SY: So what is your name and where are you from?
LK: My name is Lisa Kau and I am from Honolulu, Hawaii.
SY: Why did you choose Scripps College?
LK: Well honestly, I got a half a tuition scholarship and I didn’t want to go far from home.
SY: How did you hear about Scripps?
LK: Through my college counselor, I was applying to Pomona and she said to choose Scripps as
a back up.
SY: Coming from Hawaii, how was your decision different from your peers?
LK: Well, I don’t know if it made a big difference that I am from Hawaii, I don’t know, there are
a lot of people in Hawaii that don’t want to leave the Islands, but there are also a lot of people
who do especially form my high school which was a really nice private college prep high school
so in ways it was the norm to leave.
SY: When you go back home and you mention Scripps College, are there people who recognize
LK: Some, but I get a lot of questions about whether it’s like the Institute of Oceanography or
whatever it was.
SY: So what did you study or are you studying now?
LK: Cognitive neuroscience is my major.
SY: Have you noticed any changes at Scripps while you’ve been here, like the school itself or the
LK: The Student Union was a new thing; I know that our class was the first class to have the
gym, the field house. The dining halls have tried to be a lot more sustainable, we got those
clamshells, and the first year they were different from all the other dining halls (haha clamshells)
and then last year or the year before that, I don’t remember, it became unified and I think this
year Scripps has tried to cut back in terms of dining expenses; I think there is not much sushi I
guess (haha) I don’t know.
SY: As a senior how does it feel to be leaving Scripps?
LK: I think it feels right, but also scary. Scripps is definitely a safe place and I understand it, and
I know the culture of people here really care about social justice and really care about eradicating
racism and classism, and are also really queer friendly; I think that leaving this place I’ll have to
remember that the word queer isn’t actually a generally accepted term outside of Claremont.
Yeah, it will be different but it will be good and right.
SY: Have you been part of any clubs or groups while you have been here?
LK:I have been really involved in intervarsity Christian fellowship and I was part of the
ballroom team for last semester. I have written for Invisibe Magazine, which started my
freshman year, spring semester I’m pretty sure. I’m in the gospel choir…yeah I think that’s it.
SY: Have you communicated with your family in the past years and how often and how?
LK: I’ve communicated with them mostly through phone and, maybe like once a week;
sometimes I go two weeks without calling them.
SY: How often do you get to go home?
LK: I’ve gone home mostly just during winter and summer breaks. Last spring I got to go home
for all of spring break and I took two friends home with me and my first year I went home for
Thanksgiving break just because my aunt passed away and I wanted to go to her funeral.
SY: What dorms have you lived in at Scripps and what was your favorite?
LK: My first year I was in Frankel in a triple, then I spent all of sophomore year in a double in
Clark and then after I came back from being abroad, I was in a Clark single and this year I am in
a two room double in GJW. I really really like the old dorms and I did really enjoy Clark. I must
say that it is nice though to have like really strong air conditioning, and an elevator and a door
that opens for you at GJW though, so I’m torn.
SY: How would you say Scripps embraces diversity or those of different races here on campus?
LK: I’d say for most minority groups the community is pretty strong. I’d say the API community
is close and does a lot of activities; Wanawake seems strong. I think Café Con Leche, there
aren’t as many people coming now, but I think it was stronger in past years. I wish there a group
for Middle Eastern students and Native American students, but I’d say that Scripps tries to
embrace diversity. I’ve heard that this year there weren’t as many black students emitted which
is really disappointing, but I’d say that Scripps students like regardless of the institution strive to
be like really understanding and really peace-y in general.
SY: Are there any traditions or rules at Scripps that stand out to you?
LK: Where there’s always the walking through the Denison doors only twice thing, which is
nice. I think tea is a really nice tradition that shouldn’t be taken out of Scripps. I like our color
(haha) sea foam green; I’m excited to wear those gowns.
SY: What do you think of the Core curriculum, the Core class.
LK: I honestly don’t remember it a whole lot from Core One. I don’t know it wasn’t like terrible;
it was a lot of reading. I’m not sure if I really changed for the better because of Core I like people
say they do. It also like really changed between my year and the past two years that they did
Core One so, people will mention the readings and I don’t even know what they’re talking about.
But, I think I support people who are arguing for a more diverse cannon or curriculum for Core I.
I really enjoyed my Core Two, I know that it really depends on the professor of the subject, but
that was my first time learning about feminist theory so it was really good and Core Three was
awesome with Rankaitis; I was in the one about film in L.A. and we made our own documentary
about Asian Americans in the media and we had a really cool film festival…and I really enjoyed
learning about media studies. I really enjoyed the freedom and the focus that we had in Cores
Two and Three.
SY: How would you say Scripps would define feminism and how do you think…or what’s the
level of feminism Scripps practices?
LK: I think that Scripps feminism is about empowerment; were not about putting down the male
gender or the male sex in any way, the text that I remember were just so much for just gender
equality, they weren’t male bashing or whatever. I’d say things like boob casting or like naked
brunch or… I don’t know. Just Scripps in general is about like...like female orgasm, things like
that like we’re about embracing who we are, feeling comfortable in our skin, and just being
proud of being women.
SY: Did Scripps as a women’s college play a role in your decision to attend?
LK: Not really (haha), I didn’t apply to any other women’s college. I still don’t really think of
Scripps as…I mean it is a women’s college it definitely is, but without the consortium, Scripps
would be completely different so I always take into account the consortium.
SY: Have you taken many classes on other campuses?
LK: I am a minor at Pomona in Chinese so I’ve taken a lot of Pomona classes and a lot of dance
also at Pomona. I think I may have taken a CMC computer science class, I don’t remember that
SY: Would you say the five schools are fairly integrated?
LK: Our cultures aren’t integrated, but our students really mix together. I’d say it’s still a
completely different feel walking onto Mudd (haha), which is right across the street. The
administrations’ values are completely different too, but the students themselves really mix like I
have a lot of Harvey Mudd friends especially.
SY: What would you say the culture at CMC would be or Pomona?
LK: I think at CMC there is a big push to succeed. I see people walking around in suits, being
very articulate, also being very politically minded. I feel like everyone at CMC has to be able to
articulate their political views; they’re going to get asked on what they are. Pomona is a little
harder cause, I don’t know, they just focus on all areas of study. I feel like Pomona students just
really strive for excellence. Because I don’t as many Pomona students I can’t really say what
their culture is; I mean I’ve heard that they’re pretty elitist, but I can’t say that and judge that.
SY: How would you go about describing the culture here at Scripps?
LK: I’d say that we are like very humanitarian and social justice community organizing oriented.
Yeah like I said, we are about female empowerment; we are about making good changes in the
world in whatever field it is we are going into.
SY: During your time here were there any memorable hot button issues on campus?
LK: Well, there’s always diversity; I’ve heard a lot about that, and students being angry that
there weren’t as many black students admitted this year. I’d say that there have been rampages
against like the Core One curriculum, both wanting to make it more diversified, not just
about…or stuff written by dead old white guys. So I think that’s been a big controversy.
SY: Do you have any career plans for after you graduate?
LK: Well I started out being premed, then I realized that I was only doing it because my dad
wanted me to, so then I was thinking about maybe doing research in neuroscience; but, what I
realized about a year ago was that I just really am most passionate about like helping people of
faith grow in their faith and helping people who are interested in faith explore faith, so I think
I’m just going to go into fulltime ministry although I don’t know what that’s going to look like
after I graduate.
SY: Do you believe that Scripps did a good job in preparing you for the future?
LK: I think Scripps has made me articulate. I feel like I can write which is really important. I feel
like Scripps…well I guess my major has taught me how to analyze things very detailed-ly (hah).
I think Scripps has made me care more about what’s going on in the world although I know I still
have a long way to go in terms of being very informed about what’s going on in the world in
SY: What challenged do you think you may face after graduation?
LK: I think that I will experience a loss of community. I have a really strong community of
friends here, especially in intervarsity Christian Fellowship and I’m not sure if I totally believe
that I will find that outside of the Claremont Colleges, so I’m just trusting that that will be
provided for me. I think it’ll be a big shock to go from somewhere that is so queer friendly to
places that aren’t necessarily informed or care about equality or care about recognizing the queer
community. So that will be really weird.
SY: So final question, will you miss Scripps College?
LK: Yes, It’s home (big smile).
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