TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | Three Things I Learned From Virtual Cornell

Last week marked the one-year anniversary of Cornell’s campus closure. Since then, the University community has learned to adapt to the COVID-19 world; Daily Checks and surveillance tests are now  second nature. And with a federal directive to make all adults eligible for vaccines by May, it finally seems that the end of the pandemic is near. Quarantine, for me, was a time for introspection and growth. Staying at home with family gave me a chance to deepen my relationship with my siblings.

TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | Pandemic Reveals Cornell’s Long Path to Better Career Advising

Many institution’s structural shortcomings are typically hidden from public view and usually garner little attention. That is, until a crisis hits. A crisis, especially one as consequential as COVID-19, forces an immediate assessment of institutional preparedness. Cornell’s students, staff, faculty and senior leadership, for example, demonstrated the resilience of our people and the University by successfully undertaking a campus reopening during a global pandemic. But during the recent virtual career fair mishap, the pandemic revealed an important insight: There’s much work to be done with Cornell’s career advising.

TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | A Reflection on Greek Life at Cornell

A month-long winter break has come and passed. Still, after having just completed this year’s first rush cycle, the state of Greek life at Cornell and new University policies on Greek events remain some of the most contentious issues on campus. However, this isn’t the first time that the Greek system at Cornell has been at the center of controversy. Some of the first major complaints about dirty rushing were filed around 1915, to which the IFC responded with a Barnes Hall trial of the accused fraternities. Why are we – a century later – still grappling with the same question of how to curb misbehavior in Greek communities?

TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | Club Selectivity Isn’t the Problem. Recruitment Culture Is.

Albeit being just a four-day extended weekend, fall break comes as salvation for many students on the Hill. This is perhaps because of the unique stresses of fall at Cornell. On top of the usual academic responsibilities, students spend much of their time attending information sessions, filing applications and interviewing for positions. But not for jobs. For clubs.

TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | Finding Home Away from Home

I still vividly remember my first semester at Cornell as a newcomer wearing a shiny ID on the red “Tatkon Center” lanyard. Early freshman year was many things, but it mostly boiled down to two activities: sporting my fashionable “Hello, my name is ____” sticker and strutting down College Ave. in my massive O-Week group with only Google Maps to guide us to a party we had found on Facebook. Now a junior, I’ve been here long enough to feel at home that I rarely walk through Collegetown in groups larger than three. But watching — from the eHub window seats — the new generation of Cornellians engage in these freshmen processions makes me reflect on my own arrival on the Hill.