The Feb. 8 Student Government Association meeting made it clear that students still feel the Ithaca College administration is not listening closely enough to student voices regarding IC 20/20.
SGA invited President Tom Rochon to attend the meeting, which centered on worry that student opinion has been relatively missing from the strategic plan’s implementation. After tense discourse ensued, SGA said their concerns were still not thoroughly addressed.
In the meeting, Rochon said most of the initiatives will not affect current students. He said “some of you will be touched by some parts of IC 20/20, but for the most part, you won’t be.”
Rochon’s statement echoes his similar response to alumni who expressed their anger over the mascot search last year. In a letter to Lloyd Goldberg ’00, Rochon said the mascot was being developed primarily for current and prospective students. The perceived lack of attention to alumni opinion regarding the search upset many former students.
Both situations point to a discrepancy between what the college administration, students and alumni deem important.
Current students do care about IC 20/20, and the plan will affect them, as the college’s academic reputation will make an impact on alumni employment marketability. When students pursue a career in years to come, they will want to hand potential employers a resume with pride, knowing their Ithaca College education was, and still is, top-notch. These same students will want to make college donations as graduates of thriving programs that gave them their quality degrees.
The college should make IC 20/20 decision-making more transparent so no one feels excluded from the process. Since past efforts to gather student opinion did not translate well, the college needs to work closer with SGA to gather this input, whether through public forums or more SGA senator outreach. For this to happen, however, students need to read IC 20/20 documents, which are available on the college’s website, and stay informed.
Institutional changes apply not only to future students, but also to current students who will feel the effects as they forever carry the Ithaca College name.