Last semester Cornell was witness to a potential hate crime in Collegetown, continued overzealous behavior by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a display of rank anti-Semitism and the abrupt end to the once-promising political career of a graduate of Cornell in a precursor to the #MeToo movement.
We also witnessed the grand opening of a state-of-the-art technology campus in New York City, the completion of a new and improved Cornell Health center, demonstrations of solidarity in the form of occupations, petitions and marches, and the welcoming of displaced students to Cornell from the Universidad de Puerto Rico.
As spring semester begins, all eyes will be on the Greek system as Tri-Council implements phase 3 of its “Diversity and Inclusion Plan.” The reformed New Member Orientation program and Tri-Council’s continued conversations with leaders from a multitude of campus communities are the first steps in correcting serious flaws in fraternity and sorority culture. We applaud and support Tri-Council’s proposal for all IFC and MGLC chapters to instate a diversity and inclusion chair on their respective executive boards. At a time when universities across the country are cracking down on Greek life, the newly-elected leaders of IFC, Panhellenic Council and MGLC have the opportunity to make Cornell’s system a model for the rest of the nation, and we hope they make the best of it.
Down the hill, Ithaca must maintain its resolve against the increasingly brazen ICE agency, which just this month raided a local restaurant and arrested two workers. Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 has been admirable in his declaration of Ithaca as a sanctuary city, but Cornell can and should do more: Cornell Law should reinvigorate its Legal Aid clinic to provide services for more Ithaca residents, and the Cornell student body should continue to pressure leaders at all levels of government to speak out against the Trump administration’s heartless immigration policies.
Though there is much to improve, there is much to celebrate. We hope Cornell Tech flourishes in its new home on Roosevelt Island in New York City, and that the investment Cornell made in that venture pays dividends to all students and faculty, including and especially those in Ithaca.
Students in Ithaca should continue speaking up, marching, kneeling and petitioning for what they believe, and the University, including both the administration and the trustees, should make every effort to be as receptive as they can. For its part, The Sun will continue to speak on the most important issues of the day. In this uncertain time, The Sun remains an independent voice for Cornell, for Ithaca, for New York and beyond.