Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Two Cheers for the Late Prof. Isaac Kramnick

To the Editor:

I was saddened to learn that Prof. Isaac Kramnick, the Richard J. Schwartz Professor of Government Emeritus, had passed away late last month. Kramnick had an impact on me and countless other Cornellians, helping us feel that we belonged at Cornell, connecting our present to the democratic promises of the past and modeling how to stand up for what is right and just. These few anecdotes will not depict the depth of his impact, however, they remain clearest in my memory. On one of my first days of class as a graduate student in the Fall of 2013, I remember Kramnick making me feel like I belonged at Cornell. Kramnick shut down an elitist comment that a fellow student made about the private school where he had earned his undergraduate degree.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘Committee Calls for New College of Public Policy in Final Report’

To the Editor:

I write today as a current student, alumna and employee of the College of Human Ecology to strongly disagree with the proposal set forth by the Provost’s Social Sciences Implementation Committee that seeks to transform the College of Human Ecology into a College of Public Policy. I believe that this proposed change will have a negative effect on the academic experiences of current and future students and will damage the University’s relationship with the College’s many passionate alumni and supporters. My experience as a human ecology student shaped my academic and career interests in ways that I could not have imagined when I first set foot on campus as a transfer student at the beginning of my sophomore year. Coming from a traditional political science program, I hadn’t had the opportunity to explore much beyond my policy classes and was planning on going into a career in government like most of my peers at my previous school. Human Ecology showed me how policy touches everything in the world around us, and how everything else influences policy.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Joint Statement on Tensions at the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong

To the Editor:

We urge politicians around the world, especially those in the United States, to exert pressure on Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, and the Hong Kong Police Force, to call off violent crackdowns on pro-democracy protesters, and answer the remaining four demands put forth by the protesters. Throughout the past few weeks, we have seen a substantial amount of arrests, followed by a shocking number of unexplained disappearances, alleged suicides and police rape. Additionally, the HKPF has widely used the word “cockroaches” to dehumanize the protesters. Merely over the past two days, the violence inflicted by the HKPF against the Hong Kong protesters (mainly students) has escalated to unprecedented levels. The HKPF threatened the students with the use of live ammunition on the campus of the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong, and subsequently invaded PolyU with brute force at 5:32 a.m., Nov.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘Make Cornell More Inclusive for Christians’

To the Editor:

I want to start by emphasizing that this is no way an attack on Christianity or the author of the op-ed. This is a response to reflect on religious privilege on campus and to continue the conversation of religious acceptance and accommodation at Cornell. If you can write an op-ed about your religious beliefs and not fear for your safety on campus after it’s published, you are experiencing religious privilege. If you can write an op-ed about your religion and not be stereotyped as the voice for your entire religion by the public, you are experiencing religious privilege. If you can attend Cornell University and never have your religion be the target of a hate crime, you are experiencing religious privilege.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘Make Cornell More Inclusive for Christians’

To the Editor:

“Christians are different. We often stick to ourselves, believe in a supernatural and omniscient God and typically go against the grain of college student life.” In a recent op-ed, Darren Chang ’21 brands Cornell Christians as inherently different from other students because they stand on a higher moral pedestal by avoiding temptations that “contradict mainstream Christian lifestyles.”

The standard of religious delineation employed by Chang actually characterizes the bind that links most major religions: a belief in a higher omnipresent being. While making it pointedly obvious that he did in fact attend his “fair share of parties” during his time at Cornell, Chang describes Christians as being specifically prosecuted for choosing “praying instead of partying” on weekends. Specifying these characteristics and situations (i.e. choosing not to party) as being unique to only Christians, when they very obviously are not, implies that being Christian equates to being at a higher moral standing. Hot-take: Nobody really cares why you aren’t partying.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘Down with Fake Philanthropy!’

To the Editor:

In a recent Sun column, Nicholas Nguyen ’22 writes about his experience interacting with a philanthropy event on campus, voicing his discomfort about many on-campus organizations that seem to not care enough about the causes they support. As members of the sorority holding the event Nguyen referenced, we want to respond to this criticism. It is heartening to mention that on that fall day, we raised over $680 to support the Wounded Warriors Project, a nonprofit organization that serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness or wound while serving in the military on or after Sept. 11, 2001. That money, we are proud to say, will directly contribute to initiatives for supporting injured veterans.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘Correcting the Record on ‘Propaganda Versus Reality’’

To the Editor:

As an Iranian American graduate student at Cornell and the son of Iranian immigrants, I have bitten my tongue as I watch the likes of Michael Johns ’20 be given a platform for their anti-Iran hysteria. But I can no longer contain my annoyance over the gross inaccuracies, historical revisionism and American exceptionalism emanating from The Sun because of him. Johns loves to criticize the Iranian government. And in fact, there is nothing wrong with good faith criticism of any government or political system. I would know this.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘Remember What It Means to Be a Student’

To the editor:

In “Remember What It Means to Be a Student,” Colton Poore ’20 writes, “Over the past three years, I’ve felt that I’ve had my desire to learn sucked out of me with memorization, regurgitation and prayers of scoring at least the mean.” This is a result of a culture that prioritizes the measurable over the meaningful. I usually have a blue shirt on. The shirt is clearly blue. However, as a professor, if I told Cornell students that my shirt is red and then gave them a test with one question on it — “What color is my shirt?” — 95% would answer, without hesitation, “Red,” regardless of whether I am speaking one-on-one, in a small group or in a large auditorium (just ask my students, advisees and anyone else who would be around to watch). I would tell them that we are here to teach them how to observe nature and to develop the courage of their convictions to explain their observations and conclusions using reasoning.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘College Shouldn’t Be a Breeze’

To the editor:

“College shouldn’t be a breeze,” writes Christian Baran ’22 in a recent opinion piece. Luckily for author, it isn’t, no matter how you choose to spend your time on campus. It seems that Cornell students can’t win lately. One week, we have people telling us to not glorify being busy and to reevaluate where our definition of success comes from. Another week, we have articles implying that you should feel guilty if you’re taking “easy” classes or a semester with fewer credits.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: His Record Aside, Scott Walker Is ‘Incredibly Boring’

To the Editor:

When I first learned that former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was visiting Cornell, I must admit, my interest was piqued. Then, I read Irene Hartmann’s grad letter, followed by the response from the Cornell Republicans. While striking, these letters do not paint a full picture of Gov. Walker, and I would encourage everyone to dig a bit deeper. For instance, while Hartmann notes that Walker attacked public-sector unions and blocked consumer protection laws, she failed to mention that Scott Walker turned down over $1 billion in federal dollars to expand Medicaid, meaning state funds were used instead. Nor did she note in her letter that Walker orchestrated the biggest corporate handout to a foreign company in American history, $4 billion, complete with the right to ignore environmental regulations, which has been disastrous.