Dear Ithaca College:
As the student body president who infamously stood with the administration at an arguably comparable time of controversy during the Fountain Day issue, I find myself supporting the other side of power spectrum over 15 years later.
The unfortunately mishandled Blue Sky episode triggered a witch-hunt to oust President Rochon. Racial-divide has always been a chronic problem at Ithaca College, but seeing nearly double the multicultural student population from when I was there means that isn’t the defining failure of this administration, as much as stoke to a fire already smoldering.
The fact remains that this president deleted the most important executive conduit for students and student leaders from his cabinet (VP of Student Affairs & Campus Life) years ago, without hesitation. He has not been able to hold a steady academic staff in Deans or Provosts causing severe instability to the arguably most important faculty and classroom dynamic. The anecdotes between him and the student leadership over the years as detailed in The Ithacan‘s recent “…Complex Tenure…” piece are so appalling, if I were in office I would have raised an army and stormed Fountain Place. And his apparent focus on “cost-cutting” and tuition growth seem completely misplaced. The summary is, Rochon’s priorities (and potentially heart) aren’t what Ithaca College really needs, now.
I supported Peggy Williams and the administration even when it meant going against the majority of my fellow students because my own concerns coupled with a culture of the president listening-to and actively seeking feedback from my student body and other campus constituencies. It’s unfortunate that Dr. Rochon’s skills and intent have apparently veered from that. Today, I support those calling for his resignation for the simple fact that his lack of self-awareness and public relations let it get to here. We find him unqualified to continue in this capacity.
Student Body President ’00