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EDITORIAL: Harold O. Levy ’74 J.D.’79 (1952-2018): The Best a Sunnie Could Be

Harold O. Levy ’74 J.D. ’79, former Cornell student trustee, chancellor of New York City Public Schools, progressive firebrand, and a member of The Sun’s editorial board, died last Tuesday after a bout with Lou Gehrig’s disease. As we look back on Levy’s life, we should take inspiration from the causes he championed while at Cornell and afterward: women’s rights, transparency, the rights of underrepresented communities, and the belief that everyone, regardless of background, deserves a high-class education. A champion for progress and a voice for the voiceless, Harold Levy was the best a Sunnie, and a Cornellian, could be. At Cornell, Levy served in a multitude of leadership roles, first in the University Senate, and then as one of four undergraduates on the Board of Trustees. (If only undergraduates were as well-represented on the board today.) From the beginning, Levy advocated against what he viewed as a deeply flawed Cornell judicial system, one in which students were treated like criminals and faced structural disadvantages in their cases.

The oven being used to heat the entire apartment at 117 Thurston Avenue, Oct 30th, 2018. (Ben Parker/Staff Photographer)

EDITORIAL: Cornell Needs a Tenants’ Rights Legal Clinic

Two weeks ago, a Sun report illustrated the bruising, protracted process of securing Collegetown housing. Yesterday, another report showed how after students obtain housing, the living conditions to which they are subjected can be positively nightmarish. The stories presented in those two articles are not unique. The Collegetown housing market is notoriously difficult to navigate, and with such limited supply concentrated in the hands of so few landlords, students often find themselves overpaying for accommodations that are sub-par or worse. And when circumstances reach a breaking point, students are left unprepared and unequipped to assert their rights as tenants.

The swastika sign in the snow. Picture taken from the ground floor.

EDITORIAL: Inconsistency and Silence: Cornell’s Lacking Response to Anti-Semitism on Campus

Nine days. Three swastikas. And only just now, after a comprehensive report from The Sun, is there a response from Cornell. Now tell us, what is wrong with that picture? The appearance of three swastikas on North Campus over the past week, on dorm lounge whiteboards and in the snow, is a glaring reminder of the hate and the fear still very much alive at Cornell.

Location, location, location! HQ2 is just a ferry ride away from Cornell Tech.

EDITORIAL: An Amazonian Coup for Cornell Tech

In 2012, when Cornell Tech first opened its doors at a temporary location housed in Google’s Chelsea office, they could not have thought it, not in their wildest dreams. In 2017, when Tech’s state-of-the-art campus on Roosevelt Island went online, they could not have imagined it. After all, Cornell Tech was then, and remains today a project largely in its infancy — the campus itself is not slated for completion until 2043. It’s still a work in progress. And yet, in the largest windfall for Tech since it was greenlit by Hizzoner Mayor Bloomberg seven years ago, Amazon has elected to construct its much-heralded HQ2 within a stone’s throw of the Roosevelt Island campus. This move opens the door to exciting new academic and commercial possibilities for students and faculty at Tech, and will no doubt launch the nascent graduate school to the top of any potential applicant’s list (and more than a few rankings lists as well, we’d imagine).


EDITORIAL: Remembering WWI, 100 Years Later and Every Day After

Sunday, November 11, 2018, marked the hundredth anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. The calamity that broke open the 20th century took the lives of millions of people worldwide and hundreds of thousands of Americans, including 264 Cornellians. Two Sun editors also paid the ultimate price in service of their country: editor in chief Lt. Leslie Herbert Groser 1913 and associate editor Lt. Edward Foreman Graham 1914. World War I ended 100 years ago, and every day there are fewer and fewer survivors of that generation from whom we can learn. Soon, there will be no one left who remembers firsthand the horrors that descended upon Europe, no one who recalls how a century’s worth of nationalism, militarization and colonialism boiled over into an armageddon of global proportions.

For Rent...but probably not available for another two years (Jing Jiang/Sun staff Photographer)

EDITORIAL: Collegetown Housing: A Work Not Yet In Progress

Correction appended. Today’s story on the high demand for large apartments in Collegetown underscores the need for substantial change in how Cornell does housing. It is not a sign of health that students feel compelled to sign leases well over a year before moving in — nor is it acceptable that many of those houses often exist in various states of perpetual disrepair. Cornell can and should do more to foster a better system of housing for upperclassmen, particularly in Collegetown. Yes, Cornell has begun to implement its Master Housing Plan, including the much-trumpeted North Campus expansion, but we are skeptical that those efforts will ease the pressure on Collegetown rentals.

young 11-8

GUEST ROOM | Help Wanted: ILR’s Next Dean

On October 2, ILR Dean Kevin Hallock shocked the ILR community by sending out a mass e-mail announcing that he had sought and received an appointment as the Dean of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, an apparent promotion over his position at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. As Dean Hallock goes on to what he and Cornell’s senior administration believe to be bigger and better things, he leaves behind an ILR school at an important crossroads. Will the ILR school be reduced to a niche business school and a stepping stone for promising business leaders or will it fulfill its potential to be the world’s leading institution for the study of work, workers and employment? The ILR school was founded in 1945 during an era of massive change in the American labor market. Enabled by New Deal legislation and fueled by a wave of post-depression left-wing militancy workers across the United States were joining unions by the millions and organizing bold and confrontational strikes to demand a bigger share of the economic fruits of their labor.

munasinghe 11-8

TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | Continuing our Civic Engagement

This week, domestic Cornell students had the opportunity to participate in the Midterm Elections. The interest surrounding this year’s election cycle on campus was palpable. In the past few months, I’ve seen students organize voter registration drive after voter registration drive. Others spent time collating resources so that every eligible student would be able to easily find and travel to their polling place. My social media feed the day of was filled not only with students exercising their right to vote but also with post after post encouraging others to exercise their right as well.

Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: Re: ‘Kim | Be Aware and Show You Care’

To the editor:

Thanks for the very good piece about the professorial discussion about the current reality of Ezra Cornell’s egalitarian ideals as embodied in the university’s motto. Alas, as you well know, Ezra never said “Any person…. any study”, which you claim in the first sentence. Lest some readers believe that, your writer should have included something to the effect that this is a recent (last 15 years) informal and casual substitute for the much more profound and dignified words of the university motto, which several years ago was voted the best among all US colleges. “I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.”
Isaac Kramnick, Richard J. Schwartz Professor of Government, Emeritus

Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: Re: Letter to the editor: ‘Faculty and Staff in Solidarity with Transgender and GNC People’

To the editor:

The faculty signatories among the Cornell Coalition for Inclusive Democracy manage to applaud themselves for their bold immigration stance in a wholly unrelated solidarity letter regarding transgender rights. It perfectly reflects the Left’s proclivity to link every progressive cause together under their loosely and poorly defined banner of “human rights.” These same faculty dedicated to inclusion and openness happily and willingly teach at an institution that the Sun recently informed us rejects close to 90 percent of the thousands of applicants seeking to arrive. This amounts to a veritable caravan of students stopped before even getting to the CU campus border! How would they feel about their classes, their campus offices or even their domiciles being open for anyone who wishes to occupy them consistent with their advocacy for unrestrained immigration in the nation writ large? Or why not remove tenure and open their departments to anyone wishing to offer instruction in their subjects providing the prospective professors are fleeing persecution?