ITHACA, N.Y. — The provost of Ithaca College has released a statement criticizing the use of “racial and class stereotyping” in an off-campus party being planned by a group of IC students.
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“The posting used language that was reprehensible for its racial and class stereotyping,” says Benjamin Rifkin, IC’s provost and vice president for educational affairs, in the statement. “The views expressed in this posting are antithetical to the college’s commitment to respect and inclusivity.”
The Ithacan’s Max Denning obtained and published a screenshot of the event, which was to be called the “Preps & Crooks” party. (The party was later canceled, Denning reported.)
Under the event description, “Preps” were required to wear a favored Polo shirt, boat shoes and backwards baseball cap; “Crooks” had to wear “a more 90’s thuggish style,” including a bandana, bling and baggy sweatpants.
Denning spoke to IC students who objected to the dress code; sophomore Sophie Conger told him, for instance, that she thought “there were a lot of racist, sexist undertones with the event.”
The group hosting the party was affiliated with the national fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi, a Jewish fraternity. Rifkin said in his statement that the off-campus group “is not a recognized Ithaca College student organization” and that IC “has no social fraternities and has no plans to allow any.”
In the statement, Rifkin also said that the message posted by the group could be harmful.
“We recognize the destructive impact that messages such as the one posted by this group can have on members of our community, and remain dedicated to the task of combating bigotry and promoting inclusivity and mutual respect,” Rifkin said.
“Ithaca College discourages our students from participating in any event designed around principles antithetical to our community’s commitment to respect and inclusivity.”
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