April 15, 2002

President's Council of Cornell Women Holds Annual Meeting

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On Saturday afternoon, approximately 80 female students and 85 alumnae met in the Statler Ballroom for the annual meeting of the President’s Council of Cornell Women (PCCW). The luncheon was set up as a networking event for students, which was followed by speaker Beth J. Harpaz ’81.

The event was attended by students ranging from freshmen to graduate students, and seating was assigned in random order to ensure a diverse mix of personalities and professions.


“We had a great response,” said Nancy Law ’84, assistant director for internships and alumni volunteer programs. “We had to have a wait list for the luncheon.” Law also helped to organize the event.

With about 300 members, the PCCW is an alumnae group dedicated to advancing the involvement and leadership of women students, faculty, staff and alumnae within Cornell and its constituent communities. The group was founded in 1990 by President Emeritus Frank H.T. Rhodes with help from University Trustees Lilyan Affinito and Patricia Carry Stewart.


According to a statement from Chair Martha F. Coultrap, members are appointed by the University President and are nominated on the basis of having achieved a high rate of success in their chosen endeavors.

This event is held annually and is open to all female Cornell students.

Harpaz, journalist and author of The Girls in the Van, spoke on the gender aspects of journalism and politics from her experience as a reporter covering the senatorial campaign of Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.).

“When women are involved in journalism, what’s important changes,” said Harpaz, explaining how issues such as breast cancer and infant care become more prominent when women are involved in the reporting process.

Harpaz commented that there are only 13 female senators and only 10 percent of guests on political talk shows are women.

“We still treat the female politicians differently from the male politicians,” she said.

Quality of life has also been an important issue for Harpaz.

“Quality of life matters