MEHLER | Snow!

For all the jokes about Ithaca being a snowy place and prospective students’ main concern about Cornell being the weather, it took until the middle of November for snow to graze Cornell’s campus. Even with the flurries we received, the previous week’s high of 75 degrees ensured that the snow would certainly not stick. As much as others may dislike the snow, I love this part of the year when barren trees and dead grass glisten in a coat of fluffy snow.

MEHLER | The Steady Hand Ithaca Needs

Regardless of whom you vote for or where you live, every Cornellian should act upon their civic duty to vote in the upcoming election on Nov. 8. For those in Ithaca and the rest of New York State, in-person early voting is ongoing and as of this article’s publication, the voter registration deadline has past, absentee ballots must be postmarked soon and in-person election day voting will see polling sites open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

MEHLER | Budget as a Moral Statement

Every October, the Ithaca Common Council dives into its budget process and decides our tax rates, which departments receive funding, the allocation of federal money and more. My role as a city councilman representing Collegetown and West Campus allows me to directly contribute and vote in the budget. But the influence constituents and students have on the budget cannot be understated. As the process is only halfway through, I encourage all Cornellians to take a look, form an opinion and tell the city what you want to see.

MEHLER | The Art of Fall Breaking

This break is an opportunity to reset your body’s rest clock and finish the second half of the semester even stronger than the first. I cannot say enough that you must take the time to relieve some of the stress going on in your life. The most productive stage of performance is in a tolerable stress range: too much or too little stress leads us to be too comfortable or not comfortable enough to perform well. But breaks do not require us to be at performance stress levels. Breathe, rest and recuperate to come back better.

MEHLER | Reflecting on Checkboxes

I encourage all of you to reflect upon the checkboxes in your Cornell career. Which ones do you need to do before it gets cold? What class do you need to take to get that extra minor? What part of Cornell do you want to remember after we have graduated and look fondly upon our time at Cornell?

MEHLER | More Space for Space and Seeing the Seas

As we prepare for the start of the semester, my sophomore brother is going to take BIOEE 1540: Introductory Oceanography taught by Professor Bruce Monger, earth and atmospheric science. I took the course my sophomore year as well, right in the middle of the pandemic where the course was fully virtual. Ask any Cornellian who has taken the course and hundreds if not thousands of them, including myself, will tell you how amazing the content, professor and impact of the course is. Over a thousand students each semester take oceanography for a reason, and the course remains as spectacular now as it did when it started years ago. 

Similarly, hundreds of students take ASTRO 1101: From New Worlds to Black Holes every semester; Bill Nye ‘73 even comes back every year to check in on the class. Similar to oceanography, this introductory astronomy course inspires students to do more than look up at the stars but understand what lies amongst them as well.

MEHLER | The Importance of Fine Art in the Dormitory Experience

As Cornell now requires sophomores to live in on-campus housing, more students will spend their second year at Cornell in the West Campus houses, the new dorms within the North Campus Residential Expansion and in the heart of Collegetown in South Campus. While many may lament forgoing off-campus and being forced into dorms, there remains plenty of opportunity to personalize the Cornellian living space. By no means am I encouraging students to violate Cornell’s housing policies regarding tapestries, flags and anything else that may violate fire code. However, creativity finds its home in constrained spaces with limited coverage of common rooms and bedrooms permitted. I wish to share just some of the fine art that composed my friends’ and my Hans Bethe dorm for our sophomore and junior years.

MEHLER | The Case for Moving New York State Primaries

New York State currently holds its primaries on the last Tuesday of June. I believe moving the primary date would facilitate more civic participation among all age groups, demographics and New Yorkers. New York State will be hosting its primary this year on June 28, 2022. While the primary has been held on the last Tuesday of June for decades, recent internal and external factors present a strong argument for moving our primaries earlier into the year. 

The deadline of a general election happening anywhere between Nov. 2 to Nov.

MEHLER | Student Tenants’ Rights Shifting in Your Favor

After legislation passed the Ithaca Common Council on April 6, students’ renting rights are changing in their favor.  Take advantage of a rare opportunity to improve your off-campus living situation.  After joining the Ithaca Common Council in October 2021, I spent hundreds of hours talking with thousands of students, homeowners and longtime renters in Collegetown. Across a multitude of issues that constituents shared, housing repeatedly came up again and again. The issue of urban housing has more complexities than can be explained in a few hundred words or solved in a few years by a few elected officials. But I believe that the role of public officials is to listen to our constituents’ needs and find creative ways to make life better.