Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘Tompkins County Workers’ Center Diverts Roughly $20,000 to Support Office of Human Rights Caseload’

To the editor: 
As a Cornellian who holds a leadership position within the Tompkins County Workers’ Center, I was heartened to see The Sun publish a detailed report on evolving challenges facing local human rights enforcement. The situation in question is a deeply serious one that has profound implications for the larger Ithaca community, and Cornellians ought to respond accordingly. As reported by the Sun, changes made to the Tompkins County Office of Human Rights have left a massive hole in Ithaca-area rights enforcement — one ultimately filled by Workers’ Center staff and volunteers. According to our Office Manager Rob Brown, extra caseloads stemming from OHR’s dilution has cost us an unanticipated sum of roughly $20,000 since April 2018. While the Workers’ Center has proudly intervened to take on displaced OHR caseloads, we must be public and transparent about our organization’s limitations.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ICUCME Re: ‘Dangers of Cornell Students Leading Islamophobic Panels’

To the editor:

On Dec. 3, the Sun published a column by Nima Homami grad attacking our organization, the Ithaca Coalition for Unity and Cooperation in the Middle East. We are a grass-roots anti-racist community organization working to preserve the plurality and diversity of discussions about the Middle East and other related topics, advocating for peace and security for all. Our group is non-partisan and embraces fact-based, respectful dialogue, mutual recognition and cooperation to promote justice. We have held numerous events on tolerance, including an event on Islamophobia in collaboration with Ithaca’s Islamic Community Outreach Services, as well as discussions on the diversity of communities in the Middle East and “Cleaning the Hate” events where volunteers join together to clean up litter from public spaces.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cornell’s ties to Saudi Arabia need scrutiny

To the editor:

The following letter was sent to Cornell President Martha Pollack on November 27, 2018:

Dear President Pollack:

We, the undersigned members of the Cornell community, urge you to examine Cornell’s ties with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. As the KSA’s human rights violations escalate, we cannot endorse any form of academic support and/or collaboration with the current regime. To do so is to support injustice and undermine the purpose and integrity of Cornell’s mission. We therefore urge you to discontinue Cornell’s institutional and financial collaboration with the KSA. We further ask that you disclose to the Cornell community all grants and gifts received from the KSA, in addition to programmatic collaboration such as academic exchanges.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: re: ‘The TPUSA Debacle & Cornell’s Flirtations with the Far-Right’

To the editor: 

“Letter to the Editor: The TPUSA Debacle & Cornell’s Flirtations with the Far-Right” is unfounded and reeks of political ignorance.  The authors make multiple outlandish assertions, most notably is their classification of TPUSA as a fascist organization, despite our core principles advocating for small, limited government.  These two characterizations are mutually exclusive; any fascist government is, by definition, immense and intrusive upon its citizens’ everyday lives. TPUSA holds events specifically to promote minority leadership in the members’ respective colleges.  A large portion of TPUSA members belong to minority groups and a variety of religions.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Professional Fraternity Council founded to connect organizations

Correction appended. 

To the editor:

Greek letter professional organizations have had an extensive history in the North American fraternity system. These organizations have a defined purpose to promote the interests of a particular profession or study. The first professional fraternity was Kappa Lambda Society at Transylvania University, a short-lived medical fraternity founded in 1819. This historical concept of bringing like-minded students towards a path of professional and personal development is something that is present on our campus as well. Professional fraternal organizations have an extensive history at Cornell University.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The TPUSA Debacle & Cornell’s Flirtations with the Far-Right

After more than a week of local confusion regarding Turning Point USA (TPUSA), this dark money-funded activist group cancelled an Ithaca-area event meant to feature far-right personalities Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens. We feel the need to clarify a few things about what has recently transpired. First, the university deemed TPUSA’s fascist provocaceutering “free speech,” legitimizing an alt-right event on campus that was solely cancelled for logistical and bureaucratic reasons. During initial negotiations, Cornell curiously identified no problem with TPUSA’s “Professor Watchlist,” an online McCarthyist blacklist that counts several Cornell faculty among its “dangerous ultra-liberal academics.”  When TPUSA relocated the event to an off-campus venue, Cornell allowed it to retain the name “Cornell Campus Clash” — insisting that no brand violations or reputational concerns were at stake in an alt-right provocation directly targeted at Cornell students. It washed its hands of any further responsibility for an event meant for its own students, displacing event security costs onto the City of Ithaca and its local taxpayer base.

Letter to the Editor

GUEST ROOM | Cornellians Must Combat Anti-Semitism

On Saturday, Oct. 27, an anti-Semite committed the worst anti-Semitic act in America’s history. We have an obligation to mourn the eleven Jews slaughtered in Pittsburgh at the Tree of Life synagogue. We also have a collective responsibility to act against anti-Semitism. I propose starting right here, on our campus.

Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: Re: ‘Kim | Be Aware and Show You Care’

To the editor:

Thanks for the very good piece about the professorial discussion about the current reality of Ezra Cornell’s egalitarian ideals as embodied in the university’s motto. Alas, as you well know, Ezra never said “Any person…. any study”, which you claim in the first sentence. Lest some readers believe that, your writer should have included something to the effect that this is a recent (last 15 years) informal and casual substitute for the much more profound and dignified words of the university motto, which several years ago was voted the best among all US colleges. “I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study.”
Isaac Kramnick, Richard J. Schwartz Professor of Government, Emeritus

Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: Re: Letter to the editor: ‘Faculty and Staff in Solidarity with Transgender and GNC People’

To the editor:

The faculty signatories among the Cornell Coalition for Inclusive Democracy manage to applaud themselves for their bold immigration stance in a wholly unrelated solidarity letter regarding transgender rights. It perfectly reflects the Left’s proclivity to link every progressive cause together under their loosely and poorly defined banner of “human rights.” These same faculty dedicated to inclusion and openness happily and willingly teach at an institution that the Sun recently informed us rejects close to 90 percent of the thousands of applicants seeking to arrive. This amounts to a veritable caravan of students stopped before even getting to the CU campus border! How would they feel about their classes, their campus offices or even their domiciles being open for anyone who wishes to occupy them consistent with their advocacy for unrestrained immigration in the nation writ large? Or why not remove tenure and open their departments to anyone wishing to offer instruction in their subjects providing the prospective professors are fleeing persecution?

Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: Why The 161 Things Needs Major Changes

To the editor:

The 161 Things Every Cornellian Should Do has been gaining significant attention over the past couple of days. As I was reading the list, I noticed some activities would be considered inappropriate and even illegal. I am not in favor of eradicating the list; there just need to be some major changes to ensure everyone complies with the law.  It all started when I posted a meme criticizing the 161 Things on Cornell: Any Person Any Meme, the Facebook page. Some students have caught on and are now in favor of wanting those changes.