President Donald Trump won the election on a platform of fear — fear of Muslims, immigrants, refugees and foreign nationals of every color and creed. In the first weeks of his administration, it is clear that the fear-mongering of his candidacy will drive his presidency. Although some will be unaffected by many of his most extreme policies, Trump’s government could mean anything from a massive inconvenience to a complete catastrophe for countless marginalized Americans and world citizens. Occidental College students are no exception.
There are resources available to Occidental students who have been, might be or will soon be impacted by these policies. The Weekly has compiled a list of some of the more notable and accessible resources on and off campus for students, faculty and staff. This list doesn’t include all of the resources these offices and organizations have to offer, but highlights some of their most relevant functions as it relates to our current political climate. This is a working list and the Weekly will continue to update students on available resources. We hope to become a hub for future information and support services in the coming months and welcome any suggestions and further input about available resources.
Office of the Chief Diversity Officer, Rhonda Brown
Her office sits on 1501 Campus Road, Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) and Vice President for Equity and Inclusion Rhonda Brown offers resources beyond those of the Intercultural Community Center (ICC). Perhaps most notably as it relates to Trump, she is the contact person for immigration concerns. Students that have concerns about their own residential status or that of their family members can go to her office, where she will advise the students on the best course of action to take and direct them to any specific on -or off-campus institutions, policies or laws that they may help ensure their safety.
Brown has also been working with students on a Statement for Academic Accommodations for Reasons of Faith and Conscience. This statement will allow students to have two excused absences from classes, either for religious reasons or to attend organized marches. Students missing class for a march must be able to notify their professors within the first two weeks of the semester for the statement to apply. The statement is designed with large demonstrations in mind like the recent Women’s March.
Brown’s office has also compiled a comprehensive list of on-campus contacts and off-campus legal resources for any students affected by the Trump administration, which can be found on the CDO page.
MULTI is a space for students of multiple ethnic, racial and/or cultural identities, their goal, to create a dialogue and space for multiracial/cultural students to talk about the complexities around their identities and intersectionality.
MULTI holds regular meetings, hosts events centered around themes of intersecting identity and intersectionality and reach out to other organizations.
“MULTI is a great place to be affirmed and stand in solidarity,” e-board member Karim Sharif said.
Dean of Students Office Erica O’Neal Howard
The resources offered by the Office of the Dean of Students — headed by Acting Dean of Students Erica O’Neal Howard — include but are not limited to, academic accommodations, educational events and, perhaps most importantly, one-on-one student consultations.
“The majority of our work is one-on-one work with students who need advice, need guidance, need support,” Acting Dean of Students Erica O’Neal Howard said. “If a student comes in the door and says, ‘I have this issue with my family and it’s immigration-related,’ we would never say that we were immigration experts, we would seek to understand and seek to help that student as best we could.”
Queer Student Alliance (QSA)
Since the election, QSA has been working closely with Emmons in regard to mental health questions as it relates to queer students in the age of Trump. They are co-sponsoring an event with Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands CEO Christine Charbonneau.
“We’re trying to work a lot this semester on campus activism and changing things on campus, ” Co-President Clark Leazier (junior) said. “We also have general meetings that are more social and discussion-based.”
Emmons Wellness Center
Emmons offers counseling services for all students. The intake session and first six counseling sessions afterward are free, and there is a 24/7 Confidential Hotline which can be reached at (323) 341-4141. Walk-in hours for counseling are Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students can also make appointments by email at [email protected] or by phone at (323) 259-2657, as well as in person. More information can be found on the Emmons website.
Planned Parenthood Club
Occidental‘s Planned Parenthood Club offers Condom Fridays, an upcoming speaker event with the CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands and information about Family PACT.
Condom Fridays take place on the last Friday of each month from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the academic quad. During that time, Planned Parenthood Club members stand in the quad and give out condom packets to students, each of which contains two condoms, a lube sample, information about how to put on a condom, contact information for Planned Parenthood and information on how to cut a condom into a dental dam. The club also offers information about Family PACT, a reproductive healthcare program available to anyone who lives in California — this includes all Occidental students — that offers services for free.
Planned Parenthood Club is also hosting an event Sunday, Feb. 12, with Christine Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands, which will cover reproductive rights in Trump’s America. The event will take place in Choi Auditorium, and a link to the event information can be found on Facebook.
Chase McCain (junior), the club’s co-president, said that as far as birth control resources go, the club can only provide condoms. McCain said the club can provide information on other types of birth control if students do not want to make an appointment at a Planned Parenthood location off campus (the closest of which can be reached at (626) 798-0706 and is located at 1578 Colorado Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90041).
“We really want to encourage students to seek us out if they need help,” Co–Vice-President Malena Ernani (senior) said.
“We are not doctors,” Co-President Alex Morse said. “But we know every possible resource we could refer you to.”
MSA offers a safe space for Muslim students and, provided that they ask before attending meetings, a place for non-Muslim students to learn about the Muslim experience. They meet every other Wednesday, starting today, at 7:30 p.m.
“Right now, Muslim Students Association is centered around just being there for Muslim students,” e-board member Karim Sharif (junior) said. “We’re really trying to keep dialogue going and to keep checking in with each other.”
- Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the nation’s leading Latino civil rights legal organization (Website: http://www.maldef.org. L.A. Office at 624 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014)
- American Immigration Lawyers Association, a national organization of immigration lawyers that works through lobbying and advocacy as well as litigation to shape more ethical immigration policy (Website: http://www.aila.org)
- Lambda Legal, a civil rights law group specializing in LGBT-related cases (Website: http://www.lambdalegal.org. LA Office at 4221 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90010)
- More legal resources can be found on the CDO’s resource guide.
- Planned Parenthood (Website: https://www.plannedparenthood.org/planned-parenthood-los-angeles. Nearest location 1578 Colorado Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90041)
- Los Angeles LGBT Center (Website: https://lalgbtcenter.org. Offices at1625 Schrader Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Designed by Abel Quintero & Yinbo Gao