Recent concerns regarding the actions of a Geneseo professor instigated students to band together, calling for further investigation. While information is still being gathered, the issue allegedly occurred on Oct. 18 and revolved around a professor handling an LGBTQ+ issue in a way that many students found insensitive. Students—both in and out of the classroom—saw something on the Geneseo campus they didn’t agree with and took it upon themselves to seek positive change.
Immediately following the class, a photo of the occurrence went viral. Geneseo students took to social media platforms in order to advocate for support for the LGBTQ+ campus community. Posts were not simply filled with unproductive anger and disdain, but instead, implored individuals to take action by voicing concern for students’ safety and emphasized the need for a safe learning environment. Students used social media to circulate names and emails of members of the administration who could be contacted regarding the issue.
In response to the student outcry, President Denise Battles sent an all-students and all-faculty email the same day of the incident explaining, “A professor is reported to have presented materials and made comments about which some students have expressed concern. We are taking the matter very seriously and are gathering the facts to determine if and what action is warranted.”
Battles and Geneseo as an institution having acknowledged students’ requests, which is what the social campaign sought to accomplish. Additionally, multiple popular news outlets such as The Washington Post, Teen Vogue, Buzzfeed and the Democrat and Chronicle all published articles about the issue. This is no small feat—especially as a small, liberal arts college—and speaks volumes about how far our student body is willing to go to fight for what we believe in.
Social media has proven an unbelievable asset and an effective platform for our campus, however, it cannot stop there. As students, it is necessary to recognize that our voices have been heard, but also that we must continue to be educated on the rules and systems set in place by the college to handle this type of issue. It is imperative to keep taking action and working with the administration to reach the best solution possible.