Last Saturday, the staff of The Cornell Daily Sun met to elect its 136th Editorial Board. As it was with the thousands of editors whose names graced this page before us, our mission is to provide the most comprehensive coverage, detailed analysis, and thoughtful commentary on the events and issues that matter most to Cornell and her community. It is an honor to play a small role in continuing this tradition of journalistic excellence, and I am elated to do so with the amazing group that is the 136th board. In 1981, at the dawn of The Sun’s second century, Editor in Chief Steven Billmyer ’83 wrote that the yearly changing of the boards was “The Sun’s most powerful asset allowing the editors a flexibility — one commercial papers cannot match — to produce a paper that better reflects this dynamic community.”
As The Sun continues to confront the challenges of 21st century journalism, Billmyer’s words ring more true than ever. Each successive generation of editors reinvigorates The Sun, ensuring that we always remain intimately connected to our audience and our environment.
Something crazy happened this past summer. Thousands and thousands of Cornellians — one-quarter of all undergraduates — got up and left Ithaca, likely for good. And yet, last Friday, thousands and thousands of new students rushed to fill those vacant spots, ensuring that, at least for one more year, Cornell will remain at full force. Here at The Sun, we too said goodbye to a sterling senior class, of editors, writers, photographers, designers, business associates and more. But unlike our friends at the admissions office, however, we don’t have the benefit of being on the Common App.
Journalism today is an important public service. In the past year especially, we have seen the traditional media fail in disappointing ways to cover many of the relevant issues and to hold various people and institutions accountable. These failures constrain the agency and imagination of our communities to build a just and democratic future. The responsibility that reporters and editors are tasked with — the responsibility to keep the public informed — is gruesomely demanding but nevertheless essential. The Cornell Daily Sun is exempt neither from the challenges that journalism faces nor newspapers’ foremost obligation to serve the community.
With the start of the new academic year, Cornell faces big changes. The College of Business begins its first semester, the search for the next Cornell president goes on and apartment buildings continue to rise on the Collegetown horizon. The Cornell Daily Sun is here with comprehensive reporting on these and other important campus issues. We take our task of student journalism seriously at The Sun. Our foremost goal is to serve the public by publishing quality, in-depth coverage.
We’ve reached a pivotal moment in history of The Cornell Daily Sun. More than just being a daily, The Sun is becoming a 24/7 publication — your go-to source for Cornell news and opinion at any time of day, in print and online.
Moving forward, The Sun refuses to continue reporting on this group until its members’ identities are verified. We feel that we cannot continue dignifying this group’s requests for anonymity as its members become more involved on-campus.
On Saturday, The Sun elected a new team of editors and managers to helm and direct this paper. As the incoming board, we are excited and ready to continue the incredible work of the 133rd Editorial Board and build The Sun’s voice on campus and in the Ithaca community. We urge you to hold us accountable as we continue informing our campus.
We have finally arrived at the conclusion of the 133rd Editorial Board’s time at The Sun. Over the past year, we’ve worked tirelessly to bring you, our loyal readers, the latest in Cornell news, athletics and culture. With you, we saw significant change occur at the University, from our sesquicentennial and President Elizabeth Garrett’s inauguration to the creation of a new college and dozens of other notable events. With the launch of our new website, The Sun took the next step towards delivering news in a way that will resonate with Cornellians and Ithacans for years to come. The members of the 133rd Editorial Board of this institution are some of the most accomplished, dedicated people at Cornell, and working with them has been an absolute privilege for me.
Last week, The Sun published a news story titled “Consecutive Trespasses Reported Thursday,” that raised a number of questions among the campus community regarding the inclusion of a picture from a police investigation. While The Sun strives to provide the most balanced and thoughtful journalism on the Hill, we failed our readers through the poor editorial decisions that led to the publication of this picture and apologize for the consequences of its latent racism. The story primarily regarded two crime alerts sent out prior to Fall Break. The piece also included information about an Ithaca Police Department investigation, which was seeking information about a picture of a man regarding “suspicious activity” in Collegetown that took place within a similar time frame as the crime alerts. Many in the community have questioned the decision to include the two items together, especially considering that the suspect involved in the crime alerts was described as a white male and the photo, of a black man, clearly did not fit the description provided.