September 26, 2008

S.A. Criticizes Review, Asks Univ. to Stop Further ‘Hate’

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Yesterday afternoon, the Student Assembly passed Resolution 6 criticizing the Cornell Review for causing “alienation and intimidation” and encouraged the Office of the Dean of Students to work with the S.A. to revise the Campus Code of Conduct to prevent further “hateful terminology.”
Initially, when the S.A. gathered at their weekly meeting yesterday, members were prepared to vote on a resolution that would ask the University to “revoke authorization and permission for the use of the ‘Cornell’ name” from the Cornell Review.  Ultimately, many members of the S.A. felt that removing Cornell from the title would not do enough to make Cornell a more welcoming and inclusive campus. Therefore, the resolution was changed to ask the University to work with the S.A. in an ad-hoc committee.[img_assist|nid=32112|title=It’s all in the name|desc=Supporters of a resolution to work with the University to revise the Campus Code of Conduct speak before the Student Assembly yesterday evening. The resolution passed 17-4-0.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]
Prof. Steven Shiffrin, law, who specializes in first amendment rights, was the first to raise the idea that removing Cornell from the title would not do enough.
“I think the passage of [the resolution] would not do much harm but it would not do much good, either,” he said. He recommended amending the Campus Code of Conduct, adding that Cornell has a right to make its own judgment about freedom of speech. 
S.A. Arts and Sciences Representative Asa Craig ’11, who spearheaded the amendment, was pleased with the outcome.   
“I think that it was very responsible of the S.A. to not attack The Review but to take it as a lesson for what can be done for the future. I look forward to working with Dean Hubbell and other administration members to revise the Campus Code of Conduct to make sure that members of our community are safe from discrimination.”
Tony Miller, vice president of internal operations, disagreed. 
He felt that the resolution was making The Review a “scapegoat” and that the Joint Assemblies Multicultural Committee, made up of members of the S.A. and University Assembly, is already in place, aiming to serve as “a collective voice of diversity.”