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.

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EDITORIAL: And Then They Burst

In response to the burst pipes in Rockefeller Hall in the first week of the semester — a result of deferred maintenance — The Sun published an editorial on Jan. 31 in which we left our readers with the message, “Tomorrow will be another cold day in Ithaca. Who knows which pipes will burst?”

That very day, at 1 p.m., we received our answer: the pipes of Low Rise 6. All this is not to say “we told you so” — though we did tell you so — but rather to reemphasize that too often, calls to fix Cornell’s most basic facilities remain lost in the laundry list of measures the University plans to take to improve student life. This is especially the case when it comes to the Low Rises.

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EDITORIAL: Sorry to Burst Your Pipes…

The students of PHYS 1102: General Physics II have a problem. Last Tuesday, when a pipe burst in the attic of their home, Rockefeller Hall, a laboratory and a whole suite of professors’ offices were damaged, rendering them unusable and potentially costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. From the outside, their problem — cancelled sections and a damaged lab — might seem minor inconveniences. That may be because it isn’t your education that is affected by it. But you should be concerned, because the incident at Rockefeller points to a disappointing trend at Cornell. 
Rockefeller Hall’s administrative manager says the damages were the result of deferred maintenance, the process by which identified issues are put off due to “timing issues or lack of funding.” Deferred maintenance is a fact of life, and is sure to affect buildings as old as Rockefeller, but the reality is that campus is not decaying equally.

Editorial

EDITORIAL: Closing the Student Health Plan Affordability Gap

If you go to Cornell, you either have a health insurance plan or you are a clever rulebreaker. If your parents didn’t shell out for eligible private insurance, then you’re likely on the University’s Student Health Plan, which is comprehensive and student-tailored. Students with lower incomes can enroll in a related plan, called SHP+, free of charge. So for most, enrolling in a health plan is but a matter of setting and forgetting. But not for everyone.

Dr. Pollack, I don’t feel so good...

EDITORIAL: Cornell’s Canvas Commitment Issue

Cornell has long planned to move on from Blackboard Learn, the course management system it has used for the past 20 years. After an extensive evaluation and trial period, Cornell officially transitioned to Canvas Network this semester. Cornellians are in fact reminded of this transition every time they log into Blackboard, which is still being employed by many courses across campus, and will continue to be similarly and confoundingly employed until Spring 2020. The result of Blackboard’s transitus interruptus is a semester in which students juggle two separate course management systems, one of which is quite unfamiliar to them. In a scene that played out in classrooms throughout this week, students struggled to adapt to the new system, and more importantly, instructors were hindered by the introduction of an alien element to their course.

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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.

The oven being used to heat the entire apartment at 117 Thurston Avenue, Oct 30th, 2018. (Ben Parker/Staff Photographer)

EDITORIAL: Cornell Needs a Tenants’ Rights Legal Clinic

Two weeks ago, a Sun report illustrated the bruising, protracted process of securing Collegetown housing. Yesterday, another report showed how after students obtain housing, the living conditions to which they are subjected can be positively nightmarish. The stories presented in those two articles are not unique. The Collegetown housing market is notoriously difficult to navigate, and with such limited supply concentrated in the hands of so few landlords, students often find themselves overpaying for accommodations that are sub-par or worse. And when circumstances reach a breaking point, students are left unprepared and unequipped to assert their rights as tenants.

The swastika sign in the snow. Picture taken from the ground floor.

EDITORIAL: Inconsistency and Silence: Cornell’s Lacking Response to Anti-Semitism on Campus

Nine days. Three swastikas. And only just now, after a comprehensive report from The Sun, is there a response from Cornell. Now tell us, what is wrong with that picture? The appearance of three swastikas on North Campus over the past week, on dorm lounge whiteboards and in the snow, is a glaring reminder of the hate and the fear still very much alive at Cornell.

Location, location, location! HQ2 is just a ferry ride away from Cornell Tech.

EDITORIAL: An Amazonian Coup for Cornell Tech

In 2012, when Cornell Tech first opened its doors at a temporary location housed in Google’s Chelsea office, they could not have thought it, not in their wildest dreams. In 2017, when Tech’s state-of-the-art campus on Roosevelt Island went online, they could not have imagined it. After all, Cornell Tech was then, and remains today a project largely in its infancy — the campus itself is not slated for completion until 2043. It’s still a work in progress. And yet, in the largest windfall for Tech since it was greenlit by Hizzoner Mayor Bloomberg seven years ago, Amazon has elected to construct its much-heralded HQ2 within a stone’s throw of the Roosevelt Island campus. This move opens the door to exciting new academic and commercial possibilities for students and faculty at Tech, and will no doubt launch the nascent graduate school to the top of any potential applicant’s list (and more than a few rankings lists as well, we’d imagine).

Editorial

EDITORIAL: Remembering WWI, 100 Years Later and Every Day After

Sunday, November 11, 2018, marked the hundredth anniversary of the armistice that ended the First World War. The calamity that broke open the 20th century took the lives of millions of people worldwide and hundreds of thousands of Americans, including 264 Cornellians. Two Sun editors also paid the ultimate price in service of their country: editor in chief Lt. Leslie Herbert Groser 1913 and associate editor Lt. Edward Foreman Graham 1914. World War I ended 100 years ago, and every day there are fewer and fewer survivors of that generation from whom we can learn. Soon, there will be no one left who remembers firsthand the horrors that descended upon Europe, no one who recalls how a century’s worth of nationalism, militarization and colonialism boiled over into an armageddon of global proportions.