Yet Cornell waited until the last minute before issuing a shutdown, at the risk of the safety of its students, faculty and staff. While some professors used their discretion to cancel morning classes, the university administration deferred their decision until late morning despite adverse weather conditions that had not only been forecasted, but were distinctly visible.
From its beginning, Cornell University has been bold and unorthodox in many ways. It was one of the first few universities to become coeducational in 1870, nearly 100 years before its peers in the Ivy League. University cofounder Ezra Cornell was a pioneer in the telegraph business, devising the idea of connecting telegraph lines with glass-insulated poles. The “any person, any study” mantra that still forms the backbone of the institution today was revolutionary for the time. Due to its origin and development, Cornell inevitably became progressive and pragmatic.
As an international student, President Donald J. Trump’s recent executive order to bar citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States is terrifying. While I am not from one of the seven countries, I wonder if my nonimmigrant F-1 student status will later be revoked as immigration orders tighten. I am fearful for my friends from the named countries who face discrimination simply because of their nationality. I am discomforted by the fact that the so-called land of the free, where I chose to pursue my education, could possibly not be so free to certain people. However, I still believe that hasty judgments should be saved for a later time.
It has been many months since the end of Ramadan, the holy month of Islam. Here in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, expats who compose almost 90 percent of the population are left in despair as they face 120 degrees Fahrenheit heat, restaurants closed until 7 p.m. and roads filled with hasty drivers. During this month in which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset in accordance with one of the five pillars of Islam, misunderstandings between Muslims and non-Muslims widen. Some Muslims get annoyed at some non-Muslims who disrespect their fasting by eating in front of them. Other non-Muslims are displeased by the fact that they are not to eat in public during Ramadan.