Guest Room


On October 15, Alyssa Milano tweeted a picture reading, “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” The phrase blew up overnight, with people replying to her tweet, tweeting and posting their own statuses, and coming forward to share their own stories. Me too became a simple, powerful way to add a voice to the flood of people demanding change. Many people also stepped forward as allies, plastering social media with angry messages calling for the need to respect women, believe survivors of assault and shut down the culture of silence that surrounds issues of sexual misconduct. But the first time I saw the hashtag #metoo, the context wasn’t solidarity with victims of sexual harassment or assault. It wasn’t in a thoughtful piece of writing analyzing the various power differentials that prop up a culture that ignores abuse. Instead, it was in a Facebook post, written by a man, mocking the idea that everyone who has and will post #metoo has been taken advantage of.

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HAGOPIAN | I’m Not Saying I Don’t Know the Meaning of Life

Personally, I plan to save Mt. Olympus and receive the gift of immortality from Zeus himself. But the rest of you yahoos better start figuring out the meaning of life. You ain’t getting any younger, sweetheart. Luckily I have a story that just might help you out.

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAY | 19 Percent

Warning: This column may be difficult to read for individuals who have experienced, or know those who have experienced, sexual assault and sexual misconduct. These terms refer to a range of unwanted behaviors including remarks about physical appearance, persistent sexual advances, threats of force to get someone to engage in sexual behavior such as non-consensual or unwanted touching, sexual penetration, oral sex, anal sex, or attempts to engage in these behaviors. Floating across newsfeeds and tweets, the Me Too campaign has made national headlines through asking those who have been either sexually assaulted or sexually harassed to write “Me Too”, aiming to give more of a sense to the magnitude of the problem and allow expression of individual experiences. According to Cornell’s 2015 Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct, “by their senior year, almost one in five (19 percent) of undergraduate women have experienced non-consensual penetration by force, incapacitation, or absence of affirmative consent.”

Me, Too. There are two ways in our lives in which we discover our sexuality: the first is the moment in which we realize we have sexual desires.

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAY | The Case for Drunk Texting

Ever since my very earliest days of drinking, I have been a drunk texter. Initially, my texts were barely legible strings of letters that even I could not decipher the next day. I would only text one of the four close friends I had in high school, trying to tell them how much I loved them. As my drinking abilities matured, so too did my ability to send texts that were, for the most part, composed of real words. And under the influence of college hookup culture more than anything, I now find myself only texting guys I want to sleep with.

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SONG | What It Means To Be An Asian Woman

When I say I’m an Asian woman, people say they know what that means. They say it means growing up with tiger moms and Silicon Valley dads. It means bowls of rice clutched in the palms of our hands as we pour over SAT prep books. It means Dad sending us to elementary school with a doctor’s coat and stethoscope already in one hand. But to me, being an Asian woman also means warm pineapple bread that Grandma just pulled from the oven.

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The other day, I decided I was going to make some new friends. So I tried to find new friends! I walked into Trillium, grabbed myself a quesadilla and headed upstairs. I scanned the room, found a table with two strangers (read: potential friends) and excitedly walked up to the table. I introduced myself and asked if I could sit.

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LEE | The Fundamental Deficit

Last week, I felt a thrust on my bottom left wisdom tooth. It was initially a slight ache that I simply ignored, only to find that the throbbing and discomfort expanded more and more. When I developed a twinge that was too much to bear, I finally considered visiting Cornell Health, but I quickly remembered that my $2,712 Student Health Plan does not cover dental costs. That’s because this year, I had opted not to spend the extra $278 on Cornell’s dental plan insurance, knowing that last year I hadn’t used a penny of any health plan and had essentially wasted $3,000. The Cornell Student Health Plan, administered by Aetna, is mandatory for all international students due to U.S. immigration and Cornell requirements.


KANKANHALLI | To Netflix: Chill

Veiled by political unrest and other persistent distractions, Netflix has been up to no good. The company recently increased its standard monthly subscription prices from $9.99 to $10.99, which I would have totally missed had it not been for some pointed research. Granted, $1 extra is a reasonable trade for surplus dopamine, so maybe this is justified with some business terminology. Still, it was a bold move, considering 600,000 forward-thinking, likely SolarMovie users closed their accounts following the 2011 Netflix price hike. What’s worse than the increased rates, though, is Netflix’s ascension atop the Internet Ethics soapbox.

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MORADI | One Fish, Two Fish, White-ish, Brown-ish

There’s an old Middle Eastern-American proverb that — roughly translated — goes something like, “I’m actually technically white according to the Census.”

This proverb, with its awkward adverbs and desperate lust for ethos, has dribbled out of my mouth more times than I am proud to admit. I am, after all, the product of two white American frontiers: the sweetly benevolent whiteness of Treasure Valley and the abstruse, nebulous whiteness of the Virginia piedmont. As would most little girls with black frizzy hair and a funny name in towns 92 percent white, I fell to official racial classifications when I had nothing else that could back up my claim to sameness. I’m not white. Sorry, U.S. Census, CommonApp and my loyal following over at the neo-eugenicist website (that once republished one of my columns)!

Guest Room

GUEST ROOM | Finding a Home in a House

The ability to discover a campus community is a unique thing for a freshman, a chance to try something new or develop known passions. In either case, this sense of freedom, to draw on historian Carl Becker’s notable address, The Cornell Tradition, is an extension of “the attitude of Cornell,” something “easier to appreciate than to define.” It is this sense of freedom, enabling discovery and synergy, that allows students to find their place amongst Cornell’s thousands of students and hundreds of thousands of alumni worldwide. With countless extracurricular opportunities at Cornell, students are certain to find groups they “click” with. Likely, it will be more than one such organization. Outside the classroom, students spend many of their waking hours with the friends they make in these settings.