On Mar. 1 at 12:12 AM, a disappointing post graced the presence of the Meme Queens of the 5cs Facebook page. Lillian Perlmutter ’21 was minding her own business in the Susan Miller Dorsey Residence Hall when she heard suspicious noises coming from the laundry room. Upon walking up the stairs, she came across a drunk male student urinating against the laundry room wall.
“I was shocked and disgusted,” Perlmutter said in a correspondence with the Scripps Voice. “I also made sure not to draw attention to myself because I had no idea how he would react. It was clear that he was too drunk to handle himself.”
Perlmutter had stated in a comment that she had gotten a picture of his face so Campus Security could see what he looked like when they came to escort him out of the dorm. In her post to Meme Queens, Perlmutter described the incident, and promised to post the picture of him if he did not take responsibility for his actions. Beyond serving as a platform for him to apologize, her Meme Queens post also served as a way to call out this act as unacceptable so others do not repeat it.
Over 375 people reacted to the post. The next day, Perlmutter commented on her post to share that the boy in question reached out to her over Facebook and had given her a heartfelt apology, explaining that he was too drunk to know where he was and did not mean to be disrespectful. He also offered to clean up after himself.
Perlmutter is not sure if he did end up cleaning up his mess. Upon checking back a few days later, she noted that the wall was completely dry, but she did not know if that was because he cleaned it up, if maintenance staff took care of it, or if it just dried up on its own.
This, apparently, is not the first incident where boys have desecrated the Scripps campus. Tanzila Tasnim PZ ’19 commented on Perlmutter’s post that she had come across a group of boys urinating on the class murals in the Rose Garden on Feb. 16.
It is a Scripps tradition for each graduating class to paint a mural and sign their names on the walls surrounding the Rose Garden. Decades of students dating back to the early years of Scripps College have left their names on the walls.
“They were all peeing intentionally there, trying to be a “bad boi” and saw me and ran off,” Tasnim wrote.
In a correspondence with The Scripps Voice, Tasnim said, “I think all of them were done peeing, only two were in the process and saw me and freaked out and peed really quickly and ran away.”
Tasnim expressed the desire to report the incident but was worried that she would be singled out by them.
“There were 10 of them and I was the only hijabi person there and pretty noticeable,” she said.
Tasnim expressed her disgust with the situation, stating that she does not go in that area of the Rose Garden anymore, but also acknowledged that other people who are unaware of the incident still walk through to see the murals. Students and visitors alike often go to the Rose Garden to examine the murals, sometimes even touching the walls.
Many commentators on the initial post expressed both surprise and anger regarding these incidents.
The actions of the group of boys have desecrated the significance and tradition that these murals hold in the Scripps community. A simple apology is not enough.
This sort of behavior is not just disrespectful and childish, but also indicative of a greater problem at the Claremont Colleges about the space that a historically women’s college occupies. When a male, or a group of males, come onto the campus, trespass their way into a dorm, or openly urinate on a significant piece of Scripps history without any sort of disciplinary action, they are effectively claiming that we do not have any sort of possession over our campus. By disrespecting a historically women’s space, they are asserting a right to enter and diminish the space that they do not have. In doing so, they lay claim to a space that is not theirs, which not only makes Scripps students feel unsafe and disrespected, but it also denies Scripps students’ claim of ownership of their campus.
“I was once out late at night with friends and we saw someone peeing into the fountain outside of the Humanities Building,” Priya Canzius ’20 said. “We yelled at him to stop, and he yelled “fu*k you!” back at us, so we ran away. This wasn’t even about respect; it was about “marking his territory” and asserting dominance over us and our school.”
Scripps students are respectful enough to know when and where it is appropriate to pee, regardless of their sobriety level. Men should not be held to a lower standard. In the words of Perlmutter: “Get your life together. An apology would be nice too.”