gilmore 11-28

GUEST ROOM | Toxic Masculinity in Fraternities: A Combat Veteran’s Perspective

I’ll preface this column by stating my intentions. I’m here to attempt to calm down these masculine macho men we see too often in many of the fraternities here at Cornell, and to approach this subject through my experience with it in the Marine Corps. That’s right, I’m a jarhead. During boot camp, we were legally and illegally hazed. The specificities of my treatment are best left unsaid because quite frankly, they were disgusting and atrocious, and absolutely insane, but there was some purpose to this hazing.

valadez 11-28

GUEST ROOM | How First-Gens At Cornell Do Thanksgiving Break

A few days ago while scrolling down my Facebook timeline, I came across this New York Times op-ed shared by the Women’s Resource Center’s page. The title intrigued me: “How First Generation College Students Do Thanksgiving Break.” I clicked the link and was pulled in by the first sentence: “In 1999, I had been a freshman in college in upstate New York for maybe two weeks…” Knowing full well that I’ve used the “Upstate New York” line many times myself, I knew the author was a Cornellian. Reading through the article, I was struck by the similarities between Jennine Capó Crucet’s experience at Cornell and my own: Dr. Capó Crucet is a Latina, daughter of immigrants, and First-Gen college student who struggled to adjust to Cornell —  just like me. And truth is, I am still adjusting. For the third year, I spent Thanksgiving break on campus.

benitez 11-27

BENITEZ | What, Exactly, Is ‘Utility’?

Regardless of whether you’ve taken a philosophy class, you’re likely already familiar with the trolley problem. While the exact terms of the problem may vary, its ultimate question remains constant: should you kill one person to save many and, if so, would you? As a helpful thought experiment, the trolley problem allows us to weigh the relative utility of either option by framing the number of lives saved as the only relevant gauge of either outcome. To save five lives, you must kill one. Any subsequent tension one feels when confronted by the problem is therefore because of an intuition to not kill rather than a reasoned cost-benefit analysis, as the latter always favors sacrificing one life for the benefit of five.

lte 11-20

Letter to the Editor: Concerning graduate student tax reform

To the Editor:

On Nov. 16, 2017, the House passed their long-anticipated Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The suggested tax reform, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, includes the following provision:
“Qualified Tuition Reductions: Under current law, qualified tuition reductions provided by educational institutions to their employees, spouses, or dependents are excluded from income. The exclusion may be provided in the form of either reduced tuition or cash. The reduction must be part of a program that does not discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees and may not apply to graduate programs (except for a graduate student who is teaching or a research assistant).

wang 11-20

WANG | Time to Take a Step Back

I feel like the semester has keeled over and fallen into the abyss. Recently my Chinese history professor pitched a 20-25 page essay as a final project. It had taken a full semester for me to realize why this class was 4 credits. We had spent the majority of it pleasantly reading quaint Chinese scholars ruminate about the difficulty in Chinese bureaucracy while holding far-ranging discussions in class that always concluded with some kind of zany anecdote about our experiences in China. In the back of my head, I knew it was too good to true.

hagopian 11-17

HAGOPIAN | Purloined Progressivism, Alliteration and Cornell Cinema

I’ve enjoyed many a movie at Cornell Cinema, and I believe that art is what makes life worth living. Naturally I tried to do what I could to protest the proposed defunding of the cinema by the Student Assembly. I signed the petition, went to the S.A. meetings, even spoke to a few assembly members that I happen to know personally. When I heard that the resolution had been tabled and that they’d decided to “negotiate on alternative funding possibilities,” I felt like I had played a very small role in accomplishing something good. On a meta-ethical level, however, I felt compelled to reflect on my decision to support this cause.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | A Protestant weighs in on protest

To the editor:

As a Lutheran pastor, I have protest in my blood. After all, Lutherans were the first “Protestants,” protesting articles of faith which we believed were wrong. In fact, the entire Protestant Reformation began with a public call for a debate when 95 Theses were nailed to a Wittenberg church door by an Augustinian monk who also served as a Roman Catholic priest and a professor at the fairly new college at Wittenberg. I was surprised to hear that a similar set of circumstances — a call for debate, eventually leading to protest — was fermenting at the Cornell campus. An abortion debate to be held this week at Goldwin Smith Hall, (jointly sponsored by organizations representing both sides of the issue), is being protested by the Cornell affiliates of Planned Parenthood.

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAYS | What the Fuck is a Hookup?

It’s Sunday morning at 11 a.m. and I roll over, hand slapping my phone to turn off an alarm that is blasting through the room and ringing in my ear, like God himself has placed a marching band on my nightstand and they are determined to play until my brain gives out. I need coffee and to figure out how to get the 190 lb man spread-eagle across the bed next to me home so I can actually finish the problem set I said I’d do on Thursday. A text sits unread at the top of my lock screen as I finally figure out how to shut the alarm off. “Did you have a good night and did you hook up with him?”

I start to write out a text explaining that I didn’t hook up with him as we had only made out and talked until 2 a.m., and then passed out unceremoniously on top of the blankets of my bed. Then I realized maybe that was a hookup.

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAYS | All of the Benefits, None of the Risks

To many, millennial “hook-up culture” is a disease infecting college campuses across the county. If that’s true, then Cornell has a fatal case. Over the years, I’ve heard many people try to explain the particularly strong grip casual sex has on the average Cornellian’s relationships. “We’re just so focused on school we can’t possibly put in the time necessary for a healthy relationship.” “Everyone was a nerd in high school, so now that people actually want to sleep with them, they have to do it.” “Sex is the strongest nonprescription stress-reliever.” The root of the culture is likely a combination of the three, as Cornell students are some of the most driven, thirsty and stressed-out people in the U.S.

No matter the causes of this trend, what’s really important is how it affects the typical social resident on the hill. Do we benefit from this system of apathetic hook-ups?

liu 11-14

TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | Activism, Burnout and Scented Stickers

My favorite part about 10th grade math was the sticker I would get when Ms. Ho would walk around the room and check homework. My favorite ones were the smiley scented stickers (specifically watermelon) that she would place on my homework with a smile. The gesture was small, but it felt like a commendation, a validation of my work, and it made me feel recognized. This semester has been challenging and trying. From a national political climate that attacks our identities, to incidents on campus that have lessened the sense of belonging that many Cornellians feel, this has not been an easy semester.