Ithaca Students Demand President's Resignation, Stage Walkout

Priyanka Prasad
Students at Ithaca College stage a walkout to protest Ithaca's President, Tom Rochon.

Ithaca College

The recent events at the University of Missouri seem to be inciting a chain reaction in universities across the nation—first students at Yale participated in a March for Resilience, and now students at Ithaca College in New York are vying for the resignation of their own University President due to his mishandling of racial incidents.

Ithaca President Tom Rochon has been accused of inadequately addressing occurrences of racism on campus, and both students and faculty are using this opportunity to voice their discontent.

Hundreds of students participated in a walkout on Wednesday afternoon to demonstrate the lack of confidence they have in Rochon and his ability to handle what is occurring on their campus.

Ithaca has seen an escalation of racially-charged incidents in recent months, most noticeably when an African-American alumna stated she had a “savage hunger” in a speech, but was referred to as “savage” by a Caucasian alumnus when attempting to describe her speech.

Related: Mizzou Student President Sets Off Panic With KKK Rumors of Violence

The student government is currently conducting a survey as to whether the student body has “confidence” or “no confidence” in Rochon’s leadership abilities; if the students vote with a “no confidence” majority, the Board of Trustees will reconsider Rochon’s future with the school.

In an interview with The Daily Signal, Kyle Stewart, vice president of communications for the Student Government Association, stated that, “I think the main thing the campus needs to work on is respect for everyone. We can’t really move forward as a campus unless every single person respects everyone else regardless of gender, color, sexual orientation.”

This same message appears to be resonating with students across the country, which is why we are seeing multiple instances of students fighting to remove obstacles (such as Rochon and Mizzou president Timothy Wolfe) to achieving a more unified, inclusive campus climate. 

Banner Image Credit: Twitter, @ThisIsFusion