College Activists Demand Diversity Forums, Literally Zero Students Attend

Blake Neff | Reporter

Students at a New York college haven’t bothered to show up for diversity discussion circles they pressured the school to create.

Like many schools, Ithaca College was rocked last fall by protests from student activists who claimed the college had a hostile racist environment, and wasn’t providing adequate transparency for students. Activists even successfully pressured president Tom Rochon into announcing that he will resign next July.

In an effort to appease the students, the school agreed to henceforth hold regular discussion circles where attendees could talk about issues of racism, inclusion and diversity on campus.

But for all the student outrage, apparently there is little to no actual interest in attending diversity discussions. According to The Ithacan, 30 people attended a discussion circle Sept. 4, and exactly zero of them were students. Even fewer people attended another meeting Sept. 11, and once again not one was a student. Instead, the discussions have solely been the domain of school employees.

“The group is open to students, faculty, and staff,” Virgilio Pinto, a library employee who has attended some meetings, told The Ithacan. But unfortunately, we haven’t seen many students at these meetings.”

Students and staff came up with various theories for why the groups has aroused no interest. Many blamed a lack of communication, even though meetings have been advertised on the college’s Intercom website for events.

“We haven’t really been reached out to about getting more students involved,” said Marieme Foote, the head of Ithaca’s student government. “I’ve just heard from word–of–mouth that the group exists.”

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