Claremont dean resigns following student protests

Steven Glick
The Claremont Independent

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  • Mary Spellman resigned from her position as Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students at Claremont McKenna College.
  • The resignation followed protests that claimed she had not done enough to create a safe space on campus for marginalized students.
  • On Thursday, Mary Spellman resigned from her position as Assistant Vice President and Dean of Students at Claremont McKenna College. The resignation occurred in response to a protest that occurred Wednesday, which was centered on the idea that Dean Spellman had not done enough to create a safe space on campus for students from marginalized backgrounds. The protests were catalyzed by an email Spellman sent to a student in response to an article that student had written forThe Student Life earlier this week.

    “Since 2010 I have been privileged to serve as Dean of Students at Claremont McKenna College,” states Spellman in her email resignation. “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.”

    Though many students pushed for Spellman’s resignation—including two students who went on a hunger strike—not everyone on campus shared this sentiment. In her email, Spellman notes that one student wrote to her, “You’ve inspired me in my time at CMC. Please stay strong and realize students like me need you to stay here…I will always be honored to consider you a mentor, a role model, and above all, friend.”

    Additionally, a faculty member wrote, “I also recognize how much you have worked to make our community more inclusive… I know I join many fellow faculty members and students in expressing my full support and confidence in you as Dean of Students here at CMC.”

    Spellman closes her email by stating, “To all who have been so supportive, please know how sorry I am if my decision disappoints you. I believe it is the best way to gain closure of a controversy that has divided the student body and disrupted the mission of this fine institution. Most important, I hope this will help enable a truly thoughtful, civil and productive discussion about the very real issues of diversity and inclusion facing Claremont McKenna, higher education and other institutions across our society.”

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    This article was originally published in the Claremont Independent, a conservative student newspaper affiliated with the Leadership Institute's Campus Leadership Program. Its articles are republished herewith permission.



    Steven Glick

    The Claremont Independent

    The Claremont Independent

    The Claremont Independent is an independent journal of campus affairs and political thought serving the colleges of the Claremont Consortium. The magazine receives no funding from any of the colleges and is distributed free of charge on campus. All costs of production are covered by the generous support of private foundations and individuals. The Claremont Independent is dedicated to using journalism and reasoned discourse to advance its ongoing mission of Upholding Truth and Excellence at the Claremont Colleges.

    The Claremont Independent is affiliated with Campus Reform through the Leadership Institute's Campus Leadership Program. Its articles are republished on Campus Reform with permission from the paper. 

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