Claremont Insider: Hey, Debra - Where's My Apology?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Hey, Debra - Where's My Apology?

Tim Scarne, aka DJ Timbo, wants an apology from Scripps College Dean of Students Debra Wood, after Wood fired off a hasty email a week ago in response a flier for a "White Party" at Claremont McKenna College. As we've noted, Wood, not knowing what a White Party was, termed it racist and sexist.

Scarne issued a press release yesterday calling for an apology from Wood:

Can't we all just get along?

DJ Timbo Seeks Apology from Scripps Dean of Students

LOS ANGELES -- A recent party hosted by the students at Claremont College in Claremont, Calif. was merely intended to help weary students blow off some steam, get their minds off exams and deadlines. The last thing organizers expected was a proposed boycott and tongue lashing by Scripps Dean of Students Debra Wood when
an invitation landed on her desk.

A flier advertising the "White Party" was declared both racist and sexist by the Dean, herself a lawyer and mother of three. The invitation which was disseminated amongst nearby campuses and approved by 2010 Class President Isayas Theodros, an African-American, depicts the party's host in a 70s white leisure suit flanked by two go-go dancers. Many may also be familiar with the yearly event hosted by rapper P. Diddy, also called the White Party, where all guests are requested to wear white. Truman Capote also once hosted the Black and White Ball.

So what's all the fuss?

"I saw it as a celebration of music with a throw back to the Studio 54 era style photo shoot," says Tim Scarne, aka DJ Timbo, "I thought it was sexy but tasteful."

In an angry email fired off by Wood, she encourages other administrators to "take a similar stand against racism and sexism and communicate their anger and dismay to the CMC Class of 2010."

Upon meeting Scarne, the last word that comes to mind is "controversial." The 33-year-old San Fernando Valley resident, married to his grammar school sweetheart, now seeks an apology from the Dean.

"I'm concerned that if she doesn't respond, that she stands on her ground that I'm a racist, and I am not," he says. "Isn't this person supposed to known about Constitutional law and libel?"

Apparently the 1,000+ students who enjoyed the party were not offended by the fliers, the party or any of it and would like administrators to let them make up their own minds on what is racist. That's what college is all about.


For further information, please contact:
Tim Scarne
Aka DJ Timbo

It has been pointed out that we've never posted the original e-mail from Dean Debra "Debbie Downer" Wood. It is shown below in its entirety, along with the offending flier art. Who knew that this story would have legs for a whole week? Our contacts among CMC and Scripps students pretty uniformly find Wood's take laughable. Some Scrippsies--oh oh! can't say that--tell us they attended the party only after the Dean's e-mail. They are bemused that the Washington Post picked it up.

Email from Debbie Downer:
From: "Official Scripps Student List" <All-STUDENT-L@Lists.ScrippsCollege.Edu>
To: "Official Scripps Student List" <All-STUDENT-L@Lists.ScrippsCollege.Edu>
Date: Fri, 01 Feb 2008 13:27:04 -0800
Subject: Racist/Sexist Material on Campus
Sometime in the last few days, the CMC class of 2010 left racist and sexist party invitations with what appears to be a racist party theme on the dining room tables at Scripps College, Malott Commons.

These invitations were not stamped approved and we do not know if any CMC staff knew of them or approved of them.

I will not describe the content of the invitations so as not to do any more harm or damage to women and African Americans than has already been done , as I suspect these invitations were deposited throughout one or more of The Colleges.

While principles of free speech may protect these students' rights to advertise in this manner, free speech is best exercised with common sense, intelligence and sensitivity. I am saddened and dismayed , and angered, that students in the year 2008 would use this kind advertising to promote a party. It harms not only women and African Americans, but all of us here at the colleges and undermines our educational efforts.

I urge any other campus which received these invites to take a similar stand against racism and sexism and communicate their anger and dismay to the CMC Class of 2010 through appropriate ways- such as not attending the party, writing letters to the class leadership and/or student news papers, and refusing to tolerate this kind of treatment of members of our communities.

The Scripps Dean of Students Staff, faculty members and members of the Diversity Coordinating Committee
( listed at )
stand by to support members of our community, and support may be found at the
Office of Black Student Affairs and Chicano/Latino Student Affairs Center.

I have already communicated directly with the CMC Dean of Students so he is aware both of the invitations and the nature of them , and my strong feelings about the theme of this party and how people are depicted in the advertising for it.