February 7, 2002

Moschella Wins

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Michael Moschella ’02 won yesterday’s election to succeed Alex Sanchez ’03 as president of the Cornell Democrats. Members of the Cornell Democrats voted for Moschella at yesterday’s meeting.

Sanchez, who resigned two weeks ago is also taking this semester off, citing personal reasons for her decision.

“This semester we got a dent in our bumper, and who better to repair the automobile than the mechanic who built it?” said Moschella, who was president of the organization last year when he decided to run for director of community relations.

“[Mike’s] been the face of this club for a long time,” said Josh Roth ’03, Moschella’s opponent and member of the Student Assembly (S.A.). “I think it’s time for him to step aside.”

“I’m sure Mike will do a good job. I’m still very busy with the S.A., and will continue to be active in the Cornell Democrats,” said Roth after the election.

The candidates answered questions from the crowd of about 40 members. One member asked the candidates how they would expand the group’s influence if elected.

Roth suggested electing more S.A. members affiliated with the Cornell Democrats and pushing for greater funding of Africana Studies and Research Center.

“If you’ve driven by [the Africana Center] lately you’ve seen what it looked like 30 years ago because it hasn’t changed,” Roth said.

“I see the Democrats as the overarching umbrella [of liberal campus groups],” Moschella said. He added that he “would continue to build bridges with all the groups on campus.”

The Cornell Democrats are going through a major reorganization this semester. In addition to seeing their former president leave, they must also replace recently resigned publicity director, Thomas Leung ’02, and find a new director of community relations to fill the gap left by Moschella.

The organization also hosted State Assemblyman Marty Luster (D-125th) who gave a speech and answered questions from the group. Speaking largely about organizing Democrats, he also brought up several campus issues.

Luster answered a question about future funding for State University of New York (SUNY) schools, including Cornell’s statutory colleges.

“Basic SUNY appropriation for this year does not even cover contractional obligations,” Luster said. “This is not a good higher education budget.”

Luster spoke about the effects on the Cornell campus of the Justice Department’s decision to interrogate many Middle Easterners between the ages of 18 and 33 who immigrated in the last several years with non-immigrant visas — including students.

“People on this campus are being round-up for questioning, voluntarily I may say,” said Luster, who with other local attorneys had offered free legal service to any students being questioned.

“The main round of questioning is over,” said Adam Crouch ’03, the founder and former president of the Cornell Civil Liberties Union, in reference to the interviews.

“To have international students and upstanding members of the Cornell community suspect is absurd and insulting,” he added.

Archived article by Peter Norlander