EDITORIAL | The Myth of Taking Time For Oneself

In the past four days, Cornell has been put under shelter-in-place orders twice — for a bomb threat on four Central Campus buildings and for the local police pursuit of an armed suspect. While no further tragedy came of either alert, fortunately, students spent the time panicked and uninformed. Given the weight of the events, it’s unacceptable that students haven’t received substantial support since. After the two incidents, President Martha Pollack encouraged students “to take the time you need to take care of yourselves and each other,” in a Tuesday evening email. But we question how possible this is — between ongoing assignments and exams, daily classes, extracurricular responsibilities, campus jobs and the little remaining time for eating and sleeping. 

Without significant structural support for students to actually take a break and process the trauma of this week, these reminders feel shallow. 

After Sunday’s five hours of waiting before the bomb threat was deemed “not credible,” faculty received little guidance about how to proceed for the week beyond calls for “generosity.” This relative silence from the University left individual instructors to make their own decisions — often less than generous ones — meaning students’ experiences of classes Monday varied widely.

EDITORIAL | Cornell, Your Community Deserves a Better Vaccination Plan

As New York State’s vaccination program ramps up, many Cornellians are now eligible to receive their first dose under the criteria for Phase 1B. However, despite their eligibility, many students are facing obstacles in traveling to vaccination sites in Syracuse and Binghamton. 

If Cornell truly wants to encourage health and safety, it needs a better plan to help its community receive vaccinations. Now, as dining workers, residential advisers and in-person instructors are eligible, the University should assist at-risk individuals by offering scheduling, transportation and informational assistance. 

“I felt completely alone in trying to arrange my appointment to begin with,” said Selin Cebel ’21, a student manager at Green Dragon Café. “Being an international student, I didn’t know how to find my way in scheduling this sort of thing.”

Cebel, who traveled to Syracuse for the vaccination last week, had to rent a car in order to receive her first dose. “Taking a public bus right now isn’t the best thing to do, especially when you’re going to get the vaccine, and so I had to rent a car from Central Ithaca,” she added.

EDITORIAL | Safe Socializing for Mental Health

Now that campus has returned to alert level green, it might be tempting to forget what moved Cornell to yellow in the first place. In a Feb. 5 email, President Martha Pollack attributed the pre-semester spike to a Collegetown party where several members of Greek life organizations were reportedly present and not following COVID-19 protocols. The actions of these students not only violated the behavioral compact, but were also incredibly selfish. However, Greek life represents a microcosm, albeit a rather extreme one, of how the entire student body feels.

EDITORIAL | Cornell Administrators Must Advocate for their Marginalized Students

Earlier on Thursday, the Young America’s Foundation — a conservative youth group that has been criticized as a white supremacist group — published a column and social media campaign attacking Cornell Student Assembly representatives. 

The inaccurate shpiel of the YAF disseminated this morning is nothing more than a diatribe that attacked young adults with marginalized identities for having the gall to think differently. 

In the opinion pages of this newspaper, cited in the YAF piece, The Sun has tried its best to trust the intent of different perspectives; we’ve advocated over and over again for students to disagree on policy, not personality. But it is impossible to model or facilitate discourse when off-campus agitators attack our peers for having the audacity to advocate for a disarmament resolution that seeks to make this campus safer. For all the hoopla attributed to members of the S.A. for their admittedly unconventional approaches to student governance, the power structures at play in this moment are clear: Students of color attempted to make change in the sphere of their own University, with democratic support of their community, following the institutional procedures that permit accountability. Rules were not broken. Policies were followed.

EDITORIAL | Let the First COVID-19 Cluster Be a Wakeup Call

Last March, when  Cornell shut its doors, students and faculty alike were scared and confused as to what the next few months would bring. Our future at Cornell was uncertain. Students fled from their dorms and houses, final goodbyes were rushed and every student body and faculty member gained a uniquely traumatic experience that will stay with them. No one knew quite how serious the coronavirus pandemic would get. Nearly six months later, the U.S. exceeds 6 million COVID-19 cases.