Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | A Protestant weighs in on protest

To the editor:

As a Lutheran pastor, I have protest in my blood. After all, Lutherans were the first “Protestants,” protesting articles of faith which we believed were wrong. In fact, the entire Protestant Reformation began with a public call for a debate when 95 Theses were nailed to a Wittenberg church door by an Augustinian monk who also served as a Roman Catholic priest and a professor at the fairly new college at Wittenberg. I was surprised to hear that a similar set of circumstances — a call for debate, eventually leading to protest — was fermenting at the Cornell campus. An abortion debate to be held this week at Goldwin Smith Hall, (jointly sponsored by organizations representing both sides of the issue), is being protested by the Cornell affiliates of Planned Parenthood.

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAYS | What the Fuck is a Hookup?

It’s Sunday morning at 11 a.m. and I roll over, hand slapping my phone to turn off an alarm that is blasting through the room and ringing in my ear, like God himself has placed a marching band on my nightstand and they are determined to play until my brain gives out. I need coffee and to figure out how to get the 190 lb man spread-eagle across the bed next to me home so I can actually finish the problem set I said I’d do on Thursday. A text sits unread at the top of my lock screen as I finally figure out how to shut the alarm off. “Did you have a good night and did you hook up with him?”

I start to write out a text explaining that I didn’t hook up with him as we had only made out and talked until 2 a.m., and then passed out unceremoniously on top of the blankets of my bed. Then I realized maybe that was a hookup.

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAYS | All of the Benefits, None of the Risks

To many, millennial “hook-up culture” is a disease infecting college campuses across the county. If that’s true, then Cornell has a fatal case. Over the years, I’ve heard many people try to explain the particularly strong grip casual sex has on the average Cornellian’s relationships. “We’re just so focused on school we can’t possibly put in the time necessary for a healthy relationship.” “Everyone was a nerd in high school, so now that people actually want to sleep with them, they have to do it.” “Sex is the strongest nonprescription stress-reliever.” The root of the culture is likely a combination of the three, as Cornell students are some of the most driven, thirsty and stressed-out people in the U.S.

No matter the causes of this trend, what’s really important is how it affects the typical social resident on the hill. Do we benefit from this system of apathetic hook-ups?

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RUBASHKIN | Of Blessed Memory

In the turmoil following Donald Trump’s inauguration and his subsequent Muslim ban, I turned to my grandfather’s story for solace and for guidance. Grandpa Ben had survived  Soviet Russia, two years in a German refugee camp, the Great Depression and the Korean War, and built a prosperous life for himself and his family here in New York. He had made it to America, and then he had made it in America. During that dark January, when uncertainty hung heavy over all of us, when nobody was sure just how things would turn out, I looked to my grandpa. I looked at his life, and I knew that everything would be okay, so long as we did the right thing.

liu 11-14

TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | Activism, Burnout and Scented Stickers

My favorite part about 10th grade math was the sticker I would get when Ms. Ho would walk around the room and check homework. My favorite ones were the smiley scented stickers (specifically watermelon) that she would place on my homework with a smile. The gesture was small, but it felt like a commendation, a validation of my work, and it made me feel recognized. This semester has been challenging and trying. From a national political climate that attacks our identities, to incidents on campus that have lessened the sense of belonging that many Cornellians feel, this has not been an easy semester.

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KANKANHALLI | The ‘I’ in ‘Team’

Recently, I’ve been grappling with my group identity. My courses this semester have placed an emphasis on collaborative group projects, and as such, I’ve been viewing myself through the lens of my teammates, as a part of a whole, rather than as a completely individual entity. In academic settings, the concept of group work is interesting in that it anchors a set of strangers, without much consistency in background or passion, to a common goal – likely a desirable grade. Usually, then, after teams are selected, the professor gradually decreases the level of imposed structure, and the madness begins. Four of my six classes have currently assigned ongoing group projects: one of my teams is designing a website, one of them is building an application, one of them is filming a video and the last is dedicated to studying the role of technology in group work.

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LEE | Why is Cornell So Bland?

Two weeks ago, my friend who attends Princeton visited Cornell to see me and another friend. It was during the middle of a busy week of prelims and quizzes, so I didn’t expect to be able to show her much. I mean what is there really to show around campus and in Ithaca other than natural scenery, the A.D. White Library and perhaps the Commons? What’s worse, the weather was forecasted to rain all week as per usual, and we were supposed to get our first semi-winter weather at around 40 degrees. As rain poured down heavier than I had seen in weeks, I thought to myself, “Why oh why did I invite her all the way here to take a two-hour train ride and a five-hour bus ride, only to see pretty much nothing in bad weather?”  Even my friends were surprised at the fact that someone would come all the way to Cornell just to see their friend.

lte 11-13

Letter to the Editor: The importance of keeping the labor in Industrial and Labor Relations

To the Editor:

We are writing this letter to express our collective concern in anticipation of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations’ upcoming curriculum changes, guided by the particular calls for de-emphasizing labor at the ILR town hall and by careful reflection on our own experiences in ILR. This concern is situated within the broader of context of the pre-professionalization and corporatization of the university, which equips students with the tools to go far within existing structures, but not to question the legitimacy and efficacy of the very structures they benefit from. What is necessary to challenge these structures is the space to hone critical thinking, reading and writing skills, often overlooked in favor of more explicitly “marketable” focuses. Sacrificing labor studies and programs not only destroys Irving Ives’ essential vision that the ILR School was founded upon, but also does an extreme disservice to every single student in the School. The need to focus on labor is more important now than ever.

moradi 11-14

MORADI | The Winter of Our Discontent

I tend to take the opinion that banality is beautiful. Where columnist Kelly Song ’20 rejects the stability of suburbia, I often revel in it. I love my suburban home, my little white neighbors with their little white dogs, the purple minivan that I drove semi-embarrassedly during high school, cutting up oranges for soccer games, the whole schtick. Life isn’t as full of ups and downs as sappy aphorisms would have you believe; it’s mostly steady lines. As I’ve written about before in some form or another, delighting in mundanity is wonderful.

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BENITEZ | Our Alienating Alma Mater

Early this semester, I stumbled past Noyes with a friend late one weekend to discover a jubilant group of guys sitting on a ledge. Their random shouts echoed over the slope, and, as cliched an expression it is, their relaxed demeanors and comfortable adventurousness truly did betray not a care in the world. I remember my friend and I struck up a conversation, over which we learned that these guys were just-arrived sophomore transfers. Right before departing, I turned back to one of them and said, considering what we had just discussed: “I remember what it felt like to be new here. Best of luck, man.”

Since last January, when I filed an application to transfer out of Cornell, I’ve spent much time ruminating on what makes Cornell unique, for the better or worse.