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YAO | Cornell Study Abroad: Home Edition

For the first two months of summer, I didn’t even entertain the idea of staying home. Even as the nationwide case count skyrocketed, my friends and I discussed what in-person lectures might entail and made plans to meet up once classes started. The little town of Ithaca lodged in my mind as a refuge, where I would finally be free from the horrors of reality. Then August came, and the blows began to rain down. Cornell announced that it didn’t have the means to quarantine all the students from states on the New York Travel Advisory list.

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YAO | Median Grades: Never the Whole Picture

As the economy descends into chaos, it’s time for Cornell to reconsider its grading policies. Namely, it’s time to reconsider the column of letters centered on every student transcript — each course’s median grades. Cornell publishes median grades on transcripts to protect against grade inflation and to represent each student’s performance in comparison to those of their peers. However, the University fails to acknowledge that, more often than not, these grades disadvantage students during graduate school admissions and job or internship searches. This semester, Cornell decided against compiling median grades.

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YAO | Revise Advising

My eyes glazed over the platitudes typed on the glossy notecards I was organizing during a guest-led advising seminar session. “Get good sleep.” “Have fun.” “Practice mindfulness.” Sounds like the perfect plan for a productive college career. Just one tiny question: How do I manage all those things with impending prelims and essay deadlines? The question lodged itself in my throat as I glanced at the mental health resources listed on a notecard — the same list I’d seen in every community email. In theory, the College of Arts and Sciences advising seminar is a great idea.