To the Editor:
On Friday, The Sun ran an article detailing the platform of Student Assembly executive vice president and presidential candidate Varun Devatha ’19, one of the points of which was an intent to provide students with “access to streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu.” Putting aside the ridiculous cost to students that implementing such a plan would entail and the redundancy of using allocated money to purchase thousands of subscriptions that students likely already have, I would like to ask Mr. Devatha a simple question: have you heard of Kanopy Streaming? It’s an online streaming service providing media ranging from entertainment to educational content and classic movies. Boasting an ever-expanding library as deep and rich as the streaming giants, Kanopy is available to students completely free through Cornell’s library website — all you have to do is sign in with your NetID! Why should Cornell students pay for a corporate streaming service when they already have access to a great one through the school?
As things currently stand, the student assembly has a very poor track record regarding awareness of services the school offers to students, particularly those offered through the library. Consider a $1.75/student allocation made last semester to purchase Wall Street Journal subscriptions for every student on campus. A great idea, if you disregard the fact that every student on campus could already access up-to-date archives of The WSJ, The New York Times, and others through a service provided through the library called Factiva. How did I learn this? I googled “Wall Street Journal Cornell.” To be sure, many students are unaware of and don’t know how to access the services our library provides, but I would consider it the duty of our undergraduate representatives to be aware of these services we all can access through the school, and to raise awareness among the student body before casting a vote. The ignorance of our representatives may be genuine, but it is malicious if its consequence is that limited allocations and our own money is being gifted to corporate interests for redundant resources.
Nathan Chazan ’19
Correction: A previous version of this article stated that the cost per student of Wall Street Journal subscriptions through the Collegiate Readership Program was $2.50. According to the resolution passed by the Student Assembly, the cost was $1.75 per student.