Protests Against Racial Discrimination Have Forced Another Administrator Out

November 13th 2015

Diana Crandall

The dean of students at Claremont McKenna College stepped down Thursday in response to protests over the treatment of minority students at the college, the New York Times reports.

Mary Spellman announced her resignation after students called Spellman out over failing to create a safe and inclusive campus environment for students, according to an article on the CMC forum.

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The students were already upset with Spellman and CMC administration, but protests and two reported hunger strikes were accelerated after Spellman wrote an inappropriate response to an October 23 article in the student newspaper that detailed life on campus as a Latina, according to Gawker.

Spellman’s email below, according to the Claremont Independent.

Spellman email

"Break the mold"

The suggestion that students of color “don’t fit” in the “CMC mold” outraged many students, who cited it as another example of institutional racism at CMC, according to the Claremont Independent and Gawker. The students then used the phrase "Break the Mold," as well as others, in a protest chant while walking across campus.

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Facebook user Sebastian Luna uploaded the video reportedly showing some of the protests below.

Happening now at CMC. Hundreds if not thousands of 5C students.

Posted by Sebastian Luna on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Spellman spoke to protestors on November 11 and tried to quell the unrest, but the students were not satisfied.

Spellman announced her resignation in an email to the student body, saying it was the best way to allow the campus to heal, according to the Claremont Independent.

"Dear CMC Community:

Since 2010 I have been privileged to serve as Dean of Students at Claremont McKenna College. Today I am submitting my letter of resignation, effective immediately. I do so with sadness beyond words, because these nearly six years have been the most rewarding and fulfilling of my life, but also with the conviction that it is the right thing to do for the school and the students I care about so deeply,” the email read in part.

Spellman’s resignation is just one of many around the country as students of color protest institutional racism. Earlier this week the president and chancellor at the University of Missouri stepped down.

Ithaca College in New York, Smith College in Massachusetts, and Yale University in Connecticut are just a few of the universities where students are currently calling on administrators who have failed to appropriately address discrimination, the New York Times reports.

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