Isabelle Jung/Sun Graphics Editor

April 15, 2024

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | In Support of CML Students Arrested for Protesting

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We are in awe of the resilience, courage and dedication of Cornell students and staff members who defy intimidation and the violence of Cornell’s silence and raise their voices against our institutional complicity with unimaginable atrocities, including scholasticide, taking place in Gaza. 22 students and two staff members who occupied Day Hall on March 21, calling for Trustees to vote on divesting Cornell from manufacturers of military equipment and munitions that enable and financially profit from the ongoing mass killing of Palestinians, were arrested. They are being subjected to disciplinary measures inside the university system as well as in court. Their legal hearings are at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 17, at the Ithaca City Court on 118 E Clinton St. As faculty and staff who are committed to free speech and social justice, we will be there to support them. 

We call on Provost Kotlikoff and all University Administrators — including Prof. Kathryn Boor ’80, food science, Graduate School Dean, and Prof. Lisa Nishii, industrial labor relations, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education — who have brought charges against the students and staff, to drop these charges. We are also calling on our colleagues to do more to show their support for these principled Cornellians, including by urging the District Attorney and Provost Kotlikoff to drop the charges. 

We are inspired by our students’ principled call for divestment from businesses that profit from war and the perpetuation of massacres across the globe, most recently in Gaza. The student referendum is this Thursday and Friday, and we encourage all to support this important measure meant to calibrate the moral compass of a university system that has lost its way. As Cornell faculty and staff who care about the moral standing of this institution, we are moved to action by the example of our courageous students and staff, and we will be submitting a resolution to the Faculty Senate for divestment from companies and institutions that participate in and profit from the mass killing industry.

Prof. Noah Tamarkin, anthropology, science and technology studies 

Prof. Eli Friedman, industrial labor relations, sociology

With the Cornell Coalition for Justice in Palestine and the Cornell Jewish Alliance for Justice