demassa

DEMASSA & DELGADO | The Elephant in the Room: A Legacy of Discrimination

Earlier this month, we attended the Cornell Alumni Leadership Conference, where over 100 students and 500 alumni convened to undertake the prophetic task of setting a five year strategic plan for the Office of Alumni Affairs. The Office faces a number of growing challenges. LinkedIn has largely replaced and superseded the Office’s role in facilitating professional networking. Social media has become the dominant mode of information-sharing, obliging the Office to either adapt or get left in the dust. With data revealing a lack of donations from young alumni, as announced at the conference, the Office faces an existential threat.

dustin

TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | Calling Cornell In

This weekend marked my third Cornell Alumni Leadership Conference. While many elements of the weekend were the same — a seeming takeover of a hotel in a major city and at least 23 renditions of the alma mater — this weekend gave me newfound hope about how we as a community can exercise compassion and move towards the Cornell we hope to be. In the case you haven’t read the aptly- titled Sun article, Cornell gave an alumnus an award and while accepting it, he called Satchel Paige a “Negro,” prompting swift backlash. As I sat in the ballroom, I felt similar reactions to my peers: Looking around to find eyes and share a moment with someone else to make sure I was hearing correctly, scrolling through texts from other students in the room, including one that said “I can check off experiencing a racial incident on my 161 things to do,” and understanding the impact that his words were having on the group. But the focus of this column is not on the incident itself but the way in which we reacted as a community.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: An Invitation to President Pollack on Qatar

To the Editor:

As student labor organizers involved with Cornell’s United Students Against Sweatshops chapter, we heartily welcomed The Sun’s Feb. 5 editorial on the decades-old discussion surrounding Cornell’s operation of a medical campus outside the capital city of Qatar. We hope to further contextualize the longstanding fight to secure a third-party investigation into working conditions at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, with an eye towards future concerted action. To do so, we must first touch on relevant aspects of this campus’s rich history of student-driven labor organizing. At the turn of the millennium, the prolific USAS network mobilized to counter the influence of a Clinton-made organization, the Fair Labor Association, whose corporate ties clearly compromised its ability to independently monitor sweatshop conditions.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘Class Council to Host Valentine’s Day Gala for Planned Parenthood’

To the editor:

A little over a month ago, Dr. Leana Wen, President of Planned Parenthood, confirmed what the American pro-life movement has recognized for years when she tweeted: “First, our core mission is providing, protecting, and expanding access to abortion and reproductive health care.” In the words of its own leader, Planned Parenthood is an organization that believes its primary purpose is to push for more abortion, full stop. This admission renders the decision made by the Class Councils of 2021 and 2022 to fundraise for Planned Parenthood at their Valentine’s Day Gala completely inappropriate and extraordinarily insensitive. Although the majority of Cornellians may favor abortion rights to one extent or another, there exists a great many of us who believe that the result of the procedure is the ending of a distinct human life deserving of dignity like any other. Despite my own strong feelings on the matter, I understand that in a diverse community such as ours, disagreement on this issue is inevitable. What I fail to understand, and what I object to, is the Class Councils’ reckless decision to spend money collected from each and every undergraduate via the Student Activity Fee on a fundraiser for such a deeply divisive organization — an organization that performed 332,757 abortions in 2018 alone.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Undergrads: In support of grad student union’s mental health petition

To the editor:

As undergraduate students, we would like to provide University leadership with an undergraduate perspective on Cornell Graduate Students United’s recently delivered mental health petition. Foremost, we want to reiterate the crucial role that graduate student-workers play in the lives of undergrads. Graduate students are our mentors, our instructors and our friends. They oftentimes fill tasks left by overloaded professors — meeting with us one-on-one to guide us not only through our coursework, but through our larger academic and professional trajectories. Cornell does not work unless its graduate student-workers do, and the undergraduate experience would be a shell of itself without them.

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GUEST ROOM | Changes in Cornell’s Health Insurance Requirement Warrant a Warning

Current full-time students at Cornell must be enrolled in a health insurance plan that provides in-network coverage at the Cayuga Medical Center, which is the only hospital in Ithaca. However, Cornell’s Student Health Benefits Advisory Committee determined that beginning on May 1, 2019, full-time students may satisfy health insurance coverage with a plan that does not include CMC as an in-network provider. One of the main reasons for this change is that over 20 percent of Cornell students have coverage offered by UnitedHealthcare, which does not work with CMC as an in-network provider. Instead of requiring thousands of students to change insurance provider to gain access to CMC as an in-network provider, SHBAC is going to “encourage” all full-time students to have in-network coverage at CMC, according to the Student Health Benefits website. The new health insurance requirement is controversial because there is no obvious solution.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘SONG | A Relationship Isn’t the Answer to Happiness’

While the article focuses on shattering ideals of a relationship effectively, it appalls me that there is a specific mentioning of the author’s suicidal ideations with no further comment from either the editor or the author herself. At a time when mental health issues are so rife with complications on campus, the blasé mention of a serious suicidal thought is not one of transparency and a call for solidarity. Rather, it is an indication of just how far our campus narrative needs to shift towards not only communication and openness, but also of acknowledging that this culture of mental health issues must move in a supportive and serious context. Suicidal ideation is a serious concern, and when someone admits to such experiences to a wide audience with no acknowledgement that this sort of behavior is not healthy and that some form of action is being taken to ensure her safety, it is also a cause of concern for the author’s personal experiences as well. While I in no way am condemning the act of sharing one’s personal experiences with mental health, one must talk about and publish stories on this crucial issue with more context so as to not breed normalcy — “The impact of the media on suicidal behavior seems to be most likely when a method of suicide is specified — especially when presented in detail — when the story is reported or portrayed dramatically and prominently”, according to the Centre for Suicide Research at Oxford.

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAY | Morita Equivalence Between Sex and Math

Sex and solving mathematical problems are  the same process. Sometimes they are surprisingly quick, inducing a moment of ecstasy but an ultimately unfulfilling experience. Other times, you can try for hours with no progress on the floor of a study room in PSB until you inevitably realize that cumming with a condom just isn’t an option for some people. Even though you know the person you’re with hasn’t gotten tested, you’re still willing to trust them because they have an IUD — and because you haven’t touched a breast since 10th grade English class during a haunting read-aloud of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Generally, however, as you grow in either mathematical maturity or sexual ability you learn your needs and what problems you have the potential to solve or, in my case, how to eat pussy and smash.

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAY | Me, Myself and I

We are a week away from that holiday: Valentine’s Day. Having been single for 22 years continuously, I’ve really grown to hate this consumption-driven, exclusionary, sickly-pink holiday. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a #strongindependentwoman and know I don’t need a lovey-dovey partner to 1) have fun, 2) be happy or 3) orgasm, but seeing all of the cheesy affection on display reminds me that I’ll never achieve that linear, heteronormative, Hallmark-romance love that society hearts so very much. So, if you’ve found love just in time to avoid being single on this dreadful day, go fuck yourself, this article isn’t for you. But if you’re a single soul like myself on this miserable day, here are my top 10 Valentine’s Day tips and tricks to hating this day a little less, and loving yourself a little more.

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JONES | Cornell Needs an Undergrad Applied Math Department

Pen and paper in hand, I felt a jolt of relief as I finished scribbling the last answer to a math problem set due in 20 minutes. Feeling accomplished, I paraded from Olin Library to Malott Hall, the mathematics building, hoping to find my TA’s office where homework is dropped off. Upon arriving at Malott, I opened Blackboard to look for his precise office location. The result was appalling: My moment of accomplishment immediately receded as I discovered my TA’s office was located 15 minutes away in Rhodes Hall, which is by the Engineering Quad on the opposite end of the campus. Fortunately, after sprinting to Rhodes, I somehow was able to submit my homework on time.