By Elias van Emmerick ’21
Pomona’s administration has an agenda. They want you to think that the ground you tread on is safe. They want you to believe those ants that nibble at your feet at night are “easily eradicated.” They will never admit to the existence of the INCONCEIVABLY big dog that roams campus. Administrators will tell you that “there is no such thing as the bunker from Parasite hidden away in Harwood. Please leave me alone.” These are LIES. Luckily this blog will give me and so many other repressed students a VOICE(s). The truth is out there–and I went to find it. Get ready for the 6 hidden secrets Pomona doesn’t want you to know about.
(1) Residence Life Coordinator Joel Petty has two massive dogs. We’re not talking German Shepherd or Husky here. These are big boys. I once saw Joel walking at night and I could’ve sworn he had all of Mt. Baldy on a leash. Turns out that was just his dog, but I continue to fearfully glance at the mountains to make sure they’re still there to this day. Rumor has it that, if you pet Joel’s dogs, you will never need to set foot in Monsour Counseling & Psychological Services again. Plus, his dogs don’t have a two-month waitlist. My advice? Find those big balls of fluff.
(2) Pomona’s campus has been invaded by a dangerous strain of Bermuda grass, one of the most tenacious weeds you will ever encounter. To learn more, I interviewed resident farmhand (and student) Billy Stone. “We have been dominated by the grass,” he told me in his raspy country accent. “It’s often chosen for lawns in hotter climates because of its resilience to drought and hot weather… But it too easily takes over. We see the grass growing everywhere. By intuition alone we can guess that each Pomona student is probably about 20 percent Bermuda grass.” This ordeal has clearly been hard on him–I hope he gets to spend some time with Joel’s dogs soon.
(3) Claremont lies at the center of a mega-anthill. So what, you ask? I bet you think ants are no big deal. Squish a few, maybe put some bait out, and problem solved? Think again, buddy. This is an Argentine mega-colony that extends for more than 500 miles. MILES. These ants aren’t your garden variety yum-I-like-honey-oh-no-I-got-squished ants. Argentine ants are smart, they collaborate, and they are ready to kill. The colony has a 3:10 ratio of queens to regular ants, meaning that you can never eradicate them. Their brains are so huge that they’re able to recognize other Argentine ants as friends, and work together to tackle bigger prey. That’s you, if you were wondering. These bad boys will nibble at you until there’s nothing left. All you can do is call Pomona’s maintenance crew and hope that whatever nuclear spray they use is strong enough to hold them at bay for a few days. I once had ants in my room, and seriously considered just dropping out. You can’t win with these creatures–you only delay the inevitable.
(4) Harwood Court is a beautiful, historic dorm. Rooms have amazing natural lighting, overlook scenic Lebus Court or a stunning garden, and are overall a lot nicer than many others on South Campus. The lounge even has AC now! Sounds like a pretty good place to live, right? Sure, until you hear the creaking and crawling of hidden residents above your head. Harwood has a secret attic, accessible only through gnome-sized doors in either of its towers. It’s no coincidence that food regularly disappears from the communal kitchen’s fridge (surely our fellow students would never steal). Many believe we have our very own Spider Man of Denver situation here, which is something they don’t tell you in the admissions brochure. This is not to say Harwood is unlivable–I’ve lived here for two years straight, and besides the occasional ominous noises and unexplainable ice cream disappearances it’s really quite pleasant. In fact, after seeing the average LA rent prices, I’ve been thinking about moving into that attic after graduation myself.
(5) Our sports teams are excruciatingly unproblematic. I have been digging and digging to find some scalding tea on the Pomona-Pitzer teams, but it turns out our athletes (unlike some other ones that attend other institutions) are pretty decent people. Professional Oscar statuette imitator and part-time Pomona-Pitzer diver Jem Stern shared absolutely nothing exciting with me: “Yes, we have our very own Sagehen Survival Guide,” he confessed, “but every page is just the link to Sagehen Next.” We won’t be on these athletes any time soon.
(6) This might classify as one of the best-kept secrets on this entire campus, and it is doubtful the administration will let me get away with publishing it. Yet, the truth needs to be heard: Frary Dining Hall does not look like Hogwarts. Somehow every college that has a dining hall with a ceiling higher than 8 feet feels entitled to claim resemblance with a non-existent product of 2000’s CGI (Computer-generated imagery). This needs to stop. We need to put an end to this dangerous arms race and state it once and for all: Besides the terrible acoustics, Frary resembles Hogwarts about as much as my dog resembles Hagrid.
 Get it?