Declan Farley, an IU student who amassed 2.2 million views for a TikTok where he detailed his experience with harassment from other students in his dorm, has decided to leave IU.
On Jan. 14, Farley posted a TikTok video where he detailed his experience with harassment from other students on his floor at Spruce Hall. Farley said students on his floor would bang on his door during the night, dump food and put trash outside his room. He said students even went as far as licking the outside of his door.
Farley said he moved his things out of his dorm on Feb. 28. Farley said he ultimately decided to leave IU for several reasons, and he will continue his education through online school in his hometown in Alaska.
The original TikTok garnered around 474,000 likes and 2.2 million views. The attention focused on his TikTok led to two floor meetings and a protest around Showalter Fountain on Feb. 2, which Farley organized himself.
Farley said he received support from other students on his floor and around campus, as well as support on TikTok. However, he said IU administrators provided little to no support.
As an out of state student, Farley said he felt paying $52,000 a year was not worth it when he wasn’t getting the college experience he expected.
“I don’t feel like paying that much to have a really horrible experience and have administration just not care about me,” Farley said. “I don’t feel like they deserve my time or my money.”
Farley said he was only given one option when he reported the incident to the Division of Student Affairs as a Bias Report, which was to switch dorms. Farley said he was told to wait until more incidents happened to gain evidence before they could take any action. Farley said Dave O’Guinn, the vice provost of student affairs and dean of students, stated he would reach out to Farley eventually, but he never did.
[Related: ‘It's the little things’: The reality of being queer at IU]
In fact, Farley said no one from the administration has reached out to him to try and support him or make any amount of change.
“We are deeply committed to maintaining an inclusive and safe campus for all students,” IU Spokesperson Amanda Roach said in an email. “We cannot speak to specific student matters and our communication with individual students, but we can affirm that we work to respond to any report of bias and harassment with a robust process to address reported incidents and behaviors and to provide support to the impacted student(s).”
Additionally, Farley said the LGBTQ+ Culture Center used his situation to promote their Community Conversation event that was held on Jan. 29th, without his knowledge. The event was an open space for students to talk about their experiences with homophobia, transphobia and discrimination in the IU community, according to the LGBTQ+ Culture Center Instagram post. Farley said it was a miscommunication between organizers who were supposed to reach out to Farley but forgot to.
“I just realized overall, I do not respect IU as a university,” Farley said.
However, Farley said his decision to leave does not mean his fight is over at IU. He said he made the choice that was best for him and his mental health.
“I still want to try and create change at IU even though I don’t attend anymore,” Farley said.