CHEN | Put Computer Science in the Common Core

I could easily have gone through high school without writing a single line of code. 

The one computer science course I did take was selected on a whim, a simple space-filler for my senior year schedule. Science and math were enjoyable enough, and tech seemed like the next unexplored realm. But I was also on the edge of taking a random biotechnology elective, zoology class or just leaving the space free to take extra naps. There was little to no initiative — or requirement — to learn about computing other than the fact that I found phone apps addictive and played around with Scratch when I was a kid. AP Computer Science had the same weight as my elective journalism or strings classes, not AP Chemistry or AP Language and Composition.

ONONYE | Block or Unfollow? Losing Friends During the 2020 Election

Raise your hand if you’ve lost a friend or two (or 30!) during this election season. I definitely have. As we finally reach the end of a 2+ year run for the presidency, I can finally reflect on what this election cycle has meant to me. I can list thirty million things, but one of the most significant is that I have lost a few friends. 

Up until the 2020 election run, I really believed that I could be friends with anyone regardless of their political ideology. I had done it my entire life.

GUEST ROOM | Post-Confirmation Depression

“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” — The dying wish of Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’54

In confirming Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Senate Republicans have essentially said, “Whatever.”

Watching the confirmation on Oct. 26, as Democrats had all but given up on fighting the inevitable, I could feel a sense of helplessness creeping. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, aware that there was nothing left to do, said that Republicans would regret their actions “for a lot longer than they think.” He called the confirmation one of the Senate’s “darkest days.” All this bleak rhetoric left me feeling the same way I felt the night Ginsburg died: deeply saddened, yet powerless to change the outcome. 

No matter how blatant the hypocrisy was, Republicans insisted that they could find a justification for their actions. Senator Ted Cruz recited esoteric court confirmations from the 1800’s, shamelessly plugging his new book. Senator Lindsey Graham, declaring he wouldn’t seek a confirmation in an election year, and urging the nation to “hold the tape,” seemed unwilling to be held to his own standard.

SMITH | On Friendships, Cornell and Covid

My mom’s favorite things to share about her college experience were all the memories she had of her friends. The late night study sessions, the dorm dynamics, the nights out, and sneaking extra coffee cake from the dining hall. So as I took my first steps on North Campus, I was filled with excitement and expectation thinking of the great friendships that awaited me. Similarly to high school, I was fed a narrative of college being the greatest time of my life, the place where I would make my forever friends and other rose-tinted statements that are simultaneously true and false. 

While I certainly talked to and gave a lot of people my phone number during O-Week, a lot of those numbers are sitting in my contacts like emails in my inbox from the club listservs I joined out of genuine interest but never ended up going to. Still, I’ve met many wonderful people that have been invaluable to me as pillars of support, cheerleaders, relationship coaches, comedians, study buddies and just proof that amazing human beings are out there.

ST. HILAIRE | The Shoulders I Stand On

She stood on a podium before millions of people, accepting an honor that I couldn’t fathom, standing on top of the shattered glass of ceilings that she elegantly broke through, and I couldn’t stop myself from crying when she acknowledged that she was standing on the shoulders of “all the women who have worked to secure and protect the right to vote.”

SAMILOW | Where Republicans Go From Here

In the end, it’s important to remember that this was a brutal and divisive election and tens of millions of Americans are disappointed by the results.

YAO | Bring Back Opt-In S/U

Last semester, Cornell implemented an opt-in S/U grading policy, where students had until the end of the semester to switch any class to S/U — even if the course did not previously offer it as a grading option. Furthermore, courses where students received a satisfactory grade could be used to satisfy major or minor requirements. In doing so, the University recognized the need for flexibility and solicitude during a year where we saw the world as we knew it fall apart. Some of that empathy might come in handy this semester as well. This fall, Cornell chose to revert to standard grading practices, implying that students should treat the semester the same manner they treated every other year.

BERNSTEIN | Election Day Does Not Affect the Need to Fight for Change

With outstanding early and absentee ballots yet to be counted, it seems like the presidential election will take a long time — maybe days — before conclusive results are announced. Both candidates gave speeches of confidence late in the night, but victory couldn’t be formally declared. The night was tense and many fear for their futures, the futures of their loved ones and the future of the nation. Knowing this, we must not let the battle for progressive change end, regardless of the election’s outcome. Racial injustice, climate change and COVID-19 have not gone away; they never will without pressure from the people.