Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cornell Continues to Stall Fossil Fuel Divestment With Flimsy Arguments

To the Editor:
In the last week, Cornell has made two public statements to congratulate themselves on their sustainability efforts and deny the need for fossil fuel divestment — without addressing the student protests which incited these statements. The University can and must divest from fossil fuels, and campus sustainability efforts are not an acceptable substitution. The University’s recently-released Fossil Fuel Divestment FAQ states that the Board “will consider a proposal for divestment from the Cornell community when either the President forwards a resolution from one of the shared governance assemblies, or all five of the assemblies support such a resolution.” However, the Board of Trustees can take up the issue of divestment on their own (as outlined in the process for divestment they developed when deciding to continue investing in fossil fuels in 2015), and they will if they have a conscience about climate change or consideration for the campus community. A report prepared by the Campus Infrastructure  Committee of the University Assembly, which the University’s FAQ links to, already highlights many powerful arguments for divestment, and it is a shame the FAQ didn’t discuss them further. However, the FAQ did provide two flimsy arguments against fossil fuel divestment.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Two Cheers for the Late Prof. Isaac Kramnick

To the Editor:

I was saddened to learn that Prof. Isaac Kramnick, the Richard J. Schwartz Professor of Government Emeritus, had passed away late last month. Kramnick had an impact on me and countless other Cornellians, helping us feel that we belonged at Cornell, connecting our present to the democratic promises of the past and modeling how to stand up for what is right and just. These few anecdotes will not depict the depth of his impact, however, they remain clearest in my memory. On one of my first days of class as a graduate student in the Fall of 2013, I remember Kramnick making me feel like I belonged at Cornell. Kramnick shut down an elitist comment that a fellow student made about the private school where he had earned his undergraduate degree.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘Committee Calls for New College of Public Policy in Final Report’

To the Editor:

I write today as a current student, alumna and employee of the College of Human Ecology to strongly disagree with the proposal set forth by the Provost’s Social Sciences Implementation Committee that seeks to transform the College of Human Ecology into a College of Public Policy. I believe that this proposed change will have a negative effect on the academic experiences of current and future students and will damage the University’s relationship with the College’s many passionate alumni and supporters. My experience as a human ecology student shaped my academic and career interests in ways that I could not have imagined when I first set foot on campus as a transfer student at the beginning of my sophomore year. Coming from a traditional political science program, I hadn’t had the opportunity to explore much beyond my policy classes and was planning on going into a career in government like most of my peers at my previous school. Human Ecology showed me how policy touches everything in the world around us, and how everything else influences policy.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Joint Statement on Tensions at the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong

To the Editor:

We urge politicians around the world, especially those in the United States, to exert pressure on Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, and the Hong Kong Police Force, to call off violent crackdowns on pro-democracy protesters, and answer the remaining four demands put forth by the protesters. Throughout the past few weeks, we have seen a substantial amount of arrests, followed by a shocking number of unexplained disappearances, alleged suicides and police rape. Additionally, the HKPF has widely used the word “cockroaches” to dehumanize the protesters. Merely over the past two days, the violence inflicted by the HKPF against the Hong Kong protesters (mainly students) has escalated to unprecedented levels. The HKPF threatened the students with the use of live ammunition on the campus of the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong, and subsequently invaded PolyU with brute force at 5:32 a.m., Nov.