Camping Out: Economy Renders Student Homeless

Zach Biegun ’11 is not your typical Cornell student. He does not really like to drink or go out. He is 24 years old. He postponed college for three and a half years to pursue his passion in ballet. He is the 12th person in his family to attend Cornell: His sister majored in anthropology, his brother in mechanical engineering, his mother in art history and his grandfather in animal food science. He works two jobs, as a yoga instructor in Helen Newman and as an Emergency Medical Technician in Boston on weekends. Oh, and he’s homeless.[img_assist|nid=37911|title=No direction home|desc=Zachary Biegun ’11 stands outside his tent where he often sleeps this semester. On Monday night he camped out behind the Africana Center.|link=node|align=left|width=336|height=224]

Skorton and Fuchs Introduce Reimagining C.U. to Community

President David Skorton made his public case for the University’s strategic plan to streamline University operations Friday as faculty, students and staff packed into Biotech G10. Showing up on time did not guarantee audience members a seat, as many were willing to stand for the duration of the public forum at which Skorton and Provost Kent Fuchs discussed the “Reimagining Cornell” initiative and its implications for the future of the University.

N.Y. State Bans Driving Under the Influence of Technology

While caution is still strongly suggested for all campus pedestrians, those traversing through the streets of Cornell’s campus can soon walk with less anxiety about oncoming traffic. Starting Nov. 1, texting while driving in the state of New York will be penalized with a maximum fine of $150.
With numerous recent studies showing the dire effects of texting behind the wheel, state legislators moved to ban this practice. Gov. David Paterson (D) signed the bill last Thursday.
Nathan Shinagawa ’05, an elected legislator representing the 4th District of Tompkins County, advocated for such legislation to be passed on the local level.
“Although I think it is a difficult law to enforce, it sends a cultural message,” Shinagawa said.

Ithaca Police Release Identity of Female Gorge Suicide Victim

Cornell Police found a deceased female at the bottom of Fall Creek Gorge the afternoon of June 26 after receiving a call from a witness saying that a woman had jumped into the gorge from the fence next to the Suspension Bridge. Members of the Ithaca Police Department, Cornell Police Department, Ithaca Fire Department and Bangs Ambulance responded to the incident.
Lisa Longwell, a white female of “medium to heavy build, blond shoulder length hair” was “wearing khaki style pants, white top and gold rimmed glasses,” according to a witness report in a police report obtained by The Sun. Police found her carrying cigarettes, a broken watch and a note, according to the police report. A map and purse were found in her car.

Kot Arraigned on Murder, Arson and Evidence-Tampering Charges

After waiving extradition from Pennsylvania on Thursday, Blazej Kot returned to Ithaca on Friday where he was arraigned on several charges, including the murder of his wife, Caroline Coffey, on June 2.

Tompkins County District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson formally accused Kot with second-degree murder, third-degree arson and tampering with physical evidence in Tompkins County Court with Judge John C. Rowley presiding.

Originally from New Zealand, Kot, who was a Cornell graduate student in information sciences, is no longer a registered student, according to CUPD Chief Kathy Zoner. If found guilty of the charges, Kot could serve anywhere from “25 [years] to life” in jail, Wilkinson said at a press conference on Friday.

Ratan Tata '59 Fields Questions on Business, Politics and Life at Annual Olin Lecture

It has been over 50 years since Ratan Tata ’59 arrived at Cornell for freshman orientation, but on Friday, the chairman and CEO of the multinational conglomerate Tata Sons Ltd. told students and alumni that the event was still fresh in his mind.

“I was one of about 2,000 people and very frightened,” Tata reminisced. “They told us to look to your left, look to your right … One of you won’t be here in four years.”

This was only one of the things that Tata talked about in the annual Olin Lecture titled “Corporate Social Responsibility in the 21st Century” during Reunion Week.

Trustees Vote "Yes" on Milstein, But Faculty Concerns Linger

Cornell’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously on May 24 to support President David Skorton’s recommendation to proceed with the construction of Milstein Hall. This green-light for the project comes after several months of contentious campus debate over whether the University should continue with Milstein Hall in the wake of its financial troubles.

“It wasn’t an easy decision,” Chairman of the Board of Trustees Peter Meinig ’62 said. “Every now and then, we need to make such tough decisions … You can’t shut down a university where there are programmatic imperatives.”

Cortland Swine Flu Case Is ‘Probable’; Skorton Warns Against Travel

Following Gannett’s University-wide e-mail on Tuesday informing the Cornell community of the outbreak of swine flu, President Skorton “strongly advised” students not to travel to Mexico in an e-mail yesterday.
According to Skorton, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention placed Mexico on their “health warning list.” On Sunday, U.S. health officials declared the outbreak of this new strain of swine flu — a respiratory disease found in pigs — a national health emergency. The World Health Organization has raised the pandemic alert level to Stage 5, just short of a pandemic, according to WBNG News.

S.A. Creates Cornell Collegetown Committee

As part of their continued effort to develop Collegetown, Student Assembly members created the Cornell Collegetown Committee yesterday during their weekly meeting at the Straight.
The resolution, which is sponsored by Chris Basil ’10, executive vice president, and Allen Miller ’10, Greek Liaison. calls for an ad-hoc committee will include three members of the S.A., two members of the Greek tri-council, one member of Campus Life and four members from the Cornell or Collegetown community.
Since 97 percent of residents living in the Collegetown area are Cornell students, the S.A. wanted to enable students to “organize and advocate for student interests in the ongoing work of [local governing bodies of Collegetown],” according to the S.A. resolution.

Pataki Provides Positive Outlook to A Grim Economy

“Raise your hand if you’re a senior … You’re screwed,” George E. Pataki jokingly told Cornell undergraduates searching for jobs in the face of “tough economic times.”
In his lecture titled, “Economy in Crisis: An Insider’s View on the State of the Economy,” Pataki, the former governor of New York, made efforts yesterday to boost the spirits of his audience at Bailey Hall, telling them “to keep [their] eyes on the big picture.”
Pataki pointed to the optimistic and pragmatic character of the American people as well as to the limited nature of the nation’s government as innate qualities that will ensure that the United States will weather the current economic storm.