Guest Room

GUEST ROOM | Dangers of Cornell Students Leading Islamophobic Panels

On Nov. 27, a group that calls itself “Ithaca Coalition for Unity and Cooperation in the Middle-East” held a movie screening at the Cinemapolis located in the heart of downtown Ithaca. The cost of admission was free, but what wasn’t free was the hour of my life wasted giving this group a chance, only to be fed unadulterated Islamophobic bigotry. This group claims to have an interest in promoting peace in the Middle East yet a glance at their Facebook page and website reveals that most of their events and posts are singularly focused on Palestine. More specifically, on delegitimizing the Palestinian struggle for self-determination and extolling the virtues of the State of Israel (which has been alienated by the majority of the international community for repeated violations of Palestinian rights).

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WU | The Questions Affirmative Action Conceals

In high school, I found that most discussions of affirmative action came in the form of a snide remark. During the standardized testing days, it went like, “If only I were black, then I wouldn’t have to worry about this test.” And later, as acceptances and rejections drew smiles and tears, the remark bobbed back up: “Makes sense why he didn’t get into [elite school]. It’s so hard to get in if you’re Asian.”

There is a vital, sometimes frustrating, debate to be had on affirmative action. The common story on race-based admissions appeals to the passions. Surely, any just admissions system will ensure marginalized groups — disempowered by centuries of compounding disadvantage — get a fair shake.

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GUEST ROOM | Hidden Costs of a Cornell PhD

What does a Cornell PhD take? The answer depends on who you ask and why you’re asking. We could say it takes passing three exams: Qualifying, A and B. We could say it takes three journal papers, or four dissertation chapters. We could say it takes hard work and determination, a good project, a good advisor, a few years of funding and a lot of luck. And, to be sure, it takes all these things.

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EDITORIAL: Harold O. Levy ’74 J.D.’79 (1952-2018): The Best a Sunnie Could Be

Harold O. Levy ’74 J.D. ’79, former Cornell student trustee, chancellor of New York City Public Schools, progressive firebrand, and a member of The Sun’s editorial board, died last Tuesday after a bout with Lou Gehrig’s disease. As we look back on Levy’s life, we should take inspiration from the causes he championed while at Cornell and afterward: women’s rights, transparency, the rights of underrepresented communities, and the belief that everyone, regardless of background, deserves a high-class education. A champion for progress and a voice for the voiceless, Harold Levy was the best a Sunnie, and a Cornellian, could be. At Cornell, Levy served in a multitude of leadership roles, first in the University Senate, and then as one of four undergraduates on the Board of Trustees. (If only undergraduates were as well-represented on the board today.) From the beginning, Levy advocated against what he viewed as a deeply flawed Cornell judicial system, one in which students were treated like criminals and faced structural disadvantages in their cases.

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GROSKAUFMANIS | At Least You’re Having Fun

I’m not great at painting, but this semester I spent about six hours a week in Tjaden trying to paint anyways. On somewhat of a whim, I took a friend’s advice and signed up for an introductory art class. I was definitely the least experienced in the class. And still, the environment it created — where I had room to mess up and get better, where I was out of my element and felt no pressure to make anything perfect — brought me a kind of peace that I haven’t found in many other spaces here at Cornell. I painted everything from a portrait of a stranger to an exterior of the Cornell Sun building (that I ultimately had to call “abstract” because it was unforgivingly unrealistic.)

Every few weeks, we would have class-wide critiques where I’d nervously hang my attempts on the wall next to perfect, often photo-like pieces done by freshman Fine Arts students.

CHANG | Inciting Anger isn’t your Job, Political Journalists

Political journalists aren’t acting responsibly. I think it’s gotten worse since the beginning of President Trump’s term in 2016. The roughly partisan split of journalistic outlets, at least partially hewn by the election of a black president and thrown into sharp relief by backlash to said black president, isn’t backing down. As a result, this sentiment bears repeating: political journalists must adhere to standards that eschew the scoop-based big headline reporting in favor of responsible journalistic practice. On Oct.

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WANG | To Be Kyler Murray

For some reason, on Saturday afternoon, I sat myself down to watch the University of Oklahoma and Texas football teams lock horns to determine the winner of the Big 12 Championship.  And even though I don’t know half the words I just typed thanks to my neophyte nature when it comes to college sports, and my disdain for football that largely stems from the abusive damage it lays on its players, I stayed sitting and watched. Because once in a while, you just have to see something exceptional. Kyler Murray, who plays quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners, is short for his position. He’s also one of the five most talented athletes in the world.

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BARAN | Flip to a Flip-Phone?

When my mom dropped me off at Cornell two weekends ago after a family funeral, I had to screenshot directions to get back home and send them to her. Her tiny phone made the pictures grainy and hard to read. Still, she persevered and managed to get back to Maryland safely. She probably squinted and looked down at the phone more often than was safe, but she did it. And she went through this whole ordeal with a smile, for the alternative was to her much worse than some occasional inconvenience.

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KIM | California Is Still Home

For 17 days, the surface of the Earth flipped inside out, unleashing the ghastly pits of Hell. A paradise of a state and the town of Paradise itself were demolished, engulfed in the rapacious, formidable flames. Seeing the photos and videos, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I first heard about the California wildfires. Entire houses were completely reduced to black wood chips. Cars were melted into the street like chocolate on a hot summer day.

Guest Room

GUEST ROOM | 50 Feet Away

As I walked down the driveway to my townhouse in Collegetown on a Saturday, I passed two men and two women, all Cornell students. They were all intoxicated, stumbling and laughing. The men attempted to get my attention, but I ignored them and continued walking. After my lack of response, one of them asked me, “Hey are you Asian? We always see Asian girls coming in and out of your house.