Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

October 27, 2016   |   Ithaca, NY


Editorial: Ithaca College hijacks narratives through Open House letter

As evidenced by the hypocrisy present in the differences between the administration’s responses to the racism in the Alpha Epsilon Pi party dress code and the racist comments made at the Blue Sky Reimagining Kick-Off event, it is no secret that the college has some work to do when it comes to issuing public statements. This was reinforced by an administrative letter inserted into the folders of prospective students at the Open House on Oct. 24 that appropriated the narratives of students of color at the college.

In this statement, the college informed prospective students that they might witness current students “actively lending their energy and voices to support a better campus community and stronger culture of diversity and inclusion,” while attributing this to the college’s encouragement of “free speech and student engagement around real-world problems.” The student protests are further credited to the college when the Integrative Core Curriculum is mentioned, with the administration stating that the college
curriculum “encourages investigation of identities, power and justice, and the quest for a sustainable future.”

The phrasing of the statement takes the POC at IC protests and co-opts them to serve as the college’s public relations. Ironically enough, the administration took credit for the narrative that was made clear at the rally that took place Oct. 21. It attempted to stunt stories that needed to be heard by
prospective students at the Open House. The administration’s hypocrisy was once again made clear: In trying to celebrate the exercise of free speech at the college, this speech was actually restricted through the appropriation.

Luckily, the POC at IC group was able to create a statement responding to that of the college and deliver it to the prospective students at the Open House, reinforcing the
necessary narrative. However, students of color should not have to continue, time and time again, to make up for the progress the administration is so hesitant to commit to.

Both letters can be read here.