Belen Yudess ’25
Family is back, and stronger than ever! After being dormat for two years, the queer affinity group has been revived through Scripps Comunities of Resources and Empowerment (SCORE). Although this club revolves around a community that is near and dear to the hearts of many, a majority of the student body have never heard of Family.
“I actually only came across it because I was desperately searching for a queer organization on campus,” said club president Alexandra Le Pelley du Manoir ’26. “Then I realized they hadn’t posted in years, so I was really surprised.”
Upon discovering Family’s inactivity, du Manoir took matters into their own hands and went to SCORE to work on bringing the club back to Scripps. After getting approval, they began building an executive board to begin the planning process.
In addition to du Manoir, the club’s executive board includes event coordinator Gabby Boles ‘26, community coordinator Abigail Gothard ’23, and treasurer Lucy Wang ’26.
Although new to Scripps, running a queer affinity group is nothing new to both du Manoir and Boles. The two leaders have been cultivating spaces for queer students since middle school. du Manoir and Boles’ past experiences gave them confidence to enter into their first meeting with many ideas and expectations.
The group hosted their first meeting on Oct. 12 in the SCORE living room. The majority first year team decided what they wanted Family to stand for and events to hold. “There was definitely a consensus for [it to be] a space for queer joy and social interaction,” said du Manoir. “But at the same time, also being able to organize politically and be involved in the queer scene in LA through either fundraisers or social action.”
The group also wants to focus on internal Scripps-specific improvements. “Making Scripps a more trans-inclusive space is really important for our affinity group because we’re making a space for queer people,” said du Manoir. “[Changing how Scripps] defines itself as a women’s college [is one way to do this]. There’s a way to provide a safe space for women and female identifying people that is inclusive of identities that are not women on campus.”
Boles echoed this sentiment and elaborated on Scripps’ identity as a historically women’s college versus a women’s college. “I know that Scripps now and admissions refer to it as a historically women’s college, which is good, but a lot of our merch and advertisements for the school in general still refer to it as the Women’s College of Claremont, which is a bit contradictory.”
The club also hopes to support the emergence of more spaces for the wider queer community besides cis gay men in the greater LA area. “There are currently no lesbian bars in LA, which shocks a lot of people because it’s a progressive place,” said du Manoir. “There’s a clubhouse called Hot Donna’s Clubhouse. It’s a queer-inclusive space that creates a community for underrepresented groups in gay social and nightlife, including [but not limited to] trans people and lesbians that does not have enough funds to be established in West Hollywood. I brought it up at the meeting yesterday and people seemed to receive it well.” The club plans to hold fundraising events for establishments like these.
Family also wants to host events that allow queer students to connect and have fun. “We also have plans to have queer movie nights or PowerPoint nights that can either be about queer history or just for fun,” said Boles. “One of our first events that we’re going to have is a mixer to let people know that we’re back and we’re here.”
Although allies are also welcome to these gatherings and meetings, du Manoir and Boles remind them to be mindful of the space they are in. “We do welcome allies, but this is a space that is meant to center the voices of queer people,” said Boles. “So setting boundaries within our meeting space, and saying this is a space for queer people to build community. And while allies are important to helping us build our community we need to amplify the voices of queer people within our space.”
Family has many goals for this year, but its most important long-term goal is its presence in Scripps’ future. “[We want Family to be] a queer affinity group on campus that can withstand time,” said du Manoir. “As people come and go we’ll be able to continue this space and make sure that it’s a core part of Scripps’ work for inclusivity and intersectionality. I also think that no matter how liberal your school is, it still is important to hold spaces [for queer students] regardless.”
Boles also invited people to participate in the beginning of what the club hopes to be a long lasting legacy. “There’s definitely a lot of joy involved in our club and that’s something that we are going to actively work to maintain.”
For more information or updates about Family’s meeting dates/times and upcoming events, their Instagram is @familyatscripps.
Image Source: Belen Yudess ’25