Johnson Museum to Host First Senior Gala

Approximately 800 people are expected to attend the first Senior Gala at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art on April 16 to celebrate the 2016  senior class at Cornell, according to Bobby Dougherty ’16, co-chair of Senior Days. “Every year, students look forward to their last semester and all the fun events to commemorate senior year,” Dougherty said. The Cornellian Senior Gala is supposed to be a wonderful way to celebrate four great years on campus in the classy setting of the Johnson Museum.”
The black-tie event will feature three cash bars, catered food, live jazz performances, three DJs, and two dance floors, according to the event’s Facebook page. Seniors and their guests will walk down the “Red Carpet” when they arrive, greeted by a jazz quartet, Dougherty explained. “As people walk throughout the museum, there will be catered spreads and bars, and they can also enjoy many beautiful art pieces ranging from a laser light exhibit to ink painting from Southeast Asia,” she said.

CORNELL CLOSE-UPS | Extension Faculty Member LaWanda Cook Shares Rewards of Work in Disabilities

LaWanda Cook, an extension faculty member at the K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, has dedicated her life to helping people with disabilities achieve their career goals. A certified rehabilitation counselor, Cook studies the work-life balance, access to worksite wellness programs and social inclusion of people with disabilities. Although Cook uses a wheelchair, she said her conversations are largely focused on her work rather than on her disability. “If you know me one-on-one, we’re not talking about the chair most of the time because that’s not who I am,” she said. Cook said her research was inspired by her experiences with summer employment programs. Working made her feel “powerful and capable,” she said.

Graduate Students Criticize College of Business

The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly voiced their frustration with the administration’s lack of transparency in the decision making process. Kotlikoff defended the Board of Trustees’ decision citing multiple past studies regarding the need for such a conglomeration of schools. These studies, Kotlikoff explains, have identified “fragmentation of our business programs as a liability for our University.”
“In many cases,” he said, “What’s happening is these programs are spending resources on those faculty that they would like to spend on their more specialized faculty and programs that distinguish the school, and that arises from the fact that we’re not leveraging our resources and allowing students to access resources across these schools.”
The provost described the need for the “most efficient organization” which would facilitate hiring of new faculty for business programs.
He maintained that preserving the identity and excellence of each individual school — one of the main concerns in response to the recent decision — will be a “major goal” in the upcoming process. Kotlikoff also discussed how faculty from each of the involved schools are “working together to determine the faculty governance process.” Various committees, including undergraduate and graduate student synergy committees, will also be involved in the governance process. In response, Nathaniel Rogers grad, GPSA vice president for operations, said it was “hard to say that the faculty felt like they were involved in the process.”
Rogers also said that some graduate students in the GPSA — an organization which gives them “the unique opportunity to impact how Cornell operates”— are frustrated because they do not feel that they are part of the process in making recent decisions such as the $350 student health insurance fee and the creation of the College of Business.

Ithaca Mural Celebrating Muslim Culture Calls for Design Submissions

The Al-Huda Islamic Center of the Finger Lakes, the Greater Ithaca Activities Center and the Multicultural Resource Center are currently calling for sketch submissions for a mural celebrating Muslim culture that has been commissioned for the Commons. The 50 foot by 16 foot mural — which will be painted on the wall leading into the Green Street parking garage near the Cinemapolis movie theater — will celebrate the culture of the approximately 750 Muslims who live in Ithaca, according to Nagiane Lacka Arriaza, the mural’s project coordinator. “There are murals depicting Native Americans and Latinos [in Ithaca],” Arriaza said. “We’re part of this community, and I believe we should be part of the art scene as well.”

She said she intends for the new mural to make the Muslim community feel more at home in Ithaca, adding that she believes the community is underrepresented in the local art scene. “I’m looking for the art to actually reflect the people who live here,” Arriaza said.

Garrett’s Response to Issues in Qatar Frustrates Students

Clarification appended
Students from the Cornell Organization for Labor Action are frustrated by the administration’s lack of action, after President Elizabeth Garrett acknowledged through a letter on Nov. 9, but did not approve, a Student Assembly resolution that calls for an investigation of labor practices at Weill Cornell Medicine in Qatar. Resolution 16 —”Addressing Labor Issues in Qatar” — was sponsored by COLA and adopted by the S.A. in a 24-1-0 vote on Oct. 16. The resolution, which was then conveyed to Garrett on Oct.