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JONES | Four Years Just Isn’t Enough Time

I recently petitioned the Academic Records Committee in the College of Arts and Sciences to spend a fifth year at Cornell as an undergraduate — which would give me enough time to pursue an additional major. The process of petitioning the Committee is brutal, if not totally irrational. Students interested in staying a longer time at Cornell to pursue an extra degree are advised to get approval from their faculty advisor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies for each current and new degree. They also must submit a five-year course plan, all before the add deadline for courses, Feb. 5.

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DEMASSA & DELGADO | Professor Spotlight: Bruce Monger and Uncharted Territory

Our greatest guides at Cornell should be the professors who stand before us each day. For us, one of these individuals is Prof. Bruce Monger, Earth and atmospheric sciences, whose well-known course EAS 1540: Introductory Oceanography draws over a thousand students each Fall. He has consistently anchored political activism in his pedagogy, even inspiring a former student to take a year off to work as a climate activist for The Sunrise Movement. We asked him about the path he forged and the advice he offers for students today. From logging trees in the Pacific Northwest to lecturing oceanography in Bailey Hall, Monger built his career out of a keen sense of adventure.

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GUEST ROOM | Transfer in, Transfer Out?

The idea that someone might transfer out of Cornell isn’t too unfathomable. People joke about transferring out and hating Cornell, especially when prelim season rolls around, when the weather gets cold and when recruitment, selection and cutting for exclusive organizations begins. But the idea that someone who transferred into Cornell might transfer back out? It’s something that those of us in the transfer student community joke about, but nobody actually thinks we’ll follow through with. We’ve already made the choice to come here — to leave everything from our first year behind.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A Call Against Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions

To the Editor:

Earlier this month, Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine announced a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. The campaign aims to divest Cornell’s endowment from companies they allege are responsible for human rights violations against Palestinians. A wave of these campaigns has spread to campuses across the country, and they sow nothing but discord and fear in their wake. We, the undersigned members of the Cornell community, stand squarely against this campaign because it is antithetical to the values Cornellians hold dear. BDS Prevents Thoughtful Dialogue on Campus

The goal of the BDS movement is to utilize economic pressure against Israel as a mechanism to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Guest Room

GUEST ROOM | A Call for Transparency and Labor Focus in the ILR Dean Search

Five months after Kevin Hallock stepped down from the helm of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations to lead the newly formed SC Johnson College of Business, the nation’s premier institution of labor education and research continues in its search for a new dean. While the search committee has voiced desire for student input, we fear the opinions of those most impacted by the management of this program will not be made a central concern. In fact, the Provost has made no commitments to transparency in this process, and has indicated to faculty members that he may be departing from well-established norms by not giving faculty and students the ability to comment on candidates being considered for the position. The Provost would require the select faculty members who meet the finalists to sign confidentiality agreements, agreeing to refrain from discussing potential candidates with their colleagues. The fact that the previous dean was so easily able to transition to leading an institution of management is indicative of the corporate bias of the search process to date.


GUEST ROOM | The Problem With Selective Organizations

The first time I heard about how selections for exclusive organizations occurred in my freshman year, I laughed. The concept of organizations founded on the concept of selectivity was foreign to me. A close friend from high school described to me, with a straight and serious face, how slides are created with headshots and resumes, how groups of 30-40 peers judge “potential” and “professionalism” in a matter of minutes, how many hours go into this process of judging peers, how the number of applicants becomes a measure of pride, how low acceptance rates represent elite organizations and how hundreds of people subject themselves to this process every semester. She described how some of these organizations wore cloaks! What I was hearing was straight out of a Bravo TV show.


TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | Interested in the Student-Elected Trustee Position?

Cornell University’s Board of Trustees is unique in its inclusion of students as full voting members. Of our Ivy League peers, we are the only one to seat students on our Board even though many other student communities have argued for a similar position. Other academic institutions may allow students to elect a representative to serve on their Board, but Cornell is one of the few institutions to seat not one but two students. One student-elected trustee must be an undergraduate student while the other must be either a graduate or a professional student. Regardless of their academic status, both student-elected trustees represent the student community as a whole.

Letter to the Editor


Not a day passes without Israel escalating its assault on the Palestinian people. The 2018 Nation State Law has drawn mass outrage from Palestinians and ethno-religious minorities such as the Druze and Coptic Christians and Israeli Jews. Despite the law’s virtual confirmation of Israel as a racialized apartheid state, the United States has been steadfast in their support for the occupying regime. Since Israel’s origin, the state has dispossessed countless Palestinians through violent means, starting with the 1948 al-Nakba (“The Catastrophe”) in which nearly a million indigenous Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their homes or otherwise murdered by Zionist militias. The U.S. shares a common history with Israel as a fellow settler-colonial project rooted in genocide, making the countries’ current close relationship unsurprising.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘The Elephant in the Room: A Legacy of Discrimination’

To the editor:

Reading DeMassa and Delgado’s Feb. 18 column, I find myself perplexed, unnerved and disappointed by the authors’ deranged characterization of last week’s trustee debacle as “representative of larger prejudice at Cornell.”

To be sure, Paul Blanchard’s verbiage was tasteless. Perhaps even insensitive. But symptomatic of prejudice? Hardly.

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAY | The Bechdel Test

I recently learned about the Bechdel Test (ironically from a male friend, but so it goes). In essence, the test measures women’s representation in fiction and requires that two women talk to each other about anything other than a man. And that’s when I realized very few moments in my life would pass the Bechdel Test. Anytime I’m talking to a female friend for more than a few minutes, the topic of boys typically comes up. Sometimes we’re ranting about a male professor.