LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Israelis Must Give Palestinians the Right to Thrive

Re “Palestinians and Israelis Both Deserve to Thrive” (opinion, Feb. 17)

Prof. Joseph Margulies, government and law, was part of Cornell’s Collective for Justice in Palestine, a group dedicated to the freedom of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all people (Israeli and Palestinian) from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. In his Guest Room submission, “Palestinians and Israelis Both Deserve to Thrive,” Margulies hits on many liberal Zionist talking points without explaining the reality of the current situation for both of our groups. In his submission, Margulies reveals himself as a typical liberal, with one notable exception: his stance on Palestine. I completely agree with Margulies’s assertion that both Israelis and Palestinians deserve to thrive, but we must examine why this is currently not the case.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Re: “Cornellians Mourn, Demand University Acknowledge Palestinians at Students for Justice in Palestine Vigil”

If SJP cared about Palestinian values, they would condemn Hamas’s intentional slaughter of innocent civilians rather than suggest that Palestinians’ “right to resistance” includes gang-raping women and burning children.  If SJP cared about Palestinians’ welfare, they would call upon Hamas to stop using Gazans as human shields and allow civilians to flee Hamas strongholds. 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Cornell Should Pay its Fair Share

To the editor:

Cornell University has the immense privilege of being exempt from property taxes. It enjoys this privilege due to New York State law’s treatment of nonprofit organizations, the underlying purpose of which is to help sustain institutions that will serve the public interest. The tax exemption is a public subsidy to Cornell to support its mission to provide education for the common good. The public mission of education reflects the democratic value of education, which should benefit society as a whole and should not serve as a private commodity benefiting only the individual student or faculty member. This tax exemption — this public subsidy — heightens Cornell’s moral obligation and social duty to act as a responsible member of the communities in which it is embedded.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Re: “Ignoring Cornell’s COVID Critics is Unforgivable”

To the editor:

Last week, Cullen O’Hara ’23 wrote a Letter to the Editor claiming that two Cornell Daily Sun journalists, in their article “Three Years Since COVID-19 Lockdown, Cornellians Reflect on Pandemic,” failed to fairly represent the beliefs of the Cornell population. I would like to argue against O’Hara’s claims and articulate a defense for these two journalists. 

O’Hara argues that these two journalists intentionally shed a positive light on Cornell’s COVID-19 policies and failed to include opposing viewpoints. However, in accordance with journalistic standards, Eicher and Rubinson conducted interviews through random sampling. On a campus that is composed of a liberal majority these two writers penned an article that is representative of the beliefs of Cornell’s population — even if it is not the view that O’Hara aligns with. If Eicher and Rubinson had interviewed an individual with a viewpoint that criticized the University’s policy, they would have included that in the piece.

LETTER TO EDITOR | Re: “Climate Scientists Debate Emissions Reduction in a Free Speech Event”

To the editor:

We would like to thank the Cornell community for welcoming our debate on climate science and

greenhouse gas emissions this past week. We appreciate the coverage by Sun reporters Sofia Rubinson and Eric Reilly but would like to clarify a few points made in their article.

The pre- and post-debate audience poll results were displayed on a large screen on stage in Call Auditorium during the event but did not yet include the number of polling participants. The final poll results, including number of polling participants, may be viewed at steamboatinstitute.org.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Ignoring Cornell’s COVID Critics is Unforgivable

In the article “Three Years Since COVID-19 Lockdown, Cornellians Reflect on Pandemic,” authors Aimée Eicher and Sofia Rubinson interviewed several students and a professor regarding their COVID-19 experience at Cornell. The Cornellians they selected had nothing but fawning praise for Cornell’s pandemic policies, and Eicher and Rubinson failed to include a single criticism of Cornell’s restrictions. 

Worse, one student, Ceci Rodriguez ‘26, made demonstrably false assertions in a ludicrous argument for reinstituting masking, but Eicher and Rubinson made no attempt to contextualize or disprove her claims. Considering how willingly the Cornell administration trampled students’ rights in the name of COVID-19 absolutism, The Sun has a responsibility to call out flimsy COVID-19 rationalizations.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Re: Cornell’s Restorative Judicial System

To the Editor: 

In his most recent column, Patrick Mehler ’23 argued that Cornell’s new judicial system is the “most community-focused and recidivism-preventing judicial process across college campuses.” Hyperbole aside, as a member of the Cornell community, I find this claim highly suspect. Under the new system led by Vice President for Student and Campus Life Ryan Lombardi, all authority to alter and administer the Student Code of Conduct is vested in Vice President Lombardi. The prior system incorporated Cornell’s shared-governance structure through the University Assembly Codes and Justice Committee which is comprised of representatives from the faculty, staff and student communities. To call anything which strips power from the voices of the Cornell community and hands it to a sole unaccountable authority “inclusive” and “community-focused” is disrespectful to the very idea of inclusivity and community. In 1969, there was a similar debate over the fate of the Cornell judicial system.