The final, approved guidelines give the elections committee the authority to interpret the elections rules during a Challenge Review Hearing; however, the guidelines specify that the Judicial Codes Counselor is not beholden to this interpretation.
The Consensual Relationships Policy Committee recommended a ban on all sexual and romantic relationships between faculty members and graduate or professional students who are affiliated with the same graduate field or degree program.
The Student Assembly will consider a resolution reinstating the University’s interim suspension statement policy today, proposed by Joseph Anderson ’20 and Natalia Hernandez ’21. Prior to the 2017-2018 academic year, the University released statements when campus organizations were placed on interim suspension — a status that limits organizations’ activities while they are being investigated for infractions — but it has not done so this year. We strongly urge the Student Assembly to pass this resolution, and for President Pollack to approve and implement it expediently. If the University has reason to suspend an organization, the student body should be made as aware as well, particularly if the issue under investigation involves student safety. It is irresponsible to allow uninformed students to put themselves into potentially dangerous situations by interacting with such suspended organizations.
After weeks of petitioning, campaigning and debate, the election results for the Student Assembly Presidential race have finally been released. As expected, we do not have the same reaction to this outcome, yet we both share a feeling of relief that the process has come to an end, and we both accept these results as valid. There were moments when we feared that the system would not provide a result the public could trust, but through patience and deliberation, we have arrived here. Nonetheless, we must address the public response to recent events. Although we understand that many students felt an attachment to the election, we cannot condone the personal attacks either of us witnessed.
It has been 11 days since Student Assembly polls closed. Over the past week and a half, students have left and returned to campus for Spring Break, and the final decision on the disqualification of presidential candidate Varun Devatha ’19 has been made, and yet we are no more informed about the results than we were in March. Late on March 28, the evening after the polls closed, Devatha was disqualified from the election for using a Cornell University logo in campaign materials in violation of election rules. He petitioned the elections committee to reconsider his disqualification, which the committee declined to do, leaving Devatha with one final option: an appeal to the judicial codes counselor, Kendall Karr grad. Karr may have the power to reinstate disqualified candidates if she finds that the committee was biased in their enforcement of election rules.
On Friday, The Sun ran an article detailing the platform of Student Assembly executive vice president and presidential candidate Varun Devatha ’19, one of the points of which was an intent to provide students with “access to streaming services such as Netflix or Hulu.” Putting aside the ridiculous cost to students that implementing such a plan would entail and the redundancy of using allocated money to purchase thousands of subscriptions that students likely already have, I would like to ask Mr. Devatha a simple question: have you heard of Kanopy Streaming? It’s an online streaming service providing media ranging from entertainment to educational content and classic movies. Boasting an ever-expanding library as deep and rich as the streaming giants, Kanopy is available to students completely free through Cornell’s library website — all you have to do is sign in with your NetID! Why should Cornell students pay for a corporate streaming service when they already have access to a great one through the school?
Beginning Monday at noon, undergraduates will have the opportunity to vote for their Student Assembly representatives for the 2018-2019 school year. Those elected will be responsible not just for representing student voices to the administration, but for overseeing the various organizations that receive byline funding. They will also face the daunting task of restoring trust in a body that has over the past year made a habit of controversial decisions and ill-timed statements that often overshadow the good work they do. In the race for president, The Sun is proud to endorse Dale Barbaria ’19, who currently serves on the assembly as a College of Engineering representative. We believe he has the greatest appreciation for the responsibilities and limits of the Student Assembly, and his experience as a college representative, parliamentarian, vice president for internal operations, and member of the University Assembly Codes and Judicial Committee leave him best prepared to face the challenges of the coming year.