ICCI shuts out public from activist’s presentation

| 04/09/2013

(CNS): The International College of the Cayman Islands (ICCI) has issued a statement in connection with a presentation due to be given by local activist Sandra Catron Wednesday evening on sex offenders. In what appears to be a breakdown of communication, the college has denied that the presentation that Catron has been invited to give is open to the public. As a result, the college president has said that only students and faculty are being invited, barring both the media and the wider public, despite the widespread debate in the community at present about the issue.

ICCI President Dr Tasha Ebanks Garcia said that Catron was invited by one of the college’s instructors to address his class and engage them in a discussion related to child sexual abuse in the Cayman Islands but no public session was co-ordinated.

"The views or opinions expressed by Sandra Catron are solely her own and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of ICCI. This forum is for the purpose of engaging in an educational dialogue among the students and faculty of ICCI and is not open to the public," Garcia said, confirming that the media was also barred from the event.

However, Catron claimed that after the instructor had asked her to deliver the presentation she had asked if non-students could attend before she invited others, and he had said yes, as long as he was made aware so that he could make sure there was sufficient space.

The flyer, which was created by the lecturer in question, was then circulated inside and outside the college, but the ICCI head said the flyer should not have circulated in the public domain.

“Neither the general public nor the media is invited as Ms Catron's visit is not a public forum; it is a discussion that will take place within the context of a course that students have enrolled in for the summer quarter,” Garcia confirmed.

In an email regarding the issue, the college president said that safety as well as the “controversial nature of the topic” was an issue for the ICCI. She said an invitation to the general public could attract people who are not intent in engaging in healthy and constructive dialogue.

“One of our primary responsibilities is to ensure that our students and staff study and work in a safe environment,” Garcia stated.

“The challenge with not vetting individuals that are invited but rather extending the invitation to the public as a whole is that we could potentially put our students and staff at risk,” she added, as she asked for the invitations to stop.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I was invited by her and I'm very glad I attended. It was extremely informative. Thank you Ms. Sandra!


  2. Anonymous says:

    Did ICCI create the flyers?
    If a presentation was to be extended to the public, wouldn’t the managment at the ICCI need to grant permission to the presenter?

    It is not usual for the public to have direct access to a presentation within an educational organization unless cleared by the management.

    Because the presentation is in regards to an issue that is popular within the public does not mean that the press is allowed to attend a closed presentation between students and faculty.

    Unless the local “activist” can provide an email or some document to say that she was cleared for an open session with the public then the action by the ICCI in my opinion is correct.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Seems ICCI is again mistating themselves, the Caymanian Compass was there. I truly believe they are the ones backtracking.  They need to keep the story straight.


  4. Anonymous says:

    A minor misunderstanding but honestly if I were ICCI President I would have just left it at that instead of making a big statement and making a big deal of it. Mostly students will be there anyway and the flyer invite did say to RSVP.

    • Anonymous says:

      I disagree.  It was important that the institution was not seen as endorsing the views of the lunatic fringe.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank goodness she has taken the initiative. Darn well suing anyone trying to put her down. Atta girl, keep em coming! Lead 5he way!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Seems Catron once again getting ahead of herself.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nothinh to stop her not going…she can get a hall somewhere and invite who the hell she likes rather than be dictated too..

  6. Anonymous says:

    LOL Flyers…  I'm sure he thought she meant that a few of her friends would come along…

    Would be interesting to see what the turn out would have been. I'm sure standing room only and ICCI couldn't accomodate so that is understandable.

    And now blown way out of proportion.

    ICCI is sure making the news lately. Shhhhhh…. Can't keep things quiet forever.