I read with great interest Matthew Lam’s Oct. 10 column, which called for more practical environmental science courses at Cornell. I wholeheartedly agree: in order to address the many looming sustainability challenges around the globe, we need to support a new generation of thought leaders who can tackle these problems head on. That’s why, this fall, the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future is launching a leadership training and development program for graduate students and postdoctoral researchers that we hope will eventually expand to include undergraduates. This training program will help Cornell students and postdocs leverage the knowledge they gain on campus so they can develop real-world solutions to environmental issues like climate change, food security, energy transitions and achieving planetary health.
I am writing to whole-heartedly encourage you and your readers to vote for Tracy Mitrano, who is running to represent New York’s 23rd District in the United States House of Representatives. I have known Tracy for 25 years, and I can strongly attest that she is a morally upstanding, intelligent, and caring person who will bring opportunity to the Southern Tier. Tracy is from the working class in Upstate New York — her parents, who never went to college, ran an Italian restaurant in Rochester — and she has bettered herself through hard work and education. Tracy is Irish and Italian and you can bet she is a tough fighter. As a mother of two sons and a guardian of her adult brother, who has special needs, she knows how to advocate for others to make their lives better.
In last Monday’s editorial “Stand with Harvard on Affirmative Action,” The Sun’s editorial board stands firmly with Harvard University on the case SFFA v. Harvard. The Sun admits that the issue at hand is “ostensibly” about “Harvard’s alleged discrimination against Asian-Americans in their admissions process to the benefit of other minorities and white students.”
For this the Sun was “half-right.”
In their later, hastily added clarification for their Monday editorial, The Sun admits that they did “not pay sufficient attention to the specific claims against Harvard,” specifically on the claim that Harvard had used the system of “personal score”, a series of vaguely defined assessment rating students on their “likability, courage, kindness and being ‘widely respected’” to limit Asian admission. For this the Sun was poignant. Its Monday editorial is that of the typical argument of the “motivation.” By the editorial’s logic, anyone arguing against Harvard argues against affirmative action as a practice simply because Ed Blum and SFFA, the people behind the lawsuit, have the questionable intent of exploiting this case to dismantle affirmative action. By essentially asserting that the plaintiffs’ motivations render illegitimate the issues the lawsuit raises, the editorial suggests that the “ostensible” core of the case, the Harvard administration’s alleged long-running practice of allowing “anti-Asian bias” to affect their admission process, is worth ignoring.
It’s time for a change! This year we have the opportunity to elect Derek Osborne as the next Sheriff of Tompkins County. He is totally qualified, including graduating from the FBI academy training! He has been promoted through the ranks of the Sheriff’s Office, including a promotion to Undersheriff by the current Sheriff, and he knows this community well. Now more than ever we need a well-trained person with integrity and leadership to effectively manage and administrate the Office of Sheriff without overspending the budget like the current Sheriff.
This summer, the well-renowned and much-loved water treatment course CEE 4540 was deliberately dismantled by the CEE Curriculum Committee and quietly replaced with a hastily assembled, entirely redefined course under the same number. For the last three months, our ad-hoc team of CEE 4540 supporters (155+ students, alumni and staff) has been questioning this decision. The Curriculum Committee has repeatedly dismissed and scolded us. It appears that the University approaches curriculum from a “parent knows best” mindset. At no point during curriculum review were students or alumni asked for direct input.
We’re sure you’ve heard it a million times before. We’re sure you’ve scrolled past a “register to vote” meme on Facebook or have swiped through a voter registration filter on Snapchat. But we’re not sure that the message has stuck with you. And we’re telling you here, student to student, Cornellian to Cornellian, friend to friend, to make sure it sticks. According to the Campus Vote Project, turnout among college students has reached record lows in recent years.
I write as a retired English and history teacher to protest the use of the term “conservative” to describe the politics of the current Republican party in Matthew McGowen’s article about Representative Tom Reed’s recent visit with 12 campus Republicans. I also marvel that a presumably well-educated college student quoted in the article can question why he might experience some “social backlash” at Cornell wearing clothing bearing the name of a president who calls climate change a hoax, extols “pussy grabbing” on a campus (like all other college campuses) where sexual assault is a serious problem and refers to the nations of origin of many Cornell students as “shithole countries.”
I’d love to have any of the twelve students who met with Reed explain to me what any of the above characterizations have in common with political conservatism, and I suggest that all of these students, along with Matthew McGowen, ought to take a survey political science course while at Cornell. I must also add that it offers us “left-leaning Ithacans” some pleasure to learn that Reed’s visit attracted 12 twelve students on a campus of 24,123. It looks like education might be working! Barbara Regenspan
These days, I find myself engaged in conversation, both inside and outside of the exam room, about the political process and its relevance to health and wellbeing. How can I get more involved in my community? Is it possible for me to feel better connected to those around me, and to something with larger meaning in the world? How do I make sure my voice is heard? Deep questions like these are bound to come up in the course of intensely pursuing study here at Cornell.
A casual stroll through the government department reveals an environment exploding with stress. Some of this, such as the stress attributed to upcoming prelims, is justified. The stress surrounding the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh and subsequent allegations is wildly misplaced. Cornellians are rightfully distressed about the prospect that an abuser could sit on the court. However, we seem to be ignoring the disturbing and rapid decay of due process in the United States as a result of this debacle.
The article by Dylan McDevitt in September 13’s Sun is, in my opinion, unbalanced, gleefully disparaging and extremely disrespectful of Cornell’s winningest coach and his many successes. The fact that the article has nothing to say about the “misconduct investigation” suggests that the Athletics Department is thankfully handling its investigation following proper privacy protocols. With nothing new to say, the author of the article instead dredges up some truck driving issue from 10 years ago of which Coach Eldredge was cleared and an instance, also from ten years ago, for which Coach Eldredge apologized, where he was simply teaching sportsmanship and players how to be respectful of umpires no matter how inflammatory those umpires might be on a given day. There is a reason the law has a principle called double jeopardy. Don’t conduct a trial by media for something the coach was cleared of ten years ago!