Fun fact: I did not orgasm during sex with a guy until a few months ago. Sure, any time I had sex with a women I would, but with a guy? Definitely not. Why did I have sex with all the people I did if it wasn’t working for me? I had sex with regularity from the moment I got to Cornell, most of those experiences coming (or not) from three guys pre-orgasm.
In a recent meeting on connecting Cornell and New York City, Prof. Noliwe Rooks, Africana and feminist, gender and sexuality studies, asked, “How hard would it be to get Amtrak to let us have a stop here?” Largely ignored by our leaders, her idea was also noted by some commentators as unrealistic and a nearly impossible feat. They are right; Professor Rooks’ idea is not easy to implement. However, it is also worth a consideration. In fact, a rail line from Ithaca to New York, via Binghamton and Scranton is the final key to connecting our bucolic campus and city to the financial and commercial center of this country. There used to be light rail trains in Ithaca, in fact.
Days after Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States in 2008, he penned an open letter to his daughters for Parade. In the letter, he wrote about his vision for his daughters’ America and how our generation would become the drivers for change in years to come. As a sixth grader who followed Obama as religiously as the apostles followed Christ, I read this letter with all the idealism and hope of a kid with his life ahead of him, unfamiliar with failure and unabashed in my expectations for the future. I thought about this letter when you, my one and only kid brother, found out that you will be coming to Cornell next year. Although nearly all my actions and general demeanor might suggest otherwise, I do spend quite some time thinking about how you will live your life.
This past week saw another wave of op-eds and memes and quarter cards opposing the ILR-Human Ecology merger. The Student Assembly passed a resolution to condemning the recommendation. The ILR faculty voted overwhelmingly in opposition to the decision. Nearly every conversation I have with an ILRie begins with “what’s happening with the merger?” And last Monday morning, my professor started class with a call to action in an effort to raise awareness of the issue among students. I recognize the concern.
The conversation surrounding the results of the recent Student Assembly presidential election discluded an important and highly relevant issue: Cornell’s abysmal voter turnout. Overshadowed by a meme, a controversial Elections Committee, and several back-and-forth decisions on who would actually assume the presidency, our voter participation rate was a mere afterthought — if included at all — in campus conversations, candidates’ publicly-posted responses and Cornell Daily Sun articles. We spent two weeks talking about utterly ridiculous circumstances — a meme created by an affiliate of a candidate, a candidate disqualified for someone else’s posting of said meme, accusations of a biased Elections Committee, an initial decision released without including final vote counts, a final decision that overturned the one prior, and a whole slew of other interesting developments. While all worth writing about, these events detracted from the more relevant and pressing issue in the recent S.A. election. A reported 27 percent voter turnout rate.
I really complain a lot about Cornell. I talk everyday about how much more appreciative I’d be of this place if only it were 70 degrees all year long. I think about all the opportunities Ithaca would have if it were within a two or three hour drive from a major city. I relentlessly criticize Cornell’s lack of scholastic focus and corporate culture that streamlines students from info session to info session to job. As much as I find fault with many facets of this university, I do love the place for what it is.
Asifa Bano bore witness to the utmost depths of human cruelty in only her eight years of life. She died at the metaphorical intersection of Hinduism and Islam in Jammu and Kashmir, a dispute-ridden territory contested by India and Pakistan for ages. Bano’s birth into a nomadic Muslim community sealed her fate tighter than any inherited characteristic ever should. Her title was compelling enough to invite gang-rape, beating and strangulation from Hindu occupants of Kashmir. No apology is enough.
The great scam of Cornell’s College of Arts & Sciences is that it fails to provide a liberal arts education despite purporting to do so. And with a $54,584-a-year price tag at that. In a comprehensive final report on recommended changes to the undergraduate curriculum, the Arts & Sciences Curriculum Review Committee suggested a simplification of the current system of distribution requirements. Instead of a confusing matrix of requirements, the Committee recommends requiring students to take one course in a simple set of 10 categories. The Committee’s proposal is a reshuffling of a curricular system that has promised a curriculum of breadth but instead left students with a failed curriculum of distraction.
One hundred seventy-nine countries in the world have a gender equality provision in their constitutions. The United States is not one of them. The Equal Rights Amendment, first introduced in 1923 by Alice Paul, is alive and well and more necessary than ever. The ERA states: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Following women’s suffrage, Paul saw the amendment as the next logical step in codifying gender equality. Support for the amendment grew slowly, and in 1972, the ERA passed the House and Senate with the required two-thirds majority.
When the Committee on Organizational Structures in the Social Sciences recommended that the College of Human Ecology and the School of Industrial and Labor Relations combine, I laughed at the thought of HBHS students in Labor Law and ILR students in any science class besides Oceanography. Now that it may become a reality, it’s much less funny. The Student Assembly and former Deans of the ILR School already expressed their opposition to the merger on the grounds of cultural differences and practical difficulties. From the perspective of a sophomore ILR student, I understand the impetus to lump together all the Bachelor of Science majors that have very little to do with science, but I’d like to politely say “no thank you.”
For anyone who has ever asked an ILR student what Industrial and Labor Relations is, and sat through the resultant verbal diarrhea regarding a human perspective to the workforce or regurgitation of quotes from the ILR site, they know that we’re pretty confused here in Ives Hall. We are a collection of high school presidents, debaters, Model U.N. delegates and social justice activists who fell in love with the promise of “one major, endless possibilities” and have absolutely no desire to take pre-med classes.