Skip to comments.At Ithaca College, The Left’s Kids Devour Their Parents
Posted on 04/11/2016 12:42:04 PM PDT by TigerClaws
Ithaca College President Thomas Rochon will step down next year over his failure to respond to racially sensitive issues in the appropriate manner. The decision came after much personal introspection, according to Rochon, after the faculty and students separately voted no confidence in his leadership in a vote that was inexplicably conducted via Survey Monkey, an unscientific method of deciphering opinion.
Ithaca is a private college of around 7,000 students. According to news reports, faculty complained he didnt listen to anyone, he made decisions without input and he seemed to be following a business model rather than being concerned with the intellectual development of the students.
Much of these charges are far beyond and tangential to the original cause of the unrest. In October 2015, on an alumni association panel one panelist, 1992 alumnus Tatiani Sy, said she had a savage hunger to learn and be professionally successful. A white 1976 alumnus participating, Christopher Burch, complimented Sys thirst for knowledge by referring to her as the savage during the course of the panel discussion.
After the event, Sy complained Burchs use of the word she employed to describe herself made her feel uncomfortable. She added, When the slur was repeated not once but several times, I think someone should have gotten up and intervened. She concluded that Burch committed a microaggression. Burch apologized profusely, to no avail.
Despite Burchs assurance that he was merely using in an admirable way the language Sy had originally used to describe herself, the campus exploded. Jennifer Jolly, an associate professor and chair in the Department of Art History, stated, While I very much respected that [Burch] made a place for empathy, it seemed to me that empathy is particularly important when it comes to being a privileged, white male, who seemed to be completely unable to understand why an African-American woman might object to being called savage, Pandemonium Predictably Ensues
The faculty immediately called for a meeting to discuss the comments as being insensitive and racist, and the event for being too exclusive. The students held a demonstration that included a die-in and chants of Tom Rochon. No confidence!
In the meantime, Rochon threw his own alumnus under the bus:
I [Tom Rochon] apologized to the alumna to whom the comments were addressed. We regret that what was intended to be a visionary moment for our community was diminished by insensitive comments.
In general, the college cannot prevent the use of hurtful language on campus. Such language, intentional or unintentional, exists in the world and will seep into our community. We cant promise that the college will never host a speaker who could say something racist, homophobic, misogynistic, or otherwise disrespectful. Even so, we reaffirm our commitment to making our campus an inclusive and respectful community.
We recognize the concerns raised by members of the campus community about the language used during the Blue Sky event. We reiterate our commitment to the principles of respect and inclusion and to the goal of ensuring that Ithaca College is a place where all students, faculty, staff, and visitors feel safe and respected.
Rochon telephoned Sy soon after, and she rejected his apologies, claiming she needed space to process the situation that overwhelmed her.
This hysterical atmosphere at Ithaca did not develop out of thin air. In March 2015, the student government had passed a bill to create an online system where people could inform on each other for committing microaggressions. The aim was to hold those violators legally responsible for their offense. Social justice protestors at campuses across the country have demanded that their universities institute similar speech tracking systems. Seizing Upon a Scapegoat
After the apology, students and faculty wanted to hold someone responsible for the event. They settled on Rochon. He appeared to balk when in response to student demands for a more racially sensitive campus, he claimed students and faculty were simply frustrated. He went on to capitulate to the essence of their demands by claiming he would go on to make a difference.
In November, he penned a self-flagellating essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education entitled Why Embattled Leaders Should Be Stepping Up, Not Stepping Down. Rochon stated why his own argument is untenable. He abandons the hallowed space left for reason and truth for one in which the students get to create their own reality out of something called inclusiveness:
Before we belittle these heightened student expectations, though, it is important to recognize that the values of a bias-free, inclusive community represent aspirational values that we should be trying to achieve. Prospective students are told in glossy brochures that they will be part of a campus community that provides an environment for unfettered exploration and learning. At Ithaca, every aspect of our vision statement requires a highly inclusive environment in which students are free to explore their identities and expand their abilities on their own terms, without interference from the assumptions prejudicial or otherwise of others.
College and university presidents today have both an opportunity and a mandate for collaborative leadership that moves us dramatically in the direction of this aspirational vision. Discussions of racism and other forms of bias are never comfortable and are too often avoided. The current wave of student activism, however, puts these issues front and center, thereby creating the opportunity for campuswide discussions marked by candor and openness to change. Those discussions can, in turn, lead to commitments that institutionalize the values and practices associated with an inclusive environment.
Although Rochon attested he would give the students anything they wanted, in December, he abruptly announced his retirement.
What happened at Ithaca is a product of the atmosphere Rochon created and encouraged while he headed the college. His apology to the campus for Burchs comments provide enough evidence of what he tolerated on campus. However, Rochons academic career has been dedicated to the idea that this life has no ability to determine truth. Political Correctness Arises from Relativism
In the late 1980s, just before I arrived at the then-Claremont Graduate School (now Claremont Graduate University), Harry V. Jaffa got into a debate with Rochon over the nature of academic inquiry. In What is Political Science, Jaffa eviscerated Rochon for his ethically neutral science. Since everyone has values there is no way to determine which value is actually good, or better, than another.
For Rochon, all moral questions are value questions. In other words, values cannot be known but facts can be known. Since everyone has values there is no way to determine which value is actually good, or better, than another. All are the same and should be treated identically, since they cannot be proven by facts or reasoning. Indeed, Rochon stated that, in political science, questions of right and wrong, good and bad, just and unjust are outside the sphere of [political] science.
Rochons entire scholarship is based on the idea that academics has nothing to say about the things that matter most. He claims that it is impossible to know what justice is. Faced with a choice of two competing value systemssay, that of the Nazis and that of the American FoundingRochon could not pick which one would be more worthy. While Rochon would dispute the claim that he supports a value-free education, his positions on what can be known and unknown lead him exactly in that direction.
It is no surprise, then, that we learned of his demise at Ithaca, although we may lament the success of political correctness at yet another university. In this instance, the cause and champion of just such correctness is none other than the soon-to-be former president of Ithaca College.
I refuse to believe this is all there is to this story.
its Ithaca... this really is all there is
It’s stupid, and it shows. Anyone who hires anyone from Ithaca, is a moron and should be fired too. Government employees will love them. They hire only their own, and Ithaca is a known hot spot for growing these dainty snowflakes who are easily offended into willing gaystapo jackboot thugs.
This is also extremely well-written, it is worth the mental effort (its not an easy read)
There are times when it’s really hard to respond to a story like this.
What alarms me most is that a numbe rof these students will rise to positions of responsibility and prestige - thus spreading their intellectual cancer all across all parts of this nations.
It’s kinda like the hippies and other 60’s acitvists who finally cut their hair and got rid of their tie-died clothes - but never lost the ideals.
This statement is the petard on which the President is being hoisted. Those calling for his removal claiming the vision is betrayed by the "savage" comments.
I wonder how the 5 members of "Ithaca College Students for Trump 2016" feel about truth of this statement. I expect their inclusive experience at Ithaca college was likely interfered with by the assumptions - prejudicial or otherwise - of others.
Gosh - how 'ridiculous" - doesn't he know it's all about touchy feely now??
Mountain meet molehill. These are the people we will eat first after TSHTF.
I figure they'd be too stringy. They'll just be compost for the garden during the zombie apocalypse.
Liberals are proving to be the fascists they accuse conservatives of being.
They were closet aristocrats - now they are open ones, with the power of righteous anger to propel them through any situation and over anyone else’s rights or objections.
In March 2015, the student government had passed a bill to create an online system where people could inform on each other for committing microaggressions.
“Social justice” protestors at campuses across the country have demanded that their universities institute similar speech tracking systems
I kinda thought they’d be soft, but you are probably right. They would have to be smoked of low heat.
Ithaca is the home of Cornell U aka the Big Red. It ain’t called the Big Red for nothing folks and it has nothing to do with color of their uniforms either.
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