History Class Builds Connection to Iran

Rarely does the scope of a class extend beyond its required reading or the duration of a semester. For students in Prof. John Weiss’s, history, class, however, th curicullum serves as a springboard for more far-reaching global aims.
The goal of History 2161: Iran and the World is to foster relations between Cornell students and Iranians through dialogue at a time when relations between the U.S. and Iran are volatile and fears of a nuclear-armed Iran are growing.
Class periods often include speakerphone interviews with leading Middle East policy experts and students are assigned to establish contact with Iranians. Furthermore, many students who have taken the class remain committed to working on the project even after the semester has ended.

Obama Plans to Make Higher Ed. Accessible for All U. S. Students

President Barack Obama pledged to improve schools, colleges and universities to meet new technological standards and accessibility in his Inaugural address on Tuesday. This pledge, which upholds Obama’s promise during his campaign, marks a shift in funding for research, financial aid, college accessibility and preparedness.

Former Cadets Reflect on Service in Iraq

Last Thursday, the Iraqi Parliament ratified the Status of Forces Agreement, a deal to have U.S. troops out of Iraq by 2011. SOFA hits home for many Americans, especially those with family and friends serving in Iraq. But for some Cornell students and Ithacans, the war extends past the news and television reports into the hot Iraqi desert itself.
Major Richard E. Brown, a training instructor in Cornell’s ROTC program and Army Reservist, was deployed to Baghdad for the first time in 2004. He was deployed again this past October to the Forward Operations Base in Kalsu, Iraq, 30 miles south of Baghdad in the Babil province.

Panel Explores Psychological Effects of Torture

Last night, Cornell students, staff, faculty and Ithaca locals came together in Kaufmann Auditorium for a panel discussion that featured doctors from the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture. The program provides comprehensive care for victims of torture and aspires to raise public consciousness about such issues. The Campus Anti-War Network, the Committee on U.S.-Latin American Relations and Amnesty International sponsored the event.
The panel included Dr. Allen Keller, who oversees and coordinates medical programs for Survivors of Torture, Dr. Samantha Stewart, the program’s psychiatrist and Dr. Homer Venters, the attending physician of the program.

Budget Cuts May Slow Faculty Hiring, Lower Profs’ Retirement Funds

Last week a non-professional hiring pause and construction hold went into effect as part of Cornell’s plan to combat the national economic crisis and state budget cuts to the University. Although the long-term effects of the economic crisis remain to be seen, some effects are evident in different departments across the University.
The hiring pause specifically applies to staff and non-faculty, but the budget cuts may slow down the process of hiring faculty. Even so, most faculty hiring is continuing as usual.
“The president exempted faculty hiring from the pause,” William Fry, dean of the faculty, said. “Right now people are going [on] with hiring that they’ve been permitted to initiate.”

Asian Community Center Endures Setbacks, Delays

Last week, the Asian/Asian American Center (A3C) Committee held the first of several information sessions in order to update and inform students of A3C’s progress. However, many students were angry to hear that proceedings were slower than had been anticipated.
At the information session, the students on the A3C committee presented on the importance of the center and answered students’ questions. Clara Ng-Quinn ’10, a member of the committee, gave a PowerPoint presentation to inform students of the purpose of A3C — that it would serve as a central hub for the Asian community at Cornell and in Ithaca and as an institutionalized resource not already available to Asian students.

Discussion Raises Awareness on ‘Love Your Body Day’

“No one is free who is slave to the body” flashed across a screen in large yellow letters as Claire Louge ’08, a member of Cornell Minds Matter, told of her experience with anorexia at the Body Image Discussion yesterday. The event was co-sponsored by Cornell Minds Matter and the Women’s Resource Center in conjunction with “Love Your Body Day.”
The Body Image Discussion was created out of a need to raise awareness about a prevalent issue on campus, said Elisa Miller, a member of Cornell Minds Matter.
“I think that people have to raise awareness. It would be great if people come, take in the info and develop better relationships with their bodies,” Miller said prior to the discussion.

Carshare Program Fosters Sustainable Transportation in Ithaca

Imagine if one car on the road could take the place of 15. There would be less pollution, less traffic, fewer accidents and subdued road rage. Finding a parking spot would be like shopping in a fully-stocked store, and the cost of gas would drop in keeping with a reduced market demand. Thanks to Ithaca Carshare, a program that launched on June 25 with similar goals in mind, such a utopian vision could become a reality.

The program, which enables members to rent shared cars by the hour — 24 hours a day, seven days a week — is part of a growing network of independent car-sharing organizations across the country, many of which were formed in response to rising gas prices and environmental concerns.

Tuition Rises at More Than Twice the Rate of Inflation

Raising tuition may be necessary to support various university expenses; however, the College Board has reported that tuition at private universities has risen at more than double the rate of inflation in the United States.
On average, tuition at private colleges, not including room and board, increased 6.3 percent to $23,712 and rose by 6.6 percent to $6,185 at public institutions from 2006 to 2007. Room and board at private institutions increased by five percent to $8,595 and by 5.3 percent to $7,404 at public institutions, according to the 2007 College Board report, “Trends in College Pricing.”

Council Considers Business Improvement District

On the second day after his election to the Ithaca Common Council, Svante Myrick ’09 led the Collegetown Council Meeting’s extensive discussion on implementing the Collegetown Vision Statement at yesterday’s meeting in the basement of St. Luke’s.
The Collegetown Vision Statement recommends initiatives and changes that could be made to better Collegetown; among the components are improvements to businesses, housing, parking and the “cultural experience.”