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HUA | Going to Cornell Doesn’t Make You a Better Person

On the way to a prelim on Halloween night, rain washed away any possibility of a bus coming through the flooded intersection of CTB. I crossed the street and had the right of way when a car decided to turn, stopped inches away from me and the driver rolled down the window. A racial slur escaped from the window, along with some choice phrases about how I failed to see with my small eyes. At first, I couldn’t believe that I was called a racial slur at Cornell. I then remembered that a similar event happened to me freshman year.

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LEE | The Disturbing Reality of One-Way Video Interviews

As the fall semester begins to wind down, fall recruitment season also nears its end. For some, this could be a time of joy as they receive offers to their dream company, while others continue the search in hopes of having better luck with the next cover letter they submit. Because of such a focus on the outcome of the recruitment cycle, both candidates and employers appear to have less consideration for the process through which an offer is extended. Firms rarely ask for feedback regarding their process despite many candidates having strong opinions about a particular employer’s recruitment method. One particular practice in the candidate vetting process has been particularly off-putting: one-way video interviews.

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BROWN | Spotlight on Hong Kong, Blackout on Haiti

Students walking between Collegetown and the Engineering Quad in recent weeks have seen the pro-Hong Kong slogans on the footbridge over Cascadilla Gorge. The Sun has featured several articles this semester about the protests rocking the semi-autonomous region, including a recent story on vandalism of the bridge stickers and other pro-Hong Kong posters on campus. Not a single article, however, mentions the deadly anti-government protests less than 700 miles from Miami that have thrown impoverished Haiti to a political standstill for most of 2019. But The Sun is not alone: The corporate media in the Global North have tacitly concluded that Haiti, unlike Hong Kong, is undeserving of our attention and sympathies. It is natural then to ask why Hong Kong gets so much attention from American politicians across the spectrum and every major news outlet despite much less violence against protestors.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘Remember What It Means to Be a Student’

To the editor:

In “Remember What It Means to Be a Student,” Colton Poore ’20 writes, “Over the past three years, I’ve felt that I’ve had my desire to learn sucked out of me with memorization, regurgitation and prayers of scoring at least the mean.” This is a result of a culture that prioritizes the measurable over the meaningful. I usually have a blue shirt on. The shirt is clearly blue. However, as a professor, if I told Cornell students that my shirt is red and then gave them a test with one question on it — “What color is my shirt?” — 95% would answer, without hesitation, “Red,” regardless of whether I am speaking one-on-one, in a small group or in a large auditorium (just ask my students, advisees and anyone else who would be around to watch). I would tell them that we are here to teach them how to observe nature and to develop the courage of their convictions to explain their observations and conclusions using reasoning.

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VALDETARO | If You Want Political Change in 2020 and Beyond, Go Local

For Ellie Pfeffer ’23 and Alec James Martinez ’18, October was a busy month. From her dorm room on North Campus, Pfeffer launched a write-in campaign for the 3rd Ward seat on the Ithaca Common Council against incumbent Rob Gearhart, advocating for increased resources to be put towards the Ithaca Green New Deal. In his hometown of Laredo, Texas, Martinez co-founded Red Wing Laredo, “An organization devoted to ensuring tierra, democracia, y libertad for everyone,” in response to a clean water crisis in the town almost three times the size of Flint, Michigan that resulted in a boil-water notice in late September. You’d be easily forgiven for not knowing about these efforts, given that they occurred in the context of an escalating impeachment inquiry in the House. In fact, that impeachment inquiry may have distracted you from the fact that there were statewide elections this year in Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia, as well as local elections across the nation (including the one that Pfeffer participated in in Ithaca itself).

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POORE | Remember What It Means to Be a Student

This past week has been a banner week for me. When pre-enroll opened on Monday, I had resolved on taking Hotelie wines, CALS wines, Magic Mushrooms and not much else. Feeling disillusioned from academia, I planned to spend my last semester at Cornell like a petulant child, sipping wine Tuesday through Thursday (with no class on Monday or Friday) and generally making myself as troublesome and acid to the institution as I could manage. But then I had a meeting with my advisor to submit my application to graduate. Somehow, we ended up talking about the purpose of the modern university.

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BETTEZ | So You Think You Want to Be a Doctor?

My small hometown’s emergency medical services was so understaffed that at one point they started training some high school kids to be certified EMTs. Throughout junior year, my classmates and I took night classes so that the next year we could carry pagers around school and respond to  ambulance calls during the day. We learned how to do CPR, identify a stroke, treat burn injuries — pretty much the worst cases of every scenario. But once we were on real calls, I started to realize how bloodthirsty we had become. Secretly and out loud to each other, we hoped for emergencies — and not just minor injuries that would get us out of class.

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WANG | On China, on Hong Kong, on Us

Hong Kong businessman Jimmy Lai plays with fire in the same bored manner I play with my hair. Lai, who has been everywhere recently, has been at the heart of anti-Chinese protests that have consumed Hong Kong in the past few months and has emerged as a vocal figure in its surge to democracy. He has supported anti-government initiatives, called out Xi-Jinping as a dictator and refused to submit when other business leaders have gravitated to the pull of Beijing. He’s his own man and his own empire: He’s a majority owner of NextDigital, a company that publishes reporting critical of China, and if that wasn’t enough, he publishes a weekly column to support protestors as the crisis has gone from mild to middling to full blown seismic. For their part, the Chinese government, so incensed by him, struck out his name in his family records, leaving him a man with no name but plenty of positive press.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘College Shouldn’t Be a Breeze’

To the editor:

“College shouldn’t be a breeze,” writes Christian Baran ’22 in a recent opinion piece. Luckily for author, it isn’t, no matter how you choose to spend your time on campus. It seems that Cornell students can’t win lately. One week, we have people telling us to not glorify being busy and to reevaluate where our definition of success comes from. Another week, we have articles implying that you should feel guilty if you’re taking “easy” classes or a semester with fewer credits.

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GUEST ROOM | Hazing and Its Prevention: Shut It Down

Hazing can be deadly. On Nov. 2, the Piazza, Gruver and Braham families shared the tragic stories of their sons’ deaths due to fraternity hazing with a full house of students in Bailey Hall. Their presentation “Love, Mom and Dad” was the keynote at the A.D. White Annual Summit for Sorority and Fraternity Life. The stories shared and their grief were an emotional gut punch, reminding me of the tragic death of George Desdunes in 2011 and Cornell’s slow progress rooting out hazing.