President Chodosh said in a note to the board of trustees on Friday that Claremont McKenna College is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion on campus by planning more events celebrating different identities and cultures. Chodosh mentioned that the college is very behind on its Strategic Plan (2002) of Diversity and Inclusion, and something had to be done about that. He ordered the Dean of Students office to “clean this shit up,” here’s what they came up with.
Vince Greer, the ex-associate dean of diversity and inclusion at CMC, spoke to us about the college’s initiative to make Muslim students feel more at home. He mentioned that the CMC cube resembles the Ka’aba, which inspired some of the trustees to push DOS to organize a student Hajj (pilgrimage) to the CMC cube. Mr. Greer spoke to Kyler “Mohammed” Smith, the spokesperson for the Board of Trustees. Mr. Mo Smith, a self-proclaimed expert on Islamic cultural traditions, said, “I’ve read, like, half a Wikipedia article about Hajj, and I am pretty sure a lot of Muslims feel homesick because of how far away from Mecca they are. To solve that issue, we are turning the cube into the Ka’aba by covering it with massive black curtains and playing rhythmic desert music all around it,” to which Vince Greer said, “Alright, I guess.”
The event, which took place at the same time as the actual Hajj, was a massive success. We spoke to Mahmood Almadeh, one of the Muslim students at CMC about his take on the event. He stated that “[He’s] never felt more at home than when he attended CMC’s student Hajj.”
Due to the success of the event, Pitzer College poached Vince Greer from CMC to occupy the position of Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students. Melvin L. Oliver, president of Pitzer College, spoke to us about this recent hiring: “The Hajj at Claremont McKenna College showed us at Pitzer College how much better we could be about diversity and inclusion. Claremont McKenna College is the model that all the other colleges at the consortium follow when it comes to planning and implementing D&I policies, we just hope we can catch up to them.”