ITHACA, N.Y. — Hundreds of students, joined by faculty and other college employees, are gathered at Freedom Rock Wednesday afternoon to stand in solidarity against Ithaca College President Tom Rochon and his administration.

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Demonstrators began gathering just after 1 p.m., writing words of encouragement and phrases about inclusiveness on a paper-covered box that stated, “Don’t keep freedom of speech in a box.”

The protest is in response to over a month of mounting criticisms over Rochon’s handling of a few key racial incidents on campus. Those events and the subsequent responses from the administration which were perceived as ineffective or not genuine, snowballed into a call for a vote of “no confidence,” first from the student government, and then from IC faculty.

Related: Student gov. calls for no confidence vote against Ithaca College president

Protesters are seated and standing the the area as speakers rouse chants of “Tom Rochon — No Confidence.”

Protester Jenna Caste, 18, of Geneva, said she is a freshman at the school and was at an event at the Glazer Arena of the A&E Center when an activist organization took over the stage while Rochon was speaking.

“The microaggressions,  a lot of people say they don’t happen but I’ve witnessed them happen,” she said.

She said the administration’s focus on preventative measures for racism are not enough because they are passive and do not address the current issues of discrimination head-on.

Related: Students take over stage during Ithaca College president’s speech

Ithaca Voice reporters are currently at Ithaca College. Check back later for more information. To read past stories about these issues, visit our website page “Turmoil at Ithaca College.”

Live photos and videos are being posted at The Ithaca Voice Instagram. 

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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.