We’re sure you’ve heard it a million times before. We’re sure you’ve scrolled past a “register to vote” meme on Facebook or have swiped through a voter registration filter on Snapchat. But we’re not sure that the message has stuck with you. And we’re telling you here, student to student, Cornellian to Cornellian, friend to friend, to make sure it sticks. According to the Campus Vote Project, turnout among college students has reached record lows in recent years.
I write as a retired English and history teacher to protest the use of the term “conservative” to describe the politics of the current Republican party in Matthew McGowen’s article about Representative Tom Reed’s recent visit with 12 campus Republicans. I also marvel that a presumably well-educated college student quoted in the article can question why he might experience some “social backlash” at Cornell wearing clothing bearing the name of a president who calls climate change a hoax, extols “pussy grabbing” on a campus (like all other college campuses) where sexual assault is a serious problem and refers to the nations of origin of many Cornell students as “shithole countries.”
I’d love to have any of the twelve students who met with Reed explain to me what any of the above characterizations have in common with political conservatism, and I suggest that all of these students, along with Matthew McGowen, ought to take a survey political science course while at Cornell. I must also add that it offers us “left-leaning Ithacans” some pleasure to learn that Reed’s visit attracted 12 twelve students on a campus of 24,123. It looks like education might be working! Barbara Regenspan
These days, I find myself engaged in conversation, both inside and outside of the exam room, about the political process and its relevance to health and wellbeing. How can I get more involved in my community? Is it possible for me to feel better connected to those around me, and to something with larger meaning in the world? How do I make sure my voice is heard? Deep questions like these are bound to come up in the course of intensely pursuing study here at Cornell.
Waterfalls, luscious foliage and beautifully crafted gorges created by Mother Nature herself are all located within our college campus. We’re just a couple steps away from nature thriving in its prime time, flaunting its true colors. I’m not writing to advertise the Fall Creek Gorges or to convince parents and prospective students. Instead, I’m writing as an overthinking and overstressed individual telling you just how great flowing water and tiny dandelions can be. Over the weekend, I went on a Fall Creek Gorge Trail Hike, motivated to familiarize myself with the overlooked and neglected beauties I never took the time to deeply appreciate.
So junior year hasn’t exactly shaped up to be the hellfest I thought it would be. Instead, I think it turned me into a suburban mom. At different parts of the day, I now find myself being terrifyingly diligent about cleaning my room, color coding a Google Calendar and making gnocchi from scratch on a Monday night. I can be found brewing loose-leaf tea and doing concerningly middle-age yuppie things; I’m going to the gym for heaven’s sake, and I’m focusing less on toxic groups and taking more “me” time. By God, what happened?
I had my mind set to write about non-invasive sex toys, but considering current events, it’s critical we discuss sexual consent. Even though it seems like consent is all we talk about some days, it is clearly not in our heads. We talk about sex in terms of baseball, and never has anyone mentioned consent in that analogy. When I had health class in school, we talked about STDs and protection, but never about asking permission. Consent is something I think about a lot.
As a sexually active woman, it my utmost priority to practice safe sex. There are a plethora of options out there to keep yourself baby-free. Personally, I have an Intrauterine Device, more commonly known as an IUD, and not to be confused with an IED (an improvised explosive device). Many women are so fearful of IUD “horror stories” that they may as well be walking in a minefield. My one mission in life is to debunk these IUD fears.
“Did you get a return offer?” A question that I’ve been asked dozens of times upon running into friends and acquaintances since returning to Cornell last month. “Do you know what you’re doing next year yet?” A question that I know I am not the only senior to receive over and over again in the past month. “How are you feeling this week?” A question I’ve been asked rarely, if at all, in my time at Cornell. We spend a lot of time talking about how CAPS has a long wait time and not enough therapists, and how the mental health resources on this campus need to be improved. But I think Cornell’s mental health crisis starts a hell of a lot earlier than that.
When I open my laptop, to start writing about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, it feels equal parts tired and tiring. Tired, because I’ve done this before — written this before — and so have so many others: survivors, supporters, some worn down combination of the two; we have done this before. This opinion piece is tired. And yet, somehow, despite having practiced and done all the necessary (more than the necessary) pre-writing, it feels beyond exhausting to do it, maybe because I can be sure I will have to do it again. I am so sick of writing about being believed.