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GOROKH | Putin’s Fears and Grievances

This column was originally published with a different title. It has been changed to better reflect the views expressed in the column. The media has a tendency to depict politicians as villains, and I don’t mind it: it makes for a good show and some people were born for the role. What frustrates me when I watch Western coverage of Russia is how they make Putin into the wrong kind of villain. He often gets portrayed a sociopathic genius seemingly driven by lust for power and chaos.

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HUBSHER | My Body, My Judicial Review Board

Prove my point a little better, I dare you. Before I had even pinned my last column (about the toxic culture that some “men only” clubs promote) to my wall of accomplishments, another fraternity fiasco rocked the campus. In case you missed it, Zeta Beta Tau was found to have held a “pig roast” for their new members, in which brothers were encouraged to sleep with as many women as possible. In the event of a tie, the guy whose conquest weighed more would win. I know this topic has been written about ad nauseum, but I’m not here to talk about how disgusting, or degrading to women, these actions are.

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Re: ‘Cornell Fraternity Responds to University Report of ‘Pig Roast’ Contest, Awarding Points for Sex’

To the Editor:

An article titled “Cornell fraternity on probation after a ‘pig roast’ contest to have sex with overweight women” recently appeared in the Washington Post. It would seem we’ll never, ever learn that the so-called, “Greek”, organizations are not about the culture of ancient Greece, but rather about the sort of tribalism that seems to have infected our country at large lately. I’m a Cornell alumnus, College of Arts and Sciences ’58, and I’m thoroughly ashamed to have this abomination attached to the place I once revered. To be sure I was a GDI, and proud of it. But I’d then thought of frats as more silly than criminal.

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WANG | Learning to Work

It’s not every day your business professor manages to temporarily unscrew your footing in the real world and leave you stumbling. But that’s exactly what happened when one of my professors offhandedly mentioned during one of his lectures a buzzy new concept: the signaling model of education and its application in the job market. The signaling model is based on the relatively radical (or maybe not that radical, if you think about it) idea that human productivity is innate, and that our education does not change or improve that. Instead, our education signals to employers what our abilities are. If we go to a good school, that credential signals to our would-be employer that we did well in secondary school; therefore, we must be productive, intelligent and hard working.

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HAGOPIAN | Don’t Decry the Greek System if you Use it for Your Own Gain

I’ve been critical of the Greek system in the past . I must admit to feeling somewhat vindicated when I heard about the “pig roast” competition, but I don’t want to rail against that in this column. I’d like to perform the unpleasant but oft-necessary task of criticizing people who agree with me. I know a fraternity brother who is thoughtful, intelligent, friendly and well-liked. A thoroughly capital fellow.

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JEONG | The College Protest Tradition in a Postmodernist America

To cater to the massive Asian-American population in the Bay Area, my local movie theater occasionally screens blockbusters that are currently popular in East Asia. As dutiful Korean immigrants, my family fulfils our patriotic obligation by going every time they show a new Korean movie. Over the break, my family went to watch 1987: When the Day Comes, a Korean film about the military dictatorship that interrogated and tortured pro-democracy protesters during the 1980s. It showed scenes of college activists of my parents’ generation being beaten and hauled away by policemen who resembled vigilante gangsters more than federal law enforcement. As the final credits rolled, the audience, comprised mostly of stoic, first-generation Korean parents, sat in their seats silently weeping, bound by a collective reminiscence of mutual struggle only their age cohort could fully appreciate.

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SONG | I Rushed a Sorority as an Undercover Journalist

A previous version of this column incorrectly stated Kelly Song’s year. She is a sophomore, not a junior. 

I am not a sorority girl. I prefer sparkling water over beer and I don’t own a Gucci handbag or shiver in 6 inch heels in the middle of winter. But last week I found myself at rush event, plastering on a sorority girl smile. Why?

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAYS | Check My Points

How many points would I be worth in the Zeta Beta Tau “Pig Roast?” How do you assess the worth of someone that you’ve slept with? How do we evaluate the young women on this campus? Freshman year, I learned that I was worth one full entrance to a party when on my own, and half an entrance when I was accompanied by a man. It should be noted that this currency value was entirely dependent on the supposed quality of the party I was trying to attend — my value declined when I was attempting to gain entrance to the events of those “top” fraternities and sports teams. Also, whether or not I looked hot (and note that my value has been boosted by the fact that I am white). My hotness has been constantly measured, to my face, through comparison between myself and my friends; my value is how I look, how much I weigh, and it has been continuously assessed by men across this campus throughout my undergraduate career.

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAYS | How to Eat Her Out

When I gave my first blowjob, I was really nervous. Sure, I had heard about it from my friends, who assured me there was no way I could fuck it up (unless I literally bit the guy’s dick off — ouch). I read countless Cosmo articles and “How-To” columns to make sure that I would deliver a top-notch, excellent blowjob. Bottom line, I was really prepared for the first time I gave head. Let’s be frank, it really isn’t rocket science, but nevertheless, I felt slight pressure to be great at it.

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Consider Youth Tobacco Risk When Voting For Tobacco-Free Campus Referendum

To the Editor:

As Cornell students debate and vote on the campus-wide referendum to create a tobacco-free campus, they may want to review recent legislation from the Tompkins County Legislature. On May 2, 2017, the Tompkins County Legislature adopted a local law raising the legal age to 21 for tobacco sale and purchase. The County Legislature held hearings on the proposed local law and collected information about the impact of the proposed law. A study which appeared in the 2015 Institute of Medicine included a projection that if the minimum age was raised to 21, then the tobacco use initiation rate would decrease by a little over 15% for people ages 18 to 20. The study also projects that 30 years in the future that by raising the age “would result in approximately 223,000 fewer premature deaths, and 4.2 million fewer years of life lost among those born in the first 20 years of this century.”