Mar

4

No Sanctions For IRC

Written by

Cristina Stevenson of Student Affairs, confirmed in an e-mail to Bwog this afternoon that the IRC will be allowed to continue as it currently functions.

The IRC was reviewed independently and considered in the same manner as the fraternities. Since inhabitants apply annually through the university, a distinction was made between an individual’s infraction and the activities of the organization as a whole. Considering the past three years of the organization’s history, as was done for the fraternities, it was found “that the IRC’s contributions to the Columbia community over the past several years have been overwhelmingly positive.”

The IRC’s mission as stated on the Student Affairs website is as follows:

The Intercultural Resource Center is devoted to promoting a just society and exploring issues of interculturalism and diversity within and beyond the Columbia University community. The IRC provides a forum for education and social exchange that encourages self-discovery and a greater awareness and appreciation of cultural history within and between communities on campus. We endeavor to empower students, faculty and staff with the tools to be able to successfully navigate their environments and thus be able to positively impact the community at large.

The internal review concluded that the activities of the IRC have been consistent with this mission, and thus the institution should not be penalized.

Update: An IRC spokesperson released this statement to Spec. The IRC states that it will continue to offer “a space for students from marginalized communities to feel safe, valued, and empowered on this campus. The loss of such a space would have been a detriment to Columbia.”

As a community dedicated to the promotion of social justice, intercultural exchange, and community empowerment, we feel fortunate to maintain the space that enables us to execute our programming and our mission. Since 1989, the Intercultural Resource Center has provided a forum for education and social exchange that encourages self-discovery and a greater awareness and appreciation of cultural history within and between communities on campus. From what we understand, it is our active commitment to this mission, as well as the high academic achievement and limited disciplinary infractions of our residents that has prompted Student Affairs to allow the IRC to remain open.

Following the December arrests of five Columbia students, the administration embarked on a review process to evaluate the housing facilities with which the students were affiliated. When reviewing the IRC, Dean Martinez took note of our five programming committees and their continued service to the campus community. On a weekly basis, we coordinate events such as community discussions, performances, art galleries, and service opportunities. The IRC provides a space for students from marginalized communities to feel safe, valued, and empowered on this campus. The loss of such a space would have been a detriment to Columbia.

With this renewed opportunity, we plan to continue our commitment to intercultural dialogue. These events have certainly shaken our community. However, they have allowed us to examine and reevaluate the interpersonal communication within our walls. As we move forward, we plan to do so with this experience in mind.

The Residents of the Intercultural House

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33 Comments

  1. Anonymous  

    Frats owned again!

    LAWL

  2. Anonymous  

    So glad at this outcome- the IRC and the community it fosters plays a significant and integral role to many students' experiences at CU (and mine as an alum), and I'm glad to hear this bump in the road won't stop that from continuing. I would not have loved Columbia as much had there not been an IRC.

  3. It makes sense  

    They have in-house staff (not other students but actual offices), a bunch of RAs, weekly meetings, and their ties and "supervision" is much more strict than that of the frats who enjoy the luxury of self-government.

    Great leeway, greater responsibility when your members fuck up.

  4. Anonymous  

    So glad at this outcome- AEPi, Pike and Psi U and the community it fosters plays a significant and integral role to many students’ experiences at CU (and mine as an alum), and I’m glad to hear this bump in the road won’t stop that from continuing. I would not have loved Columbia as much had there not been an AEPi, Pike and Psi U.

    • De Ja vu  

      They have in-house staff (not other students but actual offices), a bunch of RAs, weekly meetings, and their ties and “supervision” is much more strict than that of the frats who enjoy the luxury of self-government.

      Great leeway, greater responsibility when your members fuck up.

  5. Twitch  

    So then shouldn't the punishment be for the frats to have RA's? Or are the weekly walkthroughs that they currently go through and the scrutiny of the ALPHA system less strict than IRC?

    Also, why is IRC not considered to have known about what was going on behind closed doors but the frats were?

    • Anonymous

      alpha is going to be really strict and force the frats to do more in terms of community service. I still think that the admin is ignoring the social contributions of the fraternities and their effect on student life.

    • great idea  

      Let's give the frats RAs and have apply through an application process facilitated through Columbia every year instead of rushing. The IRC is NOT a frat; it's an LLC for multiculturalism. The idea of shutting it down is crazy, because it's not run by its students. You can't compare the IRC directly to the frats; their structures are just too different.

  6. Hypocrisy

    I definitely called this result... Someone owes me money...

  7. Anonymous

    can someone explain to me more about the irc? what type of people live there? what is the criteria for being chosen to live there?

  8. Unrelated  

    Dear Bwog,
    Holi is during Spring Break this year...when are we celebrating?

  9. i call  

    bullshit.

    While every Greek house does have an RA of sorts (a house manager), I agree that they can't always be impartial or as responsible as they should be (obvious, given the drug busts). But instead of losing their houses, Pike etc should just lose one of the rooms to an actual RA who is outside of the Greek community - whether student or an adult hired from elsewhere in the university. Plenty of Greek houses have an adult supervisor. That and a shit tonne of community service requirements for adding to the stigma of being a Greek on this campus for good measure.

    Sorry, but it's just not okay that the IRC is allowed to keep its house while the others aren't. They messed up too. Be consistent, CU.

  10. Ridiculous  

    I'm not talking about the outcome of this. As someone in one of the implicated fraternities, it's more or less what I expected and I'm just glad that we still have our charter after this disaster and can come back. And I'm not suggesting that the IRC should lose it's house.

    What I do find absurd is that Columbia students are being held to a higher standard of accountability than Columbia employees. The university had no problem assuming that the fraternities should have known, and no problem punishing them on account of that. So what's going to happen to the faculty and RA's that let this happen? Hath an IRC member not eyes, hath they not ears, doth they not use both to notice whenever Chris Coles sells $5,000 worth of marijuana at once?

    They're being held to a lower level of accountability. Whether this is because they have a cynical view of their own employees, that they're too stupid to notice what's in front of them, or because they want to wave the magical "different" wand to let off the group that didn't get plastered all over the news? I can't see how they can be honest about the situation and not fire people.

    One more thing: please don't swallow the line that it's not the drug bust, but a larger problem with the three fraternities that caused them to lose their housing. This is one of those things that's exactly what it looks like, no matter what the official position is.

  11. ban frats on campus!  

    yay! now give the other brownstones to other deserving groups instead of letting the future b-school dropouts and middle managers of America take over 114th

  12. Really  

    Why do people hate on frats so much?

    • Anonymous  

      Oh I can't imagine. Could it be the culture of homophobia? Or perhaps the objectification of women? The rampant idiocy and party culture?

      Of course the frats will cry innocence on all three counts, but anyone who has ever been to a frat party will know that, if you're a girl, you need to keep a close eye on your drink, if you're gay, you best not be too gay or make out with another guy (even as straight couples are basically having sex in corners of the room).

      • Chill

        We go to college. Apart of the college experience is the party culture. If you don't like it or the people in it, don't take part. No one is forcing you to go to these parties. Some people enjoy them and some people don't. Those who don't, usually stay away. But don't think you have any rationale to say that these guys should lose their houses because of a personal gripe.

  13. Psi U Brother  

    As a brother in Psi Upsilon, we have openly gay brothers, to best of my knowledge have never been accused of any sort of date rape, and while I suppose open idiocy is subjective, I'll put my accomplishments and then accomplishments of my brothers against the average Columbia students any day.

    http://www.columbiaspectator.com/2010/11/08/greek-life-pushes-make-groups-more-lgbt-friendly

  14. Twitch  

    As a brother of AEPi,

    Us too.

  15. anon

    Seeing as several of my best friends are openly gay members of the affected frats, they MUST have a culture of homophobia.

  16. Twitch

    The Columbia Sucks song, to the tune of Roar, Lions, Roar:

    Eminent Domain, Mahmoud Ahmadineeeejad,
    Five kids arrested for dealing drugs,
    Fratricidal bureaucrats that really suck.
    Small campus,
    No good bars!
    And then, there's the IN! CEST! SCAN! DAL!
    I sympathize with the Army,
    When they say they think that we're al-Qaeda!"

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