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GUEST ROOM | The Pressures of Queer Dating at Cornell

I get agita when I talk to my straight friends about dating. Though we do have much in common — from dealing with ghosting to heartbreak — Valentine’s Day for mingling queer students has its own set of pressures that straight people won’t ever have to deal with.

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STELLA | Nobody’s Likin’ This American Boy

Despite our best efforts to blend in with the locals, Americans often stand out even before we even display our unattractive accents. Countries around the globe hold stereotypes about tourists from the States: We’re loud, obnoxious, oblivious of our surroundings and worst of all, ignorant, especially towards other cultures. If you’ve traveled outside the U.S. and interacted with locals, you’ve probably felt some judgement or critical stares. To be fair, a lot of the time Americans stay true to a lot of these stereotypes. One lovely tradition at Cornell, as with countless other colleges, is a Spring Break beach getaway.

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BARAN | Alcoholic Framework

“Ever heard of beer, bro?”

American drinking culture, especially male drinking culture, is seriously flawed. No matter what anyone may say, there is an implicit pressure on young adults to consider drinking a fun pastime with no serious consequences. The explicit pressure is largely nonexistent, but the status quo, especially in Greek life, encourages drinking. Our worldview is to see drinking as innocuous. If someone chooses to abstain from alcohol, that choice is accepted — but usually with reluctance and without in-depth consideration of the reasons behind their abstinence.

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GUEST ROOM | An Open Letter to President Pollock Regarding the Revamp of the College of Human Ecology

I am a graduate of the Design and Environmental Analysis program within the College of Human Ecology. I was attracted to the program, and to Cornell, because of its multidisciplinary aspects, and the ideal of Any Person, Any Study. This was a key factor in my decision to attend Cornell and select DEA as the foundation for my future. After graduating from Cornell in 1990, I attended New York University and was awarded a Master of Urban Planning from the Wagner School of Public Service. Now the Director of Regional Planning for the County of Los Angeles, I am arguably the epitome of a public policy leader you are striving to develop.

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GUEST ROOM | When Will Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine Stop Endorsing A Terror Organization?

On Tuesday, Jan. 28, Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine shared a post on Facebook from the Central Ohio Revolutionary Socialists page. The post read, “This is how you respond to Trump and Netanyahu’s calls for ‘negotiation’ and ‘peace talks’ based on their plan for permanent apartheid” and included a video interview with Ghassan Kanafani entitled “A Conversation Between the Sword and the Neck – Ghassan Kanafani”. Ghassan Kanafani was no ordinary Palestinian leader: he was one of the leaders of the Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine, a group that has conducted hundreds of terror attacks against innocent civilians since the late 1960s. This includes PFLP’s responsibility for numerous suicide bombings, airplane hijackings and other attacks on Israelis.

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TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | The Conversation on Standardized Testing Marches On

Last January, University of California President Janet Napolitano tasked the University of California’s Academic Senate with “exam[ining] the University’s current use of standardized testing for admission and consider[ing] whether the University and its students are best served by UC’s current testing practices, a modification of current practices, another testing approach, or the elimination of testing.” Institutions across the country were moving away from requiring standardized tests for admissions, so it came as no surprise that the UC system would evaluate the merit of making the submission of standardized tests optional (a policy often referred to as test-optional). What they weren’t prepared for was the announcement of the Operation Varsity Blues admissions scandal two months later, which catapulted conversations regarding admissions into the national spotlight. Now more than ever, people wanted to know whether the UC system, which includes more than 280,000 students, would endorse becoming test-optional. While the panel convened by the UC Academic Senate worked, other universities began to come forward with decisions of their own regarding standardized testing. The National Center for Fair and Open Testing announced that over 47 new schools had transitioned to test-optional policies raising the total number to over 1,000 institutions in 2019.