An Interview On
Scripps College

Background

Interview Date:November 2018

Gender Identity: Female
Race/Ethnicity: Biracial: White & Hispanic
Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual
Graduation Year: 2020, Transferred to start junior year for the Fall of 2018.
High School Experience: Public charter school in New Orleans, LA with a graduating class of about 900 students. There was a culture of going to college.
First Generation College Student: No
Major: Environmental Analysis
Minor: Spanish
Extracurricular Activities: I’m a student-athlete. I’m also part of the Scripps Food Recovery Network, where we take excess food from the dining halls and donate it to local women’s shelters.

What impact have your extracurricular activities had on your experience?
My sport takes up a lot of my time, and it’s a really good way to meet people across the consortium. It’s also a cool way to explore California because we have tournaments in all different parts of the state. The Food Recovery Network has had less of an impact on me because it’s less of a time commitment, it’s once every other week. It still has an impact by making me feel like I’m doing something and participating in the community.

Academic Experience

Can you describe the weekly coursework for your Environmental Analysis major?
I’m doing more so the humanities side rather than the science side, so I’m not really taking any science classes. You have to take one science course, but it’s not a big deal. It’s mostly readings and papers.

Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
The department here is really good about focusing on social issues and how it impacts different communities. Highlighting marginalized communities isn’t always well addressed in environmental curriculums because it’s a White middle-class movement, but they are really good at re-centering it and making it more accessible to people.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly collaborative or competitive?
I think it’s really collaborative, especially coming from a really competitive high school where everyone was trying to get ahead. People here want to learn in a way that everyone is learning. It’s very participatory, and everyone’s interested in what everyone else has to say. It’s more about our greater goals than our individual goals.

What is your favorite class you’ve taken for your major?
Food, Culture, Power. It’s about all sorts of issues related to food and how that ties into sustainability, politics, gender, and racial dynamics. It’s a cool class because it makes you examine your everyday life, and the little things you take for granted along with the broader implications of those things.

How accessible have the professors in your department been?
It’s a pretty big department across the consortium. In the beginning of the year when I needed a major advisor and didn’t know anyone on campus, it was easy to meet with people in the department. They would point me in the right direction for my more particular interests.

Why did you choose your major? Are you happy with your choice?
I got interested in studying the environment in high school because I took a class about food production and the agricultural industry. I’m from New Orleans, and we love food, so I love studying food, and studying politics through food. Part of the reason I transferred here was because I felt like my major at my last school was about the natural environment, and was more broad theory and not focused on everyday political life. There are four or five tracks for the major here, so it allows you to personalize your major. There’s still a lot of infrastructure and core classes that keep it well guided but allows you to focus on what you want to study.

On and Around Campus

Where have you lived on campus?
Junior: NEW Hall in a single with 6 other suitemates. We share a hallway, a common space, and
a bathroom.

Can you describe the level of safety you’ve experienced on and around campus?
I feel pretty safe on campus. It’s pretty big, but there are lights everywhere and a decent amount of people walking around. There have been some incidences since I’ve been here. Especially since it’s a women’s college, I’ve seen several men get arrested for being creepy on campus, trying to get into the dorms, or looking at people while we were practicing.

How was transitioning from New Orleans to Claremont, CA?
The transition was pretty easy. California and New Orleans are pretty similar, they are both really warm and sunny all the time. It’s weird because it doesn’t rain, which I miss, but other than that it’s really nice down here. Socially, they’re both pretty laid back places, and people go with the flow. The cultures assimilate well.

What is your favorite off-campus restaurant?
My suitemates and I really like going to this sub place that is about 5-minutes away.

What is your favorite place to get away from campus?
My boyfriend goes to school in Eagle Rock, so I spend a lot of time there.

What are the pros and cons of being located in Claremont, CA?
Pros:
1) It’s close enough to L.A., so if you want to go into the city, there are plenty of things to do. There are plenty of cultural events, or groups you could join. There’s a lot of accessibility being near a big city.
2) We’re not directly in the city, and we’re right by the mountains. People love having picnics or going on the trails at Mt. Baldy, which is about 15 minutes away. We’re far enough from the city that it’s not super smoggy or loud all the time, and the views are beautiful.

Cons:
1) It’s close enough to the city to go if you feel like it, but it’s pretty far and can be a hassle to get there, especially to the airport. There’s the Ontario Airport out here, but it doesn’t have a lot of direct flights to other places, so being far from LAX is expensive.

Social Opportunities

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in?
That’s one of the bigger benefits of the consortium. There’s always something going on, so on the weekends I’ll often start the night getting drinks with my suitemates, going to a comedy show, or going to a sporting event. We’ll then have a couple of options for parties lined up across the consortium that we can pop around at. There’s a lot of campus-sponsored events, along with different group events within the colleges.

What are your favorite events that happen?
Some of my favorite times have been with my suitemates doing our Thursday night tradition of inviting a few friends to get drinks, then hanging out at our house after. It’s always so nice because everyone in my suite is in a different friend group, so everyone invites people over to hang out, and we all end up getting along. It’s a nice calm and happy time. Also, when I walk around, I find myself appreciating where I am, thinking this place is so beautiful.

What nights of the week do you regularly do things? Are there regular places you go or things you do on certain nights?
I usually go out Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Thursday there will be parties happening, but for me, it’s primarily just getting drinks with my suitemates and then having people over at our house. Fridays are the bigger all-campus events that people go to.

How happy are you with the nightlife options at Scripps? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’d say I’m very happy. There’s always a variety of things to do, whether they are bigger, smaller, or more focused on a certain type of music or game. There’s a diversity in your options on the weekend, which is really nice.

Campus Culture

How was it blending into the social environment as a transfer?
For me, it was good because I ended up in a suite with so many different people. I had access to a lot of different friend groups, and one of my best friends from high school goes here, so my transition was pretty easy. It was difficult at times, but because I like it here so much, it wasn’t that bad.

How did you meet your closest friends?
By living with them. It’s nice that this random group of people let me live with them, and they all ended up being so nice. We hang out all the time.

How would you describe the overall social scene?
It’s pretty fluid. You can pretty easily meet people and make lunch plans or go out with them. I was surprised with how willing people were to accept others into their social circles, and because of that, there’s a lot of friend group overlap.

Do you feel like you are more of a student of Scripps or a student of the Five College Consortium?
It depends. A lot of the time I do feel like Scripps is pretty separate because it’s kind of far North, so Pomona is far away, and I’m not going to walk there all the time. I feel like most of my friends are at Scripps, but there are plenty of ways to meet people across the consortium. For me when I’m practicing for my sport, I don’t know what school people are from because it stops mattering. You can take classes at all the different schools, so there is ample opportunity to meet and hang out with people from the other schools. People have a lot of allegiance to their particular school and like it where they are.

What is the social impact of Scripps being all female?
I feel like because of that, there is this underlying solidarity, and people from Scripps generally feel that they can get along with each other because we all have that one uniting principle. This definitely contributes to the social fluidity and people being really willing to hang out with each. It’s an open and accepting community.

How would you describe the student body?
It’s definitely affluent, which is something I’m trying to get used to. The school I transferred from was predominantly middle class, but there’s a lot more money here. It’s mostly White, but there is some diversity. [64% of families come from the socioeconomic top 20 percent.]

To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
The overall climate is fluid and they definitely mix here more than my last school. There are different groups and affinity parties, but people are willing to mix. [43% of the undergraduate population are students of color, and 5% are international.]

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

What is something you wish you knew about Scripps before you transferred in?
Something I wish I knew is that there is definitely a big culture of appearance and how you look, which I hadn’t experienced to this extent. It’s not something that would change whether or not I want to come here, but it was shocking to me how much some people care about how they’re presenting themselves to others, how much time they’re spending at the gym, on their makeup, or buying expensive clothes.

What is something a prospective transfer student may want to know that we haven’t touched on yet?
Definitely the housing situation. As a transfer student, living with other people has been such a big plus. Know to advocate for yourself and be in touch with residence life to see if there’s room in a shared living space.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that is worth checking out?
There’s a place called the Margaret Fowler Garden, which is a beautiful garden with a little fountain, orange trees, and mosaic pictures lining it. It’s such a peaceful and quiet place. Scripps is so beautiful, but this is a nice solitary place, and I feel like you can get a good feel for the energy in there.

Reasons to attend Scripps:
1) I really love the social climate and culture. The people here are generally nice and are happy. After going to a different school, I immediately felt this stepping onto the campus. Having the people at your school happy is a big deal, and has an impact on you.
2) There are so many perks in the consortium, such as the resources, classes, and social opportunities. It’s cool having your smaller school and the resources that are dedicated to you, along with your smaller social circles, but it’s also nice having the wider availability of the consortium.
3) The food. Having all the dining halls from the consortium is nice.
4) It’s so beautiful and nice here. If you’re a person affected by the environment, this is a great place just to walk around and sit outside enjoying the weather.

Reasons to not attend Scripps:
1) Sometimes the culture of appearance can be a lot, depending on the group you’re in. It can be kind of toxic if you get into the wrong circle, in terms of taking care of yourself.
2) Sometimes it’s weird how wealthy some people are. There are multiple Teslas registered with parking permits, so depending on how you feel about that, it can be a lot sometimes. 3) It’s interesting going to a college where there are more conservative and moderate people, as opposed to just democrats and leftists. I kind of forgot this existed in higher education.

Notice: Scripps College is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by Scripps College.

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