Hillel Mourns Holocaust But Celebrates Israel’s Day of Independence

It was a mix of emotions yesterday for the Jewish community, whose members commemorated the deaths of six million Jews who lost their lives in the Holocaust and then celebrated Israel’s 61st birthday.
In front of the Straight, participants of Cornell Hillel’s vigil read aloud the names of Holocaust victims in their annual 24-hour reading. The vigil started at 10 a.m. Tuesday and finished yesterday morning.

Graduate Professional S.A. Elects Exeutive Council

At its last meeting for this academic year, the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly held elections last night for the assembly’s 2009-2010 executive council.
Darrick Evenson grad was elected the president of GPSA. Erica Gutierrez grad was elected executive vice president, and Brian M. Forster grad was elected the vice president of operations.
“The main issue I want to focus on is that the GPSA needs to be more representative of the graduate student body,” Evenson said. “While all 96 — including three professional schools — have a seat available in the non-voting body of the GPSA, only 42 percent are actually filled.”
As for Gutierrez, making sure Cornell is environmentally sustainable is her most pressing concern.

Native American Writer Details Personal Struggle

“Just so you know, I got here because of rage,” said Sherman Alexie, an award-winning Native American writer and occasional comedian, in a half-serious, half-facetious manner at the Statler Auditorium in his Friday evening lecture, “The Partially True Story of the True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.”
Alexie’s first young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian won the 2007 National Book Award in Young People’s Literature. The lecture, which was based on this novel, presented an overview of the author’s childhood and development as a writer.
Alexie frequently elicited laughter from the nearly 600-person audience as he often joked about the many tragedies of his younger years.

Medellín Mayor Tells Tale of Change in Colombia

“I never thought I would be here as a politician,” said Sergio Fajardo, former mayor of Medellín, Colombia and candidate for Colombia’s upcoming presidential election, as he addressed Johnson Graduate School of Management students in Sage Hall yesterday.
During his visit, the mayor’s first, to Cornell, he delivered two lectures: “Colombia, Challenges and Opportunities” in the Johnson School and “From Fear to Hope” at the Plant Sciences Building.
A mathematician turned politician, Fajardo taught at the National University in Bogota and Medellín before he assembled a team to run for mayor as an independent. Fajardo became mayor of Medellín in 2003 and was mayor until 2007, when he was named Best Mayor by the Colombia Leader Foundation.

C.U. Students Aim to Hone Leadership Skills

Cornell student leaders enthusiastically gathered this weekend to develop their leadership skills and learn from some experienced University leaders, like Dean of Students Kent Hubbell ’67 and Vice President for Student and Academic Services Susan Murphy ’73.
The Student Leadership Institute Conference held yesterday at the Straight was designed to provide student officers of registered University organizations with the opportunity to explore topics of collegiate student leadership.
To attend this year’s conference, attendees went through a competitive application process in which a total of 100 applicants were admitted.

Loan Limitations Worry Int’l Business Students

International students at The Johnson Graduate School of Management are still scrambling to find student loans in the wake of the announcement last fall that companies like CitiAssist and Sallie Mae would terminate their “no-cosigner” student loan programs as a result of the financial crisis.
While this specific loan crisis is generally not a concern for U.S. students due to the availability of federal loans, international students heavily rely on such loans, which do not require them to find a cosigner within the U.S., to finance their education.
“It’s just the international students [who are affected]. Our domestic students will be fine; they’ll be able to get federal loans,” said Lisa Pastrick, financial aid counselor at The Johnson School.

Princeton Prof Lectures on Nuclear Weapon Challenges

Prof. Frank von Hippel, public and international affairs at Princeton University, lectured yesterday at the A.D. White House on the challenges of a global cleanout of nuclear-weapon materials, namely highly enriched uranium and plutonium.
The Cornell International Affairs Review sponsored the lecture, called “Toward a Global Cleanout of Nuclear-weapon Materials.” Since it was established last year, CIAR is committed to promoting “an international, interdisciplinary and intergenerational approach to foreign policy,” said Luis de Lencquesaing ’10, president of CIAR.[img_assist|nid=34693|title=Make a point|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]

Prof Lectures on Role of Diaspora in Health Care in Africa

Prof. Chinua Akukwe, global health and prevention and community health, at George Washington University, lectured yesterday at Uris Hall on the African Diaspora Health Initiative launched by the African Union in September 2008. 
Yesterday’s talk, “The Potential Role of Africans in the Diaspora in Improved Healthcare Delivery in Africa” was the first lecture of the “Issues in African Development Special Topic Seminar Series.” The series is designed “to foster awareness of African issues in the University,” according to Evangeline Ray, assistant program coordinator in C.U.’s Institute for African Development. which is sponsoring the lecture series.

Groups Decry Wage Theft

Last week’s news of the local labor law violations at Ithaca’s Taste of Thai and Tamarind restaurants has generated strong responses from the Cornell community.
Cornell Organization for Labor Action, a student organization that promotes economic justice, expressed gratitude that the Department of Labor, in conjunction with the Tompkins County Worker’s Center, uncovered that 36 workers were cumulatively being underpaid $28,388.
“COLA is glad the Tompkins County Worker’s Center was able to assist the workers in securing all of the wages and tips they earned, as well as being treated fairly and given one day off per week, to comply with New York State law,” COLA collectively stated in an e-mail.