- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 8, 2015

A proposed yacht club at California’s Pitzer College was reportedly shot down Sunday by the student senate over concerns that the name is offensive and classist.

“Student Senate voted against this club instatement last night, as the majority of Senators found the name ‘Yacht Club‘ to have a particularly offensive association with Yacht Clubs and a recreation known for being exclusive,” wrote Taylor Novick-Finder, a student senator, in an email on Pitzer’s Student Talk thread, Campus Reform reported.

It is the third time in the private college’s history that a club has been rejected by the student senate. The other two, the Hammock Club and the Cake Club, were denied because they were too similar to existing clubs at the school, Campus Reform said.

Jordan Fox, a student senator and president of the proposed club, called the decision an overreach.

“It’s frustrating that we don’t really have a precedent set as far as which clubs we’re willing to approve and which ones we aren’t,” he told the Claremont Independent. “It’s almost like this is a satire at this point.”

“We were turned down just because of our name,” he said. “We have been trying to talk about the description of the club, but everyone is so focused on the name. We never had intentions of making this club offensive in any way. I certainly never would have thought this name could be considered classist.”

According to screenshots of a discussion on a private Pitzer College Facebook group, taken by the Independent, some students argued in favor of rejecting the club, regardless of its name.

“It doesn’t matter what it is called, the club itself is a classist and inaccessible activity for people who are not wealthy,” wrote one Pitzer student. “Pitzer’s money would be going towards a luxurious classist, elitist yachting activity (alienating students on campus who are lower income) instead of going to support for example queer and trans people of color, disabled students, working class students, indigenous/Native American students, etc.”

The Yacht Club’s founders say they plan on changing the name.

“I by no means want anyone to feel uncomfortable. I would just like a space on campus where we as students can enjoy and learn more about sailing, boating, the ocean, and sea chanteys,” Mr. Fox told the Independent.

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