There’s an earthquake of student action regarding climate change going on. One great example of this is the Juliana v. United States Youth Climate Lawsuit, which is headed for the Supreme Court. Young people filed a lawsuit against the United States federal government in 2015 for violating their and future generations’ right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” by refusing to seriously tackle climate change. Cornell students will surely join in on this scale of climate justice activism. But there’s something missing here.
Time and time again, centrist media pundits have used their platforms to bemoan President Donald Trump’s crudity. They wax nostalgic about the good old days of “respectable Republicans,” harking back to a fictional recent past in which “honorable men” from both parties ruled the country. Such venerable men include the likes of war criminal former president George W. Bush, America’s Butcher of Baghdad. At least this good Christian man didn’t spew vulgarities and tweet-storms while authorizing massacres in the Middle East, right? When the Cornell Republicans announced their intent to invite former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to campus, we can’t say that we were surprised.
Earlier this month, Cornell Students for Justice in Palestine announced a Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. The campaign aims to divest Cornell’s endowment from companies they allege are responsible for human rights violations against Palestinians. A wave of these campaigns has spread to campuses across the country, and they sow nothing but discord and fear in their wake. We, the undersigned members of the Cornell community, stand squarely against this campaign because it is antithetical to the values Cornellians hold dear. BDS Prevents Thoughtful Dialogue on Campus
The goal of the BDS movement is to utilize economic pressure against Israel as a mechanism to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Not a day passes without Israel escalating its assault on the Palestinian people. The 2018 Nation State Law has drawn mass outrage from Palestinians and ethno-religious minorities such as the Druze and Coptic Christians and Israeli Jews. Despite the law’s virtual confirmation of Israel as a racialized apartheid state, the United States has been steadfast in their support for the occupying regime. Since Israel’s origin, the state has dispossessed countless Palestinians through violent means, starting with the 1948 al-Nakba (“The Catastrophe”) in which nearly a million indigenous Palestinians were forcibly expelled from their homes or otherwise murdered by Zionist militias. The U.S. shares a common history with Israel as a fellow settler-colonial project rooted in genocide, making the countries’ current close relationship unsurprising.
Reading DeMassa and Delgado’s Feb. 18 column, I find myself perplexed, unnerved and disappointed by the authors’ deranged characterization of last week’s trustee debacle as “representative of larger prejudice at Cornell.”
To be sure, Paul Blanchard’s verbiage was tasteless. Perhaps even insensitive. But symptomatic of prejudice? Hardly.
Last week, Isaac Schorr ’20 wrote a pretty divisive letter to the editor concerning the Class Council gala fundraiser for Planned Parenthood. In the space below I’m going to discuss both Isaac’s letter and the campus response it received. Saying that Planned Parenthood is a divisive organization isn’t a novel claim. Nor is the claim that the Class Councils, who purport to represent the interests of their corresponding classes, shouldn’t plan events fundraising for divisive organizations. I can only imagine what would’ve happened if the gala were raising money for the NRA …
As student labor organizers involved with Cornell’s United Students Against Sweatshops chapter, we heartily welcomed The Sun’s Feb. 5 editorial on the decades-old discussion surrounding Cornell’s operation of a medical campus outside the capital city of Qatar. We hope to further contextualize the longstanding fight to secure a third-party investigation into working conditions at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar, with an eye towards future concerted action. To do so, we must first touch on relevant aspects of this campus’s rich history of student-driven labor organizing. At the turn of the millennium, the prolific USAS network mobilized to counter the influence of a Clinton-made organization, the Fair Labor Association, whose corporate ties clearly compromised its ability to independently monitor sweatshop conditions.
A little over a month ago, Dr. Leana Wen, President of Planned Parenthood, confirmed what the American pro-life movement has recognized for years when she tweeted: “First, our core mission is providing, protecting, and expanding access to abortion and reproductive health care.” In the words of its own leader, Planned Parenthood is an organization that believes its primary purpose is to push for more abortion, full stop. This admission renders the decision made by the Class Councils of 2021 and 2022 to fundraise for Planned Parenthood at their Valentine’s Day Gala completely inappropriate and extraordinarily insensitive. Although the majority of Cornellians may favor abortion rights to one extent or another, there exists a great many of us who believe that the result of the procedure is the ending of a distinct human life deserving of dignity like any other. Despite my own strong feelings on the matter, I understand that in a diverse community such as ours, disagreement on this issue is inevitable. What I fail to understand, and what I object to, is the Class Councils’ reckless decision to spend money collected from each and every undergraduate via the Student Activity Fee on a fundraiser for such a deeply divisive organization — an organization that performed 332,757 abortions in 2018 alone.
As undergraduate students, we would like to provide University leadership with an undergraduate perspective on Cornell Graduate Students United’s recently delivered mental health petition. Foremost, we want to reiterate the crucial role that graduate student-workers play in the lives of undergrads. Graduate students are our mentors, our instructors and our friends. They oftentimes fill tasks left by overloaded professors — meeting with us one-on-one to guide us not only through our coursework, but through our larger academic and professional trajectories. Cornell does not work unless its graduate student-workers do, and the undergraduate experience would be a shell of itself without them.
While the article focuses on shattering ideals of a relationship effectively, it appalls me that there is a specific mentioning of the author’s suicidal ideations with no further comment from either the editor or the author herself. At a time when mental health issues are so rife with complications on campus, the blasé mention of a serious suicidal thought is not one of transparency and a call for solidarity. Rather, it is an indication of just how far our campus narrative needs to shift towards not only communication and openness, but also of acknowledging that this culture of mental health issues must move in a supportive and serious context. Suicidal ideation is a serious concern, and when someone admits to such experiences to a wide audience with no acknowledgement that this sort of behavior is not healthy and that some form of action is being taken to ensure her safety, it is also a cause of concern for the author’s personal experiences as well. While I in no way am condemning the act of sharing one’s personal experiences with mental health, one must talk about and publish stories on this crucial issue with more context so as to not breed normalcy — “The impact of the media on suicidal behavior seems to be most likely when a method of suicide is specified — especially when presented in detail — when the story is reported or portrayed dramatically and prominently”, according to the Centre for Suicide Research at Oxford.