Boiling down an entire culture into a costume is racially insensitive and only further contributes to the marginalization of these groups.
Even though administrators were willing to absorb critiques and recommendations about addressing racial inequality on campus, the response was always the same: inaction.
It is no longer enough for a small handful of professors — such as those in the Center for the Study of Culture, Race and Ethnicity and professors of color — to be the only ones teaching students about social change and injustice in the classroom.
With guidance from her faculty mentor, Robert Sullivan, associate professor of communication studies, Hau analyzed documents from colleges in the United States as evidence for her argument, which connects political theory to the reality of discussing racism on campus.
During the Fall 2015 semester, colleges and universities across the country were rocked by student protests addressing racial tensions on campuses. Ithaca College was also affected by these issues, and it is among many other institutions that are now trying to heal their communities while also facing losses in enrollment and retention.
President Tom Rochon visited J. Christopher Burch ’76, CEO of Burch Creative Capital and co-founder of the Tory Burch women’s fashion label, at his resort in Sumba, Indonesia, in March to discuss how Burch’s relationship with the college would continue.
In a recent announcement, the college laid out parts of the diversity action plan that are on track — such as developing a Fall 2016 campus-climate survey — and parts of the plan that are falling behind — such as developing a community review board for the Office of Public Safety and Emergency Management.
In Fall 2015, Ithaca College set a timeline for addressing issues regarding diversity and campus climate. Although the plan covers a timeline of roughly 2 1/2 years, Roger Richardson, associate provost of diversity, inclusion and engagement and interim chief diversity officer, said it is not realistic for all deadlines to be made.
The list of professors at Ithaca College who were awarded tenure for 2015–16 was announced Feb. 21. However, missing from the list were the names of the professors that POC at IC demanded be given immediate tenure.
Students protesting the racial climate at Ithaca College are not the only ones finding a collective voice with which to address institutionalized racism. In a tumultuous fall semester, at least 75 other colleges and universities have begun bringing their demands for change to their administrations.