Picture1

AHMAD | The Inferiority Complex

“Cornell professors really hype us up,” said one of my friends after a psychology lecture in which our professor spent the last 20 minutes of class telling us how incredibly “brilliant” we all were, and how “blown away” he is by our potential. I don’t even really remember what prompted him to go on this complimentary rant. One minute we were talking about the psychology of dreams, and the next thing I knew, we were being showered with compliments by a professor a hundred times more accomplished than anyone else in the room. While it may seem random, I’ve found that this is quite a common theme in a lot of classes at Cornell. As a freshman, I remember being told in every introductory lecture that we were all “extremely bright” and “driven” students, and I really believed it.

Picture1

GUEST ROOM | Do More Than Decry the Greek System: Fix It

In a recent column entitled “Don’t Decry the Greek System if You Use It for Your Own Gain,” Ara Hagopian performs the “oft-necessary task of criticizing people who agree with [him].” While using the recent Zeta Beta Tau incident to criticize the overuse of the word “woke,” he says the only solution to the Greek system is to stop attending fraternity parties, realign one’s actions with one’s morals and consider how Greek life leads to oppression. I am disgusted by Hagopian’s feeling of being “vindicated” by the pig roast competition at Zeta Beta Tau. While his assumptions about fraternity culture may have been confirmed by their actions, no one should enjoy being proven right at the cost of another person experiencing pain. By beginning his column in this manner, I am forced to question Hagopian’s motives in writing it. I am less convinced they stem from a sense of altruism but moreso from an inflated ego.

Picture1

DUGGAL | Political Introspection

I recently got back on Twitter, and it has been an experience. I haven’t been on Twitter since high school, and I returned to an entirely different world than the one I left behind. The last time I was trolling around on Twitter, I was 14 and subtweeting Coldplay lyrics at my AP Physics lab partner. Ryan, if you’re reading this, please note that while in retrospect I understand that the time and effort I put into finding the perfect lyric to encapsulate our (completely made up) relationship could have been better put to use attempting to achieve anything higher than a 2 on our AP exam, subtweets were an important part of my teenage experience, and I think you should be honored to have been a part of that. This time around, however, I joined with the intention of using Twitter as my news source, and while that has remained true, Twitter has also been something of an interesting experiment in how people today interact with one another and their respective opinions.

Picture1

GOROKH | Putin’s Fears and Grievances

This column was originally published with a different title. It has been changed to better reflect the views expressed in the column. The media has a tendency to depict politicians as villains, and I don’t mind it: it makes for a good show and some people were born for the role. What frustrates me when I watch Western coverage of Russia is how they make Putin into the wrong kind of villain. He often gets portrayed a sociopathic genius seemingly driven by lust for power and chaos.

Picture1

HUBSHER | My Body, My Judicial Review Board

Prove my point a little better, I dare you. Before I had even pinned my last column (about the toxic culture that some “men only” clubs promote) to my wall of accomplishments, another fraternity fiasco rocked the campus. In case you missed it, Zeta Beta Tau was found to have held a “pig roast” for their new members, in which brothers were encouraged to sleep with as many women as possible. In the event of a tie, the guy whose conquest weighed more would win. I know this topic has been written about ad nauseum, but I’m not here to talk about how disgusting, or degrading to women, these actions are.

Picture1

WANG | Learning to Work

It’s not every day your business professor manages to temporarily unscrew your footing in the real world and leave you stumbling. But that’s exactly what happened when one of my professors offhandedly mentioned during one of his lectures a buzzy new concept: the signaling model of education and its application in the job market. The signaling model is based on the relatively radical (or maybe not that radical, if you think about it) idea that human productivity is innate, and that our education does not change or improve that. Instead, our education signals to employers what our abilities are. If we go to a good school, that credential signals to our would-be employer that we did well in secondary school; therefore, we must be productive, intelligent and hard working.

Picture1

GLANZEL | To Cornell’s Administration, You’re Just a Number

I am a proud Cornellian. As a second-semester senior, I can easily say that I have experienced the roller coaster of ups and downs that virtually every Cornellian before me has felt. Regardless of what highs and lows this school has brought me to, I truly believe that this school, and the students in it, are a testament to what an elite education can do for both the individual and society as a whole. Cornell is, quite simply, a remarkable institution, with brilliant professors and students. Unfortunately, the university’s administration is a great stain on an otherwise incredible and noble history. In past columns, I have described the problems with the administration’s compulsive spending and inattention to the needs of lower-income students.

Picture1

HAGOPIAN | Don’t Decry the Greek System if you Use it for Your Own Gain

I’ve been critical of the Greek system in the past . I must admit to feeling somewhat vindicated when I heard about the “pig roast” competition, but I don’t want to rail against that in this column. I’d like to perform the unpleasant but oft-necessary task of criticizing people who agree with me. I know a fraternity brother who is thoughtful, intelligent, friendly and well-liked. A thoroughly capital fellow.

Picture1

JEONG | The College Protest Tradition in a Postmodernist America

To cater to the massive Asian-American population in the Bay Area, my local movie theater occasionally screens blockbusters that are currently popular in East Asia. As dutiful Korean immigrants, my family fulfils our patriotic obligation by going every time they show a new Korean movie. Over the break, my family went to watch 1987: When the Day Comes, a Korean film about the military dictatorship that interrogated and tortured pro-democracy protesters during the 1980s. It showed scenes of college activists of my parents’ generation being beaten and hauled away by policemen who resembled vigilante gangsters more than federal law enforcement. As the final credits rolled, the audience, comprised mostly of stoic, first-generation Korean parents, sat in their seats silently weeping, bound by a collective reminiscence of mutual struggle only their age cohort could fully appreciate.

Picture1

SONG | I Rushed a Sorority as an Undercover Journalist

A previous version of this column incorrectly stated Kelly Song’s year. She is a sophomore, not a junior. 

I am not a sorority girl. I prefer sparkling water over beer and I don’t own a Gucci handbag or shiver in 6 inch heels in the middle of winter. But last week I found myself at rush event, plastering on a sorority girl smile. Why?