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THE ITHACAN

The Student News Site of Ithaca College

THE ITHACAN

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Support Us
$1375
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Your donation will support The Ithacan's student journalists in their effort to keep the Ithaca College and wider Ithaca community informed. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Editorial: College must continue work to create a safe environment for all students

Editorial%3A+College+must+continue+work+to+create+a+safe+environment+for+all+students
Illustration by Ananya Gambhiraopet

Editor’s note: The Ithacan has gained new information that is not reflected in the original version of this editorial that was published Jan. 30, 2024. We have since edited the editorial to reflect these updates . 

According to Ithaca College’s hate crime log, there were five reported hate crimes in 2022 as compared to one in 2021, marking an increase in violence on campus. All of these instances were acts of destruction of property. In 2023, there were two hate crimes committed on campus. While this decrease signifies a move towards a safer campus climate, it is imperative that the college continues to take preventive measures to reduce hate crimes on campus.

The physical space students are in can have a massive impact on their ability to perform as students, and more importantly, on their overall sense of well-being. Campus acts as a home to countless students. No one should have to walk around their home and fear seeing marks of hate and violence.

Most recently, there was a swastika found drawn in front of the Baker Walkway on Jan. 19. Bonnie Solt Prunty, vice president for Student Affairs and Campus Life, sent an email Jan. 20 informing students that the student believed to be responsible was identified and was referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. While this quick response is commendable, it is not sufficient. Retroactive communication is not enough. Proactive actions, intentional conversations and safe spaces for students are all essential to address this issue.

This issue is not isolated to Ithaca College. Both Syracuse University and Cornell University saw an increase in reported hate crimes from 2021 to 2022. Preliminary data from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University found a significant increase in hate crimes in 2023 across 10 major U.S. cities. At least 2,184 cases were reported among these cities, a 13% increase from 2022. New York, N.Y. saw a 12.6% increase in anti-Jewish hate crimes and a 40% increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes.

Acts of hate and violence should not be tolerated at any cost. This issue requires change at both national and local levels. It is essential that administration at Ithaca College continues to do everything in their power to ensure a safe, inclusive campus for all students, faculty and staff.

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