Unity and Support in the Wake of This Summer's Violence

By Molly Israel, July 20, 2016

Unity and Support in the Wake of this Summer's Violence

Dear members of the Ithaca College community:

The violent and unjust domestic and international events of the past few weeks have confounded us all and led to a conflicting cycle of emotions. We are all grieving, desperately searching for answers, angry, exhausted, and most of all, hoping—hoping for a clear path forward.

Our hearts go out to the survivors and families of those whose lives were directly affected by these senseless acts of violence and hatred. We recognize that our community members – our students, faculty, staff, and alumni – are also hurting.  We are all shaken by these tragic events, and we must work together to identify ways to heal and enact change.

The incidents that have transpired this summer have left many communities, and many members of our extended Ithaca College family who belong to these communities, feeling particularly vulnerable. As a college, we support the statement put forth by the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), an association that supports diversity work at colleges and universities across the nation. In its statement, NADOHE challenges college campuses across the country to “give voice to the issues that have not been adequately addressed in these United States.” They also reference Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s statement that "only love can drive out hate,” and they challenge campuses across the country to “learn to love, value, respect one another and find solutions together realizing our common humanity.” 

This past year, our IC campus was molded by many demonstrations seeking equality, justice, and inclusivity.  At Ithaca College, we remain steadfastly committed to improving our campus environment for all community members.  These vital issues are not only domestic and international challenges, but they also lie directly in front of us to grapple with, as faculty, staff, and students.

With our students returning to campus in a matter of weeks, we are currently planning a series of programs that we hope will provide an opportunity for us all to reflect on the current events of this summer, move toward healing, and enact the commitment we have made in our Diversity Statement to “change, growth, and action that embrace diversity as an integral part of the educational experience and of the community we create.” More information about these events and opportunities will be shared mid-August.

We ask our community members to join us in adding your names to this message, unifying our voices to show solidarity for the victims of these tragic events, and committing ourselves to work together to seek answers to the difficult questions and show mutual respect for one another.


Marieme Foote ‘18 - Student Body President

Rosane Mordt - Chair of Staff Council and Enterprise Applications Developer

Roger “Doc” Richardson - Interim Chief Diversity Officer and Associate Provost for Inclusion and Engagement

Tom Rochon - President

Tom Swensen - Chair of Faculty Council and Professor and Chair of the Department of Exercise and Sport Sciences