I almost quit The Sun two years ago. I was working on a story about Daniel Marshall ’15, who had organized several protests against a $350 health services fee that Cornell sprang on students in spring 2015. That same semester, CUPD began conducting a “criminal investigation” against Daniel and several other student activists; a CUPD investigator questioned Daniel about the protests and, when Daniel declined to answer, threatened him with felony charges. I’m no longer a reporter for The Sun, so, luckily, I don’t have to be “objective” anymore: this is a clear case of CUPD intimidating students in order to silence political protest and punish students for doing it. Yet, as frustrated with Cornell as I was over this, I was even more upset at my editors, who stopped this story from running for several days.
Even before Jamila Woods stepped on stage, you could tell it was going to be an incredible night. At first, the Risley dining hall seemed too stiff of a venue for a show that celebrated black artists as healers and protesters (after all, the room is modeled after the Christ Church Refractory at Oxford), but openers Paulitics and SadoSan brought energetic and fun tracks that made the somber portrait of A.D. White peering over their shoulders appear ridiculously irrelevant. Paulitics — Cornell’s own Paul Russell ’19 — blended hip hop and indie rhythms for the perfect intersection of jumping and chill. Dancing without restrain across the stage, Paulitics basked in the fun absurdity of his songs and got the crowd moving. From “college is exploration with ecstasy in between” on his opening song “Hotels” to “I’m falling sideways / I guess that’s all I ever do” on the aptly-titled “Youth,” his lyrics embrace and surrender to the emotional precarity of young-adult lives.
Journalism today is an important public service. In the past year especially, we have seen the traditional media fail in disappointing ways to cover many of the relevant issues and to hold various people and institutions accountable. These failures constrain the agency and imagination of our communities to build a just and democratic future. The responsibility that reporters and editors are tasked with — the responsibility to keep the public informed — is gruesomely demanding but nevertheless essential. The Cornell Daily Sun is exempt neither from the challenges that journalism faces nor newspapers’ foremost obligation to serve the community.
With the start of the new academic year, Cornell faces big changes. The College of Business begins its first semester, the search for the next Cornell president goes on and apartment buildings continue to rise on the Collegetown horizon. The Cornell Daily Sun is here with comprehensive reporting on these and other important campus issues. We take our task of student journalism seriously at The Sun. Our foremost goal is to serve the public by publishing quality, in-depth coverage.
We’ve reached a pivotal moment in history of The Cornell Daily Sun. More than just being a daily, The Sun is becoming a 24/7 publication — your go-to source for Cornell news and opinion at any time of day, in print and online.
Moving forward, The Sun refuses to continue reporting on this group until its members’ identities are verified. We feel that we cannot continue dignifying this group’s requests for anonymity as its members become more involved on-campus.
On Saturday, The Sun elected a new team of editors and managers to helm and direct this paper. As the incoming board, we are excited and ready to continue the incredible work of the 133rd Editorial Board and build The Sun’s voice on campus and in the Ithaca community. We urge you to hold us accountable as we continue informing our campus.
“Just last week, in my intro swimming class, a couple friends of mine were talking about where we live. They live on West Campus [and] Collegetown, and I said where I live. I lived in Ujamaa Residential College, and one of those people said, ‘You live in a cell block?” a student said. “No. I don’t live in a cell block. Ujamaa is not a cell block. Ujamaa is not ‘the hood.’ Ujamaa is not a prison. Ujamaa is my home.”