CC: What is your full name?
AM: My full name is Antoinette “L” Myers.
CC: And what year are you graduating?
CC: Have you been at Scripps all four years?
CC: Could you talk a little bit about what made you choose Scripps or how you got here?
AM: Sure. I didn’t actually know about Scripps as much as I would have wanted to. My Latin
teacher actually went to Scripps and she graduated in the class of, she graduated class of ’68.
And so she would talk about Scripps all the time in our Latin class but I never really paid
attention to her, unfortunately. I had initially deposited to Barnard College, I was going to go to
Barnard. I ended up coming to visit Scripps during Spend A Day In Our Shoes in the Spring
before freshman year. And I really fell in love with it. I had never been to the campus before. I
didn’t know really what it meant to go to the Claremont Colleges. For example, I hadn’t even
heard of the other ones. I didn’t know what Pitzer or Pomona was so I felt a little weirded out by
being surrounded by these other colleges. I thought it was really neat and I really, really was a
proponent of women’s education. I didn’t think I would end up going to a women’s college my
senior year of high school but it turns out the top three colleges that I applied to were all
women’s colleges. So I knew I was going to go to one it was just a matter of choosing.
CC: How has the women’s college aspect of Scripps affected your time here?
AM: It’s made it awesome. To be honest, I don’t actually think I could see myself at any other
CC: How was your college decision different from your peers’?
AM: Probably it’s different, one, because I am first generation so I had to do this all by myself.
And it was last minute. I really had already decided to go to another college and at the last
minute withdrew from that one and went to this one. Most people, I think, around May, know
where they’re going, and I didn’t.
CC: How does Scripps live up to or differ from your expectations?
AM: I think it differed and lived up to them. It differed in the sense that I just really felt that
there wasn’t enough diversity here and I was kind of shocked to be one of twelve in my class –
one of twelve black women in my class. And I didn’t expect that at all. But it lived up to the
women’s college experience. It stays very true to that. It lived up to the intellectual freedom
experience that I expected. I think it disappointed me in some senses but it made up for that
disappointment in other areas. I mean I definitely feel like I was academically challenged here
and that’s the number one reason why I chose this college.
CC: What is your major?
AM: I am a Latin American Studies, Politics and International Relations dual major.
CC: What led you to that major?
AM: I started off as an Anthropology major and I was considering doing Linguistics as a minor.
And I took Intro to International Relations and was actually not really happy about the class; I
didn’t really like it that much. But I met the faculty in the Politics department and I realized that
I just wanted to take the classes to be with the faculty and that led me to decide to, you know, go
into Politics. And then I ran into Professor Cindy Forster after taking her Core III, and I said I
want to learn more about what you do and she’s very centered in Latin American Studies, and so
I declared both at the same time.
CC: Do you have any plans post-college?
AM: Yes! I am so excited. At this moment, I am a Watson Finalist. So cross our fingers and
hope that I get the Watson Fellowship which is basically a fellowship that gives you $25,000 to
travel around the world wherever you want to do a project of your choice. So for me I would be
studying race and class in the roller derby. If I don’t get the Watson, I will just be continuing
along with my Teach For America commitment to teach special education in Hawaii.
CC: How has Scripps helped you pursue these goals?
AM: Well, Scripps is very, I don’t want to say pushy, but very encouraging to students to take
advantage of all of their opportunities that are possible. For me, it has really been a matter of
faculty and staff looking at all of these opportunities and coming to you individually and saying,
“I think this will be great for you.” So I have had faculty and staff say, “Antoinette, you should
consider doing Teach For America, I think you would be great as a teacher,” and so then I said,
“Oh! Okay!” It’s not that I knew about it before hand, and same with Watson, I just had a lot of
people saying, “You know. We know you do roller derby which is strange but really cool and
we know you are really interested in race and class since that is your concentration in your major
so maybe you should figure out a way to blend the two.” and so I pursued those because of
faculty and staff.
CC: Apart from academics, what consumes your time?
AM: So much. I am a campus-based leader for the Gates William Scholarship Scholars here at
Claremont Colleges. I am a Student Body President of Scripps Associated Students, so I kind of
run the government. I am Alumni and Faculty Relations Coordinator for ???????? I am a part
time intern for a non-profit organization in LA called Films by Youth Inside. I read a lot, I paint
a lot, I play roller derby. I am also learning how to play the drums. I think that is it this
CC: How have all of these activities shaped your Scripps experience?
AM: It made my Scripps experience very full and very busy. All of my activities actually
changed year to year. For example, I was occupied last year because I was abroad. It has just
really made my Scripps experience very well rounded. I have been able to do everything – a
little bit of everything, and that has been amazing.
CC: You mentioned going abroad – where were you?
AM: I was in Salvador De Bahia, Brazil for six months.
CC: Can you tell us about that experience?
AM: Yeah. That experience was definitely memorable. I was one of the first people to leave
because my program actually started in the summer. So I left in June and returned in December.
And I did not have any previous experience with Portuguese so I had learned it when I got there.
And that was probably the most challenging part of the trip. I had an amazing home stay and a
wonderful group of people to be in the program with, for CIEE. And I took six out of my seven
classes in Portuguese. So, I survived, I think. It was really awesome. I learned a lot.
CC: Getting back to Claremont, what do you think of the consortium here and how all the
different schools work together?
AM: I think the consortium has a lot of positive aspects about it and a lot of cons, if you will.
The consortium is an amazing resource to all of us and the fact that we have this unique
opportunity to take so many different classes with so many amazing faculty. We can interact
with all of these different students and meet new staff members and, you know, there are never
ending partys on the weekends because every campus has to have one. So, the social aspect is
great, as well as the academic aspect. But, I find that there is this need to label and or stereotype
each campus and that is really one of the most negative effects of being in such a small, tight knit
community is that people feel the need to say, “That’s a Scrippsie,” or “Oh, that’s so typical of
CMC.” And, while that may be true to a certain extent, it is really actually damaging to, I think,
our social life and even more so, it effects us in policy making, it effects our student
governments and how they interact with each other. So, the consortium is great, but it kind of
sucks when you have to know who goes to where.
CC: What stereotypes do you think exist on the campuses?
AM: Oh gosh, they are anywhere from, I think the latest one I heard was I was reading an article
called, To Be Fat in South America, and it was written by a CMC student and there were several
stereotypes about different Scripps students and different CMC students. Like, Scripps students
are super body conscious or CMCers are superficial and Scripps student always come to our
partys and always hang out with our guys. It was just really interesting. Pitzer students are
always so about the environment, and they always smoke a lot of weed. And Harvey Mudders,
they love quirky things and they wear capes. So it’s just like, you know, these strange social
stereotypes that I think we feel the need to have, but they are not really necessary.
CC: So you don’t see them as being true?
AM: Not really. Because for every person that I meet that, “fits a stereotype,” I meet three more
CC: More generally within the social scene, how acceptable is drinking and drug use on these
AM: I think drinking more than drug use is kind of widely acceptable. It was, I think, more
evident after we had our Be Heard forum on alcohol policy and how many students came to that
and spoke out about alcohol use. With the alcohol task force being something that is really
present on our campus this year, I think the discussion around alcohol means that people are
drinking and they are wondering how to talk about it.
CC: In general, do you see these campuses as being open to students’ opinions coming forward
in forums like that?
AM: I think so. For the most part.
CC: What sort of dynamic does that create here?
AM: I think it makes for an engaging dynamic in that everyone feels like they have an
opportunity to speak at some point. It may not be when they want to, and so everyone is always
trying to figure out how to empower students to talk more and how to get students to realize who
to talk to. But the fact that, generally our campuses are open and accepting of different opinions,
I think makes for a really good, fresh, diverse kind of community.
CC: Are minority issues, both sexual and ethnic, discussed?
AM: They are discussed, but always discussed by the minorities themselves.
CC: How do you see the attitudes towards the LGBTQ community?
AM: It depends. Sometimes I think we’re moving forward. For Scripps, for example, last year
we had some very engaging discussions around the trans students who attend this school and
how they feel. We talk a lot about queerness in terms of our campus and our campus culture,
which may or may not be accepting, depending on what we are talking about. And we talk a lot
about language, I think, which is really important. But, there are still parts about our
conversations that bother me. For example, the unusual stereotype of women’s colleges as being
“lesbian colleges,” and how that actually makes invisible the lesbians or queer people who do go
here and how that forces certain students to try to fit the opposite viewpoint so they won’t feel
like they’re fitting into that stereotype. So, it’s a little difficult when it comes to women’s
colleges to talk about those issues.
CC: What are the attitudes toward ethnic minorities?
AM: You know, considering the fact that we are a very liberal college, I think that, well, I would
hope that, those attitudes are mostly positive, considering the fact that I am black, and I represent
Scripps College. I would hope that those attitudes are positive but I have noticed times where
people say racist things and they take it as a front if someone calls them out on it. And they say,
“Well, I am not racist.” And it is not that they are racist, it is that they are unaware of those
biases and those prejudices that they make unintentionally hold. So, I think the general attitude
is respect first, but I think we do have some ways to go in terms of how we discuss those issues.
CC: How do you think diversity, or a lack of diversity, plays a role on these campuses?
AM: Lack of diversity is obvious. It is just that, you know, if you have homogenous
communities, people do not really have the opportunity to learn as much as they should about
other people. And we can go down the line and talk about how comfortable different people are
in different situations, but I find it more enriching to know that I can sit down and have a
conversation about what it means to be queer, and what it means to be Jewish, and what it means
to be black, and what it means to come from a first generation family, what it means to be
working class, what it means to be rich. Having those different kinds of voices present, I think,
makes it a better learning experience for everybody.
CC: Has Scripps changed in any way over your time here?
AM: That makes it seem like I have been here for so long! I think so. I think so. I have
changed over the time that I have been here. And I think, the administration, I can see the
interactions and the openness with regards to faculty and staff and administration wanting to talk
to Scripps students, changing. We have a little more access than we know. I think the culture of
Scripps, the fundamental culture of Scripps, has stayed the same, in my opinion. Some of our
ideas, and the way we go about them, have changed.
CC: How do you think Scripps has changed you?
AM: Me. Believe it or not, I was kind of shy and awkward when I got here. I really preferred to
stay to myself and I had like maybe two or three people that I really talked to. I said, “Hi,” to a
lot of people, but I kept myself to myself. Now, I feel like most people know who I am, which is
weird, number one, and my intellectual growth has been phenomenal and my politics are
completely radical and I did not expect that to happen. And I think I am far more confident than
I ever thought I would be. They are all good changes.
CC: What is the role of politics on campus?
AM: It depends on who you ask. Some of us are really political and some of us are not. It
really depends on the issue. For example, I noticed that most of the politics around campus are
surrounded by environmental issues. We have a very good, steady growth of people who are
learning how to be more sustainable and how to talk about sustainability. And politics of race,
politics of ethnicity are starting to climb. I think, it is not really our culture to be completely
political, but it is growing.
CC: How do you see the role of sports on campus?
AM: I don’t think it really exists. Not to say that there are not any student athletes here. They
are usually runners. We have a lot of runners. And I know people who play soccer. And I know
a lot of people who play rugby. So, there is a culture there, but it is not, definitely not,
something that we can define ourselves by, I don’t think.
CC: Did that disappoint you or meet your expectation when you came here?
AM: No, I did not have any expectations with regards to sports. I was always the dork on the
team, so, you know.
CC: What is the dating scene like in Claremont?
AM: It is awkward, mostly. I think ninety-nine percent of the dating scene is awkward because
we are all trying to figure out who we are and what we like and who we want to be like and who
we want to be with. So, awkward is the perfect word for that.
CC: What are the prevalent attitudes towards virginity and pre-marital sex?
AM: I do not know. We have a lot of, I think, interesting attitudes towards woman who are not
virgins more than woman who are. So, there is not really, I do not think there is really a
discourse happening around virginity, or like where we have like those kinds of conversations
like, “Oh you’re a virgin? Oh, that sucks.” More so, like, you know, “Oh you have sex with how
many people?” The hook-up culture really messes up and distorts the way we talk about premarital
CC: Would you say that Claremont, the colleges here, do have a hook-up culture?
AM: Oh, yeah. Absolutely.
CC: And how has this impacted your experience?
AM: It has not really impacted mine. I do not really go out that much, but I do notice it. And I
am always interested in how the parties work, and how are social life – how we interact with
each other, and how that actually, interestingly enough, goes well with the alcohol conversation.
CC: What was your experience with Core?
AM: Core I was awesome. My professor was Julie Liss. Yeah, yeah, Julie Liss is awesome. I
remember just being so interested in her Frederick Douglass lecture, and really having my eyes
opened, and she is a hard grader so that was awesome. Core II was not as engaging as I expected
it to be. I do not even remember the title of that course. But I know that I really got close with
Professor Simshaw. He is really nice and he pushed me to be a better writer. And Core III was
just mind-blowing because it was, the title was, I think, “Race and Class,” no, “Race and
Imperialism in Working-Class LA.” And that was, I think, the kick in the butt I needed to
discover politics and the major.
CC: In regards to courses in general, did you typically cross-register? What was your
experience with the consortium?
AM: I think you can really call me a Scripps student. Most of my classes have been here. That
was really important to me in terms of my life background – I really needed to be in one place.
But I did take, like next semester, I am taking classes at Pitzer and Pomona. And Latin
American Studies, my seminar, my senior seminar, is actually at Pomona. So I am off campus a
little more now, later, but when I was a first year and a sophomore, it was mostly Scripps.
CC: Do you have a favorite class that you have taken?
AM: No, I do not have a favorite. I have many favorites.
CC: Is there something that you have read that is the most memorable?
AM: Probably. That is hard. Probably, Black Feminist Thought, by Patricia Hill Collins. That
was like, oh my god. It was a cool book to read for class.
CC: Do you ever go off campus?
AM: Yes, all the time.
CC: For what reason?
AM: I have family members who are still in Inglewood. So, I go to Inglewood to visit them. I
have a new social circle in LA, so I will go to West Hollywood and hang out with them. Or, you
know, I will go to Upland or Rancho or Montclair just to really get a sense of where I am. I have
to go off campus for roller derby. So, I am always off campus for different reasons.
CC: Do you see the Claremont Colleges as a bubble?
AM: Oh, it is definitely a bubble. It is definitely a bubble. I think we could be doing a lot more
to connect with the communities that we are really closely surrounded by.
CC: Is there anything that we have talked about that you would like to add more to?
AM: I do not know. Do you want to know anything interesting about me? You can ask me
CC: Anything you are willing to share with us, we would be happy to hear.
AM: I think I covered most of my life. A fun fact, I suppose, is that I have been to ten different
school. I lived in LA, Washington DC, and Portland, Oregon, so that is probably why my accent
is a little strange. So Scripps is actually for me really important because it is the place I have
actually lived the longest. I feel strange about living in Claremont. I have actually spent all of
my summers except one, here. So, I feel kind of like a Claremont resident, which is weird.
CC: Is there anything I have not addressed that you would like to say about your experience at
AM: No, it is really awesome. It is kind of really sad that it is coming to an end. But I hope that
I made my mark here and I hope to come back. I do not want a dorm named after me, but a
courtyard would be nice. Just kidding.
CC: Thank you so much.
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