VoteSmart Bus Travels to I.C.

To help prepare voters for the upcoming election, Project Vote Smart, a non-profit, non-partisan organization, delivered the Voter’s Self Defense System to Ithaca College.
According to Stephanie Roberts, director of public information for the organization, Project Vote Smart is dedicated to teaching the public how to defend themselves against “campaign hype and spin that is bombarding all of us from all levels.” [img_assist|nid=32813|title=Preparing the voters|desc=The VoteSmart bus finds a spot to park outside of Hofstra before the presidential debate last week.|link=node|align=left|width=|height=0]

Risley Removes Dining Trays for Sustainability

As part of its ongoing effort to engage in sustainable practices, Cornell Dining has begun a new initiative to eliminate the use of trays in dining halls — starting with Risley Dining Hall.
According to Doug Lockwood, office manager for Cornell Dining, students first brought forth the idea of removing dining hall trays last spring. After researching the results of tray-less dining at other schools and after a vote to approve the pilot program by Risley’s governing council, the decision was made to eliminate trays for the start of the fall semester.

Cornell Jumps to Third of 139 on Sexual Health Report Card

“Ivy Leaguers love to be on top, and we’re not just talking academics,” according to Trojan Condom’s 2008 Sexual Health Report Card, their annual ranking of sexual health resources at American colleges and universities. This year, Cornell placed third out of 139 schools ranked, up from last year’s spot of 63rd.
According to Trojan Condom’s website, their ranking system represents each state and major athletic conference in the country, and measures the availability of sexual health resources and information on college campuses.

Minority Affairs Office Gets New Director

The Office of Minority Educational Affairs recently hired Mojisola Olaniyan as its new executive director, replacing former director Raymond Dalton, who stepped down at the end of June.
Olaniyan comes to Cornell from the University of Wisconsin- Madison, where she served as assistant dean for the Academic Advancement Program in the College of Letters and Science.
The executive director of the OMEA reports directly to Michele Moody-Adams, vice provost of undergraduate education. Moody-Adams praised Olaniyan’s successful career in higher education.

City of Ithaca Considers Banning Smoking in Many Outdoor Areas

25,500 deaths in New York State every year are attributed smoking, according to the City of Ithaca’s Resolution: Support for Tobacco-Free Zones and Other Voluntary Steps to Reduce Smoking.
Citing this statistic as one reason to support tobacco-free zones, the Ithaca Common Council’s En­vironment and Neighborhood Quality Committee considered legislation in July 2007 for smoke-free outdoor public spaces.
Currently, a subcommittee of the Community and Organ­izational Issues Committee is considering setting smoking restrictions on several public spaces, including playgrounds, city-owned parks, the area within 25 feet of public building entrances and — most recently — the “inner T” of the Commons.

Add/Drop Jams PeopleSoft Server

“It was a nightmare,” Ryan Fan ’10 remarked, referring to yesterday morning’s frustrating and stressful beginning to the fall semester’s Add/Drop period. Just like last April, when Student Center crashed on the first day of CoursEnroll, students were confronted by a faulty program yesterday with extremely slow, and often completely stagnant, performance.
Student Center is the University’s new PeopleSoft replacement for Just The Facts, and is intended to be a smoother vehicle through which students can add and drop classes from their schedules.
According to David Yeh, vice president for Student and Academic Services, “In the course of the morning, performance degraded to a point where students effectively were not able to access Add/Drop.”

University Prepares for a Greener Slope Day

Each year, thousands of students stumble onto Libe Slope to listen to performers and bask in Slope Day’s glory. This year, students and the University alike are working to make the Big Red event a little greener.
For example, only recyclable and compostable materials will be provided on the Slope.
In fact, everything sold by Cornell Dining will be compostable, according to Scott Davis, Cornell Dining. The eco-friendly materials will include compostable paper napkins, paper plates, potato-starch cutlery and sandwich wrappers. The food will also be composted.
“It’s not much more difficult,” Davis said, “and it’s a worthwhile effort.”

Student Groups Hold Earth Day Celebration

“If you don’t recycle, ninjas might kill you,” read a t-shirt distributed by the Ecology House at yesterday’s Earth Day celebration. Student groups celebrated the day by spreading awareness and promoting action for social and environmental issues.
According to Rachel Cluett ’10, a member of the Sustainability Hub and one of the primary organizers of the event, Earth Day aims to “give student organizations a chance to talk about what they’re doing and to educate other students about what’s happening on-campus and in the community.”

War Veterans Discuss the Corruption Behind the Nation’s Recent Wars Abroad

Last night, the Campus Anti-war Network (CAN), Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), Watermargin Cooperative and The Bully Pulpit showed “Winter Soldier: Iraq and Afghanistan,” a film documenting U.S. soldiers’ eyewitness accounts of the current U.S. occupation in Iraq. Members of the IVAW and one member of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) were also present at the screening and answered questions about their own experiences in a panel discussion following the film.
Alexander Immerman ’09, CAN member and chair of the committee that brought the film to campus, said that it was important to show the film on campus as “self-education for ourselves and for the Cornell community.”

Panel Discusses Iraq Refugee Crisis In Preparation for Benefit Concert

According to the International Rescue Committee’s website, more than four million Iraqis have been uprooted and unable to return to their homes since the beginning of the Iraq War, lacking adequate food, clean water, shelter and medical care.
Last night, Cornell’s Big Red Relief sponsored a panel discussion on the current refugee crisis in Iraq in anticipation of an upcoming benefit concert this Friday.