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.

Editorial

EDITORIAL: An Unacceptable Disregard for Sanctuary

A Tompkins County sheriff’s deputy’s unprompted decision to alert ICE to the presence of an undocumented immigrant in Lansing — an action likely not in violation of county “sanctuary” law but very much against its spirit — is deeply disturbing, and warrants significant review. It may already be too late to help the man in question, who now sits in a federal cell in Batavia. But Tompkins County can take steps to ensure this situation goes unrepeated, and to reassure the county’s undocumented residents that they are welcome here and should not fear local law enforcement. It is puzzling why the Sheriff’s Office did not have an internal policy outlining the protocol for situations involving federal immigration enforcement, especially considering that Tompkins County’s sanctuary law passed in 2017 and is potentially germane to that office’s functions. Though we are encouraged by Sheriff Derek Osborne’s work since the arrest to draft an internal policy mirroring county law — and we do note that Osborne only took office six weeks ago — there should be a review of why it took so long, and a precipitating incident such as this one, to spark change.

Editorial

EDITORIAL: Past Time to Investigate Cornell’s Qatar Campus

The University’s longstanding, disturbing refusal to investigate labor conditions at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar has fallen out of the discussion as of late. It is past time to bring the discussion back to light. Some context for the uninitiated. Human rights groups charge that Qatar’s foreign labor sponsorship system enables exploitation bordering on slavery. Migrant laborers come to the Gulf nation seeking work, but are quickly funneled into involuntary servitude.