HAIRCUT A buzz above the rest March 21, 2012
IC Broken Promise : AL_NA The continued struggle for an Asian American Studies Program
By Alyssa Figueroa
tep into any U.S. his“Asian American studtory classroom or ies is like American studies open any U.S. history just from a different expetextbook and the chances rience,” Bidon said. “I really of an Asian American figure don’t know anything about being the topic of discusAsian American history, sion are rather slim. This which I feel guilty about, and is why one Ithaca College I would like to know more student organization conabout it.” tinues to fight for an Asian Reyes said Asian AmeriAmerican Studies Program, cans are often oversimpliemphasizing that Asian fied as a culture. American history is Ameri“Due to the media and can history. This organizadue to not having Asian tion, called the Committee Americans represented in for Inclusive Education, our curriculum, it’s perpetuhosted a Power Shuffle ated that we’re all this hoevent on Mar. 1 to contin- Committee for Inclusive Education organizer Kristiana Reyes asks mogeneous group,” Reyes ue having the discussion on students questions concerning their identity at the Power Shuffle said. “That could really be identities and how they are event Mar. 1. Photo by Alyssa Figueroa. challenged through educaincluded in education. tion.” During the Power Shuffle, the approximately talk about in terms of identity and to show we all In 1999, Ithaca College’s Center for the Study 40 student attendees stood around in a circle in have privilege, and we have to use that to rewrite of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity was created to deClark Lounge as the Committee members asked the narratives we tell.” velop an African, Latino, Asian, and Native Amerithem questions, such as “Do you see your racial can or ALANA-based curriculum. Asma Barlas, The Power Shuffle event was another step identity represented in your history books? If so, in the Committee’s yearlong push for an Asian CSCRE program director, said that in order to American Studies Program, which would take step into the circle.” develop new programs, the college has to have Tim Bidon was one of several white students form as an Asian American Studies minor. In enough faculty on campus offering courses that to step into the circle after this question was Spring 2011, Reyes said that after being immersed can become part of that program. In 2006, the asked. Bidon said it was important to be remind- in the student organization IC Asian American AlAfrican Diaspora and Latino Studies minors were ed how much privilege white people continue to liance, the fact that there was no Asian American created. Barlas said now that there are enough Studies Program on campus “didn’t sit right.” have. professors offering courses concerning Asian Reyes, along with students Kristy Zhen and “Diversity, especially at a college like this, Americans at the college, a program is ready to Kaitlin Hibbs, founded the Committee and kicked doesn’t get talked about very much — it’s sort of off advocating for the minor by hosting Derek be implemented. just like the elephant in the room,” Bidon said. “A Chang, a professor from Cornell University’s Last month, Barlas submitted a proposal for an lot of people at the college come from virtually Asian American Studies Program. This past Fall, Asian American Studies Program to the Provost’s the same background, so I sort of went to Power the three screened a documentary they made office. The proposal also requests one full-time Shuffle to talk about and explore the diversity titled “Missing in History,” which discussed the faculty hire to teach only courses in the program. that does exist on campus.” Barlas said this faculty member would be needed struggle to get a program. The Committee also Kristiana Reyes, one of the founders of the hosted an identity panel, where students of to create the program, and she hopes the Provost Committee for Inclusive Education, said the various racial and gender identities discussed approves of both the minor and faculty position event accomplished its aim of sparking conversa- their experiences in the educational realm. so CSCRE can start the hiring process this Fall. tion concerning identity representation in educa- The Committee also gathered more than 400 Barlas said the college should finish its curricustudent signatures in support of a program. tion. lum dedicated to diversity. Reyes said, “The goal was to bring a really diverse Bidon said he would take an Asian Ameri“Either this college shouldn’t have something group of people across all areas of the identity speccan Studies class if a program were created. called ALANA or if it does, and we’re an educatrum together to talk about these things we never (Continued in center)
Looking Back on Local Racism:
Ithaca memorial celebration continues fight for justice
n November 2011, the unofficial renaming of Dewitt Park to “Shawn Greenwood Park” by members of the Occupy Ithaca movement inspired the formation of the Shawn Greenwood Working Group, through which addressing issues of racism in Ithaca has become a part of localizing the national movement. The park and the group were named in honor of the late Shawn Greenwood, an African Ameri-
ficer was never in front of Greenwood’s van. This testimony was left out of the SDA’s report. On Feb. 26 of this year, the Shawn Greenwood Working Group hosted a Black History Month expo titled “Strengthening Community Through the Loss of Shawn Greenwood” in collaboration with the Southside Community Center, an event that drew about 60 members of the local community.
Ithaca community members pick up free, alternative media at an event held in memory of Shawn Greenwood. Photo by Gena Mangiaratti. can resident of Ithaca who, at the age of 29, wasfatally shot by an Ithaca Police Department officer during a narcotics investigation on Feb. 23, 2010. This incident has divided the community over larger questions of police brutality and racial profiling. In an attempt to issue a search warrant, police officers from various New York police departments had surrounded Greenwood’s van in the parking lot of Pete’s Wine & Liquor store. According to the public statement of Special District Attorney (SDA) Weeden A. Wetmore, the officers broke out the front driver and passenger windows before asking Greenwood to show his hands. The statement reports that in an attempt to flee, Greenwood struck a Dryden police officer with his vehicle, causing Ithaca Police Sergeant Bryan Bangs to fire shots at Greenwood’s chest out of fear for his and the Dryden officer’s safety. Following the SDA investigation, Bangs was exonerated of any wrongdoing in the incident. The Truth and Reconciliation Committee of Healing Ithaca, a group of community members who began meeting after Bangs’ exoneration, has since called for a federal investigation into the death of Greenwood. The committee is questioning the testimony that the Dryden police officer had been in front of and knocked down by Greenwood’s van, on which the justification of Bangs’ use of lethal force is based. According to the written request to the Department of Justice, the committee had conducted its own inquiries regarding the incident and found that there was a witness who testified that the of-
Working group member Clare Grady, who also serves on the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, addressed the crowd at the event and collected signatures on the request for the federal investigation. “If we want to, we can use this as a tool to say no to the double standard that allows Shawn Greenwood to be killed and life go on as normal, and then subsequent youth of color be killed,” Grady said to the crowd. Through other events, such as educational workshops, the working group is aiming to raise awareness and inspire conversation on how racism can function on a local level. Working group member Nydia Blas had been friends with Greenwood and connects his death with her engagement in activism. Before Occupy Ithaca began, Blas participated in Occupy Wall Street, where she was struck by conversations regarding race and by a meeting she attended with a “People of Color” working group. She made it a goal to then bring the conversation of race back to Ithaca. “Race is obviously a big issue in our country period, but I think especially in terms of the Occupy movement … race has to be a really integral part of that conversation,” Blas said. “If you’re talking about new laws that uplift people, the hope would be that you would start at the bottom and pick people up where they’re the most attacked by our system. So that would be poor people and people of color.”
By Gena Mangiaratti Blas, a 2011 graduate of Ithaca College, invited Paula Ioanide, IC assistant professor in the Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity, who she had taken several classes with, to lead workshops put on by the working group. So far, the working group has held three workshops. One workshop, for example, focused on race and wealth accumulation, particularly in regard to Ithaca’s neighborhoods and housing. The workshop was followed by “walking tours,” where participants walked through local neighborhoods to observe systemic inequalities that stem from there being historically higher property values in predominately white neighborhoods. Currently, the working group meetings remain closed. Blas and Ioanide both attribute this decision to allowing for efficient organization among individuals who already have an understanding of the issues at hand. Ioanide said the group is currently working on explaining racism in a structural context to community members. “How do you get people to see the problems that other people don’t see? White people in Ithaca and white liberals in Ithaca tend to not see these as structural problems. They tend to have a view that racism is a few bad apples, a few bigots who say bad things,” Ioanide said. “So they don’t necessarily have an analysis of the way that it works structurally or systemically, and it’s in these conversations that they gain the language and the ability to see what the problems are.” Blas said her hope right now is that people continue to attend the workshops and events put on by the group. “It’s really nice to see the same faces and same people,” she said. “I think it means that they’re invested in the conversations that are taking place.” ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Gena Mangiaratti is a junior journalism major who has a dream that one day in Ithaca … Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of the editorial staff or of Ithaca College. Feedback and contributions should be sent to email@example.com. Special thanks to the Park School of Communication for funding this publication.
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ater this year, in some sealed off meeting away from the student body, Ithaca College will appoint a new student trustee. The position places a single student on the College’s Board of Trustee’s for two years, granting them full voting rights on issues that profoundly affect the school’s population. They’ll sit on committees of IC’s largest benefactors with a chance to give voice to student concerns. In short, the student trustee could be a force, someone who presses those in charge of our school and asserts influence at the highest levels of the administration. Instead, the current selection process all but ensures the position is a farce, a decoration that creates the illusion of student participation while keeping power away from those whose tuition funds the school. The position falls short of its promise because the board itself ultimately selects the lone student representative, creating a situation in which there’s little chance for dissent. The SGA Constitution only vaguely designates the selection process, leaving it entirely up to the Board of Trustees. The Board appears to have taken full advantage of this power. Those interested in becoming a trustee need to apply to the current trustee, junior Elizabeth Stoltz who, along with Michele Lenhart, direc-
A commentary on the student trustee appointment process leaves little room for dissent
tor of student leadership and involvement for OSEMA, assembled a team of students that will review the applications. This committee will interview those interested before passing on three nominations to the Board. Ultimately, the Board will conduct their own interviews before settling on their choice. There’s no way of knowing exactly what criteria students have to meet in order to satisfy the Board members and join their ranks. The Intercom message inviting students to apply loosely defines the standards as people “who are engaged and invested in the success of Ithaca College, are of sound character and display a natural tact for working with others.” However, one has to wonder what constitutes “investment in the success of Ithaca College.” Would the Board of Trustees ever appoint a student who vocally dissents college policy? Like someone who campaigns to pay a living wage to all campus workers, a move which costs the school money? What about a student who advocates for an Asian American Studies program? Or even a person who questions the necessity of raising tuition to more than $50,000 per year? It’s unlikely at best, because such a person would be a thorn in the side of the administration at Board meetings, complicating proceedings with student concerns.They don’t want that; they just want the appearance of it. If the position is to hold any meaning at all, Ithaca College needs to open the student trustee post to democratic elections. Students could either vote directly for the trustee or even vote for the committee members who conduct interviews with the candidates. Students would turn out for these elections because the position could truly matter; if they have a stake in the process, they’ll be willing to participate. The trustee should be a permanent member of the budget committee, so
Public Safety Trivia Log
guess whether the selected incident is real or fabricated
LARCENY LOCATION: Emerson Hall SUMMARY: Caller reported an unknown person stole a sweatshirt. Investigation pending.
CONDUCT CODE VIOLATION LOCATION: Terraces SUMMARY: Officer reported a student slept through and failed to leave the building during an active fire alarm. Student judicially referred.
CONDUCT CODE VIOLATION LOCATION: Lower Quad SUMMARY: Officer checked the welfare of a person lying on the ground. The individual stated that they may have consumed an illegal drug and then declined medical assistance.
Visit buzzsawmag.org to find out the answers.
By Sam McCann that those who pay tuition have a direct say in the school’s cost. And, of course, there should be more than one student representative on a 32-member board. Other schools hold an election for the position. Even Cornell, with a larger, more unwieldy student population, has a democratically elected student trustee. Why don’t we? If the administration isn’t ready to implement some sort of vote, then it should drop the pretense of having interest in student concerns altogether. It shouldn’t bother asking Stoltz and other students to interview applicants before they talk to the Board because a committee assembled at the discretion of the Board, not by democratically elected student representatives, interviews the candidates. In fact, the Board shouldn’t have a student trustee at all if the current selection process is maintained because if the single student voice on a 32-member committee is selected by the existing members, the position becomes nothing more than a rubber-stamp slapped on the Board’s decisions. It looks like student participation, but only if you ignore the mechanism behind it. ___________________________________ Sam McCann is a senior journalism major and member of the Labor Initiative Promoting Solidarity who’s “invested in the success of Ithaca College.” If you’d like to talk more about transparency in student trustee appointments, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or come to LIPS meetings on Tuesdays at 7 P.M. in Williams 218.
Power Shuffle (Continued from cover) tional institution claiming to deliver an ALANAfocused curriculum, then we need to be able to deliver a curriculum that’s complete,” she said. Meanwhile, the college is in the midst of promoting its IC 20/20 plan, which would require students to take one diversity-focused class prior to graduation. The plan is also publicizing an Ithaca Center in China, though an Asian American Studies Program is not mentioned. Reyes said the college’s claim to value diversity seems insincere. She said, “There’s all these kinds of diversity promotions, like ALANA, and they say, ‘We’re so diverse. We represent all these different identities.’ But they don’t actually recognize us in our curriculum, so I think there is a huge hypocrisy in that.” Barlas said, “When it suits the institution it draws out the diversity card, but when it comes to actually putting resources into developing those programs then of course we have to compete with tons of other things. So I hope the college approves of the program and demonstrates its commitment to diversity.” ________________________________________________________________
Alyssa Figueroa is a senior journalism and politics major who wants to see ALANA completed. Email her at email@example.com.
Occupying AIPAC: One IC student’s journey to call for a free Palestine
By Chris Zivalich convention center could not have missed our loud statements and enthusiastic participants. Unfortunately, many people continue to think that protesting the deplorable reality of U.S.Israeli military relations is “anti-Semitic.” In reality, resisting war crimes and racist institutions is not the same thing as systematically discriminating against a group of people because of their faith and community.We even had a number of very active Jewish participants present, including leaders of Jewish Voices for Peace. In fact, one young Jewish college student in- A protester holds a Palestinian flag as he lays under a filtrated the conference and “settlement.” Photos courtesy of Sara Fitouri. stood up in the middle of an AIPAC meeting, declaring Israeli settlements an obstacle to peace and yelling racism. It’s time we start demanding a more peacethat she “will not be silent.” She was inspiring, and ful, internationally legal, ethically sound, financially encourage me to think about why I was there and viable approach to a conflict in which we have historically and dramatically left our mark. what was important about occupying AIPAC. This is just step one of the process. Israel and I am a U.S. citizen who pays tax dollars, which means I partially fund the Israeli occupation of Pal- the U.S. continue to employ questionable military estine.The United States continues to write Israel and diplomatic tactics, and they must be held acblank checks for war, violations of international countable for their actions. I hope you join me in law and “security” in its “right” to “self-defense.” learning other ways to occupy AIPAC and unocPalestine. This nonsensical militarized discourse stunts criti- cupy _______________________________ cal thinking and convinces the majority of AmeriChris Zivalich is a senior journalism major who won’t cans that Israel is unequivocally morally correct in pay another dime for Israeli crimes. Email him at its decisions to withhold basic rights for Palestinczivali1@ithaca.edu. ians. I am standing up with my fellow Americans who are disgusted with this excuse for foreign policy and direct contribution to institutionalized
IC Feminists Honor Women's History Month
or one month during the year, everyone celebrates the unquestionably better gender. Originally, women only had the week of Mar. 7 dedicated to the promotion of their history. But in 1987, March was designated Women’s History Month by Congress. This month, IC Feminists is trying to spread the word about Women’s History Month, and their organization, through various events. “Our goal is to raise awareness about what feminism is and issues relating to feminism, like political, sexual rights and social justice,” said Lucia Brown, co-president of IC Feminists. “There’s a large spectrum of feminism, but
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he American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, is one of the largest and richest lobbyist groups in the nation. As a result, it is arguably one of the loudest voices when it comes to crafting foreign policy in the Middle East. According to Mother Jones, an independent magazine, the group contributed $22 million in the 2008 election to candidates, and the organization itself boasts that the only event capable of attracting more members of Congress than an AIPAC conference is the State of the Union. To hold AIPAC accountable for its detrimental contributions to the international community and more specifically, the Palestinians who suffer as a result, my friend Sara and I went to Washington, D.C., the weekend of Mar. 2 to the Occupy AIPAC event. Occupy AIPAC was hosted by Code Pink, a women-initiated, anti-war group founded in 2002. Our protest was an energizing, exciting day during which we yelled through megaphones, shouted chants, booed President Obama after he gave a profoundly pro-Israeli military speech and sang songs about peace. Many of our chants were quite explicit with their meaning and included lines like “Same lies/Same plan/No to war on Iran” and “Free, free Palestine/Occupation is a crime.” We emphasized a few key points that we wanted attendees, speakers and supporters of AIPAC 2012 to fully digest. This included that waging war on Iran is not a peaceful, thoughtful solution to diplomatic tensions over the development of nuclear energy.We also stressed that pumping funds into a single organization that controls most of Congress like a puppet thwarts the organic fluidity of democracy and paints a false portrait of what people from the United States want in foreign policy. The last main point we raised was that maintaining an apartheid system over Palestine — one that segregates, legally and culturally (and even illegally, too), Palestinians from those privileged with Israeli citizenship — is a discriminatory practice that encourages violent resistance, perpetuates poverty and de-humanizes an entire population of people. During our weekend spent in D.C., we successfully occupied AIPAC. People lining up outside the
By Kaley Belval
basically feminism is about respecting everyone and allowing everyone to have equal rights.”
IC Feminists’ upcoming events: Natural Beauty Campaign, Cayuga Lake Room, Campus Center, Mar. 23, 10 A.M. to 3 P.M. This campaign is focused on promoting health by showing both women and men healthier alternatives to their food, makeup and sexual choices. They will have tables in the room set up with samples, as well as information on which products are especially dangerous to people’s health. Open Mic Night, The Pub, Campus Center, Mar. 30, 6 P.M. The open mic night is open to performers of all kinds who want to express their feelings and thoughts on issues relating to feminism, equality, gender and reproductive rights.