benitez 11-27

BENITEZ | What, Exactly, Is ‘Utility’?

Regardless of whether you’ve taken a philosophy class, you’re likely already familiar with the trolley problem. While the exact terms of the problem may vary, its ultimate question remains constant: should you kill one person to save many and, if so, would you? As a helpful thought experiment, the trolley problem allows us to weigh the relative utility of either option by framing the number of lives saved as the only relevant gauge of either outcome. To save five lives, you must kill one. Any subsequent tension one feels when confronted by the problem is therefore because of an intuition to not kill rather than a reasoned cost-benefit analysis, as the latter always favors sacrificing one life for the benefit of five.

reddy 11-20

REDDY | How to Live

Thinking “I’m a complicated human being” has preceded all my worst looks this semester. Maybe I should attempt to be somewhat predictable. I should make it a New Year’s resolution. I’ll let you know how that goes. Jokes, but I couldn’t always laugh.

glanzel 11-20

GLANZEL | The Root of Sexual Assault

Roy Moore is disgusting –– there is no question about it. Despite what some on the far right might claim, the fact of the matter is that he pursued underage girls and used his position of power to take advantage of them. What is even more disgusting, however, is how much support Moore has retained. A recent poll showed that 42 percent of Alabamians still support Moore in his senate race; a fact that is revolting. How in God’s name can 42 percent of the people of Alabama still support a man that is quite clearly a pedophile?

lte 11-20

Letter to the Editor: Concerning graduate student tax reform

To the Editor:

On Nov. 16, 2017, the House passed their long-anticipated Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The suggested tax reform, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, includes the following provision:
“Qualified Tuition Reductions: Under current law, qualified tuition reductions provided by educational institutions to their employees, spouses, or dependents are excluded from income. The exclusion may be provided in the form of either reduced tuition or cash. The reduction must be part of a program that does not discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees and may not apply to graduate programs (except for a graduate student who is teaching or a research assistant).

wang 11-20

WANG | Time to Take a Step Back

I feel like the semester has keeled over and fallen into the abyss. Recently my Chinese history professor pitched a 20-25 page essay as a final project. It had taken a full semester for me to realize why this class was 4 credits. We had spent the majority of it pleasantly reading quaint Chinese scholars ruminate about the difficulty in Chinese bureaucracy while holding far-ranging discussions in class that always concluded with some kind of zany anecdote about our experiences in China. In the back of my head, I knew it was too good to true.

hagopian 11-17

HAGOPIAN | Purloined Progressivism, Alliteration and Cornell Cinema

I’ve enjoyed many a movie at Cornell Cinema, and I believe that art is what makes life worth living. Naturally I tried to do what I could to protest the proposed defunding of the cinema by the Student Assembly. I signed the petition, went to the S.A. meetings, even spoke to a few assembly members that I happen to know personally. When I heard that the resolution had been tabled and that they’d decided to “negotiate on alternative funding possibilities,” I felt like I had played a very small role in accomplishing something good. On a meta-ethical level, however, I felt compelled to reflect on my decision to support this cause.

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?

opinion web graphic

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.