No Sanctions For IRC
Written by Bwog Staff
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