(Michael Wenye Li / Sun Senior Photographer)

The assembly denounced the proposed Human Ecology rebranding before the University's announcement.

February 28, 2020

Student Assembly Decries Human Ecology Rebranding in Unanimous Vote Before Surprise University Announcement

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A proposal calling for the change of the Cornell School of Human Ecology to the School of Public Policy was denounced by the Student Assembly in this Thursday’s meeting, just over an hour before the University announced it had decided on a different tack.

S.A. resolution 43, sponsored by Masa Haddad ’21, College of Human Ecology representative, was a recommendation for the University administration to review and reject the proposed re-imagining of the college.

This measure, unanimously approved by the assembly, included a petition signed by students, faculty and alumni urging Provost Michael Kotlikoff and President Martha E. Pollack to oppose the change.

Fortunately for the assembly, within the hour, Kotlikoff announced the launch of a separate School of Public Policy alongside the College of Human Ecology –– a separate entity meant to ensure “sustained, long-term excellence” in the field of public policy.

“I was happy to see that the students’ voices [were] heard and that [their] efforts did not go unnoticed,” Haddad said in a message to The Sun.

The proposed change was the subject of significant controversy, with opposition from faculty and students alike. A protest in front of Day Hall was cancelled in the wake of Provost Kotlikoff’s announcement, according to organizer Nicole Cunningham ’20.

“I am very grateful for everyone who took a stand and wish you all a wonderful rest of your semester,” Cunninghman said in a Facebook post.

Also passed was a resolution in support of a “Campus Circulator,” sponsored by Jakob Youngblood ’20. This addition consists of a proposed mass-transit system that would work in tandem with Tompkins County Area Transit in order to “to address the continual challenges related to transportation and parking that Cornellians face every day.”

In addition to the proposed circulator, the S.A. approved a request for $500 to the Smart is Strong Foundation to fund their International Women’s Day conference and greenlighted the creation of a Laundry Reform task force, aimed at reviewing existing laundry policies for Cornell-owned properties.