JAMESTOWN – SUNY JCC’s President says alternative options for students protesting former State Senator Catharine Young’s keynote address during Friday’s virtual commencement ceremony have been made.
The compromise from President Dr. Daniel Demarte came following calls for protests from some members of the LGBTQ+ community at SUNY JCC this week.
Demarte says now after meeting with the college’s newly formed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force adjustments have been made to the viewing experience.
“The conversations we are having are important in helping us learn and grow together, and they confirm the importance of our work in making DEI a priority for this college community,” said Demarte in a statement. “We look forward to honoring each and every graduate that has persevered through a period not seen in our lifetime.”
Doctor Greg Rabb says he is organizing a protest slated for 6 p.m. Friday evening at the flagpole located by the campus pond around the time that the ceremony is scheduled to take place.
Rabb, an openly gay faculty member, says that the decision to host Young is something that he is “vehemently against,” adding that Young has voted against the rights of the LGBTQ+ community on “at least two occasions.”
The college says because input about hosting Young was not unanimous, and in the spirit of supporting the free exchange of ideas, the remarks will be proceeding as planned.