liu 11-14

TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | Activism, Burnout and Scented Stickers

My favorite part about 10th grade math was the sticker I would get when Ms. Ho would walk around the room and check homework. My favorite ones were the smiley scented stickers (specifically watermelon) that she would place on my homework with a smile. The gesture was small, but it felt like a commendation, a validation of my work, and it made me feel recognized. This semester has been challenging and trying. From a national political climate that attacks our identities, to incidents on campus that have lessened the sense of belonging that many Cornellians feel, this has not been an easy semester.

kankanhalli 11-14

KANKANHALLI | The ‘I’ in ‘Team’

Recently, I’ve been grappling with my group identity. My courses this semester have placed an emphasis on collaborative group projects, and as such, I’ve been viewing myself through the lens of my teammates, as a part of a whole, rather than as a completely individual entity. In academic settings, the concept of group work is interesting in that it anchors a set of strangers, without much consistency in background or passion, to a common goal – likely a desirable grade. Usually, then, after teams are selected, the professor gradually decreases the level of imposed structure, and the madness begins. Four of my six classes have currently assigned ongoing group projects: one of my teams is designing a website, one of them is building an application, one of them is filming a video and the last is dedicated to studying the role of technology in group work.

lee 11-14

LEE | Why is Cornell So Bland?

Two weeks ago, my friend who attends Princeton visited Cornell to see me and another friend. It was during the middle of a busy week of prelims and quizzes, so I didn’t expect to be able to show her much. I mean what is there really to show around campus and in Ithaca other than natural scenery, the A.D. White Library and perhaps the Commons? What’s worse, the weather was forecasted to rain all week as per usual, and we were supposed to get our first semi-winter weather at around 40 degrees. As rain poured down heavier than I had seen in weeks, I thought to myself, “Why oh why did I invite her all the way here to take a two-hour train ride and a five-hour bus ride, only to see pretty much nothing in bad weather?”  Even my friends were surprised at the fact that someone would come all the way to Cornell just to see their friend.

lte 11-13

Letter to the Editor: The importance of keeping the labor in Industrial and Labor Relations

To the Editor:

We are writing this letter to express our collective concern in anticipation of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations’ upcoming curriculum changes, guided by the particular calls for de-emphasizing labor at the ILR town hall and by careful reflection on our own experiences in ILR. This concern is situated within the broader of context of the pre-professionalization and corporatization of the university, which equips students with the tools to go far within existing structures, but not to question the legitimacy and efficacy of the very structures they benefit from. What is necessary to challenge these structures is the space to hone critical thinking, reading and writing skills, often overlooked in favor of more explicitly “marketable” focuses. Sacrificing labor studies and programs not only destroys Irving Ives’ essential vision that the ILR School was founded upon, but also does an extreme disservice to every single student in the School. The need to focus on labor is more important now than ever.

moradi 11-14

MORADI | The Winter of Our Discontent

I tend to take the opinion that banality is beautiful. Where columnist Kelly Song ’20 rejects the stability of suburbia, I often revel in it. I love my suburban home, my little white neighbors with their little white dogs, the purple minivan that I drove semi-embarrassedly during high school, cutting up oranges for soccer games, the whole schtick. Life isn’t as full of ups and downs as sappy aphorisms would have you believe; it’s mostly steady lines. As I’ve written about before in some form or another, delighting in mundanity is wonderful.

benitez 11-13

BENITEZ | Our Alienating Alma Mater

Early this semester, I stumbled past Noyes with a friend late one weekend to discover a jubilant group of guys sitting on a ledge. Their random shouts echoed over the slope, and, as cliched an expression it is, their relaxed demeanors and comfortable adventurousness truly did betray not a care in the world. I remember my friend and I struck up a conversation, over which we learned that these guys were just-arrived sophomore transfers. Right before departing, I turned back to one of them and said, considering what we had just discussed: “I remember what it felt like to be new here. Best of luck, man.”

Since last January, when I filed an application to transfer out of Cornell, I’ve spent much time ruminating on what makes Cornell unique, for the better or worse.

guest room 11-11

GUEST ROOM | Veterans at Cornell: A Slow but Steady Rise

Cornell Veterans through the past couple years

A warm and wet breeze glides across my face as I unpack my car Aug. 16, 2016. Students and parents rushing about, asking for directions, and just like me, unpacking their cars. It’s O-week and I feel like Billy Madison watching all these innocent, younger wide-eyed adults scatter around like lost puppies looking for their dorm rooms. I remember writing the housing office expressing specifically that I’d like my own room, because I’m a 25-year-old combat veteran who has gone through experiences that most Cornell students couldn’t imagine or relate to. Rose House has one room per suite that fits two; I was lucky enough to be put in this one.

biggs 11-9

DANBERG BIGGS | A Great Way to Shoot the Hostage

Over the last two weeks, a group of Student Assembly members, supported by several leaders of student organizations, has been on a crusade to cut student funding to the Cornell Cinema. This culminated in a joint statement with Provost Michael Kotlikoff on Wednesday committing to “begin a collaborative process to ensure Cornell Cinema does not shut down.” This statement is genuinely encouraging; however, despite this qualified success, the nature of this campaign has been quite concerning. In an effort to take a stand, the S.A. held a valuable institution hostage, and put the livelihoods of its full-time employees in jeopardy. Setting aside individual intentions, the tactics that these students have taken, both in public statements and in a letter to the editor  this week, have ranged from bizarre to downright reckless. The power to control large organizational budgets carries with it the responsibility to be considered and thoughtful.

leung 11-9

LEUNG | Scholastic Nostalgia

When I was in elementary school, I remember how excited I got about Scholastic book fairs. I don’t know when they happened, or for how long. I only remember entering the auditorium I usually hated going to — it reminded me of long lectures by the principal on useless topics such as, “You must stay on the playground during recess — or else,” or “Chocolate milk won’t be available for lunch anymore — don’t ask” and browsing through the dozens of new, glossy books selected for us. And the little bits they sold; I went crazy for them. The tiny, colorful erasers and wall-sized posters seemed like the coolest things at the time.

lieberman 11-9

LIEBERMAN | Forgiveness Pt. 2: On Chris Brown, R. Kelly, and Kevin Spacey

Two weeks ago, I wrote a column on forgiveness. On how after retribution, rehabilitation and a really long time,we as a society should progress enough to provide prisoners with a certain type of humanity. In case you missed my last piece, it focused on Michelle Jones — a woman, who, after years of physical abuse, became pregnant from rape. She abused this child, who ended up dying after she left him in her apartment for days. He was four years old.