Claremont-Mudd-Scripps athletic director Erica Jasper has acquiesced to demands made in a letter from the CMS cross country program that demanded the creation of “safe spaces,” anti-racist training programs and prioritization of race-focused hiring practices.
Jasper announced the changes in an email to the cross country program.
The original letter of demands asked that Jasper “respond to this call to action and confirm [her] commitment to implementing these demands no later than July 24, 2020.”
CMS will support the Black Lives Matter movement on a number of levels, and allocate funds for the cross country team to create an anti-racist student athlete committee. The edict from Jasper will also create safe spaces on campus for minority athletes, while also actively recruit student athletes from diverse backgrounds.
According to Jasper’s email, the changes will affect not just the cross country program but the entire athletic department, as the department will not also institute mandatory training programs on racial equity, and prioritize the hiring of board members, coaches and athletic trainers of color to represent CMS athletics.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, all fall CMS sports, including cross country, have been canceled. It is unclear what the cancellation will mean with respect to the timeline and implementation of the athletic department reforms.
The CMS athletics team is a joint team between Claremont McKenna, Harvey Mudd, and Scripps Colleges. CMS athletics teams compete in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) at the NCAA Division III level. The three colleges are part of the Claremont College consortium, a group of liberal arts colleges in Claremont, California.