This coming Sunday evening, undergraduate students will have the opportunity to cast their ballots in the 2017 Student Assembly election. Although there are thirteen total positions, the Sun traditionally endorses only in the races of President and Executive Vice President. The candidates for president of the Student Assembly are Matthew Indimine ’18 and Jung Won Kim ’18. The candidates for executive vice president are Mayra Valadez ’18 and Varun Devatha ’19. In the race for president, we are proud to endorse Matthew Indimine ’18.
Run. Not away from the issues but towards them. Do not think that just because you are young or inexperienced that you cannot make a difference if you try. And there is no more important time to make a difference than now, when the new status quo is totally unacceptable. Keep marching, keep raising your voice on the issues you care about, and then take that energy and run with it.
A new Graduate/Professional Student Trustee will be elected this spring by the entire student body (both undergraduate and graduate/professional students). If you are interested in running to be the Graduate/Professional Student Trustee, I encourage you to visit assembly.cornell.edu to learn more about qualifications, the role’s responsibilities, and the campaign process. I also encourage you to attend one of two information sessions this week:
Tuesday, March 15, 12-1 p.m. in 163 Day Hall
Wednesday, March 16, 4:30-5:30 p.m. in 316 Day Hall
If you are not interested in running, I encourage you as the campaign gets underway to learn about the candidates and to vote for whom you believe will be the best student representative on the Cornell University Board of Trustees. Cornell is unique among its peers for electing two students as full voting members of its Board of Trustees. An undergraduate student trustee is elected in odd years, and a graduate/professional student trustee is elected in even years. Student trustees at Cornell attend and vote in full Board meetings but also have a variety of other responsibilities, which include: attending and voting in designated committee meetings; presenting to the Student Life Committee; organizing events to facilitate interaction between trustees and students; serving on various University councils and task forces. Student trustees have the opportunity to meet regularly with administrators on campus issues they feel are important and to collaborate with the shared governance bodies to help ensure effective representation of the student voice in the functioning of the University.
Democrats Elie Kirshner ’18 and Nate Shinagawa ’05 both failed to secure seats on the Tompkins County Legislature Tuesday, according to unofficial returns. Kirshner, who was running to represent the fourth district, secured 91 ballots to 118 ballots cast for write-in candidates. Shinagawa lost the second district seat to Independent candidate Anna Kelles by a margin of 340 votes to 474.
Write-in candidate Rich John ’81 mounted a campaign against Kirshner also seeking to represent the fourth district, which includes the Collegetown and the Commons neighborhoods, two weeks after the Democratic party endorsed Kirshner, arguing that a more experienced candidate was needed. Shinagawa had represented the fourth district in the legislature for 10 years and announced his resignation from that seat on Sept. 16.
Much to my dismay, it looks like I’d spoken too soon about things appearing relatively calm in Iran. Today was chaotic.
The major point of incidence in Iran was at Baharestan in Tehran. Baharestan is where the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) meets. Protesters amassed there today (the 24th) in an effort to again show their rejection of the election results that had President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad overwhelming reelected to the presidency. As is now frequently the case in Iran, where there are protesters there are Basij paramilitary forces. And where there are Basiji there is sure to be violence.
If you’ve kept abreast of what has been going on in Iran, then you’ll have noticed perhaps that things seem somewhat calmer in Iran. That’s all relative of course; compared to Saturday, anything even slightly tamer is bound to appear calm. Beyond that, however, the government has increased its efforts to curtail communication between the protesters and the rest of the world.
To a point, they’ve succeeded. But, information is still seeping out via twitter and other routes of internet communication.
Unless you’re apathetic about news and/or foreign policy (if you are, why are you reading this blog?) then you’ll have heard by now about the protests in Iran.
I won’t rehash the whole events of the past week,–they can be seen here –but it is important to note just how monumental the events of the past week have been in Iran.
For the past 30 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has not been much in the way of democratic towards its people. Every time it has taken one tentative step towards political reforms, as it did during the presidency of Mohammed Khatami from 1997-2005, mild protests have ensued. It would be as if after having a taste of water, you’d suddenly become thirsty for more.