Tobacco Donations Fund Plant Breeding Research

More and more universities across the country have decided to reject hefty donations and grants from big tobacco companies. However, such a decision has not been fully implemented at Cornell, where Philip Morris USA, one of the world’s largest tobacco corporations, is currently funding research in the plant breeding and genetics department, according to the Cornell Press Office.
The $923,037 grant is the only one from Philip Morris to Cornell. The University has received no other donations and has no research sponsored by tobacco companies.

Students Apply to C.U. in Record Numbers

The Early Decision numbers are in, and some 1,142 boys and girls from across the world are now legally bound to the Hill.
However, according to a report issued to the Sun by the Undergraduate Admissions Office, 29,560 Cornell applicants are still awaiting regular decision letters. This is the largest group of applicants in Cornell history.

Univ. Examines Crisis Response, Defines Protocol

Amidst growing concerns over Cornell’s latest attempt at campus-wide emergency notification, the University has started to investigate issues that arose from the Nov. 7 test, seeking both answers and resolutions.
There were three main components of the Nov. 7 mass-notification test: voice messaging, text messaging and email. Each component was met with varied results.

Cornell’s Comprehensive Master Plan Progresses

Nearly two months have passed since Cornell presented a preliminary draft of its Comprehensive Master Plan — a plan devoted to the physical development of its Ithaca campus over the next 10 to 25 years — to an open house full of members of the Cornell and Ithaca community. Those who attended the open house, as well as those currently interested in the future of Cornell, are eagerly waiting to hear what progress has been made since the draft was released.
“What we have been doing since [the open house] is taking all the input very seriously. By and large, the input was very positive. It told us that the general direction we are going in [is] the right one,” said Mina Amundsen, co-chair of the CMP Working Committee and director of the Campus Planning Office.

Professor Discusses Causes of Iraq Insurgency

Ten days ago, President Bush asked Congress for $46 billion to continue the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a proposal which would bring the war budget to $196.4 billion this fiscal year. Four days after the proposal, Prof. David Siddhartha Patel, government, delivered a lecture entitled, “Islam and Insurgency in Iraq,” part of a week long series of talks hosted by the Department of Near Eastern Studies, urging the audience to form educated opinions on the pressing situation in Iraq and to question whether the new influx of money would be worthwhile. 13 students attended.
“I have one vote in the next election,” Patel said. “My opinion is no more or less valuable than anyone else’s.”

Cornell Welcomes Acclaimed Author

In 1989, two book stores in Berkeley, California were bombed for carrying Salman Rushdie’s fourth novel, The Satanic Verses. In Great Britain, Muslim outrage erupted in five bombings and two staged book burnings. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa calling for the death of Rushdie and his publishers. By the end of the year, 11 Islamic countries had banned the novel. And while it would seem impossible to utter Rushdie’s name without inciting an uproar, the Cornell community was all but amicable throughout his reading last Thursday night in Uris Auditorium. No books were burned, no protests staged. The Cornell Store remains intact.

Cornell Masters Plans After Community Feedback

Members of the Cornell and Ithaca communities gathered in The Straight yesterday to discuss a preliminary draft of Cornell’s Comprehensive Master Plan, a proposal devoted to the physical development of the Ithaca campus over the next 10 to 25 years.
The open house, hosted by the CMP Working Committee, began the second round of forums intended to inform the public of the plan’s progress and gather community feedback.

Research Links Human, Canine

For years, Cornell veterinarian and animal behaviorist Dr. Katherine Houpt has been investigating the genetic roots of aggression in dogs at the Veterinary College’s Animal Behavior Clinic. However, her research, propelled by recent technological developments and a new DNA bank on campus, could potentially shed light on human behavior as well.
Houpt and her resident Dr. Julia Albright are currently collecting blood samples from canines diagnosed as aggressive, processing it at the DNA bank and then shipping it off to the Ostrander lab at the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C. The data is then brought back to Ithaca, where the Cornell biostatistics department analyzes it.