Editorial

EDITORIAL: Putting the Trust Back in Trustee Elections

Just a few weeks ago, 10 candidates took to the campus quads, Willard Straight Hall and social media feeds to campaign for the undergraduate position of Student-Elected Trustee. We saw 39.9 percent of undergraduates — a 13 percentage point increase from last year — fill out the Qualtrics survey that also included slots for positions such as Student Assembly President and Executive Vice President. Elections closed on Wednesday, March 27 at 2 p.m.

The results rolled out: Joe Anderson ’20 as Student Assembly President, Cat Huang ’20 as Student Assembly Executive Vice President — and 13 days of radio silence from the Trustee Nominating Committee. For 13 days, the Nominating Committee has failed to report any results from the 2019 Trustee election. They have numbers and they have results, given that results for President and EVP were promptly released.

Editorial

EDITORIAL: Cornell’s Hush-Hush Huawei Ties

Thursday’s news that Cornell quietly took millions in research contracts from Chinese telecom firm Huawei is alarming enough. But the University’s refusal to provide details about said contracts makes for an utter transparency failure. Cornell must acknowledge the perils of working with a firm wedded to China’s autocracy — and reveal the nature of its Huawei ties. Public data from the Department of Education shows that Cornell took $5.3 million from Huawei in 2017 via two research contracts. That’s troubling.

Editorial

EDITORIAL: Sim Seems Right

The following editorial reflects the opinions of The Cornell Daily Sun. Editorials are penned collaboratively between the Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editor and Opinion Editor, in consultation with additional Sun editors and staffers. The Sun’s editorials are independent of its news coverage and op-eds. Over the past week, The Sun has collected information about each of the trustee candidates and analyzed their platforms. Following the Trustee Candidate Debate on March 20, we sat down and interviewed our top choices. There are many good candidates for the role of student-elected trustee, but there is only one right candidate: Jaewon Sim ’21.

endorsement

EDITORIAL: Student Assembly President and EVP Endorsements

Beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, March 25, all undergraduate students will have the opportunity to vote for their Student Assembly representatives for the 2019-2020 school year. The selected candidates will be taking the reins of the Student Assembly in the midst of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, before byline funding for student organizations and following the passing of free printing. This particular election stood out to The Sun for the light it shed on student perception of the Student Assembly. We were as intrigued as the student body was about the fresh faces involved and a potential new perspective. However, after watching the debate, sitting down with each presidential and vice presidential candidate for an interview and reviewing each of their informational forms, we felt there was one candidate for each position who was qualified, passionate and prepared.

Editorial

EDITORIAL: The Small Things

The biggest college admissions scandal the FBI has ever prosecuted: wealthy individuals paying for their kids’ admissions into elite institutions with fake athletic records and artificially inflated test scores. And a Cornell alumnus, Gordon Caplan ’88, is among the offenders. This scandal goes to the root of a noxious, pervasive problem in higher education — the influence of money on opportunity. Though the $500,000 in bribes from actress Lori Loughlin to the University of Southern California is an extreme example of this national problem, universities like Cornell let wealth legally influence their admissions in small but unfair ways every year. While our University is “need-blind” for domestic applicants, we do not remove money from the admissions process.

Editorial

EDITORIAL: Ditch the Event Security Fee

Surely, Cornell’s Event Management Planning Team wants to get it right this time. After last semester’s fiery blowback, EMPT recently announced that a “new, innovative” event security fee system was forthcoming. The announcement — a passing reference tucked away deep in the umpteenth line of a campus-wide bulletin — revealed no new plan, nor did it evince any new understanding of why the event security fee is so loathed. We’ve got no doubt that EMPT has a wonderfully meticulous plan to charge student organizations for security, replete with venue size breakdowns and clever classification schemes for what constitutes a “controversy.” Better would be to scrap it all. The event security fee is in fundamental tension with the University’s commitment to free expression.

Editorial

EDITORIAL: Mind the Gap

Generations of Cornellians came together last weekend for current students and alumni alike to enjoy an opportunity to learn from each other. There’s nothing like an invite-only potential networking opportunity to bring generations of Big Red back together. But the weekend took a turn. When Paul Blanchard ’52 was accepting the William “Bill” Vanneman ’31 Outstanding Class Leader Award, he said something so unexpected, students in attendance thought they misheard him. While talking about Satchel Paige, a Hall of Fame pitcher, he referred to the former baseballer as a “Negro,” then qualifying his statement with, “Now they call them blacks.” Cornell’s Alumni Affairs handled this situation with grace, speed, efficiency and sensitivity that many of the conference-goers commented on and appreciated.

Editorial

EDITORIAL: An Ode to Opportunity

Ninety days. That’s all anyone expected to get out of Spirit and Opportunity, the twin rovers that first touched down on Mars in January of 2004. And yet, we are only just now saying goodbye to Opportunity, who lived for 90 days and then 5,262 more. The longevity of the Mars Exploration Rover project is a testament to the ingenuity, hard work and vision of the scientists, engineers, researchers and more who devoted themselves to expanding humanity’s knowledge of the universe. The rovers are also a crowning achievement for Cornell: The project’s principal investigator is Prof. Steven Squyres ’78 Ph.D. ’81, the James A. Weeks Professor of physical sciences.

endorsement

EDITORIAL: The Sun Endorses Spring 2019 S.A. Special Election Candidates

After last year’s meme-fracas, one might be forgiven for wiping the Student Assembly from memory, or perhaps just forgetting that positions beyond that of the president exist. But that would be a mistake. Starting Tuesday at 9 a.m., and continuing until noon Feb. 14, students will have the opportunity to vote four new representatives onto the Student Assembly: one LGBTQ+ liaison, one first-generation student representative and two minority students liaisons. Cornell’s unique system of shared governance and S.A. affinity representation creates seats at the table for communities long marginalized in higher education.

Editorial

EDITORIAL: Cornell, You May Be a Fan of Hills, but Where Does This One End?

What followed the Board of Trustees announcement about the the 2020 fiscal year budget and the corresponding 3.6 percent tuition hike? An implicit announcement aimed at members of the Class of 2020: their tuition has increased 11.5 percent since they committed to the Red. The University boasted that this tuition rise was the smallest in recent years. This year’s increase comes in at $6 less than last year’s raise — that’s a single venti coffee with a shot of espresso at Cornell Dining, to put things in perspective. Maybe Cornellians should consider themselves lucky.