Printed statements appeared across the Ithaca College campus March 2 and 3, highlighting personal accounts from students of color about experiences of microaggressions, racism and discrimination.
These written statements were collected, printed and posted by IC Rise Up, a student group that primarily functions through its Instagram page. IC Rise Up collected personal statements and experiences in the form of submissions by students via email beginning Feb. 26 until 1 p.m. Feb. 28. IC Rise Up also encouraged interested students struggling to write a statement to reach out via Instagram for assistance.
The original statements were quickly taken down by the college March 2 because the anonymous group did not get approval from the college. Then, on March 3, the statements appeared again across campus and were not taken down. The Ithacan has not yet been able to confirm if IC Rise Up received permission from the college to hang statements the second time.
In a video posted by IC Rise Up, what appeared to be campus police were recorded removing the statements distributed on campus at about 3:30 a.m. March 2.
“The walls left bare as if we were never there,” the Instagram post said. “We refuse to be silent. You will hear us. #ICRiseUp.”
According to the college’s Policy Manual, neither on-campus groups — those registered with the college — nor off-campus groups can distribute advertisements or other materials in locations on campus outside of the pre-approved, designated areas. Individuals or organizations putting up posters in non-designated areas are subject to disciplinary penalization.
On March 3, students involved with IC Rise Up put back their anonymous statements across campus in protest of their original flyers being taken down.
“It was the biggest disappointment to know that Ithaca College was never truly a safe space,” One of the statements read. “Perhaps for anyone who is white, but outside of that, you’re on your own.”
Students were encouraged by IC Rise Up to take pictures of these statements and tag @icriseup on their Instagram stories. Student clubs and organizations like DEAR@IC and the Ithaca College International Club did so to express their support for the group.
Eden Strachan ’21 was one of the people who commented on IC Rise Up’s Instagram post.
“Alumni standing with you guys,” Strachan wrote. “Keep exercising your rights. This is [a] peaceful protest.”
Dave Maley, director of public relations, said via email on behalf of Bonnie Prunty, vice president for Student Affairs and Campus Life, and himself that the college removed the statements posted March 2 because they were against the advertising and solicitation policy. Maley said the statements posted March 3 will be allowed to stay up but did not specify until when. Maley said the college is open to meeting with IC Rise Up to discuss their concerns.
“Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Life Bonnie Prunty subsequently reached out to the organizers of IC Rise Up to let them know that the college supports their efforts to educate the campus community about their experiences and that she would be happy to talk with them about how to post flyers in compliance with college policy,” Maley said. “We look forward to meeting with IC Rise Up to hear their thoughts about how to improve the experiences for our students of color moving forward.”