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December 30, 2016

Looking Back: Top 16 Stories of 2016

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As the last days of a tumultuous 2016 tick down, The Sun is taking a look back at some of the year’s biggest stories. From the death of the University’s first female president to the launch of a new business college, Cornell has seen radical change in the last calendar year.

Graduate workers were granted the right to unionize; Ithaca’s mayor proposed a controversial solution to the city’s war on drugs, and a 12 year-old prodigy enrolled at Cornell. Before we enter the new year, join us for a look back on some stories that characterized this year.

 

1. Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 Calls for Supervised Heroin Injection Sites in Ithaca, Feb. 23    

Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 calls a supervised injection facility the best way to prevent overdoses at a meeting in February.

Cameron Pollack / Sun Photography Editor

Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 calls a supervised injection facility the best way to prevent overdoses at a meeting in February.

Last spring, Ithaca’s young mayor, Svante Myrick ’09, made headlines when he suggested that the city use supervised heroin injection facilities to combat rampant drug addiction. ‘The Ithaca Plan’ has proved controversial and attracted national media attention, but almost a year later, it still faces serious roadblocks.

 

2. Cornell’s President Elizabeth Garrett Dies at Age 52, Less Than One Year After Assuming Office, March 7  

Hundreds gathered on Ho Plaza Tuesday to pay their respects to President Elizabeth Garrett.

Cameron Pollack / Sun Photography Editor

Hundreds gathered on Ho Plaza to pay their respects to President Elizabeth Garrett.

Just months after Cornell inaugurated its first female president, Elizabeth Garrett died of colon cancer. Thousands of Cornellians gathered in a moment of silence on the Arts Quad and at vigils around campus to commemorate the University’s leader.

3. Supporters, Protestors Clash at Donald Trump’s Syracuse Rally, April 18  

Supporters hoist signs at a Donald Trump rally in Syracuse.

Cameron Pollack / Sun Photography Editor

Supporters hoist signs at a Donald Trump rally in Syracuse.

The Sun hit the road to cover presidential candidates at rallies in upstate New York in the spring. Here is a look back at President-elect Donald Trump’s rally in Syracuse — from the plethora of Make America Great Again signs to jeers at media members.

4. The ‘Gray Area’ of Consent: Cornellians Share Stories, May 16  

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What really constitutes consent? Outside of textbook definitions and even legal boundaries, Cornellians share their experiences with the murky world of consent on campus.

5. College of Business Launch Marks ‘New Era’ of Cornell Education, Dean Says, July 1  

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The College of Business launched this summer, promising Cornellians increased collaboration among the three schools it comprises and assuring them the identities of the schools would remain unique.

6. CGSU Celebrates NLRB Definition of Grad Students as Workers With Right to Unionize, Aug. 24 

In August, a NLRB decision provided the momentum for the Cornell Graduate Student Union to move toward unionization. Since then, CGSU has battled criticism about its aggressive recruitment techniques and potential impact on campus life, as it works to gain the membership needed to put unionization to a vote next semester.

7. Are You Smarter Than a 12-Year-Old? Tween Prodigy Enrolls at Cornell, Sept. 14

Jeremy Schuler '20 participates in an interview in Statler Hall alongside his mother Harrey and father Andy.

Cameron Pollack / Sun Photography Editor

Jeremy Schuler ’20 participates in an interview in Statler Hall alongside his mother Harrey and father Andy.

Jeremy Shuler ’20 made national news this August as the youngest person on record to attend an Ivy League university. The Sun spoke with Jeremy and his parents about his studies at Cornell and what it’s like to attend college with peers nearly twice his age.

8. Computer Science Growth a ‘Phenomenon’ at Cornell, Sept. 18  

Cornell’s computer science department has experienced unprecedented growth in the past few years, as interest surges from majors and non-majors alike. For students, the trend means crowded classes and long waitlists, but also the promise of a degree with versatile applications in almost every field.

9. Transfer Students Forced to Live in North Campus Lounges, Oct. 3  

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Thirty transfer students found themselves without permanent housing at the beginning of the  fall semester, living in high rises lounges due to a shortage of dorm rooms. Although these students’ residential advisors were forbidden to talk to the media, the students themselves spoke about the situation’s impact on their social lives and the inconveniences of the cramped living space.

10. Cornell Students Critique Culture of Careerism, Oct. 12 

Should the purpose of a college education be to prepare for a career or to explore academic interests? Cornellians examine the way undergraduates — often spurred by parental pressure and economic pragmatism — have begun  to overwhelmingly favor pre-professional tracks.

11. Does the Ivy League Discriminate Against Asian American Applicants? Oct. 16   

Asian representation in elite academic competitions has risen dramatically over the past three decades. Their representation at elite colleges has not.

Data Courtesy of Ron Unz

Asian representation in elite academic competitions has risen dramatically over the past three decades. Their representation at elite colleges has not.

In August, the Asian American Coalition for Education levied a complaint against both Cornell and Columbia — accusing the colleges of “systematic illegal discrimination” against Asian American students. The Sun analyzed statistics and spoke with students about the equity of race-conscious admissions policies.

12. Trump Wins; Cornellians Aghast at Shocking Upset, Nov. 9   

Hundreds of Cornellians and Ithacans joined to protest the 'hate speech' prevalent throughout Donald Trump's presidential campaign after the election.

Cameron Pollack / Sun Photography Editor

Thousands of Cornellians and Ithacans joined to protest the ‘hate speech’ prevalent throughout Donald Trump’s presidential campaign after the election.

In the early hours after election night, students reacted to Donald Trump’s stunning victory. Much of the campus felt as if it was in mourning as students began to process an outcome they said they did not see coming.

13. University of Michigan Provost Martha Pollack Tapped to Lead Cornell, Nov. 14  

Marthe E. Pollack, provost at the University of Michigan, was named Cornell's 14th president.

Cameron Pollack / Sun Photography Editor

Marthe E. Pollack, provost at the University of Michigan, was named Cornell’s 14th president.

Eight months and two interim presidents after President Elizabeth Garrett’s death, the Michigan provost was announced Cornell’s 14th and second female president. Pollack specialized in computer science and engineering, with a focus on artificial intelligence.

14. One Year Later, Administration Has Begun to Meet BSU Demands, Nov. 17    

The Board of Trustees has voted to rename the Plantations the Cornell Botanic Gardens.

The Board of Trustees voted in October to rename the Plantations the Cornell Botanic Gardens.

On the anniversary of the day Black Students United delivered a list of demands to Day Hall, The Sun spoke to members of the group about what progress has been made — notably the renaming of the Plantations — and what work is still to be done.

15. Over 1,000 Cornellians Petition University to Become Sanctuary for Undocumented Students, Nov. 20 

In the wake of the 2016 election, students, professors and faculty members mobilized to protect undocumented Cornellians from potential Trump administration policies. Many private universities are grappling with how they would guard their students while abiding by federal mandate.

16. Overlooked and Unaddressed: Students Recount Fighting Ableism on Campus, Nov. 30    

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Cornellians share their experiences with a culture of ableism, encouraging campus and University leaders to more fully embrace the school’s mantra of diversity and inclusion.