The Zeta Beta Tau fraternity house on North Campus. Katie Sims/ Sun Staff Photographer

EDITORIAL | Sexist ZBT ‘Contest’ Shows Need For Action

The behavior attributed to Zeta Beta Tau by the Fraternity and Sorority Review Board on Friday is abhorrent, and the sexist ideas underlying such behavior must be addressed within the University. The “contest” described in the report is an exercise in hazing and sexism, and shows a severe lack of judgement by those involved. Women are not points to be won. Using women and their bodies as a path toward higher social stature is unacceptable. The casual labeling of women as “pigs” is sexist and dehumanizing — and the brothers of ZBT should take a moment to think about how the women they objectified are feeling today.

Sage Hall is home to the SC Johnson Graduate School of Management, one of the three schools that are now part of the SC Johnson College of Business.

EDITORIAL | What is Cornell Hiding About its Business Dean’s Departure?

For two years, all Cornell could talk about was the College of Business. So why is the administration so tight-lipped following the sudden departure of Soumitra Dutta, the college’s dean, on Tuesday? Dutta, who had served as the dean and public face of the controversial SC Johnson College of Business since its launch in 2016, resigned yesterday without explanation. A University spokesman declined to comment because Cornell “does not comment on private personnel matters,” and in an email to colleagues, Joe Lyons ’98, executive director of leadership gifts, communications and donor engagement, said that “no further comment will be coming.”

The college Dutta led is integral to the University’s plan for the 21st century, and Cornell’s lack of transparency is unacceptable. Endowed by the single largest donation to Cornell’s Ithaca campus, housed in the $25-million state-of-the-art Breazzano Family Center, built to catapult the Johnson name into the ranks of Wharton, Sloan, Kellogg and Haas — and yet, not a whisper about why its founding dean has made such an unceremonious exit.


EDITORIAL | Students: Join The Sun

The Sun is beginning its spring recruitment process, and all students, even those without a background in journalism, design or business, should consider joining our paper. The Sun has been an independent, student-led voice reporting on Cornell and Ithaca since 1880. Students at The Sun have the opportunity to produce the entire paper, from pitch to print and everything in between. We report stories that would otherwise go untold. Readers look to us for the information the University won’t or can’t tell them, and it’s all up to our diligent reporters to bring those stories to light, and our columnists to voice the opinions of the student body.

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EDITORIAL | Despite Shortages, Get Vaccinated

In the midst of the most intense flu season since 2009, it remains vitally important that all members of the Cornell community remember to get vaccinated. The failure of both Cornell Health and the Tompkins County Health Department to prepare adequately for this season’s demand is disappointing, but Cornellians and Ithacans alike should not let this inconvenience prevent them seeking out the vaccine where it is still in supply. Universities like Cornell are prime breeding grounds for communicable diseases like flu. The close quarters of dormitories, lectures, dining halls and dance floors bring us into contact with hundreds of people every day, each of them potential flu-carriers. Vaccination is the healthy and the smart choice.

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EDITORIAL | ICE Eschews Accountability


Tuesday’s reported arrest of a man in downtown Ithaca by U.S. Immigrations and Custom Enforcement is the latest example of the federal overreach and lack of accountability characteristic to the Trump administration. Under President Trump, arrests by ICE have increased 47 percent, and arrests of undocumented immigrants with no criminal records have increased a staggering 179 percent. ICE continues to show a blatant disregard for human dignity, arresting parents dropping their kids off at school, students going to high school prom and patients emerging from operating rooms. On Jan. 16, ICE arrested a Michigan doctor and lawful permanent resident, and have initiated deportation proceedings against him based on two misdemeanor charges from nearly three decades ago, when the man was a teenager. How does that make us safer?


EDITORIAL | Back to Work

Last semester Cornell was witness to a potential hate crime in Collegetown, continued overzealous behavior by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a display of rank anti-Semitism and the abrupt end to the once-promising political career of a graduate of Cornell in a precursor to the #MeToo movement.

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EDITORIAL: Vote ‘No’ on New York State Constitutional Convention

This post has been updated. 

This coming Tuesday, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to call for a state constitutional convention. While the idea of revising the state constitution is an attractive one, to do so now would be at best a non-event with costly side-effects, and at worst a dangerous exercise in the rollback of currently-existing protections. As a result, we urge voters to reject a constitutional convention at the ballot box this week. In the event of a convention, almost all delegates would be elected from existing state senate districts (15 would be elected at-large). The state senate map is consistently gerrymandered by the Republicans who have controlled the upper chamber for all but three years since 1938.

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EDITORIAL: To the Trustees

Every fall, members of the Cornell Board of Trustees and the Cornell University Council arrive in Ithaca for a whirlwind weekend of meetings, presentations, speeches and socializing. While we always appreciate the presence of Cornell’s supreme authority on campus, we hope that the trustees and councilmembers seize this brief opportunity to interact as much with the student body as possible, and we hope that the University administration addresses the need to bring trustees in contact with students in unstructured ways. Members of the Board of Trustees have the unenviable task of performing two full-time jobs at once. They are CEOs and managing partners, NBA owners and philanthropists, and for much of the year we understand that Cornell may not be their primary focus. But for these four days, they have the ability to reconnect with their alma mater in a substantive way that too often goes underutilized.


EDITORIAL: Toward a Better Cornell

The past several days have not been easy for many Cornellians, but Wednesday’s peaceful march to and sit-in at Willard Straight Hall show that our community is more than up to the challenge of defeating racism and hate. Both the administration and Black Students United have acted with grace and with gravity in the wake of last week’s Collegetown assault, and as Cornell begins to lumber toward substantive and meaningful change, we hope that the spirit of open dialogue and mutual respect persists. The signs are positive. President Martha E. Pollack’s Sept. 17 message to the Cornell Community made clear that the University takes the situation seriously, and the presidential task force, if properly constituted, could be an incredibly important mechanism in the months to come.


EDITORIAL: A Reckoning After Hate in Collegetown

The events reported earlier tonight by The Sun are incredibly disturbing and merit immediate and comprehensive action by the University and the Interfraternity Council. Early Friday morning, a black Cornell student told The Sun he was verbally and then physically assaulted outside of his residence after attempting to break up a fight around 1 a.m. The student, who was struck repeatedly in the face, was hospitalized.