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  • Maya Love Talks Empowerment, Leading with Love, and Taking Risks

    “I’ve done it, and you can do it too.” SUMMER IS ENDING, AND THAT MEANS THE 2018-2019 ACADEMIC YEAR IS WELL UNDERWAY. THIS ALSO SIGNALS THE ENTRY OF NEW LEADERSHIP WITHIN ASCMC, SPECIFICALLY IN THE ROLE OF PRESIDENT. I SAT DOWN WITH THE NEW EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT OF ASCMC, MAYA LOVE ‘20, DURING COLLINS SNACK FOR A RIVETING CONVERSATION ABOUT HOW TO EMPOWER OTHERS IN THEIR LEADERSHIPS ROLES AND RESPECTING PEOPLE’S ABILITY TO GROW INTO THEIR EMPOWERMENT. How does it feel to be the first female African American ASCMC President? It feels like an honor. Often times, we view moments like these as only happening in the past or not being able to happen to us. I am ecstatic to be the first, and I recognize that other people who stood on this campus before me have allowed me to stand in this position now and given me the necessary support, including DOS and my fellow classmates from 2020. So yeah, it’s a great feeling! Could you explain the underlying events that led to your transition from ASCMC Vice President to ASCMC President? The underlying events that passed this summer provided us with a great opportunity to re-evaluate some of our systems in place. DOS presented us with the issues pertaining to the reimbursement process of FluidReview due to how it limited the number of checks on receipts, which then led to a situation where if students were delayed in receipts, then mixups with accountability could be prone. There was also information that DOS could not reveal to us due to privacy policies in order to protect and respect the students involved. I think the greatest accomplishment from this summer was learning to appreciate the systems that we had in place and discovering the need for certain improvements. It goes without saying that the best laid systems and policies within any organization are not perfect, but evolving as both a community and corporation is our primary focus moving forward. And I’m happy to say that we’ve already made productive strides in achieving that goal. We have implemented additional checks and balances in our system, including two from the College. For example, direct deposit is new, and the distribution method for petty cash is much improved. Other equitable and accountable changes have been made as well. This summer’s agenda focused on brainstorming ways to better support the growing demands of our growing campus, the students who populate it, and of course, clubs and organizations. None of these change would have been possible without our collaboration with the Deans. Why did DOS not discuss certain information with you and the rest of ASCMC, and do you think them not disclosing certain facts is in direct correlation with the outcome of recent events? I don’t think it was necessarily about DOS not sharing information, but I do think that when students get involved with matters such as this one, there are certain levels of privacy that must be maintained, for everyone involved. We approached the situation by remaining respectful and ensuring that everyone’s feelings were heard and validated. Thankfully, I think this happened while working with the Deans. Like I said earlier, ASCMC is comprised of students too, so I don’t think it would have been appropriate for them to have shared sensitive information with us that does not benefit our efforts in moving forward. My job as ASCMC President is to focus on advocating for the student body and identifying ways we can improve our community. What prompted you to run for ASCMC Vice President in the first place? I observed student leaders— including myself— putting in so much work, and it’s difficult because there is so much happening behind the scenes that is not recognized or appreciated by the student body. I wanted to promote the slogan: Lead with Love. Often times, we get wrapped up in internships, applications, and good grades that we forget how we are people and have a support system here on campus. Sometimes, all it takes is a “hello,” or a “how can we better support you?” that can make all the difference. I wanted students to know that when I step into an environment, it’s one of inclusivity, acceptance, and diversity. I also wanted to encourage students to take risks because if we aren’t challenging ourselves to step outside of our comfort zones, then we are not trying hard enough. I wanted to encourage members of our community to better advocate for themselves, but most importantly, I wanted to accept the risk associated with being vulnerable. I am excited to see what Max Knowles, our new Executive Vice President has in store for the student body! It seems like you’re dead set on making the CMC community a place where everyone feels welcomed and respected. Yes, absolutely! I want to lead by example and bring this energy on campus along with my other colleagues on ASCMC. How will your experience as the former Diversity & Inclusion Chair assist you in your new role? It definitely gives me insight on how ASCMC can incorporate more inclusivity. As the former Diversity & Inclusion Chair, I really emphasized the idea of empowerment. I firmly believe it’s important to understand that by finding our own empowerment, we also empower those around us. However, this only comes about through talking and dialogue. And hopefully these future leadership development trainings will allow us to find a way to empower others while simultaneously respecting their growth in that empowerment. If anything, being D&I Chair has shown the community that I care about what I do, and I think it will lead the community to embrace me with open arms. You mentioned something about respecting people’s ability to grow into their empowerment. Could you elaborate on this? I think that’s the thing about being vulnerable. A lot of times, even myself as a student, it’s hard to say that I feel uncomfortable being myself or that I’m unsure on something because we haven’t approached it yet. I talk about this leadership development idea, and I realize that our students deserve a program that shows them that it’s okay to be new in a leadership role but still feel empowered. Those two ideas don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Just because you are new does not mean you’ve lost that sense of empowerment. If anything, it’s more emboldening because it makes you more hungry to grow into your new position. I hope to show the student body that even though I’m a little new (not too new, though), I still feel empowered in my position as ASCMC president, and that only comes from the community supporting my empowerment. Describe your mission as ASCMC President. My mission consists of two parts: the first is to show students what it means to lead with love, and the second is to leave a legacy defined by the importance of community. Often times, we only look at college as a four year experience, and that’s great! However, it’s important to reflect on how you will be remembered, which we can all agree might be through your relationships with others. On a big or small scale, these relationships will stick with you and define your legacy and how you are remembered. Maybe you were a club leader, or research assistant, or you fill in the blank. Whatever your position, it can and will influence those coming behind you. This leads to my biggest message, which is how we “pass the torch” honorably, respectfully, and with the message of ‘I believe in you. I’ve done it, and you can do it too.’ The only way we’ll make our community great is if we believe in and support each other. What are you most excited for about your presidency? Any plans we (the general public) should know about? I was really excited for the Transition-to-Work Day. Max Dawson, our acting CFO, put in a lot of work this summer, along with Connor Bloom working on Workday. The whole ASCMC team really stepped up, so I’m just really excited to see what my board accomplishes this year because it’s one thing to discuss goals but another to see results. Like I said earlier, we are already seeing progress, and the year just started. Look at what we’ve accomplished already: Ajlina Bašić, Clubs and Organization Chair, planned a fantastic club fair; Transition to Work Day was a hit! I also really like the energy from our seniors. Edgar, Senior Class President, is working extremely hard to inspire the seniors to lead and serve the campus, and both Andrea Amaya and Johnson Lin have been nothing short of the same energy. The Senate Chairs have some great projects lined up for the year with heavy representation from the first year class. The list goes on and on. If anything, it will be how our board grows that determines our success, and right now, the momentum we have is unstoppable. In terms of large projects, I am grateful that we already completed the financial model. I also want to show our students more support on campus. We will be rolling out Stag and Athena of the month just as a way to highlight our community members who are doing great work. Obviously, working on the longevity of ASCMC is also a focus of mine. It’s important to remember that you can never get too comfortable. There’s always room for improvement, and this year, ASCMC is really about letting people grow into their positions. It’s so much easier to show grace towards people by extending a helping hand— which we all can do— rather than chastising people for making a mistake. I’m super excited for this year because both Executive and Senate are all on board. What legacy do you want to leave on CMC and ASCMC? I want the community to feel a little more comfortable with trying something new, and with this comes the challenge of also accepting the small wins in being vulnerable. I think a good place to start is to lead by example. For myself, it’s going to be about starting new initiatives and discovering how they work within our community. More precisely, starting a collaboration of community. I want that to be my legacy: leading with love, but also leading with empowerment, leading with community, and leading with risk. At the end of the day, we are only here for four years, but I want that feeling to stay here forever. I thank the student body for this opportunity.

  • ASCMC President and CFO Resign Following $2,000 of "Questionable Reimbursements"

    ASCMC President Elliot Behling ‘19 and and Chief Financial Officer Philip (Whit) Lippincott ‘19 have resigned from their positions following an internal investigation of fraudulent receipts, according to an email sent out to the CMC community by Executive Vice President Maya Love ‘20 and President Pro Tempore Connor Bloom ‘19. Love, according to Article 7 Section 36d of the ASCMC Constitution, will serve as the Acting President “with all the powers and responsibilities of the President.” The investigation probe found that about $2,000 of student funds were misappropriated. In Behling’s resignation letter, he said he made ASCMC related purchases with his personal funds and failed to keep a proper proof of payment. In order to still be reimbursed, Behling substituted the real receipts with unrelated, unauthorized receipts for alternate transactions. He said that while his intentions were to ensure successful activities, he realizes that his intentions “do not justify the circumvention of our financial standards.” The investigation concluded that Lippincott did not perpetrate fraudulent activities, nor had knowledge that they were fraudulent, according to his resignation letter. He said that nonetheless, the policies and procedures he oversaw allowed the fraudulent reimbursements to go undetected. "While I was thanked for my cooperation, thoughtfulness, and professionalism during the probe, and I was cleared of any direct involvement in the fraudulent conduct, I tender my resignation as Chief Financial Officer of ASCMC in hopes that ASCMC can move forward to carry out its mission to leave a positive impact on the Claremont McKenna College students," he said. Lippincott has been asked to complete ASCMC’s annual taxes and 990s. The Chief Financial Officer is a very important member of the Executive Board,” reads page 19 of the ASCMC handbook. “They are responsible for setting the financial course of ASCMC and is tasked with making sure that ASCMC follows responsible financial practices.” Reimbursement requests from ASCMC are filed through FluidReview, an online application system also used by other CMC offices such as Career Services. To be reimbursed, a student must create a submission and enter Amount Requested for Reimbursement and Purchase Date, along with other basic applicant information. Another section instructs students to “attach the corresponding receipt or invoice. The receipt must be legible and have an item by item account.” It is possible that the information in the application was not verified by cross-referencing it to the receipt. Both Behling and Lippincott called for improvements to the financial management practices in their resignation letters. In a statement to The Forum, CMC Vice President for Student Affairs Sharon Basso said that the College is engaged with ASCMC as it examines its financial controls to ensure sound management of funds going forward. "For now, ASCMC will continue to determine the allocation of ASCMC funds, but the Dean of Students Office will administer the disbursement of those funds and will serve as additional oversight to ensure purchases are in accord with ASCMC and College policies." She added that she appreciated ASCMC's "immediate and conscientious response." Vice President Basso also noted that although ASCMC is an independent entity with a 501(c)3 status as a nonprofit, the College has an interest in ASCMC performance because the organization distributes the funds collected by the College. According to the ASCMC website, about $313,000, the bulk of the revenue, is collected from student fees yearly. The Forum reached out to Love and Bloom regarding the contents of these false receipts, how the internal investigation was conducted, and whether disciplinary action would be taken. Both declined to comment for this article. ASCMC Officers take office in March following Spring Break, and continue for a year. Behling was elected President in February with 57% of the vote, while Lippincott was appointed CFO by the Elections Committee this year and last. The email in its entirety is copied below: Subject: Important News Regarding ASCMC Leadership Dear CMC Family, As ASCMC Executive Officers we aim to advocate, support, and represent the CMC student body with respect, leadership, and integrity. Near the end of the academic year, some questionable activities of the Corporation of the Associated Students of Claremont McKenna were brought to the attention of Maya Love, Executive Vice President, and Connor Bloom, President Pro-Tempore, by CMC’s Dean of Students Office. With the information that was presented, an internal investigation ensued in accordance with the ASCMC constitution. After reviewing the financial records and conducting interviews, our investigation of financial activity for this past academic year concluded that fraudulent receipts were submitted and processed for reimbursement. There were failures in ASCMC’s financial controls to prevent this unauthorized activity. The total amount of questionable reimbursements to students this academic year was approximately $2,000. President Elliot Behling and Chief Financial Officer Philip [Whit] Lippincott cooperated in our investigation and recognizing the obligations of those leadership roles, have resigned from their positions (letters attached). There were no misappropriations of funds, nor lack of oversight, by other board members. We have full confidence in the ASCMC Executive Board to fulfill their duties that best serve CMC. These issues extend beyond the actions of a few individuals and highlight the need for systemic reforms in procedures. We take this as a significant opportunity to examine how we can improve our financial structure by making improvements on getting reimbursements out in a timely manner, increasing checks and balances on financial submissions, and empowering our officers in reviewing finances more closely. Moving forward, as outlined in the ASCMC procedures, Maya Love will be taking on the role and responsibilities of President and Chair of the Corporation of the Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College, effective immediately. Our current Treasurer, Max Dawson, has agreed to assist with the responsibilities of the CFO role until we can conduct an official appointment process. While Article 7, Section 38, Subsection (b) of the ASCMC constitution states that the President Pro-Tempore should take over the duties of the Executive Vice President should they be unable to fulfill them, we believe that it is in the best interests of the Corporation and its shareholders for Connor Bloom to remain as President Pro-Tempore to help guide the corporation through a smooth transition period. Therefore, there will be three openings within ASCMC’s Executive Board in the upcoming fall semester: Executive Vice President (EVP), Chief Financial Officer, and Freshman Class President. The process for special appointment of a new CFO and the special election for EVP will be announced in the future. The intentions of ASCMC will always be to ensure that student fees are disbursed and used appropriately and that the student body is represented with integrity and inclusiveness. We are working with the Dean of Students Office on these efforts. In the immediate term, ASCMC will continue to determine the allocations of funds, and the Dean of Students Office will administer the disbursement of those funds to improve the timeliness of reimbursements and compliance with ASCMC and College policies. We will continue to carry forward the momentum of this past year’s multitude of very successful programs and events. As always, ASCMC is for students, by students. All the best, Maya Love & Connor Bloom ASCMC President and Chair/ ASCMC President Pro-Tempore *The above email reflects the change of Max Fine to Max Dawson as sent out by Maya Love and Connor Bloom following the initial announcement. The resignation letters are attached below: Resignation Letter Lippincott Resignation Letter Behling

  • He applied to 29 schools. Only CMC accepted him.

    By this time, many prospective college students have chosen which 4-year university they will attend. On May 1 three years ago, Peter Albrecht '19 didn’t have much of a choice to make: Claremont McKenna College was the only college that accepted him. Albrecht applied to 29 schools from his father’s list; the only way his father would pay the application fees. These included many of the Ivy Leagues, Stanford, Georgia Tech, Pomona, Harvey Mudd, and CMC. The rejections kept piling up, until finally, the iconic CMC acceptance letter arrived with gold and maroon confetti. Albrecht instantly knew he was coming to CMC. There are many myths and urban legends about the college admission process. It is hard to determine exactly what a college is looking for, and why it may accept or reject someone. Jefferson Huang, CMC Vice President for Admission and Financial Aid and Philosophy Professor, dispelled myths and provided a behind-the-scenes look into the CMC admission office. While he did not divulge details about Albrecht’s application, his general comments explain why Albrecht was welcomed into the CMC family. The “Holistic Review” Albrecht said that one of the reasons he may have been accepted to CMC and not to other colleges is that CMC is one of the smallest schools he applied to, and that the admission officers were, therefore, more likely to take the time to read his application in detail and understand his specific circumstances. The circumstances of Albrecht’s transcript and program were very unique. Homeschooled for most of his life, Albrecht had read all 7,000 books in his house by the time he was 12. At the age of 13, he got on a bus to Boston and enrolled in classes at Harvard University. Albrecht ended up completing three years of Latin, three semesters of Greek, two history courses, three math courses, and two physics courses. Albrecht spent 5 years at Harvard, taking classes with both undergraduate and graduate college students. His transcript showed a 3.2 GPA from Harvard, which is extremely impressive as a teenager taking classes with graduate students. However, Albrecht felt that many colleges denied him because the number was lower than the 4.0 high school GPAs he was undoubtedly competing against. Huang confirmed that, like all applicants, when Albrecht sent in his application to CMC, it was subjected to a “holistic review.” Huang explained that in a holistic review, the admission office gets to know the entire student. There are three equally weighted academic measures: test scores (usually either ACT or SAT), high school transcript and how rigorous the high school program is. “Transcript” refers to the courses you took and the grades you got -- not to be confused with GPA which is measured differently by each school. In addition to the academic measure, there is a personal metric. “If a teacher in a recommendation letter talks about your intellectual curiosity...that matters. Of course, it is not as quantifiable,” Huang said. Unsurprisingly, Huang stated that for personal factors, leadership is very important at CMC. “It is not just about the things that you did, but how you did them. It is important to show leadership, creativity and ingenuity through your activities,” he said. Huang also emphasized the importance of engagement within one’s community and of forming connections in the world outside of the classroom. “Personal characteristics come out of the activities when someone does a good job of telling us about them,” said Huang. According to Huang, both the academic and personal rating inform the decision; however, there is no disqualifier -- the decision is simply informed by these placeholders. Clearly, Albrecht was an applicant with unique academic and personal characteristics, such as the initiative to follow the unconventional educational path he chose to take and the ability to keep up with the older students in his Harvard classes. What Happened to Peter Albrecht’s Application? Once Albrecht pressed send on his application, the ball was in the admission office’s court. Huang confirmed that once an application arrives in the admission office, it is read at least once, usually twice, except when it is deemed really far from competitive (as in “this student will flunk out at CMC”). According to Huang, the first reader would have made a few notes and voted “admit, waitlist, reject” on Albrecht’s application. Next, a second reader would have also made notes and voted “admit, waitlist, reject.” Each read-through takes around 20 minutes. In Albrecht’s case, the two admission officers either voted to admit, and the application went into a holding bin for admit, or, if there was any disagreement, the application was discussed by the whole admission team. After having been read and scored, all applications are given a final screening by the admission committee. The committee then sends out offers! Here are the statistics of the admitted students from the class of 2022. The Interview Peter Albrecht also interviewed at CMC where he was given the opportunity to clear up any confusion with his transcript. Huang explained that the interview process allows CMC to get to know a student on a more personal level, and allows the admission team to see what a written application often cannot portray. “Admissions Doesn't Make Mistakes” The CMC admission office does not quantify the number of valedictorians in each freshman class, but there are definitely a lot of students at CMC who were valedictorians in high school. For the average student who was not, it can be intimidating to be surrounded by students who may seem more experienced, intelligent or prepared for college. Huang states that he personally loves that a common message is that the admission office does not make mistakes. “It tells students that we chose them because we thought they would be great-- welcome to CMC, now be a great student here!” Albrecht is a perfect example of a CMC student who did not have the typical “high school valedictorian” experience. However, Albrecht does feel that he fits in at CMC and is very glad that he came here. He finds that the CMC professors and classes are even better than the ones he took at Harvard, is very fond of the administration and enjoys being able to take classes that are tailored to his interests in economics and physics. Most importantly, Albrecht is thriving at CMC with “a larger and closer friend group than he has ever had,” and relationships that he hopes will last a lifetime.

  • CMC Considers Adding a Racial-Ethnic Understanding GE

    CMC is considering adding a new general education (GE) requirement related to “racial-ethnic understanding.” It would prepare students for their post-graduation lives and help them understand racism and the contributions of Black, Latinx, Asian, and Indigenous individuals in the U.S and abroad. Students would take courses discussing any of these four racial and ethnic groups. CMC would offer the GE as an overlay course by almost any academic department, meaning it could fulfill two GE requirements. CMC also plans to hire more professors, especially Black professors, for this GE. Current professors may choose to teach a course in the subject, allowing lower and upper-level classes to count. At least 30 courses are estimated to eventually fulfill the requirement. The GE could become a requirement by fall 2022, which would make the graduating class of 2026 the first class required to take it. However, changes to the current proposal are likely, which may slow the process. “We want to prepare students to understand several different issues, like racism and especially anti-Black racism, but also all forms of racism, and the social construction of race.” To address student questions, professors and staff members held a student forum on Tuesday, February 9. “There’s no number that has been set [on the number of new professors], but everybody is eager,” professor Gastón Espinosa, the Arthur V. Stoughton Professor of Religious Studies, said. “A lot of departments are putting in requests for hires that can teach about African-American religion and history. We are hoping that some of those will be granted.” Some students shared their concerns about racial insensitivity in the classroom by their peers and professors and asked about the possibility of training faculty members to teach these classes properly. “There would be a lot of programming and training available, so that would be something that we would actively encourage. We wouldn’t necessarily want to prescribe or force a person to take a program or seminar. What if they’re in biology or mathematics? In some fields, [training] would be more helpful if they’re going to teach a GE in this area,” said professor Espinosa. Instead of mandatory training, Nyree Gray, Associate Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Civil Rights Officer, explained a new project for professors interested in being a “version of anti-racism fellow for CMC.” The application is due at the end of February, and these professors would support their colleagues who are developing these new courses. “The hope is to build capacity within faculty themselves. Faculty would have a colleague as a resource that can help one-on-one with preparing for this academic experience—not just from a content base, but also an experience base from the student,” Gray said. The majority of faculty members present at their meeting would be needed to pass the proposal. During this meeting, amendments are allowed. If approved, the proposal would be presented to the board of trustees. Professor Espinosa described this initiative as a “top priority for both faculty and the administration” as well as “a grassroots faculty response” to the President’s Initiative on Anti-Racism and the Black Experience in America. “We want to address some of the underlying issues of racism in America after the terrible tragedy of George Floyd’s death back in the spring. We also want to prepare students to understand several different issues, like racism and especially anti-Black racism, but also all forms of racism, and the social construction of race,” professor Espinosa said. If faculty members do not approve this new GE, other alternatives might be available, such as adding it to the Freshman Humanities Seminar (FHS) requirement. The professors at the forum remain “hopeful” that their colleagues will approve this proposal. “Each Claremont College has slightly different requirements. I think that, at CMC, people have always thought that these types of issues could be met through different departments and courses,” professor Espinosa said as the reason for not proposing this GE sooner. “But, we really think it should be more structural and something that every student has to take,” said professor Espinosa. “We want to do this as a community with the approval of professors and students. Everyone’s opinion matters. We’re trying to be as inclusive as we can.”

  • Director of Student Safety and Security visits Senate

    At the final Senate meeting of the year, guest speaker Brian Weir, Director of Student Safety and Security, described his position and answered questions asked by Senate members. Weir is a retired law enforcement officer and has worked for the Beverly Hills Police Department and the U.S. Air Force. Overall, Weir said he wants a higher level of service at CMC. Over the summer, he will be responsible for vetting and training new security personnel that will be permanently stationed at CMC starting next fall. He said wants more engagement with the students to ensure that they feel comfortable reaching out to security during any emergencies. His goal is to be proactive in order to prevent any accidents from occurring and to make sure that everyone who comes on board understands the campus culture and climate. RAs and and Dean of Students will also collaborate to best ensure student safety. They will be working with students from other campuses if they pose any safety threats at CMC events. Though there will be interactions with the other students on the CMC campus, the security team will most likely not be present at events or parties on the other 4C campuses. He also wants to meet with student leadership to ensure their presence at events such as protests where student safety may be at risk. Weir believes that early planning and open communication can guarantee both safe and successful events. During cabinet updates, Administrative Affairs and Appropriations Committee Chair Connor Bloom ‘19 said that though a few funding requests have come in, the committee is no longer able to fulfill the requests. The committee also met to discuss potential future projects such as streamlining and updating parts of the website. Bloom also met with Danielle Dominguez ‘19 to discuss the leadership hand over. Environmental Affairs Committee Chair Sam Becker ‘19 said that they are going to continue to roll out the Re-Room project. Re-Room mimics a garage sale that collects reusable items, at the end of the year, from people who do not want them. These items are given to other students who may need them. They have gotten boxes and are updating flyers to put in the dorm lounges. Campus Improvements Committee Chair Biniyam Asnake ‘20 said they are finalizing the CARE Center textbook loan program. Boxes will be put in the dorm lounges during finals week so students can donate their old textbooks. Connor Bloom '19 was sworn in as President Pro-Tempore for the 2018-2019 Academic Year. The new Senate Committee chairs were introduced and they shared their goals for the coming year. The new Environmental Affairs Chair Tallan Donine ‘21 wants to collaborate more with the institutes and clubs on campus to continue the projects started by Sam Becker ‘19. The new Technology and Innovation Chair Michael Hess ‘21 has already built a prototype that enables online ordering at the Hub. Student Engagement Chair Maxwell Knowles ‘20 wants to start a mentorship program to share information about classes, internships and more. Campus Improvements Chair Cristi Kennedy ‘21 wants to make information regarding available funding more accessible to freshman. The new Administrative Affairs & Appropriations Chair Danielle Dominguez ‘19 wants to coordinate with the CFO to update a 5C funding resources list to make people aware of available resources. The meeting concluded with no additional discussion during open forum.

  • Distinguished Alum Series: Daniel Black Founds Glass-Media Inc

    Daniel Black, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Glass - Media, Inc. received his Bachelors of Arts Degree in Economics, Government and a Leadership Sequence from CMC in 2011. At CMC, Black was part of the Student Investment Fund, Winston Churchill Society and worked as the Lead RTA for a year. Awardee of the “CMC Entrepreneur of the Year," Black launched a fast food delivery service, devised a custom glassware business and piloted a textbook/furniture exchange online marketplace for the 5Cs. During his undergraduate career, he founded the College Matchers Inc. which was a free online marketplace for students to buy and sell textbooks, furniture and more on campus. Launched in 2008, this website helped students at the Claremont Colleges save more than $50,000 over three semesters. After graduation, Black headed to San Diego, working as a Marketing Associate at Underground Elephant--the company provides a platform to combine technology, data driven analytics and media as a way to connect clients through vertical marketing strategies. Black says he “spent the bulk of [his] time A/B testing Facebook Ads in an attempt to increase click through rates (CTR), improve lead quality and lower the cost per lead (CPL).” Black made his way to Dallas in 2013, working as a Program Manager at DigiWorksCorp. DigiWorks uses matchmaking concepts to deliver the right device to the right customer, based on their demands. He spent much of his timed providing innovative project ideas, managing project schedules and identifying risks for stakeholders. After working at the Underground Elephant, Black said he became interested in making the “offline-online retail experience considerably more seamless.” He started developing his business model after working for months on research and development. Finally in 2014, he founded Glass - Media Inc., a perfect example of an industry change leader advancing end-to-end marketing solutions for Fortune 1000 brands with physical footprints. The company’s display of technology works to enhance customer experiences in the digital world. While remembering the days of developing his business model, he suggested, “time heals all wounds, practice makes perfect, don't make the same mistake twice, fail fast, fail often and rely on employee feedback.” As a self-taught entrepreneur, Black highlights several changes in the entrepreneurial and technology industry over the years: 1.) High millennial and college graduate unemployment rates are pushing more individuals into entrepreneurship. 2.) Government and private organizations are investing in entrepreneurial resources for their constituents. 3.) Large corporations are doubling down on innovation centers in an attempt to accelerate the adoption of leading-edge technologies. Being a true entrepreneur involves finding the problem and creating a solution. Black experimented with various business ideas by looking for problems amongst the students and pursuing them with student friendly solutions at the Claremont Colleges. His career path after school allowed him to actively understand and observe the upcoming market trends, which led him to combine the flourishing technology industry with entrepreneurship and finally found Glass - Media Inc. Black’s experiences reflect his careful consideration in choosing which jobs best suited his career goals of what jobs to take up in order to get the most out of a job. Apart from his work, Black reflects on having a good work balance in order to lead a good life. Talking about his CMC experience, Black’s experience emphasizes the positive impact that the alumni community played after he graduated. Black was always an active member of the CMC Community. While he was a student at CMC, he experimented with various startup ideas to make student life easier. Now he also works with the CMC Admissions Office as an alumni interviewer. He's doling out some advice for current CMCers: If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life. Live within your means. In your early 20s, salary is everything. You'll eventually wake up and realize just how important work-life balance really is. If you're going to be risk-seeking professionally, do so while you're young. Married life, kids, and a mortgage will change things. Surround yourself with good people. Never forget the art of a firm handshake and good, but non-awkward eye contact.

  • Exec Board Defines ASCMC Roles and Discusses Upcoming Parties, April 8 & 15

    ASCMC Executive Board debriefed TNC and Saturday night’s ‘Daisy Dukes’ party, discussed Pirate Party expectations and provided an update regarding the Bubble construction on Sunday, April 15 in Kravis 321. ASCMC President Elliot Behling ‘19 was absent, so Executive Vice President Maya Love ‘20 ran the meeting. The group confirmed that both TNC and ‘Daisy Dukes,’ the party ASCMC sponsored at the Senior Apartments on Saturday, were successful events. Vice President of Student Affairs, Grace Wang ‘21 was pleased to see the event run smoothly in terms of set up and shut down. She added that it was different from the typical CMC party, and praised the artists who performed for bringing their own equipment. The only issue brought forth was that an individual attempted to paint directly on the Claremont Hall walls-the suspected student will be charged with cleaning fees accordingly. Senior Class President Edgar Warnholtz ‘19 added that ‘Daisy Dukes’ was an extremely successful event as it saw a large turnout. He mentioned that a new ‘shut down’ tactic was employed that worked effectively. Instead of immediately shutting off the music and asking students to leave, the volume was lowered gradually and students trickled out on their own. The Board agreed that Pirate Party will require all hands on deck to ensure its success. In order to minimize crowding, a plan is in place to distribute the wristbands to each individual school on certain days of the week. However, CMC students will be able to pick up wristbands five days ahead of the event. Although the budget is tight for Pirate Party, the funding provided by the other five colleges was more than doubled from last year. RA Liaison Patrick Elliott ‘19 reminded the group that water and signage were key to a successful Pirate Party. Lastly, Love gave Connor Bloom ‘19 the go-ahead for the Bubble Open House event from 9:00-10:30pm on Friday, April 20. The event is meant to showcase art from around campus and legitimize ASCMC’s role as student government amid Alumni Weekend. Tensions rose towards the end of the meeting over salary and role parameters. Some members were concerned about working overtime and pay not reflecting such, while others argued that ASCMC unfairly asks students to expand their job description and work roles that were not necessarily presented upfront. Catch up with last week's Exec Board: ASCMC’s Executive Board met on April 8 after a two day ASCMC retreat to discuss personal projects for board members such as reorganization and increased financial transparency as well as new Diversity and Inclusion committee applications. The Board also shifted its focus toward securing funding for Pirate Party from all 5C's.

  • Class of 2027: First-Year Class President Statements

    By Associated Students of Claremont McKenna College As the fall semester ramps us, you may notice the familiar banners hanging over the rails of Appleby. First-Year Class President campaigns are in full force, and this year's cohort promises to bring you everything from Collins faculty appreciation to pre-games to weekly office hours. The First-Year Class President (FYCP) sits on ASCMC’s Executive Board as a representative and liaison of the Class of 2027. The FYCP manages a budget of $3000, and is responsible for planning a plethora of events, activities, and initiatives geared towards the Class of 2027 or the broader CMC community. Candidates rush to collect 50 signatures by Wednesday night to officially declare their candidacy and earn a spot on the ballot. Speeches will occur during Snack (10:30pm) on Thursday, September 21st at Collins Dining Hall! Voting is open starting at Midnight and is open till 8pm on Friday the 22nd! First Year Class President Candidates (Alphabetical Order): Kahani Malhotra Nripesh “Brian” Agarwal Rohan Mathew Tanveer Grewal Violet Ramanathan Zubin Khera KAHANI MALHOTRA A vote for Kahani is a vote for transparency #belikejohnnyvoteforkahani HELLO GORGEOUS FOLKS! My name’s Kahani, and I’m running for president because I want to see YOU adequately represented. My main focus is simple: transparency. You deserve to know what’s going on within ASCMC, and what decisions are being made about you. I will achieve this by: Having weekly office hours Janie’s Kitchen (Valach Lounge) to allow y’all to come and chat with me about anything & everything Send out a form after parties so y’all can suggest new themes and music! Sending out weekly email blasts with all the information you need for the week in a fun way >:) So I’ve got the ideas, but where’s the experience? Well: I have three years of student government experience (from being a class representative to an Executive Council representative to Vice President!) I am an international, queer student who’s lived in 5 different countries and understands the value of conversation and open communication - I will always be here to listen to you and speak up for your experiences Through my combined 10 years in Model UN and Speech and Debate, I have the experience and ability to speak up for our class, whether to fellow ASCMC members or the administration I’ve been at CMC for a month, and I’ve already fallen in love, with both the campus and the people. Representing you is my top priority. So Puck Fomona, and vote Kahani for Class President :) PS - If you want more details on my campaign, check out the gram: TANVEER GREWAL Hello! My name is Tanveer and I am running to be your FYCP! A vote for me is a vote for more fun as a class! Whether your vibe is joint study sessions or pre-games before football games, I got you!! I also plan to create more spaces where everyone can be involved and feel like they’re part of the Claremont community! As Class President of my high school from freshman to senior year, I have experience in building a community and look forward to doing that here with your help!! ZUBIN KHERA Zub is a Dub! What’s up Class of 27! For those of you who I haven’t already met, my name is Zubin Khera(he/him), and I’m running to be your First-Year Class President. A little bit about me: I enjoy going on long walks with my dog, Axl, listening to a wide variety of music (indie, r&b, rap, and everything in between), and talking about all things Marvel or DC. There’s a LOT of candidates running to represent you this year so you may be wondering what makes me qualified? Odds are that if you took the time out of your day to read through these statements in the first place, then you care about the future of our class. As do I! If you want to put your trust into a FYCP that will make sure your voice is heard, and will fight (and party) with our class’s best interests in mind then I’m your guy! As your first year class president, I want to foster a culture of change and that starts with tackling a wide variety of practical issues such as… Introducing weekly Food Around the World cooking nights at Valach for more diverse late night snack options! Changing Collins from swipe only to include meal card tap as an option and introducing student curated playlists during mealtimes Faculty appreciation initiatives for Collins dining staff and residential hall facilities staff (shout out to Nancy who taught me how to do my laundry) Having more diverse class bonding experiences such as sock assassin, beach days, campus nerf battles, video game tournaments, and karaoke nights Adding FREE menstrual products to all residential halls Replacing the chained chairs from Roberts (why is this still a thing…) Of course, this list is not exhaustive, so feel free to reach out to me at any time through insta - @zubinkhera23 or email Violet Ramanathan #CMCISUS Hello!! My name is Violet Ramanathan, and I am running to be your First Year Class President. Throughout my life, I have worked in activism and diplomacy, and I hope to apply my skills as a leader, communicator, advocate, and organizer to serving the Class of 2027. Even though we have only been here a month, I have found a home at CMC, and I want to make sure that each and every one of you feels the same. Ultimately, the role of the First Year Class President is to ensure that there is a strong sense of community within the Class of 2027. This job is split into two components: planning events, and representing the class in ASCMC. One of my main goals as Class President is to have lots of events, ranging from awesome parties and pre-games to chill movies and board game nights (and, of course, lots of food!). I plan to host a wide variety of events, so that there is a way for everyone to feel engaged. I also want to use my platform to promote school and class spirit, through spirit-focused events and some super cool merch! I believe that I am well equipped to represent the Class of 2027 in ASCMC. I am vocal and articulate, so I can ensure that our voices are heard, and I am determined to serve the class by advocating for your needs, desires, hopes, and dreams! In addition to promoting your initiatives, there are a few things I would like to push for personally, including a stronger focus on environmental sustainability throughout CMC. In the last month, I have noticed that there are a number of ways we could make our campus more green, and I want to be the voice within ASCMC pushing us to be better. An important part of the Class President job is managing a team and working together on a number of projects, which is why I will be appointing a cabinet full of qualified people - I encourage all of you to apply! To see details about my specific plans and ideas for the next year (there are lots!), cabinet positions, and more, check out my website:! Or feel free to reach out with any questions, concerns, ideas, or if you just want to chat! You can find me on IG @livefreeorVi or shoot me an email - I look forward to getting to know all of you better and serving as your First Year Class President! #CMCISUS Candidates who did not provide a statement will still give speeches! Speeches will occur during Snack (10:30pm) on Thursday, September 21st at Collins Dining Hall! Voting is open starting at Midnight and is open till 8pm on Friday the 22nd!

  • Photo Essay: Wedding Party 2020

    On 29th February, ASCMC hosted its annual Wedding Party. Congratulations to the 2020 Mr. Stag and Mrs. Athena, Johnny Villasenor '20 and Giselle Herrera '20. Check out a few photos from the event! Photo Credit: Keval Shah ‘23

  • Photo Essay: CMC Advocates Sex Carnival 2019

    The CMC Advocates hosted their third annual Sex Week this past week, which showcased speakers such as Ashley Mantra and Andre Shakti among others. They also offered 40+ spots for free STI Testing and held a Sex Week carnival, a celebration for the end of Sex Week! Student affinity groups tabled throughout the afternoon, and students from the 5Cs gathered on Green Beach for a fun, informative learning experience. Here are some photos from the carnival. Photos taken by Mila Piacsek ’22

  • CMC’s New Public Policy Major in a Nutshell

    “CMC’s mission … is to support faculty and student scholarship that contribute to intellectual vitality and the understanding of public policy issues.” Claremont McKenna College’s public policy major has been a long time coming. As part of CMC’s mission, public policy as an academic subject combines CMC’s long-established strength in economics and government. Public policy has been one of CMC’s more popular sequences since it was created two years ago. This year, the college is taking a great leap forward by converting the sequence into a major. “Anyone who knows CMC’s reputation, like potential employers, will know that CMC has traditional strength in government and economics,” said Professor Shanna Rose, Director of the Public Policy Major and Associate Professor of Government at CMC. “A public policy major is going to build on that strength.” “Why now” would be one of the most asked questions regarding the public policy major. The short answer would be to meet growing demand for the subject. Until this year, Pomona was the only 5C college with a public policy major. However, “due to high demand,” Pomona has been unable to accommodate interest from students at the other colleges and “no longer accepts off-campus majors through the Class of 2024.” “CMC is really well-situated to meet the demand for public policy. Not only from students here at CMC, but also at Scripps, Pitzer and even Harvey Mudd,” Professor Rose told the Forum during an interview. “I think this is going to be a really nice addition to the curriculum for the 5Cs as a whole.” The most distinctive features of a public policy major are its interdisciplinary nature and focus on practical skills. The public policy major consists of an internship or research assistantship in public policy and nine courses: one class in quantitative methods; one in ethics; one in policy process; one in microeconomics; four electives (two for a dual major) from economics, government, history, philosophy, and psychology; and a policy lab (capstone). The major builds on CMC’s existing curriculum and does not establish any new courses. The capstone for the major, also known as the policy lab, is a one-credit class that puts knowledge into practice. Students work with real-world clients, such as the Brookings Institution and the Bipartisan Policy Center, to conduct research and analysis on a real-world policy question. The work they do includes memos, data analysis, and other professional deliverables. Just the kind of real-world experience a CMC student would crave! Not only does a public policy major give students the flexibility to count courses from multiple subjects toward their major, but it also provides more freedom in taking classes outside of their major. A dual major in economics (eight courses) and government (seven courses) requires a total of fifteen academic credits, whereas a public policy major requires only nine courses, seven for a dual major. This, in turn, creates more time for students to study abroad, to dual-major in another subject, or to explore CMC’s liberal arts curriculum more broadly. Regarding professional development after CMC, a public policy major would be suitable for both the public and private sectors. Students who are dedicated to a career in public service should consider majoring in public policy because the major provides insights from economics and political science, among other disciplines, into what makes a good policy. A public policy major equips its students with hard skills in economics, statistics and policy analysis, and softer skills such as professional writing, communication skills and teamwork“You don’t need to plan a career in public service for this major to make sense,” Professor Rose said in response to concerns about policy’s strong focus on the public sector. “I think there are tons of private-sector options for a public policy major. Corporate social responsibility, lobbying and consulting would all be great examples.” An ice-cream social with faculty members and students from the public policy major will be held from 3:30 to 4:30 pm on Monday, September 16, outside the Hub. No matter what your post-college plan is or which college you are from, public policy would definitely be an option worth looking into.

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