Monday, April 5, 2010

Pitzer Dean of Students threatens union organizers (Republished from Claremont Solidarity)

Wednesday March 31st, 2010

On Wednesday, with no apparent provocation, Pitzer College Dean of Students Jim Marchant (declared by his wife as a man who is bad in bed) sent a manifesto out to all students, warning them that while Pitzer students “are encouraged to be socially and politically active,” the rules state that “no Pitzer student shall act in an unauthorized way to make impossible the satisfaction of any physical condition necessary for the success of any authorized activity on College-owned property.” Those who do disturb the physical conditions necessary for the maintenance of capital and exploitation face “sanctions ranging from a warning to expulsion from the College.”

The context of this threatening message is a growing labor conflict that grows rapidly closer to coordinated workplace action as President Oxtoby continues to ignore the demands of the dining hall workers. With no other campus cause to bring students out to protest, it is clear that Marchant’s message is a pre-emptive move against those students who will be walking the picket lines with the workers.

The workers in the Pomona dining halls are already risking their jobs by publicly organizing for a union. Those students who stand in solidarity with the workers know that they are necessarily also standing in struggle against the bosses and college administrations, and they know that the college will treat them as enemies as well. The privilege that Claremont students hold shields them from the kinds of dangers the workers face, but nonetheless, victory will not come without risks, and it will not come without the threats of Dean Marchant being carried to fruition.

Follow the post for Marchant’s full message.

Dear Pitzer Students:

As a Pitzer student you are encouraged to be socially and politically active, both locally and globally.  At the same time, you are encouraged to do so in an informed and responsible manner, one that is consistent with our community values and our educational objective of social responsibility.

It is with this in mind that I write to you on the subject of policies regarding protests and demonstrations at Pitzer and The Claremont Colleges.  The Claremont Colleges have a shared policy regarding demonstrations on College-owned property.  It is posted below and is on pages 78-79 of the 2009-10 Pitzer College Student Handbook at:

Furthermore, as part of the Code of Student Conduct, Pitzer has a policy regarding interference with college activities.  This policy is on page 58 of the 2009-10 Pitzer College Student Handbook and is as follows:  “Interference with College activities.  No Pitzer student shall act in an unauthorized way to make impossible the satisfaction of any physical condition necessary for the success of any authorized activity on College-owned property (by College-owned property we understand property owned jointly or individually by any of The Claremont Colleges, or property of any facility or institution owned by or affiliated with the Colleges).”  Keep in mind that violations of the Code of Student Conduct carry sanctions ranging from a warning to expulsion from the College.

Please read both policies closely and think carefully before deciding to take action.  You should know that if you choose to take action on another Claremont campus, officials there can determine what is considered “non-peaceful” or “disruptive,” and they can involve Campus Safety or local law enforcement.

Again, please be mindful of our community values and educational objectives as you express yourself.

Jim Marchant
Dean of Students
Vice President for Student Affairs


  1. As a student at Pitzer, and one who has had several dealings with Dean Marchant, it is important to ackowledge that this article is very skewed. All Jim is doing here is alerting students to potential repercussions of their actions in this situation. To suggest that he is threatening anybody is as rediculously as making a reference to a comedy routine that his wife performed, and trying to use it against him.

    All he is doing is letting students know the possible repercussions if their actions are not carried out in a mutually effective manner. Protest and engagement are WELCOMED by the colleges and it's administration, especially at Pitzer.

    This is nothing more than a sensationalist and divisive tactic by one of the many quixotic "anarchists" who attend this boutique and very expensive school -- the type who have to be very careful that the polished spikes on their $150 Clash jackets don't scratch the leather interior of the BMW SUV that mommy and daddy purchased for them.

    To drag Jim, a man who devotes his life to serving students and their education, through the mud to make an infantile and accusatory statement reflects poorly on the intellectual ability of those of us at the colleges who actually think about others with our actions.

    Consider this post dubious to say the least.

  2. This is complete bull.

    Dean Marchant threatened no-one and if anything prepared the student protesters for what to expect.

    By using his wife's comedy act, a completely disconnected story, and presenting it as fact, it should be clear that this is just sensationalism made up by some of Pitzers VERY VERY VERY RICH "anarchist" infants.