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.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Help Name the North Campus Residences

Letter to the Editor:
On Oct. 8, President Martha E. Pollack announced that two of the residence halls under construction on North Campus will be named after two of Cornell’s most accomplished alumnae: Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’54 and Toni Morrison M.A. ’55. In the coming years, new students at Cornell will be reminded daily of the legacies left by these outstanding women. Buildings at colleges and universities are often named for donors whose generosity enabled their construction. But occasionally, such as with debt-financed residence halls, universities have the opportunity to select names that recognize distinguished individuals or represent our core values.