LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Cornell Health Needs a Gynecologist

We are 136 current and former Cornell students.  We include members of the Pelvic Pain Association of Cornell, Disability+, Graduate Women in Science, QGrads, Women’s Health Initiative, Planned Parenthood Generation Action at Cornell, [email protected], Women’s Law Coalition, and the Women of Color Collective, among others.  We include students who suffer from pelvic pain and allies of people with pelvic pain.  We are writing this letter to urge Cornell to provide funding for Cornell Health to hire an MD gynecologist. Specifically, we need a gynecologist with experience diagnosing and treating chronic vulvovaginal and pelvic pain conditions such as vulvodynia, endometriosis, PCOS, and pelvic floor dysfunction. 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cornell, Honor Your Commencement Promise

Cornell University promised it’s Class of 2020 an in-person commencement ceremony when the pandemic comes under control. Now the University is walking back that promise in favor of an in-person “alumni event” when it becomes possible. Matthew Ferraro ’20 argues Cornell should hold true to its promise for a proper commencement.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: RE: ‘In 2017, Pres. Pollack Responded to Racist Incidents on Cornell’s Campus With a Task Force. Did It Change Campus Climate?’

We, as former members of the Presidential Task Force on Campus Climate, write this statement with pained hearts as horrifying events unfold at our alma mater, and not for the first time. In the fall semester of 2017, several hate crimes took place on and off campus, prompting us to improve campus climate. We did not expect to be here three years since those events. President Martha Pollack appointed members of the Task Force to identify goals, strategies and values that would lend the university guideposts for how to respond ethically and effectively the next time racism would rear its ugly head. 

The administration has avoided taking direct actions in response to the “Racist, Misogynistic Harassment Strikes Cornell S.A. Members After Disarmament Resolution,” and this has dashed the last of any lingering hopes we had. We want to remind the Cornell administration that our work was not performative, perfunctory or superficial.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: RE: ‘Deconstructing Cornell’s ‘Literatures in English’ Fiction’

To the Editor:

Dr. Carolyn Cooper is now known mostly for writing the feisty and much loved weekly “Jamaican Woman Tongue” column in The Daily Gleaner in Jamaican patwa.  She always writes with a challenge that we admire. In fact, the major argument of this article appeared already in her column as she indicates. Now retired, she is recognized as having been a popular professor at the University of the West Indies which she defends with characteristic style as setting the pace for decolonial university studies, and is still a major expert of Jamaican oral literary and popular culture and global reggae studies.   

The fact is that the renaming of the Department of English to the Department of Literatures in English at UWI-Mona, which we absolutely credit them, was not made across all campuses of the UWI (maybe this will spur them to actually complete that name change fully). Their bold and courageous move too was also the product of several influences, some of which Dr. Cooper identifies in that article.  Still, in spite of the discerning reader’s conclusion, because of several turns of phrase, that her essay sounds confrontational, Carolyn Cooper is a friend and colleague — though she calls out my unwillingness to give UWI-Mona total credit for being the first in this regard — and one whose feistiness I have supported at times when she was under attack. But do know that she has had several email and social media exchanges with Prof. Mukoma, English, and I on this in which we have acknowledged her claim but indicated that the naming possibilities are limited and generative in more directions than copying UWI.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: RE: ‘Antiquated Ivy League Rules Rob Student Athletes of University Careers’

To the Editor: 

Brendan Kempff’s article, “Antiquated Ivy League Rules Rob Student Athletes of University Careers” in The Dec. 6 Sun was right on, and I applaud his sentiments, as do all of us interested in the well-being of our student-athletes. And I put in bold face and caps: both student and athlete. Why does the Ivy League want to penalize athletes who have done a fine job in the classroom?  If athletes could use up their eligibility while attending graduate school, we would have more individuals receiving education at a higher level while increasing the number of Cornellians achieving Master’s degrees. This dilemma started right here at Cornell in 1978.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: RE: ‘A Call to Action on Food Equity for Students on the Ithaca Campus’

To the Editor: 

I read with interest Sarah Brice’s Dec. 9 opinion piece entitled “A Call to Action on Food Equity for Students on the Ithaca Campus.”  I am appalled that my alma mater appears unwilling or unable to conquer food insecurity among its students. Pre-pandemic, I became involved in this issue — or should I say, I tried to become involved. After reading articles in The Sun and in Cornell Alumni Magazine about food insecurity on campus, I contacted a Cornell Associate Dean. I suggested that many alumni would be more than willing to assist financially if the problem were brought directly to their attention.

Letter to the Editor: On Police Reform, White Supremacy and Accountability

To the Editor:

Yesterday, 13 members of the student assembly threw a public tantrum in the pages of The Sun. These individuals attempted to portray themselves as a besieged holdout on the moral high ground, victims of “an unprecedented recall and smear campaign” at the hands of their constituents for what they described as “a routine and respectful disagreement.” This disagreement was in fact over whether it was appropriate to hold closed door meetings to strategize with the Cornell University Police Department, to inflict racist violence against other student assembly members and to expect to retain their titles with impunity. As a former student assembly member, student of law enforcement history, Black American, veteran, EMT, undergraduate representative to Cornell’s Public Safety Advisory Committee and family member to incarcerated folks I felt both particularly tickled and especially equipped to pen a response. Bottom line up front: If the thirteen student assembly members in question want compromise rather than self-indulgent grandstanding they should present a proposal for a bifurcated armed/unarmed Cornell police force. A split system of unarmed patrol and pre-staged, specially trained armed officers ready to respond to an active shooter allows for the demilitarization of first responders while maintaining the capability to bring an unlikely mass casualty incident to a swift conclusion.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Inside the Student Assembly’s Late Night Purge

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article included a signatory who had not signed this letter. That signatory has since been removed. To the Editor:

Three weeks ago, we, fourteen members of the Student Assembly, decided to vote no on Resolution 11 – Calling For the Disarmament of the Cornell University Police Department. We did so for a variety of reasons. Some of us believed the resolution did not properly consider the consequences of disarmament to campus safety.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: RE: ‘Antiquated Ivy League Rules Rob Student Athletes of University Careers’

To the Editor: 

The Cornell administration and the entire Cornell community are to be congratulated, and even more so thanked, for the great job they have done in tackling the virus at Cornell. Cornell has exhibited great leadership. I also applaud our Ivy League for putting safety and human lives ahead of entertainment and personal preference in the suspension of winter athletics. This suspension is the right move even allowing for some sports that might be safe enough to take place with the proper safeguards. What I don’t understand, as mentioned in a Sun column this Monday, is the Ivy League’s stance on the addition of one year to the athletes total eligibility, making up for the year eliminated due to the virus.