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GUEST ROOM | Any Person, Any Study: In Defense of the Excellence in Cornell’s College of Human Ecology

If university leadership were to implement the recommendation to nix the College of Human Ecology, they would disregard overwhelming concerns. After months of deliberation, the Social Sciences Implementation Committee issued its final report. The ten voting members of the committee were narrowly divided with a 6 to 4 majority favoring the “re-envisioning” of the College of Human Ecology into a College of Public Policy and the creation of “super-departments” in economics, sociology, and psychology. This recommendation, though, ignores issues reiterated during numerous public listening sessions by stakeholders within the college as well as the broader Cornell community. Three quarters of CHE faculty are not in Policy Analysis and Management and have made it loud and clear that the switch to a policy college would not reflect their research interests, professional expertise and teaching.70 percent of current CHE students are not in a policy-related major and have voiced similar concerns.

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KROLL | Our Hand in the Resource Curse

The resource curse is as tragic as it is predictable. Blinded by the allure of exorbitant wealth, nations rich in nonrenewable resources like bronze, oil and uranium mismanage their economies, winding up with stagnant growth or financial collapse. Much of this pattern can be attributed to two behaviors. First, governments overemphasize the production of their most valuable resources, often creating economies that rely entirely on global demand for a small bundle of goods. If demand falls, the economy suffers.

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WAITE | The Trivialization of Black History

On the first day of classes, my ASRC 2650 professor commented on the title of his  course: African American Literature. He made a quick joke about how peculiar it would be if literature classes simply entitled “Literature”, were instead titled “Euro-American Literature.” The joke was that whiteness is so pervasively the norm that this class on American literature needed to distinguish itself as black or else it would be assumed to be white. It was one of those jokes that is both funny and slightly depressing. Every POC in the class, including myself, chuckled. This reminded me of a conversation I had my sophomore year of high school.

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LORENZEN | Why The American Heart Association Believes My Life is Not Worth Living

I am too expensive to be alive, says the organization tasked with protecting my life. According to the American Heart Association, the “logistics, manpower, financial and resource considerations” of saving my life are not worth it. While admittedly biased, I must respectfully disagree with this adjudication of my value as a human. Where my disagreement with the AHA loses any semblance of respect is in its treatment of others who did not receive the same luck which I did. My life was saved by blind luck.

Editorial

EDITORIAL: What Goal Is Cornell Trying to Achieve Through Greek Life Reforms?

Few people would argue that the social scene on this campus is doing fine. Even fewer would say that the Greek Life that existed on this campus 12 months ago was a healthy system. It is clear that reform is necessary. It is urgent. And it needs to come from the adults paid to unearth them — not patched together on the backs of college students without the institutional knowledge, experience or mental bandwidth to reform them.

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SMITH | The Price of Perfectionism

As Cornell students we have a distinct sense of being groomed for our Perfect Lives. Raised to get perfect scores on standardized tests. Told even our extracurriculars, activities  typically meant to allow us to unwind and explore interests that are not scaled or critiqued like assignments, will come under scrutiny for their ability to improve or say something about us to others. Society has been grooming us since birth to be part of the perfect future workforce and gave us the technology to be constantly working, be it building a personal brand or receiving an email at midnight about class the next day. This push for hyper-optimization makes even leisure time an opportunity for greater productivity.

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WILK | The Power of the 2%: Our Unhealthy Relationship with Fraternity Life

Oh, Fraternities. From their stupendously shitty taste in music to their toxic environment of elitist exclusivity to their growing count of associated rape cases and deaths, what’s not to love? Sorry if that was harsh, the hook has gotta be abrasive to weed out who really wants to read the entire thinkpiece, it’ll be worth it when you get to the body paragraphs. You understand, right? It’s a surprise to absolutely no one that Greek life, at universities all across the United States, is ridden with a plethora of serious problems. So why, in spite of this universal truth, are these organizations allowed continued existence; An existence that inherently grants them power and authority?

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Fool Me Twice, Shame on Me: On the Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak

As I was packing up on Friday, preparing myself for an unusually tiresome journey back to Ithaca totaling about three days on the road with three layovers, my phone buzzed: the U.S. Center for Disease Control announced that it would begin screening passengers arriving from Wuhan, China at Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco airports. Given my first layover in L.A.— lasting an unbelievably long twelve hours and giving me an excuse to visit Santa Monica for a bit— I was quite worried. For one, though I did not visit Wuhan this winter break, I was reminded of the panic after the West Africa Ebola epidemic back in 2013, when an overreaction caused a public health crisis in the United States, putting many African passengers under duress. Given the tense political climate between the U.S. and China, who knows there won’t be a repeat? A second, perhaps more foreboding concern, underlies my thoughts: Is the outbreak really this bad?

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAY | Sex in the Great Outdoors

My first time having good sex was in the desert. My then-boyfriend, Desert Not-So Solitaire, and I waited until it was dark, then snuck partway down a trail at Capitol Reef and stretched out a blanket over the burnt orange sand. The stars were so bright above us. The sky seemed to stretch all the way down to our feet. We’d had sex a few times before, but the act was still new and fumbling for me, often accompanied by discomfort or pain.

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAY | A Virgin’s Sex Playlist

With the ultimate sexcapade comes the ultimate playlist — that’s what 13 year old me thought as I sat in geometry class crafting the perfect progression of Spotify songs to accompany my first time. Lana del Rey’s “Young and Beautiful”? Perfect. The entire soundtrack from 50 Shades of Grey (though I had never seen it before)? Epic.