After the Fact: Defining a Commemoration

What constitutes a revolution? How does one decide whether a life-changing moment has changed the world as well? 40 years after the fact, Cornell is still struggling to answer that question. The Straight Takeover of 1969 is considered by many to be one of our University’s darkest and most perilous days, and the events that precipitated from the takeover of Willard Straight Hall nearly brought Cornell down along with it. The University eventually emerged strong from these events, and today Cornell is one of the most prominent colleges in the world. But the question remains: was the takeover key in bringing the University into a new era of racial equality, or was it a stain on Cornell’s storied past?

Martin Faces Public Criticism from the Badger State

While many Cornell students, faculty and staff have offered both praise for Provost Biddy Martin as she prepares to assume the position of University of Wisconsin-Madison chancellor in September and lamentation in the wake of her absence at Cornell, the chancellor-elect has become the brunt of harsh criticism amidst a highly publicized battle between members of Wisconsin’s state legislature.

On May 30, the National Review Online ran a blog post questioning if Martin — who the author described as an “obscure, self-indulged, theory-laden, post-modern scholar” — has what it takes to be chancellor of UW-Madison.

Binghamton Student Dies in Alcohol-Related Car Accident

A car traveling east on Rt. 79 carrying five students — four from SUNY Binghamton and one from the University of Michigan — crashed on Friday night, leaving one student dead and another charged with vehicular manslaughter. The students were leaving Cornell after attending the University’s Slope Day festivities.
According to the Ithaca Journal, 22-year-old Willie Poon was pronounced dead at Cayuga Medical Center on Saturday morning due to a fatal head injury.

Alleged Assault Incites Controversy

“Hey ho! These sexist assholes have to go!”
The chants heard on Ho Plaza last Wednesday reverberated throughout campus, within earshot of the University’s administrators tucked behind the walls of Day Hall. The student activist group, Sexual Violence Resistance Network, touted pickets and distributed pamphlets, inciting inflammatory statements such as, “one in four women at Cornell will have experienced rape and/or attempted rape.”
“Our campus is rife with rape culture,” said Marlena Fontes ’10, in front of a few dozen noisy protestors on Ho Plaza. “I tell you this not to bring you down, but to bring you out to fight.”