Miriam Feldblum, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
As Pomona College’s Vice President and Dean of Students, I want to welcome each of you to campus, and express my great excitement for our year ahead!
The purpose of the Pomona College Student Handbook is to welcome new students to campus, and to provide all of you with Pomona College’s policies and resources in a centralized place. When you accepted the College’s offer of admission, you agreed to abide by the College’s policies. These policies and the expectations we have to support and respect each other are core components of our small, residential liberal arts educational community. This year, I want to direct your attention to a new section of the Student Handbook. In May 2013, the Board of Trustees approved the new section, entitled the “Harassment and Discrimination Policies Guide,” which gathers in one place many of our civil rights related policies, including non-discrimination policies, sexual misconduct policy and harassment policy. This new set of policies, which includes extensively revised policies and investigation and judicial procedures related to sexual misconduct, was developed collaboratively by staff, faculty, and students.
In fact, most of the policies you read about here have been developed by students, faculty, and staff. A good number of the resources mentioned here started out as ideas or initiatives by students. Every year, students are involved in substantive change on campus and in the larger community. At Pomona, we strongly believe that each of you will have much to contribute to our community and life here. Likewise, we are committed to supporting and working with you. Pomona is a place for you to continue to develop your intellectual passions and personal talents, and for each of us to support one another. You will find Pomona is a compelling place with much to offer you, including outstanding faculty, students, and staff, as well as a challenging curriculum, extensive co-curricular opportunities, and an engaging and innovative residential life. Check out the Student Affairs website to read about our Student Learning Outcomes and the many offices and resources available. To find out more about staff, faculty, and other students, you can check out the student “LookBook” portion of the Handbook, which includes photos of all the incoming students, faculty, and staff. The LookBook is available on the front page of the Student Portal – you just need to log in there.
Speaking to all students, and especially our first year students, I encourage you to manage your time and focus your energies so that you can flourish on campus and beyond. Options abound here to extend learning and research inside and outside the classroom, both during the year and through the summer. From the very start, you can take advantage of your first year advisor, ID1 instructor, faculty residents, and all the students, faculty, and staff around you to explore your interests; do not hesitate to ask for help as well as contribute your own ideas. Pomona is a residential campus that is deeply committed to providing students a full living and learning experience. We believe your full educational experience should be as compelling and personally satisfying as life in the classroom and lab. We strive for a student co-curricular learning program that involves a wealth of alternatives; from exploring the beautiful region (which includes the ocean and mountains as well as the excitement of Los Angeles – one of the world’s global cities), participating in meaningful community engagement and internship programs, to enjoying faculty conversations. You can find at least 1,047 different ways to socialize and make life-long friends, participate in a range of intercollegiate, intramural and club sports, engage in music, theatre, and the arts, and create a community where closeness and friendship cross racial, ethnic, religious, gender, and sexual orientation backgrounds, and deepen our understanding of each other.
In a small setting like we have here at Pomona College, we can accomplish what simply cannot be done in a larger, more impersonal university. We can become a true, inclusive community; supportive of the multiplicity of ways we can come together, learn, and develop. Working closely with you and our faculty, we in Student Affairs aim to provide services, activities, and resources that support the college’s educational enterprise while we support you personally as you learn, grow, and change through this time. I look forward to getting to know all of you in this coming year (and having you all to dinner at my home with your sponsor groups!) as we work together to ensure that your undergraduate experience at Pomona is deeply rewarding.