One incident brought up by student activists occurred at the school’s Blue Sky Reimagining event Oct. 8, which asked students to help “formulate ideas about the evolution of Ithaca College.” During the event, two Ithaca alumni carelessly and offensively referred to Tatiana Sy, a panelist and woman of color, as a “savage” after she said she had a “savage hunger” to succeed.
At first glance, that sounds pretty bad, right? Only, here’s that video…
TATIANA TY: That was only because I had like, a savage hunger to make it happen.
ALUMNI: Look, we have a girl here who used the word “savage hunger.” So we have to understand that two people here may be internally driven by a message that says “don’t stop.”
… One, we have to continue as a University to bring in kids with “Savage Hunger.”
I love what “the savage” said…
Yes, you watched and/or read correctly. It was Tatiana Ty who referenced her own “savage hunger” first as an aggrandizing self-praise. The alumni in question was merely referencing back to her own description. In a complimentary way! He even went on to clarify…
“It’s a compliment. I’m really complimenting you. I think she’s an amazing young woman…”
So at the very worst, this is an alumni saying something which, when taken out of context, could be seen as insensitive. This is not an example of racism or systemic discrimination. At all.
But the #BlackOnCampus and #BlackLivesMatter activists not only see this as “wounding” racism (which inevitably will require black-only “healing spaces”), but cause enough for mass protests calling for the president of the school to resign.
A president, who had absolutely nothing to do with the panel by the way. They want him fired, because of a panel that included some alumni who said something that they didn’t like.
Something that wasn’t even racist.