JEONG | Bursting the Asian Bubble Myth

Over the weekend, Cornell hosted the East Coast Asian American Student Union conference — the largest Asian American conference in the East Coast. Overall, it was a notable weekend: Asian Tinder was absolutely on fire, Duffield radiated with the smell of food from the homeland and Buzzfeed’s sweetheart Steven Lim graced campus with his wholesome presence. It was inspiring and uplifting to see so many Asian American students from all over the country discuss ever-relevant issues in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. During my freshman year, Eddie Huang of VICE Munchies and Fresh Off the Boat fame came to Cornell to talk about food, media and everything Asian American. Unabashed in his opinions on racial politics and embraced by viewers of all colors, he represented what I believed to be the best of what a new generation of Asian Americans has to offer.


KANKANHALLI | Hungry For Justice

The realization that most on-campus eateries are closed on weekends strikes me as a fresh blow every time I remember. Are we, the students, presumed to be fasting on weekends? Have weekends somehow still maintained their rosy reputations as periods of rejuvenation rather than periods of barreling anxieties? I don’t mean to speak for the entire student body, but I have a feeling that this bold claim carries a speck of universal truth: we’re still alive on weekends! We’re not hibernating, pleasant as that would be, and we’re absolutely in need of sustenance.


LEE | Home Safe Home

There are many aspects to “adulting” that I’ve learned over the past two years since my acceptance to Cornell. I applied for a student visa and traveled alone on a plane for the first time, set up and started managing my own bank account, signed my first housing contract with a landlord, got my first paid job, began to shop for groceries and cook regularly — the list could go on. I thought that achieving such milestones allowed me to become one step closer to adulthood, that I had done a pretty good job of making it through these rites of passage. I was completely wrong. One thing that I had discarded was a sense of concern for safety.


GUEST ROOM | Cornell Should Empower International Economics Students

International students are integral to Cornell’s campus, mission and values. There is no denying the value and diversity that their presence brings to this campus. Yet international students face many unique barriers at Cornell and are often treated as second-class students. They are the only group subjected to need-aware admissions following the administration’s decision to terminate need-blind policy a couple of years ago. They are the only constituency ineligible to re-apply for financial aid under any circumstances.


BENITEZ | Accepting Extinction

Buried amidst last year’s dumpster fire of headlines are harrowing threats to our species’ long-term existence. In 2017, we learned that the “slow down” in climate change between 1998 to 2012 was actually because we lacked Arctic data revealing otherwise. In “resistance” to this, the environmental goals of the world’s governments have grown increasingly pessimistic: what was once described as the point of no return has already been breached. While there are billionaires making earnest attempts to reduce our technologies’ footprint and send lifeboats to Mars, the ambitiousness of their proposals is enough to provoke skepticism in even the most fervent optimist. Empirical evidence of our planet’s increasing degradation might prompt a sense of nihilism even greater than that felt by the early postmodernists.


MORADI | In the Diaspora, You Come of Age Twice

My visit to Iran over winter break was like catching up with your best friend from elementary school years later, as an adult: awkward, albeit familiar. My journal entries from the last time I visited — five years ago, when I was 15 pounds lighter and had recently rapped all of “Thrift Shop” in a live acoustic performance in front of my peers and World History teacher — were mostly about how weird the dubbed Turkish soap operas on satellite TV were and how everyone suddenly got really into volleyball. I spent most of that visit sleeping until 3 p.m. and then playing Super Mario flash games with my cousins until it was cool enough outside to go stroll through historic Shiraz and all its stunning mosques and mausoleums.

This time around, though, the entries have scribbled-in sentences like “Everyone keeps asking if I have a boyfriend,” “so many people got divorced” and “apparently depression runs in my family.” Trips to Iran used to be a welcomed hiatus from East Coast cynicism and a rare chance to have fun with some of my favorite people in the world who I missed so, so dearly; instead, this visit got really real, really fast. My best friend from back home just landed in India last week. She makes similar observations: “It feels harder to hang out now that everyone’s grown up, because we don’t talk about kid stuff.” Questions like “How’s school?” or “What movies do you watch?” no longer suffice.



Last Saturday, the staff of The Cornell Daily Sun met to elect its 136th Editorial Board. As it was with the thousands of editors whose names graced this page before us, our mission is to provide the most comprehensive coverage, detailed analysis, and thoughtful commentary on the events and issues that matter most to Cornell and her community. It is an honor to play a small role in continuing this tradition of journalistic excellence, and I am elated to do so with the amazing group that is the 136th board. In 1981, at the dawn of The Sun’s second century, Editor in Chief Steven Billmyer ’83 wrote that the yearly changing of the boards was “The Sun’s most powerful asset allowing the editors a flexibility — one commercial papers cannot match — to produce a paper that better reflects this dynamic community.”

As The Sun continues to confront the challenges of 21st century journalism, Billmyer’s words ring more true than ever. Each successive generation of editors reinvigorates The Sun, ensuring that we always remain intimately connected to our audience and our environment.


PARK | On Happiness and Success

As intelligent, young Ivy League students, we seem to know it all. We know how to tackle complicated economic models, apply thermodynamic analysis and develop successful medical practices. And where our classes lack, our countless pre-professional organizations fill in the gaps to teach us how to capitalize on our assets, develop our career goals, and move up in this world. But when it comes to filling our lives with meaning, finding fulfillment and happiness in the real world, we don’t have a clue. We view happiness as a byproduct of success, rather than the means through which we get there.


DANBERG BIGGS | This Week I’m Just Writing About Rent

There’s a column out there, if someone can find it in them to write it, that rails against Cornell for increasing tuition by another 3.75%. It calls out the total absence of moral leadership in American universities that allows skyrocketing costs to be an immutable reality, and implores the student body to take a stand. Hopefully it points out that the $10 million increase in financial aid promised for next year is accompanied by about a $13 million increase in sum tuition for the nearly 50% of students who rely on financial aid. And if we’re lucky, it will mock Provost Kotlikoff’s absurd posturing that claimed to have “augment[ed] Cornell’s commitment to increasing the socio-economic diversity of its student body.” The generations who paid for debt-free school with loose change and a summer lifeguard job will quickly comment that the author is ungrateful and foolish, and the cycle will repeat.  That column should be written, but I don’t have it in me this week.


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR: Keep Shining, Cornell

What a year. We saw milestones like the much-anticipated opening of Cornell Tech, the ascension of our men’s hockey team to No. 1 in the nation, and the inauguration of Cornell’s 14th president. We witnessed an assault in Collegetown, the dismissal of Cornell’s oldest a cappella group for hazing, and the sudden resignation of the dean of the business college. These events, good and bad, make up the Cornell narrative, and it is our duty to make sure you, our readers, stay informed.