Everyone is watching what’s happening at the University of Missouri, including some students at Ithaca College who are now calling for the resignation of President Thomas Rochon. Earlier this week, President Tim Wolfe stepped down as President of Mizzou.
According to the Ithaca students who operate under the name People of Color at Ithaca College (POCatIC), they’re demanding Tom Rochon’s resignation in response to what they believe is systematic racism on campus. The Student Government Association has sent out a vote, asking students to send out a vote of “Confidence” or “No Confidence.” The deadline is November 30th.
Some examples of this systematic injustice include a “Preps and Crooks” fraternity party and two safety and two Public Safety Officers who dismissed a question from an RA about racial profiling on campus, simply saying that “it doesn’t happen.” These Public Safety Officers then failed to appear at a follow-up meeting.
But perhaps the biggest recent issue involves a “microaggression” made against one female black speaker by two Ithaca alumni on a panel. This one speaker made one comment that she had a “savage hunger” to succeed in her career, and was then referred to as a “savage” a total of four times by the two alumni.
Ithaca College students voted last year to set up a microaggression reporting system.
President Tom Rochon immediately apologized after event for the transgression and made this comment:
In general, the college cannot prevent the use of hurtful language on campus. Such language, intentional or unintentional, exists in the world and will seep into our community. We can’t promise that the college will never host a speaker who could say something racist, homophobic, misogynistic, or otherwise disrespectful. Even so, we reaffirm our commitment to making our campus an inclusive and respectful community.
But back to the protests today.
Hundreds if not thousands of Ithaca students held a walk out today at 1:30 PM EST in support of POCatIC and were joined by faculty members. This walk out then transformed to a “die in” where students lay on the ground and paths for 20 minutes.