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SULLIVAN BAKER | Greek Life and the Exploitation of First-Year Vulnerability

The Saturday before last, I woke up to a flood of Facebook posts depicting a smiling young man, Antonio Tsialas ’23, an 18-year old freshman who, according to one of the posts, had just been hired as a campus tour guide. Antonio had been missing since Thursday night, when he attended a fraternity event, and the posts implored anyone who knew his whereabouts to contact the authorities. As the hours passed and more “missing student” posts appeared in my timeline, the pit in my stomach grew and grew, and I braced myself for a tragedy. Late Saturday evening, my fears — Cornell’s fears — were confirmed with a brief mass email that told us Antonio’s body had been found in Fall Creek. I had never met Antonio, so my entire knowledge of his personality, of his humanity, came from three lonely adjectives in the mass email: thoughtful, smart, outgoing.

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GUEST ROOM | As Panhellenic Council Votes, Cayuga’s Watchers Is Taking on Party Culture

As advocates of a safer social scene for more than five years, Cayuga’s Watchers greatly appreciates the sentiment of Panhellenic President Maya Cutforth’s ’20 efforts to improve event safety. We were founded in 2012 at a similarly pivotal moment, in the wake of another senseless student death. Cayuga’s Watchers positioned itself as a uniquely student-driven response to an intractable national crisis — the normalization of high-risk alcohol use and insufficient safety measures at collegiate parties. Our goal has never been to stop partying, but to instead educate and promote safer behaviors throughout Cornell’s vast social scene, building partnerships and only ever showing up when we are invited. The mandates proposed by Cutforth would see trained employees of Cayuga’s Watchers required at every event hosted by a fraternity.

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KENKARE | A Love Letter to North Campus

My freshman year at Cornell was probably the best year of my life so far. I stayed up until 5 a.m. every night participating in hallway-wide gossip sessions, proudly strode into Sunday RPCC brunches in pajamas and last night’s mascara and never, ever called home — because when you’re 18 and having the time of your life, why would you? The sheer novelty of the college experience, the number of smart-mouthed, like-minded people I met at Cornell, definitely contributed to my incredible year. But upon reflection, I realize there was another factor. Although I’m sure the creators of North Campus meant to construct another damp and depressing group of dorms (West Campus reminds me forcibly of J.K. Rowling’s Knockturn Alley), they somehow stumbled upon the formula for a home, a community unto itself.

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CONTRERAS | Dairy’s True Colors: Racism at Dairy Day

If you haven’t noticed the bubbling racial tension on campus as of late, you should probably come out from under your rock. From the unjust removal of and discrimination against Julia Feliz to racially insensitive Halloween costumes across campus, there is reason for people of color at Cornell to be on edge. So, when some friends informed me that they heard a member of an on-campus organization, who requested not to be named, say, “I’m not racist, but I just don’t like Mexicans,” I felt compelled to respond. As a Mexican-American student at Cornell, I am appalled that one of my peers felt comfortable to not only announce their racist beliefs, but do so at a public University event. The racist comment occurred on Oct.

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GUEST ROOM | Cornell Needs a Real Public Policy School

Cornell’s lack of a comprehensive public policy school is one of its major Achilles heels. Harvard and Princeton both have world-renowned programs named for influential presidents; Cornell has a messy organization of similar but ununified programs. While this university ranks 17th on US News & World Report’s list of best national universities, it comes in at 35th in respect to public affairs. This puts Cornell behind four Ivies, four schools in the Empire State and 10 land-grant universities. While I have found the MPA program at Cornell to be incredibly rewarding and deserving of a much higher rank, the lack of cohesion amongst its public policy education programs appears to be a detriment to its national stature. In Cornell’s decentralized, fragmented environment, the education of future policy leaders feels to be an afterthought by the University as a whole.

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DELGADO | Facilities, Friends and Fantasy: What Truly Matters?

Last semester, I met one of my closest friends. We were in a computer science class, filled with approximately 700 other students. Our rather comical teacher always made the class enjoyable and invigorating in our poorly lit auditorium in Statler. Yet, tucked behind his big friendly smile, my friend was suffering from depression, an illness that plagues many on the Cornell campus. I always sought to make sure that I could be there for him, especially given the fact that I myself haven’t had the easiest transition into the Ivy League.

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GUEST ROOM | Stop the Silencing

Last week, I received a text containing the picture shown: An artful take on Cornell Republicans’ controversial decision to invite former Wisconsin governor Scott Walker to speak on Nov. 4. Hilarious. Let’s talk about it. Forms of expression like this have managed to poke the Big Red free-speech bear in nearly all seven of my semesters here at Cornell.

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BARAN | College Shouldn’t Be a Breeze

“Follow your passions.” “Do what you’re interested in.” This is advice we receive too often as college students. It’s also generally ignored. I’ve met many students, including myself, who take the path of least resistance when it came to classes and course loads. We say that a good GPA is all that matters or that we want to have fun and not be stuck in the library all weekend. We even eschew our areas of interest in favor of easier, less interesting subjects.

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GUEST ROOM | Proposing a Freeze on Mixers in Greek Life

I urge members of the Panhellenic community to consider the power we yield in regard to changing unsafe party culture on this campus. I ask that Panhellenic’s 13 chapters unanimously vote to stop attending mixers at fraternity houses until the following demands are met by the Interfraternity Council President’s Council and Executive Board:

An action plan demonstrating tangible ways they will cease dirty rushing, including forms of punishment for chapters that engage in dirty rush events. A commitment to make their events safer in the following ways:

Scanning IDs of every individual in attendance and fully marking over or under 21 years of age. Having Cayuga’s Watchers, who are students trained in both bystander intervention and sober monitoring,  at every event hosted by a fraternity. At least one sober monitor at every exit of the chapter house to check that individuals leaving the house are able to arrive home safely, and have sober people offer rides for those who need transportation home.

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WAITE | White Discomfort

Outside our summer Cornell residence hall, a group of high schoolers chase each other with water balloons. They laugh uproariously when their attacker misses and viciously when they instead soak their targets. A girl in the program and I look at each other — we were merely acquaintances at this point — and arrive at the same conclusion: these kids are having a blast. “We should go join them,” I exclaim to my friend. She remains expressionless and says “I don’t fit in with them.