Anya Cooper, the Wave: Creation

A Serial Story

by Elizabeth Willsmore

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Anya stared at Susie’s outstretched hand, suspicion and curiosity mingling in the air between them. Her small feminine fingers morphed until it was Gramps’ calloused, hardened hand beckoning Anya forwards, and when she glanced upwards it wasn’t Susie’s but Gramps’ steely blue eyes that greeted her, a faint smile visible on his lips.

        “Where do you keep your design software?” Anya asked, grasping Susie’s hand and nimbly rising to her feet. “Or is this project so secret it has to be done only on paper?”

        Susie grinned, the first real smile Anya had seen from her thus far, and said simply,

        “Right this way, Anya,” her words punctuated only by the click-clack of her nude pumps across the concrete path. Following Susie down the hall, Anya felt the familiar rush of adrenaline that always accompanied creating, a feeling she hadn’t experienced since before the Sea Wall broke. It was as if a dam had been erected in her mind, and only now was broken, allowing all the creative energy to flow out, as images of structural supports, angles, and geometric formulas swam around her head.

        Suddenly, Susie stopped outside of what appeared to be a segment of the wall, but that, on closer inspection, turned out to be a door, completely invisible except for the hinges glinting in the fluorescent light. Susie reached into her pocket and pulled out a small key, fit it into the lock, and pushed the door inwards, revealing a large pristine room overflowing with boxes.

Anya’s eyes widened in awe as she crossed the threshold, taking in the long counter top in the middle, surrounded on all sides by shelves filled with boxes and boxes of blueprints, designs, and old files, each one labeled in Gramps’ distinctive careful handwriting. The air smelled musty, as though the room hadn’t been opened in years. As Anya wandered down the aisles, running her finger across each label in turn, a sense of calm wafted over her, the likes of which she hadn’t felt since before Gramps died.

        “This is amazing,” Anya murmured, “I had no idea all this existed, he never told me.” Susie watched her wander among the shelves and subconsciously broke into a smile.

        “You haven’t seen the best part yet,” Susie quipped, her heels clicking as she crossed to the very back of the room, stopping beside a large drawer with a gilded handle. Reaching into her pocket, Susie pulled out an ornate brass key, its edges filled with intricate curves and swirls reminiscent of Corinthian columns. Susie unlocked the drawer, pulling it open to reveal a singular black box, its surface shiny and polished as though it had been used only yesterday. Gently, Susie lifted the box onto the counter, lifting the lid to reveal a sheaf of papers, all neatly stacked and covered in more of Gramps miniature script.

        Gingerly, Anya reached out and ran a finger across the lines of equations, angles, and structures written on the paper with painstaking detail. Closing her eyes, she lifted the papers to her nose and inhaled, catching a faint whiff of ink and something else, something she couldn’t have found anywhere else in the world.

        “Gramps,” Anya whispered, a genuine smile unfolding across her features for the first time in months. Excitedly, Anya flipped through the pages, marveling over each blueprint, at the neat notes scrawled in the margins. Suddenly, she paused, lingering over a square piece of parchment near the bottom of the pile. Gingerly, Anya picked it up, eyes widening as she realized what all the tiny equations and margin notes were describing.

        “Is this...?”  Anya’s voice trailed off as her eyes roved over the various symbols and writing scribbled on the page. In the center of the paper Gramps had drawn a large half circle, the dome stretching up almost as high as it was wide. Running along the dome’s curve were hundreds of intricate pipes, their interlocking segments joined together at either end near the ground, where two large ventilators rested on both sides of the structure. Scribbled in the margins was a single phrase:

        Water into air - H2O viable source?

        Glancing over the blueprints again, Anya gasped as she realized the full extent of what Gramps had been working on.

        “Susie,” Anya began, her voice hushed in anticipation, “If Gramps’ blueprints say what I think they do, then this project isn’t just about building an underwater shelter for flood victims.”

        Susie’s eyes glittered intently, their dark brown depths fixed on Anya’s face.

        “This structure is meant to be permanent,” Anya began, her eyes roving the page for more details. “See this,” she pointed to the junction between the dome, pipes, and ventilators. “These pipes suck in seawater from different points along the dome and transport it to these ventilators, which, according to the notes, should be able to separate the oxygens and churn out O2, rerouting the hydrogens as a fuel source for the dome. This vent,” Anya pointed to a large bump on the edge of the ventilator, “circulates the air, breaking down the carbon-dioxide which is then transferred to a second subunit that binds the remaining hydrogens to the leftover O2. Then, the newly formed H2O is pumped back out into the ocean, refueling the cycle again.”

Anya took a deep breath, eyes darting across the page of notes with an intense focus she hadn’t felt since building the Sea Wall.

        Susie’s dark eyes were fixed on Anya as the latter suddenly froze, fingers hovering over a small subscript below the main blueprint of the dome and ventilator.

        “When you first told me about this project,” Anya began, her voice deathly quiet, “I thought it was a temporary fix, that the undersea complex was only meant to last until ocean levels evened out again. But this,” she paused, looking up from the paper and into Susie’s dark, unblinking gaze. “This is meant to last for years. What Gramps designed wasn’t just a holding ground for displaced civilians, these blueprints are for an undersea colony.” Anya paused, her eyes widening as she read a note in the margins.

        Sea levels too high, production to begin ASAP, was scribbled in Gramps; careful penmanship.

        “Susie,” Anya began, her voice low and deathly calm. “What aren’t you telling me?”

Ask Lue: Sex Column

By Luena Maillard '20

Sex Advice Columnist

Luena Maillard is a sophomore who is passionate about holistic health and education. In high school, she was employed by Planned Parenthood as a Peer Health Educator to teach sex ed classes to high school health classes. She is currently working as a PHE here on campus, and you can find her during her office hours at Tiernan Field House for one-on-one conversations.

How do you exist in a community that is very pro-sexual liberation, as someone who wants to abstain from sex for personal reasons? And knowing that sexual liberation is awesome and beautiful, there is still a lot of pressure to have sex. People will say, "it's ok not to have sex blah blah blah" but the culture says otherwise.

- Conflicted

Hey ‘Conflicted’!

Being a part of a sex-positive community means respecting the choices others make about their sexuality, including when that choice is to not have sex. You are absolutely right. Sexual liberation is awesome and beautiful, however just as you seem to be respectful of others’ decisions, you are entitled and deserving of that same respect for yours. Remind yourself of this when you start to feel the pressure around you- that your decision to abstain for personal reasons is a valid way to exist in a sex-positive community, that you know better than anyone else what you need in this aspect of your life. So stand strong in your decision and know that you should be afforded the same respect with which you seem to treat others. And don’t forget that you can actively participate in promoting sexual liberation without having sex yourself!

 

So I've recently been intrigued by BDSM and I really want to try some stuff but I'm not sure about how my partner would react to me suggesting some stuff, especially some of the more intense stuff like wax play, (consensual) aggressive/forced intimacy, and roleplaying. Or even just asking them to dominate me. How would I go about expressing my interests without weirding them out?

Well, I'll be dommed

Hey ‘Well, I’ll be dommed’!

Asking your partner to try kinkier things in the bedroom is all about easing into it.

I wouldn’t advise asking your partner during sex as this will put pressure on them to make a quick decision in the moment and it could be uncomfortable. Instead, I would suggest phrasing it in the hypothetical, as it can be a more relaxed way to ease into the conversation. Perhaps you could start the conversation by discussing “a dream you had” where you two were acting on one of your fantasies, that way you can invite them to explore the topic without any sort of pressure or judgment as it was a dream. Start with the less intense kinks and try to really express what it is about these acts that turn you on, the more your partner understands the more comfortable they might be. Your partner might immediately respond with your same level of enthusiasm, or they may need more time to deal with any misconceptions before they are ready. Once the conversation moves out of the hypothetical it could be helpful to give your partner some resources to learn more. Be patient and understanding of where your partner might be at, and who knows, maybe they’ll share some of their own fantasies they’d like to try!


 

Recently, my hook up and I decided to stop using condoms but I’m unsure of how to ask him if he’s sleeping with other girls for the sake of hygiene. I don’t want to come off territorial but I want to make sure that we’re being safe. What do I do?

Unwrapped

Hey, ‘Unwrapped’!

You are absolutely right that you need to have this conversation, the sooner the better. I think phrasing the question in terms of safety is the way to go, as you won’t come off as territorial and they should be able to understand why you would want to keep yourself safe. Any question or request you have for your personal safety is one they absolutely need to respect and answer with honesty. Until you get a response from your hookup, I would highly encourage you to continue to use barrier methods such as condoms again, as you are still at risk for STIs.

 

Are there any safe sex options for girls who have sex with girls besides dental dams? And how likely is it to transfer STIs through oral sex?

Anonymous

Hey ‘Anonymous’!

Latex gloves are another option for safer queer sex, they can protect against scratching from sharp fingernails, and save you from having to wash your hands between touching your partner and yourself. Latex-free options exist, as well as several different colors so you can spare yourself from feeling like you’re in lab! Both gloves and regular condoms can be cut open with scissors to create a sheet of latex that can act as a DIY dental dam as well. As for how likely it is to transfer STIs through oral sex, the truth is we don’t know exactly. The problem that arises when studying transmission through oral sex is that most people who engage in oral sex also have vaginal or anal sex, making it hard to distinguish the risks between types of sex. Not to mention the risk of getting an STI from oral sex can change depending on the STI itself. So, I can’t give you an exact percentage, but I can say that there is still a significant risk, especially for bacterial infections.  

 

How do you ask a potential hookup about whether or not they've been STI tested? I'm thinking about dipping my toe in the waters of hookup culture, but I also want to be responsible. I want to stay true to myself and prioritize my sexual health, so how do I bring this up in a way that's productive? How do I know when my hookup's answer is adequate (e.g. "I got tested over the summer and I've hooked up with people, but I haven't displayed any symptoms.")?

Hook, Line, and Sinker

Hey ‘Hook, Line, and Sinker’!

Being a safe active member of hookup culture involves getting tested and being able to share with your hookups when your last test was. When asking, try to get specific answers. You should find out if they were tested, what the results were when they were tested, and if they have had unprotected sex with others since they were tested. These are the details you need in order to assess your own safety and health, and if their answer does not satisfy these criteria or they are avoidant, resentful, or try to brush it off- consider it a red flag and an inadequate answer. When considering your example, the answer is NOT yet acceptable, as they have hooked up with people after they got tested and this could have been unprotected. The fact that they display no symptoms is also not something that should assure you, as the MOST common symptom of STIs is NO symptoms at all.


So I've been kind of interested in this guy and it seems like he's been interested in me, too. We've hung out the past several weekends and talked a bunch. But I messaged him a week ago and he just didn't respond – left me on read. Ghosted me, if you will. I don't know if I should still pursue this, or if I should try my luck with someone else. How do I know when to decide it's not worth it?

Danny Phantom

Hey ‘Danny Phantom’!

I would suggest messaging them maybe one more time, especially if you two were talking regularly before. Don't feel weird about sending a casual text like, "Hey, haven't heard from you in a while" or something along the same vein. Then see what happens from there. If they respond, great! If they don’t, then I would say it’s time to move on. Easier said than done, but really try not to take it personally or blame yourself. You never know where a person is at in their life so you shouldn’t waste your energy on masticating the hypotheticals. The right people will make an effort to be in your life, so if you don’t get a response move on to someone who will!

 

Destruction or Revival? The Grand Central Market Endures Gentrification

By Emilie Hu '21

Design Editor 

On October 31st, Downtown Los Angeles’ Grand Central Market was sold to Langdon Street Capital, a Beverly Hills real estate investor, shortly after its 100th birthday celebration. The Grand Central Market is perhaps most recognized for its instagrammable spots, such as Eggslut or PBJ.LA. Situated in the Historic Core of Downtown Los Angeles along with the Bradbury Building, Angel’s Flight, and the Million Dollar Theatre, it is a hallmark of Los Angeles food and culture.

Walking through the Grand Central Market feels like a colorful micro-tour of Los Angeles’ assorted enclaves. Every vendor has at least one neon sign at their stall as it is a requirement for the lease. The open-air indoor market bustles with tourists and locals alike; it smells of everything from pupusas to chop suey.

This purchase marks a pivot in the Grand Central Market’s history; its clientele is changing, and it is becoming more profitable than ever. The customers are upper-middle-class professionals living Downtown Los Angeles, looking for a more upscale yet leisurely dining experience. Adam Daneshgar, the new owner, says his firm just wants to “safeguard” the place. Still, the goal of this acquisition is to revitalize and revamp the market for a new generation of consumers.

The Grand Central Market’s beaux-arts style building was built in 1917, a time when Downtown Los Angeles was filled with Victorian-style mansions. Affluent Bunker Hill residents frequented the market for groceries and specialty goods. As the decades passed, the Victorian mansions were either relocated to other sites or demolished to make way for the skyscrapers we see today. Along with that, the wealthy Angelenos began moving out of Downtown, making room for low-income residents. The Grand Central Market adjusted to these changes and many of the stalls became discounted goods and a spot for people to grab low-cost meals. Many of these residents that moved into the once well-to-do market were immigrants. Legacy vendors like Tacos Tumbras and Ana Maria’s moved in during the early seventies, serving Downtown Los Angeles’s large Latino community. In 1984, the Grand Central Market was purchased by a developer named Ira Yellin, who wanted to revitalize the Historic Core. His goal for the market was to follow the trend of organic and artisanal eateries. He introduced new vendors like Sticky Rice, G&B Coffee, DTLA Cheese, and then eventually the notorious Eggslut. Eggslut’s establishment marks Grand Central’s transformation. Its tongue-in-cheek name and its specialty in brunch food is the epitome of hipster culture in Los Angeles.

While Los Angeles is a city that often cannibalizes its own history, this new wave of gentrification happening in the Grand Central Market threatens the area’s overlooked immigrant communities. Today, Latino-Americans do not frequent the Grand Central Market as much as before. The Grand Central Market is a link to Los Angeles’s rich history, and it seems ironic that a landmark in the Historic Core should have to resist the erasure of its own past for the sake of a lucrative future.

In a more hopeful vein, Adam Daneshgar says he is not looking to “change or overhaul anything.” Perhaps the Grand Central Market’s new owner will seek to preserve the building’s history, but their plans for the market have not been released. Daneshgar says he will invest a several million dollars to “maintain” the historic indoor market. While Daneshgar words may be reassuring, they still do not undo the tribulations of the displaced communities that are trying to prosper under the throes of gentrification. In the meantime, it is important to support the legacy tenants like Chiles Seco, Tacos Tumbras, or Villa Moreliana when you visit the Grand Central Market. Their survival is vital for the preservation of Los Angeles history and culture.

EmPOWER Center

Eve Milusich '21

Mental Health Columnist

In a previous issue, I went over the resources that can be accessed through Monsour Counseling and Psychological Services. Beyond MCAPS though, another alternative is also available to some students who would benefit from a more specific type of support.

While Monsour can address a broad spectrum of emotional and mental struggles, the EmPOWER center narrows its scope and tailors its treatment to 7C students impacted by sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking. Services are available for survivors and all those who are impacted to any degree by these forms of violence- regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred. The Center works in collaboration with Project Sister, the foremost agency serving victims in the Eastern Los Angeles and Western San Bernardino counties. Not only are the EmPOWER's services accredited by the consortium, but given their association with Project Sister, they are accredited by a significant part of SoCal area; if you need help, rest assured that the professionals at the center know exactly what they're doing.

EmPOWER offers free confidential advocacy, counseling, emotional care, and outreach to all students within the 7Cs. Calling the center will provide a primary-account explanation of their services, but for anyone who might not be up to that task, especially in a time of need, here's a peek at how EmPOWER operates.

Photograph courtesy of Claremont Mckenna College.

Photograph courtesy of Claremont Mckenna College.

Firstly, EmPOWER offers 1-2 initial support sessions with the center's director Rima Shah or a confidential student advocate. In these, empathy and care are provided, as well as discussion of the further options and information available. These meetings help a student to determine what would be best for their healing process going forward. Some choices may include accessing academic accommodations, visiting a medical center, receiving therapy from EmPOWER, MCAPS, or an off-campus professional, reporting through a Title IX Coordinator and/or the police, and finally, reaching out to legal advocates.

A second key feature of the EmPOWER center is the ongoing counseling its offers through Project Sister, discussed above. The Consortium contracts with this agency such that one of their specialized counselors, Evelin Setaghian, works fulltime at the EmPOWER center. she provides confidential, one-on-one, ongoing counseling to 7C students; in English, as well as in Armenian and Farsi.

In addition to consistent individual counseling, EmPOWER also offers a group therapy session for those who have experienced sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking, whether recently or long ago. In this group, facilitated by Evelin Setaghian, survivors can share their experiences and work through their feelings in a supportive and collaborative healing process. Groups open up anew every semester- for Spring 2018, group will run every Thursday from 4:30PM-6:00PM.

Finally, as part of their education and outreach initiative, EmPOWER conducts workshops and trainings such as Teal Dot, Healthy Relationships Lunchtime Talks, and Masculinity Mondays.

  • The Teal Dot workshops are 3-hour long sessions which train and qualify bystanders to engage in preventing sexual assault and dating violence. They are held a few times throughout the year; some workshops just finished this past September, and more will be scheduled for the upcoming semester.  

  • In Lunchtime Talks, the Scripps new student program partners with  Claremont-based-organization House of Ruth. On select Tuesdays, students meet from 12PM-1PM with their lunches to discuss relationship issues that affect them, their friends, and/or their peers. Free dessert for attendees, too!

  • Masculinity Mondays works to bring awareness to the impacts of representations and manifestations of unhealthy masculinity. Past topics have ranged from masculinity in the media and rape culture, to the past/present of toxic masculinity in society. These sessions run from 4PM-5PM on a bi-monthly basis, and all genders are welcome.

Once again, it is important to note that these supports are facilitated through either a licensed psychologist, who is professionally bound to confidentiality, or the center's confidential advocate. Nothing discussed during treatment at EmPOWER can be reported to school or local authorities without the student's explicit consent. However, if you choose to report, the EmPOWER center can certainly help you to do so. Working through issues like sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking, is the furthest thing from easy, as is getting the help needed- but when you're ready, the EmPOWER center is always there. You won't have to do it alone.   

EmPOWER Center address:

1030 Dartmouth Ave., Claremont

EmPOWER director Rima Shah: 909-607-2689

Project Sister counselor Evelin Setaghian: 909-607-0690

Group therapy inquiries: 909-607-0690

Leaving Scripps: What Happens to Scripps Students When They Take a Leave of Absence?

By Priya Thomas '21

Staff Writer

Amber Harvey '2019: 

I remember one day during my freshman year of high school, one of my friends told me that high school isn’t about having fun. Fun is for college, and high school is for getting into college. I remember being surrounded by students taking five or six AP classes each year, filling up their schedules with extra-curricular they didn’t necessarily enjoy, and spending every waking minute studying, all for the sake of dressing up their resumes. I got caught up in this frenzy as well; at times it was exciting, but most of the time I felt like I was climbing a very steep hill with no end in sight. By my senior year, I was desperate to leave. All the anxiety, self-doubt, and loneliness I’d kept pent up over four years funneled into a burning need for college to be perfect. I needed it to be worth all the stress I’d put myself through in high school, and more. And I don’t think I was alone.

For many students, college does turn out to be just what they were hoping for. Of course, it helps to be slightly less idealistic going in. However, is this not always the case, regardless of what students’ expectations are. Some students arrive at college and realize after a year or two that they are not happy. It is often hard for these students to voice their experiences when they’re surrounded by peers who seem to be thriving socially and academically. It may even be hard for them to acknowledge their own feelings to themselves, after spending so many years of being told that college is the ultimate destination - that the only struggle is in getting there.

According to several recent studies, more than a third of undergraduates in the U.S. transfer colleges at least one. In the past couple of years, we’ve had several students transfer from Scripps, each with their own unique stories.

Amber Harvey ‘2019 left because of the competitive academic atmosphere, the insulation/bubble effect of living on a residential campus, and the struggle she went through to access academic accommodations and mental health resources. She struggled to thrive academically because even though professors were willing to give extensions, she received very little help with time management, so in the end, assignments continued to pile up and her studies began to feel all-consuming. In general, she felt like spending every day immersed in an intensive academic environment with limited access to the outside world was ultimately damaging to her mental health:

“I left to get mental health treatment that wasn't available to me in Claremont and that I didn't have enough time and energy to go through while I was in school.  After leaving, I've realized how unhealthy the residential environment was for me.  It felt like I could never escape the stress and pressure of school to invest time, energy and love in myself as a person, and not just as a student.  Because I never left the school environment, I felt like I wasn't living up to Scripps' 'elite' standards if I wasn't constantly working on - and exhausted by - academics, clubs or activism.  Especially as a disabled student, but I think this can apply to everyone, it was extremely unhealthy to have my full identity wrapped up in, and defined by, the institution.”

Anonymous:

I went to Scripps freshman year and my first semester was actually really great (as good as first semester freshman year can be really - still was a huge adjustment!) but second semester took a turn for the worst. I had to move in with a different roommate because my roommate transferred and the fit wasn’t as good. I didn’t realize it as it was happening but I was actually losing a lot of friends that I worked really hard to make my first semester. I think a lot of that had to do with the competitive nature of Scripps and I think I was oblivious to the shape my relationships on campus were taking. When I was home for the summer I reflected a lot on my time the past year and realized that Scripps wasn’t the right school for me. It was too small, I felt like there was an unhealthy competitive atmosphere to be the best and most achieving woman on campus and really didn’t feel supported by my peers. My goal was to go back for a semester, and then transfer in the spring. I loved the academics at Scripps, and quite honestly some of my best relationships on campus were with my professors, and I thought that would be enough to keep me on campus one more semester. It wasn’t. I went to the first week of classes and for the 10 days I was on campus I was having panic attacks, my anxiety was uncontrollable and I really didn’t feel comfortable where I was. I knew I wouldn’t make it the rest of the semester so I went to the registrar and got the form to take a leave of absence. It took me about half a day to chase down everyone I needed to get a signature from before it was all official. It was actually a very easy process. I had to talk to my dean who had emphasized that he wished I came in to talk to him sooner about the social problems I was having on campus, but in the end he never mentioned anything that could have been adjusted and so I really don’t think anything would have been different. I think had my first roommate not transferred I my second semester may have been better, but ultimately it was about goodness of fit and I just don’t think Scripps is the right place for me. I wish it was, because as I said I loved the academics and my professors but I never felt like I fit in. Leaving was a hard choice because it meant I no longer had a plan, I was a college dropout moving back home essentially, but it was the right choice and I am so much happier now. I actually got an internship and have been working full time! I don’t think I was ready for college, but no one had ever told me there was an option to wait, I just assumed that this was the plan I had to follow, and creating my own path has been a much healthier decision for me and I am happy to take time away from school to figure out my interests. I don’t plan on returning to Scripps but I do appreciate all that I’ve learned about myself from being there.

Katerina Figueroa:

I first took a leave of absence in what would have been my sophomore spring. I come from a multi-racial, low income, first generation background, and despite succeeding at my public high school, I struggled immediately when I arrived at Scripps. I felt ostracized from my majority-white classmates and I was thoroughly unprepared for Scripps academics coming in, especially within Core and Writing 50. Scripps has done a lot of work in increasing their minority enrollments as the years have gone on, but they fundamentally lack the support system most of these students need when they arrive. I failed my Writing 50 course and was placed on probation my second semester, and around then I began seeing a DOS-funded therapist in the Village and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. My depression got worse as time went on, and I was at my lowest point during my sophomore fall—I wouldn't leave my suite for days at a time, I couldn't eat, shower, or do work, and I was failing all 3 of my classes, including my second attempt at Writing 50. I ended up taking 3 Incompletes, was put on probation again, then left for my leave of absence. I knew I wasn't coming back in March after Tatissa passed. I came to Claremont to be with my community the following day and seeing how the administration handled our grief set my decision in stone. I couldn't put myself through two more years of exploitation and trauma at the hands of Scripps College.

It was a hard decision process to go through, especially because of how active I was and how cared for I felt within my community, i.e. my suite, Watu Weusi, and SCORE as a whole. I met the best friends of my life trying to survive the institution, and it was so hard to navigate the possibility of not having that support system be a constant in my everyday life. The other thing I struggled with the most was actually leaving Scripps to transfer to my current state-school. My whole life I had worked incredibly hard to attend a top college like Scripps, and it was scary to give up the privileges that come with a Scripps degree. I was lucky enough to make genuine connections with multiple professors and administrators during my time there, however, and that eased my mind when deciding to leave.

I'm currently attending USF in Tampa, Florida, around two hours away from my hometown of Daytona Beach. I  try to fly out at least once a semester to visit my all friends back in Claremont, and I talk to all my closest friends every day. My mental health has increased significantly since I left, and honestly, I don't regret leaving Scripps at all. If anything, I wish I had done it sooner.

New Timers to Shorten Showers

Leta Ames '20

Sustainability Column

What’s the with new “handy-dandy” shower timers? You might be asking yourself why it’s important to stick to a five-minute shower when we’re no longer in a drought. Well, sadly according to the Los Angeles Times although there were record levels of rain last year, some areas of California including Claremont, are still in a drought. Besides the pressures of the drought we must consider that our water supply is not limitless. According Golden State Water Company, much of Claremont’s Water Supply comes from pumped groundwater.

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The showers at Scripps are fitted with low flow shower heads, which helps to reduce water usage. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a low flow shower head puts out between 2.2 and 2.5 gallons per minute, depending on the water pressure. This means that reducing a ten-minute shower to five minutes can save up to twelve and a half gallons of water. All this water can add up, especially when we have a limited supply.

Pumping groundwater does not come without consequences. According to the U.S Geological Survey, groundwater depletion can happen anytime water is being drawn out faster than it can be replenished naturally and wells in California are experiencing over pumping. Although our specific well may not be over-pumped, it is important to recognize that our water use directly reduces the amount of water that is available to others. Water use on campus impacts how much water is available to the other people in our community (all areas that rely on our wells) as well as how much water goes into the streams and rivers of our region.

A drought means that the groundwater we used is not being replenished at the same rate as before. According to National Geographic, during droughts like the one during the past four years, we may not be able to replenish that water, and not only would the capacity to support our food and lifestyle needs but also many people can begin to be priced out of affordable water. We should not be relying heavily on groundwater to support living in arid areas.

We need to have a culture shift towards region specific landscapes with native plants, low-water food choices, and personal grooming changes including shorter showers. This is where the new shower timers come in! Although reducing your shower to five minutes (or below!) won’t stop the effects of the drought or stop our reliance on groundwater, but it can certainly make a difference. Also, a simple shift such shortening your shower is a great way to start as you work to reduce your water use in all areas of your life.

If you have any questions about your shower timers, reach out to SEED at scrippsgreen@gmail.com. Additionally, please don’t remove the shower timers, and please treat them with respect. If one falls off, wet the suction cup and put it back up, but if it breaks be careful and submit a maintenance request to get them cleaned up.

Sources:

Dimick, D. (2014, August 21). If You Think the Water Crisis Can’t Get Worse, Wait Until the Aquifers Are Drained. National Geographic. Retrieved from https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/08/140819-groundwater-california-drought-aquifers-hidden-crisis/

Golden State Water Company | Claremont Water Quality Report. (n.d.). Retrieved November 12, 2017, from http://www.gswater.com/claremontccr/

Grad, S. (n.d.). Most of California is out of the drought. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-drought-gone-20170223-story.html

Groundwater depletion, USGS water science. (n.d.). Retrieved November 12, 2017, from https://water.usgs.gov/edu/gwdepletion.html

Reduce Hot Water Use for Energy Savings | Department of Energy. (n.d.). Retrieved November 12, 2017, from https://energy.gov/energysaver/water-heating/reduce-hot-water-use-energy-savings

Where is the LGBT+ Representation in Scripps Core?

Hayley Van Allen '21

Queer Columnist

Every freshman at Scripps College takes the first section of the Core program their first semester. Freshmen are told that Core is the college’s “signature interdisciplinary approach to learning” and an “eye-opening” experience. The Core I program this year is focused on the concept of communities; through class discussions and lectures students are meant to explore how different communities are defined and formed.

During the semester, a wide variety of different types of communities have been discussed, but at no point has any part of the LGBT* community been the main focus of a lecture. There have been a good number of important and relevant topics that have been covered, from ableism, to the tourism industry, among others. It seems odd that when covering such a broad range of communities, there isn’t a single core lecture specifically talking about the LGBT* community; the word “community” is even in the name.

When looking at the description of Core provided by Scripps, there is a coherent explanation of what the course is meant to look at:

“In this course, we examine the ways in which communities are created and transformed through political acts, religious practices, military intervention, cultural performances, social networks, and bonding. In conjunction with this, we critique the ways in which practices of overt and implicit exclusion along the lines of birth, class, race, gender, sexuality, ability, and religious beliefs limit the possibility of belonging.”

This description of core almost begs to cover the LGBT* community as a discussion topic, but it never happens. Considering the mention of “cultural performances” and “bonding” in the first sentences--concepts that are highly relevant to the LGBT* community--there should be a point in the semester which covers this community. Coupled with the promise of critiquing the way exclusion occurs based on gender and sexuality, it is disappointing that Scripps has failed to include either the gay/bi/pan/ace or trans/non-binary communities as a main topic in any of the many readings and lectures that make up Core.

Even if the LGBT* community was considered to be too broad of a topic for just one lecture, it would have been very easy to simply focus on communities centered around sexuality. A segment of Core could have been about solely the trans community, or the exclusion of bi, pan, and a-spec people from queer spaces and how that relates to community. If the purpose of Core is to challenge the way we think and view the world, it doesn’t make sense not to challenge our assumptions about gender and sexuality, especially when these biases are visible in other lectures given during the semester. The majority of topics that involved “women’s communities” failed to provide a trans-inclusive description of women. While there is no explicit exclusion, certain experiences -- like having a vagina or getting your period -- are often equated with being universal female experiences, effectively excluding trans women from the conversation.

The problem here isn’t that the Core curriculum didn’t give every marginalized group “a turn” to be the focus of a lecture, but rather that a group that is a perfect topic to explore how a community is formed by and at the same time defines its members is not mentioned at all. The LGBT* community has been substantially affected by the politics, social norms, and exclusion stemming from the “outside world”. It has been molded into the community it is today by the social and political climates of the past and present. Making this community a topic should be a no-brainer for the kind of curriculum this rotation’s Core program is meant to be focused on, yet somehow everyone who worked on the curriculum forgot to add it. Considering Scripps has such a large number of LGBT* students, the school has a responsibility to represent those students in its program. If the point of Core is to examine communities, it should reflect the communities present at Scripps.

Spanish Architecture at Scripps and its Violent Colonial History

Eve Kaufman '20

Staff Writer

Scripps campus is beautiful. Known for this beauty, Scripps is often is rated highly by various sources for its campus. The campus itself is even considered nationally historic, only adding to the seriousness in which aesthetics at Scripps are taken. Scripps is littered with lawns, gardens, and all sorts of old lofty buildings constructed, unfortunately, in the style of Spanish Colonialist architecture.

Created during the revivalist movement, the Spanish Colonial style of architecture was adapted from a history of violence toward Native Americans. The Spanish had invaded the Southwest, and imposed values and religion upon the people there, evangelizing and essentially tricking people into joining the church.

The Spaniards did so by a few methods, including creating what was known as Missions, where the native people they evangelized would worship and work. The Native Americans they had coerced into converting were forced to remain in the church. This effectively separated them from their homes and communities for the rest of their lives. Those trapped would be specifically hunted if they tried to escape, and returned to the Mission. Long hours of unpaid labor were imposed upon them, all in exchange for some food and housing.

Photograph courtesy of Lure Photography.

Photograph courtesy of Lure Photography.

Many of these missions were built in multitudes along the California coast, as the project was meant to be all encompassing to effectively proselytize and convert all the Native Americans. All of this took place between the sixteenth and nineteenth century, leaving dozens of buildings in this likeness. California was littered with them, and many remain to the present day as heritage sites and elementary school field trip destinations.

With a disregard to their past, the missions became quintessential to the aesthetic of California. In the 1920’s, what was known as colonial Spanish revivalism took place, tapping into nostalgia for the old architecture present throughout the state. Most of California’s buildings are now influenced by such a style, specifically the architecture of Scripps.

Scripps was founded in 1926, and the campus was quickly built to accommodate the school’s need. Within three years, the oldest dorms on campus- Toll, Clark, and Browning- were built. The architects hired were channeling the zeitgeist of the time, following the trend of this revivalism. Gordon Kaufmann was responsible for the design and construction of these buildings and contracted to make beautiful albeit inaccessible colonial buildings. Now, these dorms stand as relics of a sordid colonial past.

Ellen Browning Scripps had no qualms with constructing such buildings, as she had little ties to the suffering the Native Americans endured, within the very Missions which these dorms were made in likeness to. The buildings which were symbols of anguish to many were glorified simply for their appearances, a glorification Scripps was more than glad to undertake.

Of course, this was prior to society being more conscious of such social issues. As unfortunate as Ms. Scripps willingness to buy into a colonial construction for the benefit of upper-class white women was, what’s even more questionable is the continuation of such designs in Scripps development of recent. New Hall is also built in such a style. This is inappropriate and demeaning to the awareness that society and our student body, in particular, are trying to raise.

There is always a narrative associated with a style. The context of a design is crucial to understanding the finished product. How can one build a structure, so intertwined with a history of struggle and conquest, without simultaneously implementing those values into the environment itself? Scripps is a campus that first and foremost services white wealthy women. This truism is all the more exemplified by these structures being the dominating style throughout campus, entirely disregarding the fascistic, colonial past that is revived along with the style itself.

Scripps has made numerous questionable choices in the past. The administration often finds themselves catering to the board of trustees’ wishes. This board determines much of how Scripps operates, at times directing funding to satisfy their own wishes. Donors have been known to invest in things like maintenance of the campus, rather than educational funds and financial aid, as a means to protest decisions Scripps administration has made that don’t align with their own. Undoubtedly, it is this control the donors maintain that influenced the design and style of New Hall, which determined the choice of matching the architecture of New Hall to that of the past.

With this reality in mind, it is imperative that Scripps administration begins assessing the needs and wants of the community at large, rather than acquiescing into the pressures of donors. As important as funding is, such pursuits truly demonstrate the disregard Scripps as an institution has for its community members. This isn’t to say Scripps lacks many positive aspects as well. I am glad to go here and am often proud of what is accomplished as a collective. Scripps attracts bright minds of empowered people, and the administration at the end of the day supports and fosters such an environment. It is simply disheartening to reconcile these two realities: that of the good Scripps does with the willingness to buy into relics of colonialism, which at the end of the day are inherently racist, misogynist and classist due to its past narrative.