What Really Happened in Disturbia

By now, anyone with a computer and an internet connection has seen the photos of Rihanna after she was allegedly assaulted by Chris Brown the night of the Grammys a few weeks ago. In the wake of this incident, adults and teens alike have struggled to talk to one another about abusive relationships. It is unfortunate that such society needs such an event to provoke this conversation, but what is even more disturbing are the trends that seem to be emerging from the national dialogue.

Israeli Palestinian Conflict Article Followup

When writing last week’s article about the Swiss perspective on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it was a little difficult finding people who were native to Switzerland because it is populated with people from all over the globe. In my article, there are only two native Swiss people present and even then, they have exposure to many different cultures and ways of thinking.

However, the population’s make-up ultimately contributed to a richer understanding how other parts of the world perceive the conflict. I am very grateful that I work at a place like the International Labour Organisation and just Geneva in general because people from all regions of the globe also work there, providing a multifaceted outlook to different social, political and economic issues.

Swiss Residents Argue Events in Gaza, Israel

(GENEVA) — Like Cornell, Switzerland is populated with students from all sorts of backgrounds, ethnicities and religions; students who collaborate with one another on a daily basis and foster constructive dialogue on many subjects. With strong ties to the international community, however, Cornell is not immune to conflict, as is evident in the ongoing controversy and recent debates related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Though Switzerland is renowned for being a bastion for open discussion and tolerance, it has recently witnessed numerous demonstrations concerning global economic equality, lack of aid to war-torn countries and Israel’s response to the rockets that were launched by Hamas into Israel.

Tigers in the Midst

Where do you go when you want to hide? If you’re from a war-torn country, you go to a place populated with people from all over the world and where you can easily blend in with the crowd. Geneva is convenient in this regard – it’s a city filled with people from all over world and you can find almost any culture here. Some say that’s Geneva’s downfall – the city lacks its own identity. But Geneva is also a great place if you want bring national attention to a certain issue, as it is host to several international organizations devoted to helping the impoverished and under served.

Shaping a Post-Crisis World at Davos, Switzerland?

Greetings from Geneva, Switzerland! Currently, I am working at the International Labor Organization so I will try to blog not only about U.S. happenings, but add to that an international perspective and how the rest of the world sees these events. In the future, you may see interviews with some ILO officers.

Community Mourns Those Lost in India Attacks

In the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, people from all over the Cornell community came together last night to pay tribute to the lives lost in the blasts.
When attendees first entered the One World Room in Anabel Taylor Hall, they were greeted with darkness. This was a deliberate effort to illustrate the dark times that had befallen the world as a result of the attacks. Guests were invited to light a candle, to symbolize pushing the darkness out of the room.
Amy Pearlman ’09, president of the Hillel Jewish Student Union, along with Rob Chicly ’09, president of the Jewish Student Organization and chair of the Chabad student board, addressed the need to fight darkness with light and evil with good.

It’s the Stress, Stupid

I’ve been meaning to put these notes up for awhile. About three weeks ago, I wrote the feature story for Eclipse on the culture of stress on Cornell’s campus and some of its root causes. I wrote about some strategies people use to de-stress. What I didn’t get to include in the article was some of the ways stress affects genders.

While everyone is under an immense amount of stress due to the economic crisis, the holidays, being swamped at work, the way it affects the genders has important implications for society at large. One example is women in computer science, which illustrates the ways stress can maintain barriers to entry in certain career fields.

In Trying Times, Employees Struggle to Make Ends Meet

This is the first part of a four-part series analyzing socioeconomic issues at Cornell and in the surrounding community.

According to the Alternatives Federal Credit Union in 2007, a single person with no dependants would need to make $20,450 a year or roughly $9.83 per hour for a 40-hour work week to fulfill most of his or her needs. Factoring in housing, transportation, health care, recreation and other necessities, the AFCU conducts the Living Wage Study bi-yearly to keep up with current trends in the economy and the cost of living. This figure represents a 7-percent increase over the estimate of $19,102 reported in 2005.

New Tompkins Budget Allocates Funds for Libraries, Health Department

In order to grapple with state cuts to the budget next year, on Tuesday the Tompkins County Legislature passed its 2009 budget, which calls for a three percent tax levy increase. A tax levy is money raised by the city through property taxes to fund various services and programs.
According to The Ithaca Journal, the legislature has proposed a $74 million budget for next year, which contains a 2.99-percent increase in the tax levy. Considered one of the most significant, long-term increases in funding, the money will be allocated for supporting libraries and the county health department. The budget for 2008 was about $72.5 million.

Liberty and Justice for Some?

Many Americans are in euphoria this week. And with good reason. Barack Obama’s election has revived America’s reputation of equality for all–not counting California, of course. This week, voters in California passed Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Forty-eight percent of voters were against the ban and 52 percent of voters voted for it. The battle over Prop. 8 was one of the most expensive and intense campaigns in California’s history. Supporters and opponents to gay marriage poured a tremendous amount of money into the campaign. In particular, the Mormon Church devoted millions of dollars in hopes of passing the ban.