I’m sure the Cornell housing system has been given much thought. After all, Cornell has had over 150 years to work it out. And with over 20,000 currently enrolled students, it needs to be a well-oiled machine. Or rather, the administration needs to think it’s a well-oiled machine. For many students, the housing process kind of sucks.
As project team acceptances roll out, I’d like to offer a critique of the institution that I was a part of for three years. I enjoyed my time on my team, both as a rank-and-file member and later in a leadership role. I met dozens of very bright, motivated and pleasant engineers, some of whom I count among my closest friends. I picked up a lot of useful skills and gained a high-level understanding of different engineering fields. But I believe that Cornell would be better off without them.
One of my favorite small luxuries in life is getting home and getting naked. I live for the silky touch of my bed sheets on my bare skin and love feeling totally free walking around à la nude. I didn’t grow up in a nudist household, but after living alone for a couple of years, I’ve definitely grown to love it. Yet, there’s a crucial distinction between being naked in the privacy of your own home and having the balls to stroll around naked in public. Unsurprisingly, the latter was on my bucket list.
I’m about one straight white man away from giving up on the male species all together. Now don’t get me wrong, I loveeeeee men, but I’m not sure how much more of this bullshit I can take. In general, the average dude just simply cannot find my clit. The biggest sex trend these days is the two pump chump — the fuck, chuck and fall asleep. I’m fed up with texts like, “I’m sorry I’ve been distant, I got this lamp and the directions were in Chinese so it took 7 hours to put together.” If one more man tries to explain Bitcoin to me, I’m gonna lose my shit.
There is no “type of girl” that I like to be. I don’t like it when I wear a headband and someone calls me a “headband girl.” I don’t like working at Temple of Zeus and being called a “Zeus girl.” I don’t want to be sceney, or facey, or really understood to be anything so narrow. I especially hate being the girl with no sense of humor. It has happened twice, that I can remember, during my time at Cornell, when I’ve raised my hand, mid-seminar-style banter, and interrupted to say, “I don’t think this is funny.” Both times, the class was talking, in its own way, about violence against women. Both times, afterward, there was that pin-drop silence and a redness creeping up my neck like the tide.
Fall break was quite a time, a beloved break spent simply being. I visited my sister in Hartford, Connecticut. She attends Trinity College, a school less “prestigious” than Cornell, sure, but filled with some neat people. Friday morning. My sister goes to class.
I don’t mean to get political…but this country’s current administration is made up of a bunch heartless monsters and unqualified fear-mongers. Great, now that I’ve got that out of my system, we can continue. On election night two years ago, as Trump’s numbers were climbing, I was on Skype call with a very worried friend of mine who was frantically refreshing the polls every five minutes. I clearly remember saying to her, “trust me, there is no way he’s going to win,” and I believed it. I was so confident, in fact, that I went to bed early that evening without even waiting for the final results.
There are a variety of ways in which Cornell students take on additional responsibilities across campus. A non-exhaustive list includes student organization leaders, student-athletes, resident assistants, shared governance representatives and teaching assistants. In addition to being an essential part of diversifying and augmenting one’s resume, these leadership positions, formal and informal, provide valuable opportunities for academic, professional and personal growth. It is an integral component of one’s professional and personal development, and, as a result, most students hold multiple leadership positions across campus. A consequence of this, however, is that for many students a significant portion of their non-academic time here is spent fulfilling the associated responsibilities of every leadership position they hold.
This week, an alarming United Nations report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicated that by 2040, the world we know — with abundant food, relatively infrequent natural disasters, and, uh, Southeast Asia — will be but a fleeting memory. The IPCC concluded that avoiding catastrophe will require “rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure… and industrial systems.” As one climate writer explains, these goals require an “immediate, coordinated crash program of re-industrialization, involving every major country in the world,” which is difficult to imagine considering “nothing even remotely similar has ever happened” in human history. Reading the report, it’s clear we have two choices: either save the world, costing big corporations their money, or destroy it, costing millions of vulnerable people their lives. On the heels of the UN report, CNN published some suggestions for concerned citizens seeking ways to take action. Paramount to averting the impending apocalypse is, it insists, that consumers “change their lifestyle and consumption patterns to more sustainable alternatives.” One example: “Using smart thermostats or more efficient air conditioners.”
This summer, the well-renowned and much-loved water treatment course CEE 4540 was deliberately dismantled by the CEE Curriculum Committee and quietly replaced with a hastily assembled, entirely redefined course under the same number. For the last three months, our ad-hoc team of CEE 4540 supporters (155+ students, alumni and staff) has been questioning this decision. The Curriculum Committee has repeatedly dismissed and scolded us. It appears that the University approaches curriculum from a “parent knows best” mindset. At no point during curriculum review were students or alumni asked for direct input.