Class of 2023, and the friends and families that are joining us here today, I am so excited to welcome you to Claremont McKenna College.
Before we begin, I want to acknowledge that we are currently gathered in what was once indigenous tribal land, and more recently, the site of displacement and gentrification of local communities. As a community that is committed to the values of honest discourse and thoughtful leadership, it is necessary to acknowledge the history of the land on which we have the privilege to receive this education.
My favorite part of CMC is simple: people have really invested in me here. I am so grateful for professors who have spent so many hours, both inside and outside of the classroom, encouraging me to think critically, and to use my education to pursue a meaningful and impactful life. I am indebted to administrators and staff who have worked tirelessly to ensure that I get to pursue this education in a safe and enjoyable environment, and the thousands of alumni and parents who have made what we see around us possible. Most of all, though, every day I am in awe of the student body at CMC. It is my friends and classmates who push me -- to be a better student, a better friend, and a better person -- and support me both in times of success and failure. We as CMC students are required to use this education we are so fortunate to have access to in pursuit of a more equitable society, and a more just institution. I am so grateful that you are each joining this community of socially-minded activists.
This year, I have the honor and privilege of leading the Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College, our student government. I want to tell you about the role of ASCMC on campus. ASCMC provides funding, oversight, and resources for over 50 CMC clubs and more than 200 consortium-wide clubs. From Outdoor Initiative, which allows students to explore nature in beautiful Southern California, to Lets Spoon!, our baking and cooking club, to affinity groups such as the Sexuality and Gender Alliance, there are so many opportunities to get involved.
Each week, you will receive emails with information about club events and school-wide programs and activities. All events are always open and accessible to all students. You will also be invited to programs hosted by your class cabinet to meet everyone in your grade, and inner-dorm events through your dorm president.
At its core, though, the mission of our student government is to advocate for a more just CMC. Each and every CMC student is able to join senate, which I like to call our ultimate democracy, and advocate for policies and practices that make our student government, and our college, a more inclusive, more fair, and more equitable community.
CMC is the school that it is because of students, professors, staff members, alumni, and parents that have fought for, and invested in this place we call home for four years. And now, each of you are joining this community, and with that, comes a special obligation to contribute to strengthening it. You will do this by being a good friend, a dedicated student, a reliable roommate. Maybe you will join a sports team, or cheer one on, join a club, affinity group, or research institute, or by working a job on campus. Maybe you will do this by showing up to weekly senate meetings, and eventually taking on a position on ASCMC’s Executive Board. There are so many paths that you might go down, and I wish you all an unexpected journey here.
I hope you take this incredible education we are so fortunate to receive, and use it to strengthen our community and our world. Be brave, be bold, and know that you will find the resources and support here to guide you in this journey. I will be here cheering you on the whole time.
*This document was originally mis-uploaded and now reflects the speech accurately