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SWAN | Well Well Well Well; Thanks for the Memories Fall 2016

“Well this is some old-school, Ivy Leaguer, boys and girls, three-feet-on-the-floor stuff,” I thought to myself. We were going to Wells College for a semi-formal. My friend’s girlfriend goes there, and his girlfriend has a friend, and through the potentially awkward workings of social arrangement, it was established that I would be her friend’s date for the evening; so it goes, so it goes. For those of you who don’t know, Wells College is a small, liberal arts institution situated on a dreamy, picturesque campus in Aurora, New York, about 25 miles north of Ithaca. Founded in 1868 as a women’s college by Henry Wells, the institution — in true, 19th century Utopian fashion — was intended to produce the “ideal” contemporary woman.

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Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Global Health: Not Your Everyday Project Team

Jaundice-therapy incubators, water-quality testing devices, and vaccine fridges – this team is merging “entrepreneurial scrappiness” and engineering creativity with a global health outlook. In their own words, Cornell Engineering World Health is a group of dynamic and diverse students who work “to provide creative solutions to health care problems in developing countries.” The team, led by co-presidents Kate Schole ’17 and Justin Selig ’17 , shows initiative and passion for its work and impact on society. As I talk to the co-presidents about their current projects, their excitement is palpable. Schole, a senior majoring in biomedical engineering, explains that the team’s recently acquired project is a device to separate mycotoxin-infected corn kernels from otherwise usable corn. They plan on making an inexpensive, efficient and creative method of doing so, which would be important to communities with low food availability, such as in Kenya, where they plan on implementing this device.

The Poetry of Monotony: Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary with Chris Abani

William Martin stated: “Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life.” Yet it can be difficult to discover new meaning and inspiration within the mundane aspects of everyday life. If I were to profusely read poems by Billy Collins and Robert Frost, perhaps for a cycle I may be inspired by their pastoral descriptions of our natural world to appreciate the multiplicity of hues which color Ithaca’s trees or the torrential gorges as I walk over the suspension bridge. But eventually, I lose the wonder of these sights and remain trapped in the routine of prelims, homework and sleepless nights. But after hearing poet Chris Abani read and perform several of his own compositions this past Thursday, I found the new awe, joy and magnificence within my daily life, including my 2:30 a.m. walks back from Olin library.

JAIN | On Accents

Cornell has given many students coming from very different parts of the world an amazing chance to meet different people from diverse areas. I never thought I’d meet so many people from exotic locales such as Westchester and Long Island. In all seriousness though, being at Cornell has exposed me to many students from all around the continental U.S. as well as many international students from countries the average American would probably struggle to locate on a map. All these students bring their distinct experiences and characteristics with them — a welcoming thought for all students who feel they may not fit the mold of the traditional Cornellian. While at times Cornell can feel like the whitest place on earth, every now and then you’ll see a fellow non-white person or someone with an accent and feel a little more comfortable with the school you chose to go to.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | In Response to the Rawlings-Brickhouse Letters

To the editor:

“The administration may make one formal communication to Graduate Assistants regarding the University’s position on unionization. ‘Formal communication’ shall be defined as a written document setting forth the University’s official position that is signed by the President or another senior University Officer. i. The document shall be distributed via email to the Cornell campus (one time) and posted to a public CORNELL website(s). …”

This passage is from the “Union-University Conduct Rules and Recognition Election Agreement,” the document signed last May that details the current Union-University relationship.  Interim President Hunter Rawlings was far from violating the agreement when he emailed his and the administration’s opinion last Thursday and in fact was distributing it to the entire Cornell Campus as stipulated.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | A Message About Interim President Hunter Rawlings

To the Editor:

This morning, Interim President Hunter R. Rawlings abused his position as president to send an email about graduate students to the whole community in order to sway public opinion in a debate wholly concerning graduate students. His conduct is unbecoming of the Office of the President, is detrimental to the community as a whole and sets a dangerous precedent for using the Office to meddle in the internal affairs of students. I hope that the student body and especially the Presidential Search Committee understands the gravity of these issues, and selects a president who shows greater circumspection, restraint and care for the community than Rawlings did this morning. The unionization of graduate students has both positive and negative aspects. Though an undergraduate, I have talked with many graduate students who are both for and against unionization.

TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | Tech Support

This weekend I had the pleasure of participating in Cornell’s second Half Baked collaboration. Half Baked is an event where students come together, share their “half-baked” ideas, and collaborate with one another to “bake” their ideas. I presented on a problem that is no stranger to most Cornellians: what to do when you have tech trouble. I’ve had the misfortune of having my computer break almost every year that I’ve been at Cornell. From these experiences I’ve come to realize the lack of accessible tech support for students on campus.