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Geology professor accepting students into her course based on race and income

A Pomona College professor has stated in a flier that she will be accepting students for her geology class based on ethnic and financial backgrounds. The class has a low enrollment cap of 15 students. (Getty Images)

Geology professor Linda Reinan of Pomona College distributed a flier to students promoting her class and declaring that she would be selecting students based on race and income level, the conservative Claremont Independent reported.

Reinan's course, "Southern California Earthquakes and Water," is an introductory course that focuses on the geological "challenges" of Southern California. The class has a low enrollment cap of 15 students, and acceptance for the class is done on a permission-only, or PERM, basis, where the student must write a written request to the professor to attend. The professor then chooses who can or who cannot attend.

Normally, PERMs are a first-come, first-served process, with students who didn't submit a request in time placed on a waiting list. If preferential treatment is given, it's typically to students who need the course to fulfill their major course requirements over students who are taking the class for general credit.

Reinan is not following this line, however, and encouraged students to detail their background in their written requests so as to better "diversify perspectives in the course."

From the flyer, which the Independent posted:

This low-enrollment course (max: 15 students) is by PERM only. I encourage students who PERM this course to indicate how their background, experiences, and/or interests could contribute to diversifying perspectives in the course. In resolving PERMs I will strive to identify students for whom the small-section setting has the potential to be of particular benefit. I am especially interested in seeing PERM requests from students of color, first-generation or low-income students, international, and students early in their college career (first two years); such students are especially encouraged to apply.


It is currently unclear how diverse backgrounds, race, or financial situations will affect the study of introductory geology.

Pomona College was recently in the news when three self-identified black students sent a letter to the president of the college, David Oxtoby, demanding action be taken against conservative journalists of the Claremont Independent for their reporting on a Black Lives Matter group physically blocking students and faculty from attending a speech from a Black Lives Matter critic. The students also demanded Oxtoby apologize for promoting free speech in an email and called truth a "white supremacist concept."

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