N.Y. Budget May Neglect Cancer Funding

Last week, lawmakers gathered in Albany to meet with New York Gov. David Patterson in response to his new budget that failed to include funding for research programs that were funded last year. One noticeable absence was $450,000 in funding towards Cornell’s Program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors. According to Newsday, without these same funds that the program received last year, the researchers would be forced to discontinue their work. The proposal also did not include the $300,000 for a hotline for breast cancer patients and their families based out of Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y.

AAP Administrators Respond to Protest

After students protested earlier this week over the lack of transparency within the College of Architecture, Art and Planning, students, faculty and administrators gathered yesterday in Sibley Hall to discuss concerns regarding the future path of the college.
Issues raised included the selection process of a new architecture department chair, the lack of tenured faculty, the relationship between permanent and visiting faculty, the transparency of the administration and the morale of the college.
The meeting came just several days after architecture students plastered signs inside and outside Sibley Hall criticizing the College for insufficient communication.

Gaza Panel Criticized

According to the Campus Code of Conduct, those who dislike what an invited speaker has to say have the right, among other things, to ask pointed questions and express displeasure with evasive answers. The audience in a packed Lewis Auditorium was reminded of this yesterday before the Gaza in Crisis Discussion Panel, where members of the Cornell community discussed their position on the Gaza conflict.
The panel, which expressed largely pro-Palestinian viewpoints, came after recent events on campus highlighted the impact of the Gaza conflict on the Cornell community. Wasif Syed grad organized the event hoping to encourage discourse.

Stimulus Package Limits Funding for Education

In addition to the $8.7 trillion that the U.S. government has already pledged last November in order to restore the crumbling economy, the Senate and House now have compromised on an additional $789 billion bill in the form of a stimulus package towards the efforts.

Israel Supporters React to Display on the Arts Quad

Three days after signs protesting the war in Gaza were vandalized and stolen from the Arts Quad, Cornell has seen a backlash of pro-Israel sentiment on campus. Flyers stating, “Would you want Hamas in your backyard?” were attached to the black flags in the Gaza display early Tuesday morning, but were removed by 5 a.m. Tuesday.
The original signs — which included facts from Amnesty International and the United Nations about the crisis in Gaza — have been replaced with new signs with the same statements. Police still have not apprehended any individuals involved with tearing down the original signs.

Aetna Found Underpaying Claims

Aetna, the company with which Cornell contracts for student health insurance, will reimburse both active and former Cornell students more than $155,000 in faulty health insurance claims, University officials said yesterday. This sum represents only a portion of the more than $5 million in claims that the company will pay to over 73,000 students at over 200 colleges nationwide as part of an agreement announced Tuesday by New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
Between 1998 and April 1, 2008, Aetna Student Health mishandled 4,114 insurance claims filed by 1,626 Cornell students, according to University Press Relations Officer Joe Schwartz. During this period, the company reimbursed students for less money than they were entitled to, Cuomo’s office said in a statement.

Recession May Contribute to Rise in Gannett Counseling

As America’s financial well-being continues to suffer from the economic recession, individuals likewise share the pain from the emotional repercussions that come with the stress of increased financial hardship.
Matt Boone, assistant director of Counseling and Psychological Services and coordinator of the “Let’s Talk” program at Gannett, said he has seen evidence that the finance crisis affecting the mental health of the Cornell community.
“I’ve seen from myself in my own practice and have heard from my colleagues that students are [more often] presenting issues of anxiety relating to the financial situation, whether it’s things going on in their own family … or whether they are worried for themselves about internships or future jobs,” Boone said.

Cornell Creates Yearlong Intensive Arabic Language Program

Beginning in Fall 2009, the Department of Near Eastern Studies will offer a highly specialized Intensive Arabic Program. In this program, students will take Arabic language coursework during the fall semester before studying abroad in Jordan for the rest of the academic year.
Munther Younes, director of the Arabic Program and a Reis senior lecturer in Arabic Language and Linguistics, began the development of the program two years ago after the department received an anonymous donation towards improving Arabic instruction.
“I started thinking about ways to develop a new program that would be unique among Arabic programs and would really change Arabic instruction in a radical way,” said Younes.

AAP Earns First Rank in Survey

C.U.’s College of Architecture, Art and Planning received high marks in a new survey by DesignIntelligence. The magazine ranked the University’s architecture, interior design and landscape architecture programs at the top of their list of best architecture program.
Cornell’s Bachelor of Architecture program was ranked first of the top 20 in the United States, up two spots from last year’s ranking of number three. The Masters of Architecture program also placed sixth out of the top architecture graduate programs. In the past five years, Cornell’s B. Arch program has been ranked number one four times and the M. Arch program, established in 2004, has placed in the top 20 for the past three years as well.