SCORE Interns: Crushing Oppression since 2013

By Jocelyn Gardner '17
Mental Health Columnist and Webmaster

Courtesy of SCORE

Courtesy of SCORE

Tucked away in the Frankel-Routt annex is a space that serves a very unique purpose to Scripps and the greater community. Scripps Communities of Resources and Empowerment (SCORE) “provides organizational support and resources to student organizations so they may further promote social and political awareness, specifically with respect to issues of class, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexuality and sexual orientation,” according to its Facebook page. The space is home to a kitchen, living room complete with comfy couches and a TV, and a conference room, in addition to offices that house some of the CLORGs such as Wanawake Weusi, Café con Leche and Family. Though SCORE is primarily known among students by its relationship with the CLORGS and for hosting events on campus, not many people are aware of the internship program-- currently in its second year-- and the hard work of the ten interns.

Each of the interns is a part of one or more of the following committees: arts and activism (artivism), Our Sound, internal, and external. Artivism bridges social justice and activism with artistic pursuits in the visual and performance media. Branching off artivism is the committee which creates Our Sound, a zine/literary magazine that delves headfirst into the social justice issues important to students. External focuses on community partnership that extends beyond the reaches of the Claremont College campuses; one subgroup called Junior Leadership leads workshops and shows middle schoolers that they have the capabilities to become leaders. The other subgroup aims to reduce the uncertainty and stereotypes about college for high school students. Both parts of external meet with these students weekly and create curriculum. Internal generates programming for the 5Cs. “It’s more about nourishing our community here,“ said SCORE intern Tara Partow (‘17). Internal is responsible for hosting events such as the “Busting it Open” series addressing controversial topics. The events draw dozens– sometimes over a hundred-- RSVPs on Facebook. Partow said, “That’s an indication to me that this is a much needed event for the 5Cs, and it’s great that Scripps can help fulfill that need.”
“SCORE is a space for all students to explore issues of privilege at a personal level but also systems of oppression that have existed for centuries,” explains Interim Assistant Director of SCORE Victoria Verlezza, “It is through programming, done mostly by the SCORE interns, the CLORGs and students through which they challenge each other’s privilege in difference aspects, raise awareness of “hot button” issues and work with the Interim Assistant Directors [Verlezza and Yuka Ogino] to further support the mission of inclusion. The interns’ programs are whenever they want. They aren’t held to a specific day of the week or time. They program to the needs of the students and host their programming at times convenient for students.”

Partow discusses the importance of the intern program, “The key of the intern team is to allow a group of generally underrepresented students to do necessary programming that will make the college a better place for them, other students and students for whom access to the college is blocked because they don’t know about it due to class/neighborhood (where community partnerships [run by external committee] come in), documentation or a host of other reasons.” There is also a distinct feature of SCORE’s program that sets it apart from the social justice work done in other communities: the interns are paid. Partow explains, “[...] the biggest point of all is that you are paying students to do this work. SCORE interns tend to be very involved on campus not just inside of the intern team, but also outside, where many of them occupy important leadership positions for which they usually don’t get paid. But nevertheless, there is a historical tradition of expecting oppressed people to do free labor to liberate themselves regardless of the non-oppressed being on-board with it or not. This is especially true of women, who face intersecting oppressions.”

As the Facebook page states, “SCORE is more than an office or department; we seek to build a community of people dedicated to enhancing and supporting inclusion at Scripps College and beyond through programming and advising within a social justice framework.” On that note, Partow invites students to check out SCORE on behalf of the office and all the interns, “I encourage students with ideas to make this campus a better place. Talk to Yuka or Victoria during their office hours [Yuka’s are Wed 2-4 pm; Victoria’s are Mon 3:30-5pm] so you can have the support of SCORE and the interns … they can help make it happen so you aren’t doing all the work for free. There are so many possibilities for the intern group. We can do so much! It is also really valuable experience for us interns. I’ve learned so much about this school, my colleagues, and programming, coordinating, planning, facilitating, etc. since I began here. I highly encourage other students to apply for next year, and if they haven’t already, to engage more with SCORE.”

SCORE is open Monday through Friday from 9am until 6pm and it is located across from the Frankel/Routt residence hall entrances and next to SARLO.