Cornell Feels Ripples From Financial Crisis

Correction Appended

Last week, Wall Street experienced its most severe credit crisis since the Great Depression. Several long-standing monetary institutions, including investment banks Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, and American International Group, crashed, and the Dow Jones Industrial average fell over 800 points by mid-week before rebounding significantly on Thursday and Friday.

Locals Vie For Spot In District

New York’s 22nd congressional district, consisting of the region of south-central New York stretching from the Hudson River to the Finger Lakes, is considered to be a “safe Democratic” district according to Congressional Quarterly’s political projections. The district, which includes cities such as Ithaca, Binghamton and Poughkeepsie, will re-elect its representatives in Nov. 2008.
Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), congressman from the 22nd district, has served in the House of Representatives for 15 years and spent 18 years in the New York State Assembly. He is running for re-election and is facing a Republican field of candidates who have never served in public office.

Dems Take Sides in Caucus-Style Debate

Correction Appended

As the country prepares for the excitement of “Super Tuesday” next week — in which 24 states will be holding nominating contests for either one or both political parties — the Cornell Democrats attempted yesterday to recapture the prevailing national political passions of early January by staging a mock Iowa caucus.
“The Super Tuesday primary dilutes the importance of those states’ votes, and it’s already assumed that New York will go for Hillary Clinton,” said Cornell Democrats President Randy Lariar ’08. “The Iowa caucus has the advantage of being examined more in depth by the press and the candidates.”

Eyes on the Primaries: Former Senator John Edwards

In a presidential election campaign that has centered on the capability of each candidate to effect change, former senator John Edwards is not the foremost candidate in the eyes of Democratic voters.
According to the most recent Washington Post-ABC News Poll, Edwards trails Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)in the candidate preferences of likely Democratic voters by 31 and 26 percentage points, respectively.

Student Petition for Improvements to North Campus Dorms

This semester, a number of problems in the High and Low-Rise dormitories have highlighted alleged differences in the quality of housing conditions on North Campus.
Students in Low Rise 6 and 7 circulated a petition last week seeking renovation of their buildings to bring it “up to par” with the other freshman dorms. Among other issues, the petition cites faulty heaters, unsanitary bathrooms, lack of commodities afforded in other dorms and disorganized and damaged signage throughout the buildings as reasons the Low Rises are commonly regarded by students as “the worst dorms on campus.”

Council Approves Tax Hike

The Common Council voted Wednesday to approve the 2008 budget for the City of Ithaca. As a result of this vote, property taxes will be raised by 3.85 percent from their current level to meet the deficit between the City’s expenditures for next year and its revenue. This percentage is a compromise between the 3.75 percent increase recommended in Mayor Carolyn Peterson’s original budget proposal and the 4.04 percent increase sought by the Common Council in a budgetary vote conducted at their meeting last Wednesday.

Cornell Democrats Recreate 2008 Presidential Debate

Yesterday evening Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and former Sen. John Edwards debated key campaign issues in McGraw Hall — or, rather, members of the Cornell Democrats debated for them. These student leaders of candidate campaign groups on campus represented the views of the actual candidates that they support.
The Dems, a student activities organization that is involved with Democratic Party-related activism on campus, such as voter registration drives and campaigning for local elections, hosted the event.

Mayor Reveals 2008 City of Ithaca Budget

Correction appended. See below.
Ithaca Mayor Carolyn Peterson expressed hope that the City’s Common Council will not seek to make too many amendments to her 2008 budget proposal before they vote on it on Nov. 7.
“It’s a pretty tight budget,” Peterson said.
The Mayor’s Recommended Budget for 2008, which is available for the public to view on the City of Ithaca’s website online, appropriates some $54 million in funding for a variety of projects and public services. This figure is slightly greater than the City’s projected revenue for next year, a difference that will be made up by a 3.75 percent increase in property taxes.

Bill to Limit Credit Card Solicitation on U.S. Campuses

Banks and credit card companies will no longer be permitted to use merchandise giveaways to entice college students to apply for credit cards at public universities in California if a bill passed by the State legislature in September is signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R).
In recent years, several states, including New York, and some individual schools have enacted similar policies in response to a national trend of college students accruing thousands of dollars of credit card debt by the time they graduate.

Plaque Marks Activism

Members of the Cornell and Ithaca communities gathered yesterday afternoon to observe the dedication of a recently installed plaque commemorating the spot where the Redbud Woods once stood.
In July of 2005, the University had this patch of urban wildland, located near the intersection of University Avenue and Lake Street, leveled to make way for a 176-space parking lot as part of its West Campus Residential Initiative. The administration’s decision to pave over Redbud Woods was the cause of many well-publicized protests over a several year period by environmental activists including students and faculty.