REDDY | Why Affirmative Action is Necessary

Everyone has dreams, and a college degree has always been seen as a crucial means to reaching them. As a result, more people than ever are trying to obtain higher education, and they have good reason to believe that the quality and prestige of the college they attend can have a significant impact on the quality and prestige of the work they do after graduation. Controversy arises when it’s deemed that certain groups of people have an unfair advantage in the admissions process. I have listened to engineers — male engineers — lament the school’s allegedly lower standards for female applicants. They had to work extremely hard to gain acceptance to Cornell’s engineering program, while others, they claim, just “walked in” because they “have vaginas.” Despite the misogyny conveyed by this language, however, unqualified girls in engineering are the least of our concerns, when one considers the apparent injustice done when black and Latinx applicants with credentials inferior to those of white applicants are given what those white applicants deem preferential treatment in college admissions.

EDITORIAL: Rescind the Order

On Friday, President Donald J. Trump issued an executive order banning Syrian citizens indefinitely and citizens of seven countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — from entering the United States for 90 days. This order includes citizens of those countries who had previously been granted refugee status and currently enjoy permanent legal status in the United States and citizens of allied nations such as Canada and the U.K. who happen to originate from one of the listed countries. As U.S. authorities began detaining an increasing number of people, protesters began to flood airports across the country. Beyond those directly affected, the order has serious ramifications for the entire country: family members separated from each other, such as an Iranian mother separated from her five-year-old son at Washington’s Dulles International Airport; tenured scientists hindered from continuing their work, such as computational biologist Samira Asgari, who was “very shocked that all [her] efforts, that all [she had] done, can be undone – just like that.” American universities have since advised their foreign students against making international travel plans and find the strength of their educational and research efforts at risk. Over 20 percent of Cornellians are international students, and many others participate in programs abroad.

EDITORIAL: Cornell Beyond the Richest One Percent

Though elite colleges often boast of their affordability and socioeconomic diversity, a recent study found that Cornell enrolls approximately the same number of students from the richest one percent as it does from the bottom 40 percent. This troubling statistic points to flaws in the University’s mission to make higher education more accessible to students of all incomes. The under-representation of low-income students hinders diversity and inclusion at prestigious schools by discouraging deserving, qualified students from attending and succeeding in college. Cornell must continue relieving the cost of attending college. Many students and their families remain baffled by the complicated process of applying for financial aid because important information remains scattered across various online sources.