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SULLIVAN BAKER | In Defense of Hot Takes in The Sun

While sitting in Zeus, you absentmindedly scroll through Facebook, past a flash of red. You register that you skimmed something you didn’t like. You scroll back up. Uh oh, it’s another The Cornell Daily Sun opinion piece with a dramatic title and 43 comments.  You’ve just encountered a hot take, a column with a controversial argument that might not be all that “woke.”

A piece that’s part of this storied genre might rail against funding for Planned Parenthood, it might defend the legacy admissions system or it might discuss the isolating experience of being a Christian on campus. These columns, which fall across the political spectrum, tend to bring Ithaca’s notorious Facebook trolls out of the woodwork, evoke mainstream campus derision, and spawn many memes.

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BETTEZ | The Quiet Classism in Engineering

As the add/drop period continues and students consider the classes they’ll dedicate their time and energy toward, an element to class selection weighs more heavily on some more than others: the hidden costs that are barriers to taking the classes. Classism is inextricable from the American collegiate system, for which there is little Cornell’s College of Engineering can do to dispel. But for the changes it is capable of, Cornell can do better to ensure that all students are capable of taking all classes within the College regardless of their background. Any student who earns a spot in the engineering school should be capable of taking any of its classes. The Ivy League university we attend surrounds us with such unusual wealth that it’s easy for the professors and administrators to forget that the perceived minor expenses of their classes aren’t just making an insignificant dent in the pocket of a Canada Goose or Supreme jacket.

GUEST ROOM | Keep HumEc, Policy Is Just One Part of Our Identity

Like any true fan of young adult literature, I wanted to go to Hogwarts but had to settle for Cornell. I set out to make this idyllic campus my mystical academic home, and after four years here, I have to say things have gone according to plan … for the most part. I’ve watched Quidditch practice on my way to the A.D. White Library while listening to Hedwig’s Theme blasting from McGraw Tower, but I never thought I’d find myself engaging in a Dumbledore’s Army-like feat: opposing the illogical proposal to turn the College of Human Ecology into a College of Public Policy. To those unfamiliar with Prof. Urie Bronfenbrenner, human development and psychology, the professor who brought acclaim to my College through his work in creating the Head Start program, the human ecology college might seem vague, but it’s not. The College of Human Ecology encompasses our various environments, contexts and communities’ impacts on us, and in turn how we can impact and improve them.

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LIM | Back to Reality

“Deadline for new checklist items for Spring Programs: November 1st”

Receiving automated study abroad notifications long after they were meant to be read was somewhat funny. Beyond being an administrative inconvenience to various parties (sorry!), having a more long-drawn application process has also meant interrogating — far more extensively than productive — reasons to stay or to go. No matter the cause, a trend among many who leave for a semester abroad is to do so during junior spring, not infrequently for reasons beyond the permissiveness of academic structures or the attractiveness of programs elsewhere. I’ve heard peers speak of the need to retrieve a sense of perspective narrowed by being in the whirling stress-pool isolated in “Shithaca” (not my title, this place is … alright). Grateful as I am to come from the other side of the world in search of perspective, I wonder what it means to be at a point where I so resonate with this sentiment that I feel “reality” could be better grasped by returning.

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GUEST ROOM | The Climate March to Nowhere

Cornellians on Friday took part in the second climate strike of the academic year. The movement is rooted in the urgent need for climate action, an environmental cause that transcends political ideologies. Yet, many marchers at the last climate strike, including myself, were not aware that the platform of the march also extends to social justice. By tying climate action to other political concerns, global climate strike organizers alienate conservatives on an issue that requires unity. Because of this, I did not march in Friday’s strike and will likely not participate in future demonstrations.

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What an honor to finish off the year and decade with this semester’s last regular print publication. Just like that, The Sun wraps up another semester. But, don’t worry, The Sun is not setting just quite yet. We may not be sending out our usual dozen Facebook posts a day, but we will still publish major Cornell happenings on our website, Twitter and Facebook. For those of you waiting on your toes for our full-time return, we will be back next semester after our editors get some major sleep and overcome their denial that The Sun affected our final grades.

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POORE | Change Your Major (Before It’s Too Late)

As a student advisor for the biology major, I’ve listened to two cohorts of bright-eyed first year students talk excitedly about writing seminars, languages courses and PE classes. I’ve yet to hear one say they enjoy general chemistry, intro to cell bio or any other class that’s actually related to biology. It’s an implicit understanding between us that those classes are merely supposed to be survived rather than enjoyed. As a senior, then, I’m nothing if not a survivor. I’ve survived general chemistry to then survive organic chemistry to then survive biochemistry, genetics and physics.

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BROWN | The Ivy League Breeds Obedient Capitalists

Prestigious universities like Cornell are, in theory, institutions where talented young people receive the education, ideas and skills needed to tackle the world’s most pressing issues.  A closer look into elite culture reveals that these conceptions are fantasies that serve privileged, wealthy sectors of society that equate their own interests with those of the rest of the world. While the concerns of financial institutions, big tech and other sources of extreme wealth are carefully looked after by Cornell as an institution and community, the most fundamental issues for the world’s poor majority and for future generations: Climate change, nuclear proliferation and widespread hunger, are hardly considered outside of abstraction. That two of these issues are existential threats to human civilization is a testament to the irrationality of managerial class interests which dominate discourse among the political, business and intellectual communities. That universities like Cornell ignore calls for modest steps towards social responsibility on climate change, whereas dialogue about world hunger and nuclear proliferation is virtually nonexistent, is demonstrative of an intellectual environment that discourages cosmopolitan, rational policy in favor of the pathological preservation of the status quo. Elite universities indoctrinate future professionals and upper-class members of society into conformity, creating generation after generation of obedient capitalists.

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LEE | Into the Unknown

I decided to give myself a break over the weekend to relax and rejuvenate. I tend to do things in chunks such that I spend either a full day studying or a full day unwinding all at once. I realized, however, that I now have less than two weeks until graduation, and that I can’t leave spending time with and appreciating my friends here for later. So, with final papers and exams in the back of my mind, I went to watch Frozen II at Regal Ithaca Mall. The scene where Elsa begins singing “Into the Unknown” particularly caught my attention.

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GUEST ROOM | An Open Letter to Queer Freshmen Considering Rush

Growing up gay in Michigan, Missouri and Ohio, I got used to figuring things out on my own. Though I watched my peers follow all the same well-traveled paths as their friends and mentors, it didn’t occur to me that I deserved guidance as well. In hindsight, the impact of this lack became more clear to me. My immersion in heteronormative cultures meant growing up without many queer role models or friends. Without any frame of reference for my choices and goals, it’s unsurprising that I made so many pivotal decisions blindly.