Politics in the Claremont Bubble, 2015-17
Something isn’t right in Claremont, the city of trees and Ph.D.s located fifty miles east of Los Angeles.
The cluster of elite liberal arts colleges here are overwhelmingly progressive in their politics, forming the so-called "Claremont bubble."
In recent years, student activism has returned to campus in force, echoing the University of Missouri in 2015 and veering into national politics during the 2016 election. Donald Trump’s victory clarified what the bubble really is — not an opaque division between in and out, but a surface that distorts each’s view of the other.
For two years as a photographer for my campus newspaper and local weekly, I documented the rises and falls of movements across the five colleges at the Claremont Consortium.
Claremont McKenna College Dean of Students Mary Spellman, center, reacts to calls for her resignation at a demonstration on Nov. 11, 2015.
Reflected in the window of the Hub grill at Claremont McKenna College, Dean of Students Mary Spellman, left, takes questions from students as she faces calls to resign over a lack of action against racist incidents on campus.
Roberts Pavilion, a $70 million athletics facility, seen the day of its dedication at Claremont McKenna College on Friday, Sept. 30.
President Hiram Chodosh talks to members of his cabinet at the Roberts Pavilion dedication at Claremont McKenna College on Friday, Sept. 30.
Students draw up election day plans during a meeting held by Young Progressives Demanding Action at Frary Dining Hall on Nov. 1.
At 1:30 a.m. on Nov. 9, when Trump's victory had become a certainty, students gather at Pomona College for a Facebook event titled "scream at the top of your lungs".
Election night balloons meant for a Clinton victory still hang at Pitzer College as President Melvin Oliver addresses students during a campus-wide meeting called in response to the outcomes of the 2016 election.
Students make signs at the Hive, a shared creative space on the west side of campus, before the Claremont Colleges United Against Hate march on Nov. 11.
Jacquelyn Aguilera, a student at Pitzer College and lead organizer for the Claremont Colleges United Against Hate march, prepares to address the crowd on Nov. 11, 2016.
Claremont Colleges United Against Hate demonstrators march through Pomona College on Friday, Nov. 11, in reaction to Donald Trump's election as the 45th President of the United States.
Students listen to a speaker at the conclusion of the Claremont College United Against Hate march on Nov. 11, 2016.
Claremont Colleges students en route to the Los Angeles Women's March pose for photos in Union Station on Jan. 21, 2017.
The Kravis Center at Claremont McKenna College is named for mega-donor Henry Kravis, who has faced scrutiny from students for his large donations to the GOP and his closeness to Donald Trump.
A student benefitting from Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals works in his room at Pomona College. He says the potential elimination of the executive order is "an issue that's always in my mind."
Students gather during a demonstration at Harvey Mudd College in reaction to a leaked internal report in which faculty blamed diversity for lower academic performance.
Alyssa Jones, a student at Claremont McKenna College, leads a demonstration against a scheduled speaker at the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum on April 6, 2017.
A student hoping to attend Heather Mac Donald's talk briefly chants "Black lives matter" in time with demonstrators during a blockade of a campus auditorium on April 6, 2017.
"That's not how free speech works," yells junior Chase Eller, draped in an American flag, while surrounded by about 300 students chanting "Black lives, they matter here" during a blockade of a speech by conservative writer Heather Mac Donald at Claremont McKenna College on April 6, 2017.
Faculty members exit Bridges Auditorium at Pomona College after the inauguration of the college's new president, G. Gabrielle Starr, on Nov. 14, 2017.