Scripps Reacts to Bias Related Incident

On Sunday, April 5 various derogatory images and graffiti were found on campus. The phrases "Scissor Me Scripps," "Wannabes" and "Every Lash," as well as drawings of penises with "tation" added to the end—forming the word "dick-tation"—were found spray painted on the trees, sidewalks and road on Amherst Drive near Revelle House, Elm Tree Lawn and Vita Nova Courtyard.

 

While the graffiti, particularly the "Scissor Me Scripps" line, refers to many things in pop culture, such as South Park's "Scissor Me Timbers" episode, the band Scissor Sisters and Tribe 8, the term "scissoring" is most often used in the context of lesbian sex.

 

In an email sent to the entire Scripps community from Marla Love,  Assistant Dean of Students, the college's response to the incident is as follows: "This act of vandalism constitutes a hate crime as parts of the graffiti aimed to target and victimize the lesbian community and the vandalism was done to Scripps' private property and causing substantial costs to erase and repair. A report has been filed with Campus Safety and Claremont Police Department. Photos were taken and maintenance is working hard to remove the graffiti ... [T]hese words were threatening and malicious and violate our Principles of Community and Scripps' desire to make out community a welcoming and safe place for all of its members and such actions will not be tolerated."

 

The Scripps community has responded with a variety of reactions. Many are extremely hurt and offended by the vandalism, while others are angered more by the extra work that Scripps Maintenance had to do to remove the graffiti.

 

Outside of the Motley, SAS posted a large banner encouraging students to write their responses to the incident. Some anonymous students replied with strong emotions of hurt and anger: "How is this not a slur? It's implying that doing these things are bad/wrong. I was really hurt by this act (as a member of the queer community at Scripps)," and, "The graffiti is not only tasteless and offensive. It's a very cowardly and close-minded way of expressing one's self. The Claremont Colleges are well-known and respected for their ability to take five different schools and make them ONE. The graffiti is divisive, ignorant, and uncalled for. A change needs to be made in how we treat each other."

 

There were also responses to the nature of the act.  Some see the vandalism as deliberate and intentionally cruel, while others see it as less serious: "It's disappointing, offensive and criminal. At the same time, I think the Scripps community can shrug this off and perhaps not take it as such a serious attack. The vandalism seems more to me like mindless idiocy than a deliberate strike against women and this college." Many wrote empowering responses about how the Scripps community can—and has—responded to the vandalism, saying: "I'm disappointed, but not surprised. I'm hurt and offended by what happened, but I'm proud of how the Scripps students and community have come together and responded," and, "Prejudice starts small, I'm glad that as a community we've demonstrated that intolerance will not be tolerated."