On Wednesday, students at Ithaca College in New York organized a walk-out to protest racial injustices on campus, patterning their protest after the successful one launched by students at the University of Missouri.
“Diversity and inclusion here at Ithaca College is nothing more than an image,” student Tyler Reighn announced using a megaphone, reports the NY Daily News. “We have no desire to work within this broken structure.”
The students are protesting what they feel is only a facade of diversity in the college and are also calling for the ouster of school president Tom Rochon.
— Eddie Dowd (@dowdreports) November 11, 2015
— Ann Marie Adams (@SCMornings) November 11, 2015
Students said that racial tensions boiled over when an alum made a racially insensitive remark during a panel at a campus event. Not only was the remark not corrected but the president released a statement trying to explain it away:
Such language, intentional or unintentional, exists in the world and will seep into our community. We can’t promise that the college will never host a speaker who could say something racist, homophobic, misogynistic, or otherwise disrespectful.
According to the Daily News, student government members also reported offensive remarks made by public safety officers and a racially charged party invite from campus fraternity.
Rochon, in an attempt to cate the students in the wake of rising tensions, announced a “chief diversity officer” to “improve our campus’s racial climate and build a culture that lives up to its values of civility, mutual respect, and justice.”