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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

December 7, 2016   |   Ithaca, NY

Opinion

SGC: More responses needed for Campus Climate Survey

Dear Ithaca College community,

In recent history, the Ithaca College community has time and time again come together to advocate for change on campus and give voice to issues affecting our community. The voices have been loud and unanimous, addressing many of the systemic problems that pervade our lives here. The campus was attentive to our shortcomings; engaged in demanding change and equity. Undoubtedly these voices were heard not only by our campus, but also by millions of people around the world that tuned in as we rallied alongside campuses nation-wide. So then Ithaca College, why is it when it’s finally time to begin the work of re-imagining our campus, our community remains silent? We have the opportunity to mold the future of our college, turn the passion from the last few years into meaningful action, yet we have seemingly made the decision as a community to ignore the opportunity.

With the release of the Campus Climate Survey, our community now has a chance to document the problems we are experiencing at IC, hold ourselves and our leadership accountable, and commit to working towards a better future. Considering campus protests last year, and the history of the previous campus climate survey, it is more than disappointing to see the lack of participation in addressing the issues that concern our everyday lives here on campus across constituencies. As we approach the October 28th deadline for taking the campus climate survey, which is less than a week away, the number of respondents to the survey is looking grim. Far less than half of the campus community has taken the survey, and if we don’t come together as a campus to hit the minimum threshold, the results will be invalid. Most importantly, the hard work that so many before us put in towards making this community a better place will be for nothing. It is imperative that we take advantage of the avenues for change that are available to us.

It is without a doubt that we are witnessing a transitional year for our community. Considering the large turnover of administrators and a new incoming president, as well as the process of addressing issues that were brought up last year and presently, Ithaca College is now facing a turning point — an opportunity to reimagine who we are and what we believe in most fundamentally.

With regards to this year’s survey, we now have a chance to get our thoughts and experiences heard. Through a third party consultant group, this data will be organized and released transparently and simultaneously across constituencies. This is our chance as a community to begin the process of creating sustainable growth on campus, as well as creating lasting impact in our community for those that will come after us.

It is time for us to stand up and make IC a place that we can all be proud of. So make sure to participate in upcoming conversations about shared governance that will advocate for equitable governance across constituencies, as well as the third party review of Public Safety, which will serve as a sounding board for concerns about campus safety and policing. It is a critical time for us to take charge of our lives and experiences here at Ithaca College and mold the institution to meet our needs as a community. We cannot effectively move forward without the engaged support of every voice on campus. This is about your future, the future of this institution, and the future of higher education as a whole. Do not miss this opportunity to make Ithaca College a more equitable institution for each and every person who steps foot on this campus for decades to come. It is time that we stand together to work towards a future where we all feel a part of this institution.

Best,

Marieme Foote, Student Body President

Michele Hau, VP of Academic Affairs

Luis Torres, VP of Campus Affairs

Danielle Weinstein, VP of Communications

Ezeka Allen, VP of Business Affairs

Carlie McClinsey, Senate Chair

Meredith Husar, Chief of Staff