MEHLER | Further Detailing Cornell’s Restorative Judicial System 

In an article last week, Avery Bower ’23 expressed his frustrations with my recent column on Cornell’s judicial system. Those who disagree with what I write are always entitled to disagree, however, they are not entitled to lie, misrepresent and blatantly mislead the public about what is fact and fiction. After reading that article, I believe that more details of Cornell’s judicial system would better help characterize how this system sits in Cornell’s organizational structure as well as what actually occurs in mediations. Opinion columns, such as my own, are not places for line-by-line breakdowns of opposing viewpoints, however, some sentences in response to my article are outright false; those lines will be unraveled. Despite false claims, shared governance’s role in Cornell’s judicial system is alive and well with the University Assembly’s Codes and Judicial Committee actively participating.  As someone who sits on the UA’s CJC Committee, I can tell you that we are still involved in the judicial process and recently passed a resolution clarifying and affirming our role in this process.

MEHLER | Cornell’s Restorative Judicial System

On Aug. 2, 2022, the newly adopted Cornell Student Code of Conduct replaced the Cornell Campus Code of Conduct, significantly changing Cornell’s judicial system. While an article from The Cornell Daily Sun covered the changes before they actually occurred almost two years ago, there has been little coverage since due to the mostly private nature of student misconduct across campus. There were no articles about students being reprimanded for underage drinking and campus store theft then and there are no articles about it now. But for those who work directly with the new code, and for myself who has worked with both the old and new code, we have seen a dramatic and positive shift in how Cornell handles student misconduct.

I enrolled in ILRLR 4027: Campus Mediation Practicum in fall 2020, the first fully virtual semester and the third year of the CMP program. CMP trains undergraduates, graduate students  and law students to serve as peer mediators in judicial proceedings for students who have committed misconduct. The program has trained over 100 students in its seven-year lifespan and further trained dozens more to serve as mentors and handle more difficult cases in ILRLR 4029: Campus Mediation Practicum II: Advanced Issues in Restorative Justice.

MEHLER | An Athletics Convert

How many Cornell students played or captained a varsity sport in high school? I could not find any specific data points online but speaking with other students, you almost certainly can find a higher percentage of students that played varsity athletics in high school than the current 8 percent of Cornellians that still do. So what changed from high school to college that resulted in less students playing varsity sports?

MEHLER | Birthdays at Cornell

Surprisingly, I was incredibly more productive on Saturday and Sunday. I finished my graduate school applications, completed readings for almost the next two weeks and studied for my prelim. By truly taking a day off, my other days were more efficient than if I had tried to work consistently through the whole weekend. I can only think of how my other birthdays might have been different had I viewed a full day off as so consequential to a coming successful week.

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?