For Rent...but probably not available for another two years (Jing Jiang/Sun staff Photographer)

EDITORIAL: Collegetown Housing: A Work Not Yet In Progress

Correction appended. Today’s story on the high demand for large apartments in Collegetown underscores the need for substantial change in how Cornell does housing. It is not a sign of health that students feel compelled to sign leases well over a year before moving in — nor is it acceptable that many of those houses often exist in various states of perpetual disrepair. Cornell can and should do more to foster a better system of housing for upperclassmen, particularly in Collegetown. Yes, Cornell has begun to implement its Master Housing Plan, including the much-trumpeted North Campus expansion, but we are skeptical that those efforts will ease the pressure on Collegetown rentals.

Tracy Mitrano rally at Southside Community Center on October 29th, 2018. (Boris Tsang / Sun Assistant Photography Editor)

EDITORIAL: Tracy Mitrano J.D. ’95 for Congress

This week’s midterm elections will be among the most consequential in recent memory. At stake is nothing less than the direction of our democracy and our nation. The past two years have not been easy for many Americans — the Trump administration has embarked on a substantial rollback of rights and protections for women, immigrants, LGBTQ people, religious minorities and more. Congress tried repeatedly (though unsuccessfully) to repeal the lifesaving Affordable Care Act, and succeeded in passing in passing a massive tax cut for the wealthiest Americans at the expense of working people. And a growing but still fragile economy finds itself at the mercy of a capricious administration’s trade policy.


EDITORIAL: Trump Attacks Transgender Rights, and Cornell Can Fight Back

On Sunday, The New York Times reported that the Trump administration is planning on implementing a narrow definition of gender under Title IX — a move that would effectively erase legal protection and deny government recognition for transgender people. The proposed change, which undoes Obama-era guidances that affect the education, labor, justice, and health and human services departments, is unwarranted, callously cruel, destructive, and possibly illegal. As one of the most prominent institutions of higher education in America, Cornell must loudly object to these proposed changes. If they are implemented, Cornell must reiterate its support for and recognition of transgender members of our community, and New York State should take action to counteract the federal government’s mistake. We were heartened to see that Cornell, two days before the Times’ report, published a guide on “gender transition and affirmation in the workplace” for its employees and HR staff, and reiterated its commitment to “diversity and inclusion … beyond merely adhering to legal and institutional nondiscrimination policies that prohibit discrimination on the basis of … gender identity and expression.” Providing resources on items as fundamental as name and pronoun changes is a primary responsibility of any forward-looking organization, and we applaud Cornell for that.


EDITORIAL: Clarifying Monday’s Editorial on Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard

On Monday, The Sun published an editorial titled “Stand with Harvard on Affirmative Action.” It concerned the ongoing lawsuit Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, which went to trial in Boston this week. The editorial reaffirmed The Sun’s long-standing support for affirmative action and positive race consideration in the college admissions process. It also expressed our worry that the outcome of this case will be the end of affirmative action and positive race consideration in all college admissions processes nationwide. However, the editorial did not pay sufficient attention to the specific claims against Harvard included in the suit. The suit claims that Harvard systematically rated Asian-American applicants lower on “personal scores” — the least-defined of the five categories on which all applicants are scored.

Justice Sotomayor sits with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg '54.

EDITORIAL: Hurrah For A Sensible Sotomayor Setup

Cornell has decided to reverse course and will now record Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s Thursday talk in Bailey Hall, and we at The Sun could not be more pleased. This way, as the first snow of the winter descends upon Ithaca, Justice Sotomayor’s “fireside chat” will warm not just a few hundred undergraduates in Bailey Hall, but also the thousands of Cornellians who couldn’t secure a seat. It never quite made sense why the event would be neither livestreamed nor recorded. After all, the Supremes (including Sotomayor) give recorded speeches at universities all the time, and there is no apparent reason why this event should be different. Talk about a misguided attempt to make Cornell “unique.”

Truth be told, we are still puzzled by how we got into this whole situation.


EDITORIAL: Stand With Harvard on Affirmative Action

Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard, a case that could decide the future of affirmative action in America, goes to trial today in Boston. The issue at hand is ostensibly Harvard’s alleged discrimination against Asian-Americans in their admissions process to the benefit of other minorities and white students, but the plaintiffs have made clear that their true intention in bringing suit is to eradicate all race-based consideration from college admissions nationwide. Though the case currently sits in front of U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs, its outcome will likely be appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where newly installed Justice Brett Kavanaugh and a 5-4 conservative majority await. We strongly oppose this latest effort by conservative gadfly Edward Blum to force universities and colleges to ignore race when making decisions, and we stand with Harvard, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the ACLU, and institutions of higher education across the country, including Cornell. Blum, who has made a career challenging affirmative action rules, most recently sued the University of Texas on behalf of Abigail Fisher, a white student rejected from that school in 2008.

Early morning primary voters at the Brooklyn Museum in New York, Sept. 13, 2018. New York voters are heading to the polls on Thursday as an unusual season of primaries, marked by surprise victories and insurgent candidacies, moves to an end. (Demetrius Freeman/The New York Times)

EDITORIAL: Oct. 12 Is Your Last Chance to Register to Vote in NY, So Get It Done

This November, voters across the nation will head to the polls to choose their representatives in Congress, in governors’ mansions and in state houses. Tragically, dear reader, you probably won’t be one of them; after all, fewer than 20 percent of eligible Americans 18-29 cast a ballot in 2014. That makes our cohort the least likely of any age group to vote — that is, according to the statistics. Here’s what we say to that: fuck the statistics. Voting is the most important way in which you can engage in the political process.

Justice Sotomayor sits with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg '54.

EDITORIAL: Why The Supreme Court Should Let Cornell Live Stream Sotomayor

Cornell is a cold, isolated and unforgiving place. Located a five hour drive away from anywhere that’s anywhere, this university constantly finds ways to remind its students that they really are in the middle of nowhere. It is a shame, then, that when the outside world comes to Cornell, it does so in such an inaccessible manner. We speak, of course, of the upcoming “Fireside Chat with Justice Sonia Sotomayor,” which will be held on Thursday, October 18, in Bailey Hall. Unfortunately, this “must-see” event will likely be a “can’t-see” event for most Cornellians, as it will not be recorded or live-streamed.