This Week's Chat and Chew with PSU: Taylor Swift's Wildest Dream... Romantic visions of a colonial past?
“During the 1980s, expressions of imperial nostalgia became a familiar part of the mass culture and media landscape linked to newly assertive conservative moments in both the United States and Britain (William Cunningham Bissel. Engaging Colonial Nostalgia). https://eticproject.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/colonialnostalgia.pdf
“Pointing out these things is not to call Taylor Swift racist, but to emphasize how nostalgia can be inherently political. Swift is white, and she was raised in a society where certain symbols of white dominance and a more-segregated past have been glorified” (Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic).http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/09/taylor-swift-wildest-dreams-africa-nostalgia-dangers-colonization-video/403435/
“This uncomfortable truth must be reckoned with if we are to have any hope of putting the past behind us. You cannot isolate the ‘good parts’ of colonialism from the brutality, and then expect people of colour to accept this romanticisation of a period in history whose impacts we are still reeling from” (Ruby Hamad, Daily Life).
Join the PSU this Wednesday, 9/30, to talk about the different manifestations of colonial nostalgia in popular culture.
Is Taylor Swift's video an example of colonial nostalgia?
What does colonial nostalgia look like in 2015?
How are visions of a romanticized colonial past marketed for material consumption?
How does colonial nostalgia affect our construction of the past?
Let's talk about it!
Originating in 1927, Pomona's sponsor group program is one of the most advertised aspects of the college's first year experience. The school's website boasts of the sponsor group as a built-in support network and surrogate family for the homesick first-year. The reality of many students' sponsor group experience, though, is rarely idyllic. How, then, should sponsor groups be made? What should fuel the decision process behind who you live with your first year on campus? Should its formation be intentional, or should we move away from that model?
The PSU invites you to a student-led snackussion about the formation of the sponsor group - what the process has been, and it what it could be.
Student panelists, including Cameron Cook, Cole Clark, and Aiman Shafiq Kastro Chaudhary, will help get the conversation started, but all are welcome to speak and participate!
This is a wonderful opportunity to have your voice heard by people who matter: many of the deans in the Office of Campus Life (OCL) and Student Affairs (including Dean Feldblum, Dean Townes, Dean Jan, and Dean Grundy) will be there as silent observers of our conversation.
Who gets to be the “activist”?
How does the activist stay active?
How do we take the “-ism” out of activism?
The Draper Center states that over 400 students at Pomona College participate in some form of community engagement every semester, and they believe this to be a conservative estimate. While many students who travel outside of the Claremont bubble to do this type of work are comfortable identifying themselves as “activists,” others believe that “activism” is a term loaded with political baggage and exclusionary connotations; moreover, many students who do work that they believe is “activist” are focusing their efforts in ways that we might not typically associate with the word.
The Draper Center, the Asian American Resource Center, and the Pomona Student Union invite students to brainstorm the various ways that they can turn public service and community engagement into “sustainable” practices, both during and after their time in Claremont. Three speakers, each of whom represents a different form of activism, will discuss their experiences with public service and the techniques that they have used to make their work sustainable. After the panel, we will launch into a discussion led by six students about the forms that activism takes on Pomona’s campus and how they can be made more effective.
Ariel Hernández Ramírez
The Olympics of Gentrification: Community Responses to Rising Rent, Eviction, & Police Violence in Pre-Olympic Rio De Janiero
As Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, prepares to host the 2016 Olympics, many vulnerable communities are experiencing eviction, gentrification, and police violence. Join us as Theresa Williamson gives a talk on how Rio’s favela residents are using community organizing to respond to these changes. There will be a Q&A afterwards. The event is free and open to the public.
Theresa Williamson is the founder and executive director of Catalytic Communities. Catalytic Communities is a non-profit dedicated to bridging the gaps between formal and informal settlements in Rio de Janeiro through leadership training, education, dialogue, and advocacy. She has a Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.
Studies show that 1 in 6 American women and 1 in 33 American men have been the victim of attempted or completed rape in her or his lifetime (RAINN). In 2009, 19% of undergraduate women experienced attempted or completed sexual assault since entering college (CDC).
From the 1990 Republican gubernatorial nominee, Clayton Williams, saying about rape, “If it’s inevitable, why not just sit back and enjoy it?” to mainstream media mourning the football careers of the convicted rapists in Steubenville (2012), to Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (2013), rape culture is pervasive and normalized.
Join the PSU on Tuesday evening, October 28th in Rose Hills Theater, for a panel discussion with Zerlina Maxwell, Andrea Pino, and Conrad Woodall, three experts on various aspects of rape culture.
Zerlina Maxwell: Political analyst, speaker, contributing writer toEBONY.com, Mic.com, and RHRealitycheck.org
Andrea Pino: Co-founder of End Rape on Campus; helped write Campus Safety and Accountability Act
Conrad Woodall: Owner/master sensei of Woodall's Self-Defense; developed R.E.C.O.V.E.R. model of therapeutic self-defense
Join the PSU this Thursday evening in Edmunds Ballroom to have a conversation with three movers-ands-shakers of LA about food access and food deserts in LA. LA and the Inland Empire (including nearby cities like Pomona) are home to some of the largest food deserts in the country. Food deserts are described as a geographic area where the residents' ability to access affordable, healthy, fresh food is restricted or non-existent. In this event, we will talk with Ron Finley, Alex Ortega, and Clare Fox to discuss in depth how Los Angeles came to be a food desert, what methods have tried and failed, what do they see as the most promising solutions moving forward, and what can we (and should we) as college students do to become involved.
Ron Finley rose to fame after he fought against the City of Los Angeles for the right to garden and grow food in his own neighborhood. His 2013 TED talk catapulted him into the media spotlight, a role he has since used to promote urban farming and healthy eating within his community.
Watch his TED Talk here - http://www.ted.com/talks/ron_finley_a_guerilla_gardener_in_south_central_la
Clare Fox is the Director of Policy and Innovation for the Los Angeles Food Policy Council where she collaborates with food advocates as well as public and private representatives to catalyze projects and build leadership capacity for sustainable, equitable food systems.
Alex Ortega, internationall recognized epidemiologist and community health research, is a Professor of Public Health and Psychiatry and Bio-behavioral Sciences at UCLA. His work focuses on the physical and mental health and medical needs of Latino children and their families in the US, particularly within LA.
Want to learn about what the PSU is up to? What we've done the last couple of years? Check it out here in our blog!