Student Lending Bill Passes in Congress

In an effort to avert a potential student-lending crisis, the House of Representatives passed the HR 5715 bill on April 17, to guarantee students and their parents continued access to federal student loan programs.
According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, “More than 50 lenders have left [the] program in recent weeks, amid a credit crunch that has rippled across the financial sector, making many types of lending less profitable.”

Students, Profs Discuss Diversity

“The system set up by the university to solve diversity-related issues is doing exactly what it was designed to do — nothing. Diversity kills us every day, every moment,” said Prof. Belisa Gonzales, a professor at Ithaca College at Diversity Kills Me, a dinner discussion yesterday evening. The event examined issues of diversity at Cornell and Ithaca College.
“Universities don’t want to diversify, they want to sell diversity to prospective students,” she said.
The evening opened with a brief review of a history of discrimination in the U.S., given by Prof. Alan Gomez, city and regional planning. The focus of the discussion then shifted to the students as they were challenged by Gomez to think of what diversity is and whom it is for.

Hotelies Study in Singapore

Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and Cornell teamed up in November 2004 to establish a joint Master’s of Management in Hospitality program, which has been open to students from across the globe since July 2006. The program, which is based in Nanyang’s campus in Singapore, brings together Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration and NTU’s Business School, both world-renowned leaders in their respective fields.
“The Cornell University School of Hotel Administration recognized early the potential for the growth of the broad-ranged hospitality industry in Asia,” explained Dr. Judy Siguaw, Dean of Cornell-Nanyang Institute of Hospitality Management. “SHA knew that it wanted a presence in that part of the world.”

Study: Gender Affects Comfort Food Choice

Most individuals can think of at least one favorite comfort food. A study by Cornell’s Food and Brand Lab shows these choices may actually be determined not only by taste, but also by gender.
Researcher Brian Wansink, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, explained in his book Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think, the correlation between gender differences and comfort food preferences.
“When we gave people a long list of comfort foods and asked them to circle the ones they personally found comforting, men and women might as well have been from Mars and Venus,” Wansink wrote in the book.

C.U. Joins Consortium to Obtain Sustainable Products

Cornell recently joined forces with five fellow Tompkins County institutions and municipalities to form the Finger Lakes Environmentally Preferred Procurement Consortium. This “green” consortium is the first of its kind in the state of New York.
The main purpose of the consortium is to help negotiate pricing for environmentally friendly products, according to The Ithaca Journal.
“The biggest thing now is the price difference. In many cases the sustainable and recyclable products are 30 to 40 percent more expensive than their non-sustainable counterparts. We want to get the best prices and become competitive with other markets,” said Edmund Wilson, manager of Cornell procurement services.

C.U. in Qatar to Graduate First Students

This is the first in a series of articles examining Cornell’s involvement in global academic initiatives.

This May, the inaugural class of physicians at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar will be the first class to graduate from an American university’s M.D. program outside of the U.S.
WCMC-Q, which was founded in 2001 through a partnership between Cornell and the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, will graduate 16 students. Each year, the class sizes have been steadily increasing.

Activists Host Teach-Ins to Discuss Global Warming Threat

“Focus the Nation,” organized by environmental action groups KyotoNOW! and the Sustainability Hub, concluded yesterday after two days of teach-ins and panel discussions about global warming. The event was an attempt to increase awareness and campus advocacy.
According to the University, the two-day event consisted of four parts. The first part involved a webcast, “The Two Percent Solution,” which educated the audience about the necessity of a reduction in carbon dioxide levels. Viewers of the webcast were then able to participate in the second part of the event, an online poll called “Choose Your Future,” which allowed participants to vote for the best solution to reduce emissions.

Cornell EMS Deploys Mass Casualty Incident Unit

Cornell’s Emergency Medical Service has recently announced the deployment of a new mass casualty incident, or “MCI,” unit. According to a University press release, this MCI unit is the largest collection of triage, medical supplies, command, logistical and long-term support of any emergency response agency in Tompkins County.
This new unit was purchased in conjunction with the Office of Risk Management and Insurance, which has been in close cooperation with CUEMS to better prepare campus for any potential emergencies.

Cornellians Find Resident Advisor Jobs Rewarding

Among the many on-campus jobs offered to Cornell students is the popular Resident Adviser position. Resident Advisers live in the undergraduate dorm buildings on campus and are considered resident hall community leaders, a position that involves both fun and responsibility.
“I call it the best job on campus. As with any job there are some drawbacks but, in all, it’s fun and exciting, and you get to work with some really great people,” said Alex Kantrowitz ’10, an R.A. in Cascadilla Hall.
“Every R.A. will tell you that the best part of the job is the people you work with and meet along the way. I’d agree with that statement, especially when it comes to the fourth floor of Cascadilla, best floor in all the land.”

New N.Y. License Policy Drives Debate

The national debate over illegal immigration splashed across the pages of New York newspapers last month following a policy change made by Governor Eliot Spitzer (D-N.Y.). This new policy, which grants New York State driver’s licenses to individuals without regard to their immigration status, has set the stage for the recent heated political debate.
According to The New York Times, the Department of Motor Vehicles will be accepting a current foreign passport as proof of identity without also requiring a valid year-long visa or other document indicating legal immigration.