Tom Rochon, Ithaca College's president. (Courtesy of Adam Baker of Ithaca College)

ITHACA, N.Y. — The Ithaca College Student Government Association unanimously voted last night to call for a vote of no confidence against IC President Tom Rochon.

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SGA President Dom Recckio said, “There have been a ton of issues on campus this year that have gone, not entirely unaddressed, but unaddressed in the way students like and are comfortable with.”

Tom Rochon, Ithaca College’s president. (Courtesy of Adam Baker of Ithaca College)
Tom Rochon, Ithaca College’s president. (Courtesy of Adam Baker of Ithaca College)

The resolution, passed by 11 members of the SGA, cited several instances that Recckio said launched the call for a vote on the president’s confidence.

Dave Maley, a spokesperson for IC, said the college was declining to comment. A student, faculty and staff meeting will be held at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

Among several other complaints listed in the resolution are the following:

— A protest happened last Wednesday where over 200 people participated in expressing no confidence in Rochon while the college’s board of trustees met.

Recckio said protesters were calling for action about claims of racism, discrimination and lack of diversity.

Among other complaints, he said, were racially insensitive comments made by two public safety officers during an RA training session, according to The Ithacan.

“That was sort of where it kicked off and the college’s response was not necessarily what students would have wanted in terms of action,” Recckio said.

—  Students were reportedly excluded from conversations about the college during a Blue Sky Reimagining event that happened Oct. 8, according to an open letter published in The Ithacan that was written by Recckio.

In the letter, he wrote, “Students should never be an afterthought, and that is a part of the exclusive nature of this event and exercise.”

He said racist remarks were also made during the event by  a speaker while referring to a woman of color.

— The resolution claims that Rochon has led “unstable” leadership among upper administration. It states, “There have been 3 Provosts and 2 interim Provosts in the past 7 years at Ithaca College. The VP for Student Affairs position was absorbed into the Provost & VP for Educational Affairs position in 2012, giving the Provost academic and student life duties. The administration is currently seeking a Vice President for Human Resources to add to the President’s Council.”

— A college fundraising effort, the Blue and Gold Society, asks students donate $250 for “Special interaction with the college leadership.”

The entire resolution can be read at the SGA website. 

“I believe this is one of the first times, if not the first time, that students have issued a vote of no confidence on any college campus,”  Recckio said.

He said that SGA members spent 20 to 30 minutes discussing what kind of leadership they were or were not providing for the student body and determined that students’ voices were not being heard adequately by the college administration.

He said students will have 26 days to vote on the issue after receiving the link to do so via email on Nov. 4.

The results of the vote will be made public on Nov. 30.

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.