Ithaca students demand diversity forums, then fail to attend

Ithaca College launched a weekly diversity discussion circle in response to last fall’s student demands, but not a single student has attended either of the first two sessions.

Last December, Ithaca students organized a mass walk-out in protest of their president’s involvement with Tompkins Financial Corporation, saying his split leadership roles were compromising his ability to address student concerns.

[RELATED: Ithaca College students stage walkout, call for president’s removal]

Among the concerns was a lack of transparency between the school’s administration and the student body, which ultimately led students to call for their president’s resignation.

One protester at the time even told his school newspaper that “we need the dialogue,” noting that the school is in a situation “where instead of just demanding a person’s resignation, we need to hear both sides and figure out a solution.”

Consequently, the school immediately began organizing a weekly discussion forum called “Diversity and Inclusion Circles” for students to voice their concerns and address last fall’s demands.

[RELATED: Ithaca students wants profs to teach diversity in every class]

Thus far, however, The Ithacan reports that not a single student has attended either of the first two meetings.

In fact, out of 30 participants at the first discussion group on September 4, not one was a student. Attendance was even lower at the next week’s meeting, and still no students were in attendance.

“The group is open to students, faculty, and staff,” Virgilio Pinto, a faculty advisor to the group, told The Ithacan. “But unfortunately, we haven’t seen many students at these meetings.”

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