BREAKING: Intercultural Resource Center to receive no sanctions (UPDATED)
According to a spokesperson from Student Affairs, the Intercultural Resource Center will not receive any sanctions following a three-month-long review of the IRC and the three fraternities associated with the December drug bust.
The spokesperson, when asked about the University’s decision with regard to the IRC, said in an email:
The IRC will be permitted to function as it has in the past.
The IRC was reviewed independently and afforded the same considerations as the three fraternities. As we were interested in several years of history rather than one incident, we took a number of factors into account.
Unlike the fraternities, the IRC is not a membership-based organization. Instead, those who wish to reside in the IRC must take part in an annual application process. Therefore, we made a greater distinction between the actions of one individual and the activities of the organization.
Furthermore, our review revealed that the IRC’s contributions to the Columbia community over the past several years have been overwhelmingly positive. Its mission is to promote a just society and explore issues of interculturalism and diversity within and beyond the Columbia University community. Our review found the activities of the IRC over the past several years consistent with this mission.
As for why the IRC’s decision was released separately, the spokesperson answered:
It was merely a matter of timing and our ability to gather these various communities together. We wanted to be sure to inform the fraternity chapters in enough time to give students a chance to enter into the housing lottery for next year, so we did that as soon as a decision was finalized.
UPDATE: The residents of the IRC have issued a statement regarding the University’s decision. They’re appreciative the University noted their positive body of work, say that “the loss of such a space would have been a detriment to Columbia,” and “plan to continue our commitment to intercultural dialogue.” Full statement after the jump.
Full statement from the residents of the IRC:
March 4, 2011
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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