Isabelle Jung/Sun Graphics Editor

April 16, 2024

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Your Vote Matters. Use It!

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The Student Assembly has been mired in controversy recently, and many of you may want to stay far away from this week’s elections because of it. However, if you are a Cornell undergraduate who cares about supporting real policy changes on this campus, I urge you to vote in the Spring 2024 elections — not because of any candidate or office, but because of the numerous ballot initiatives we have this year.

All undergraduates this year will have their voices heard on four ballot initiatives:

1. Raising the minimum wage for Cornell student employees to $18.50

2. Including median grades on transcripts

3. Student opinion on the Interim Expressive Activity Policy

4. Altering or removing the swim test

Additionally, ILRies will be able to vote on whether or not they want the 18-credit per semester enrollment limit to be removed.

The purpose of the Student Assembly, above all else, is to voice the concerns of undergraduate students at Cornell to the administration. I firmly believe that, especially on these topics, the best way to fulfill this purpose is for students to send that message themselves to the University by turning out and demonstrating clear, public support for reform. We have power in numbers: If a large percentage of us vote and take a clear stand on these issues, the University administration will have no choice but to listen to our concerns and do something about them.

I’m just as tired of the drama and politics as all of you are. This year’s Assembly, for all its flaws, has pushed to make Slope Day great again, advocated for a living wage for Cornell student workers and fought to make sure that the University actually respects freedom of expression. Now, we’re bringing the choice on the most important policy questions facing our campus to you, the voters. Every single one of you is affected by these issues. If you vote in this week’s elections, our campus will be better off for it. 

Suraj Parikh ’24

Suraj Parikh is a senior in the School of Industrial Labor Relations. He is the current Vice President of External Affairs and Minority Liaison At-Large on the Student Assembly. He can be reached at [email protected].