Students chat on Libe Slope in May.

KIM | Picnics and Sunsets

Waterfalls, luscious foliage and beautifully crafted gorges created by Mother Nature herself are all located within our college campus. We’re just a couple steps away from nature thriving in its prime time, flaunting its true colors. I’m not writing to advertise the Fall Creek Gorges or to convince parents and prospective students. Instead, I’m writing as an overthinking and overstressed individual telling you just how great flowing water and tiny dandelions can be. Over the weekend, I went on a Fall Creek Gorge Trail Hike, motivated to familiarize myself with the overlooked and neglected beauties I never took the time to deeply appreciate.

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SONG | Face Masks Turned Me Into a Masochist

So junior year hasn’t exactly shaped up to be the hellfest I thought it would be. Instead, I think it turned me into a suburban mom. At different parts of the day, I now find myself being terrifyingly diligent about cleaning my room, color coding a Google Calendar and making gnocchi from scratch on a Monday night. I can be found brewing loose-leaf tea and doing concerningly middle-age yuppie things; I’m going to the gym for heaven’s sake, and I’m focusing less on toxic groups and taking more “me” time. By God, what happened?

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SEX ON THURSDAY | Consent is My Biggest Turn-On

I had my mind set to write about non-invasive sex toys, but considering current events, it’s critical we discuss sexual consent. Even though it seems like consent is all we talk about some days, it is clearly not in our heads. We talk about sex in terms of baseball, and never has anyone mentioned consent in that analogy. When I had health class in school, we talked about STDs and protection, but never about asking permission. Consent is something I think about a lot.

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAY | Your IUD Fairy Godmother

As a sexually active woman, it my utmost priority to practice safe sex. There are a plethora of options out there to keep yourself baby-free. Personally, I have an Intrauterine Device, more commonly known as an IUD, and not to be confused with an IED (an improvised explosive device). Many women are so fearful of IUD “horror stories” that they may as well be walking in a minefield. My one mission in life is to debunk these IUD fears.

Courtesy of Rachel Goffin

GUEST ROOM | ‘Did You Get a Return Offer?’

“Did you get a return offer?” A question that I’ve been asked dozens of times upon running into friends and acquaintances since returning to Cornell last month. “Do you know what you’re doing next year yet?” A question that I know I am not the only senior to receive over and over again in the past month. “How are you feeling this week?” A question I’ve been asked rarely, if at all, in my time at Cornell. We spend a lot of time talking about how CAPS has a long wait time and not enough therapists, and how the mental health resources on this campus need to be improved. But I think Cornell’s mental health crisis starts a hell of a lot earlier than that.

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JOHNS | Laughter and Silence at the United Nations

The United Nations opened the 73rd session of its General Assembly last week, an annual event at its New York City headquarters featuring a series of speeches from leaders and dignitaries from around the world. President Trump, on September 25, gave one of the proceedings’ most substantive addresses in which he properly criticized the UN’s many shortcomings, offered a corrective direction for the organization, and articulated a new American foreign policy agenda that for the first time boldly breaks with the globalist vision that has guided (and sometimes ill-served) the U.S. since World War II. The question is: Did the world hear Trump’s important message? Based at least on the media coverage, which focused myopically on the unwarranted and cynical General Assembly laughter that followed Trump’s claim that his administration has “accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country,” it appears they likely did not. Of course, after scoffing at Trump, the same General Assembly attendees scurried to have their picture taken with our 45th president, perhaps symbolizing that beneath their public contempt lies a deep respect for American leadership.

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LEE | Beyond Our Bubble

“Open up your eyes, Sarafina!“

You know those phrases that just stay in your mind forever? This one from the 1992 film Sarafina! has lingered in my mind ever since I watched the film during my seventh grade social studies unit on apartheid. A supporting character tells the main character Sarafina to “open up [her] eyes” — look beyond immediate troubles and witness the change that is taking place around her. Sarafina initially remained silent, until this turning point made her realize that she too needed to join fellow students and use her voice to stand up against racial discrimination.

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LIEBERMAN | There Is No End All, Be All

When I open my laptop, to start writing about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, it feels equal parts tired and tiring. Tired, because I’ve done this before — written this before — and so have so many others: survivors, supporters, some worn down combination of the two; we have done this before. This opinion piece is tired. And yet, somehow, despite having practiced and done all the necessary (more than the necessary) pre-writing, it feels beyond exhausting to do it, maybe because I can be sure I will have to do it again. I am so sick of writing about being believed.

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KANKANHALLI | Office Hours: An Exposé

There’s a saying that goes something like, “it’s all about who you are when nobody’s watching.” It’s the principle behind the Panopticon, but it isn’t too far removed from daily life. It’s open to interpretation, but I take it as an appeal to some internal sense of morality. Do good, be good, even in solitude, even despite an entire force of chaotic energy at your disposal. It isn’t a huge ask — maintaining civility in the absence of an audience — but, admittedly, it isn’t my natural instinct when I enter a sweet, relieving, empty room. That is what I was hoping it would be — a sweet, relieving, empty room — when I strolled into my weekly office hours on Sunday, a confidential number of minutes tardy, footlong sub in hand, ripe for consumption.

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MORADI | CS Needs an Ethics Requirement

Here’s a frightening proposition for this recruiting season: Cornell’s computer science undergraduates are woefully underprepared for careers in tech. Cornell’s CS undergrads are bright and technically apt. They learn from some of the best minds in the field, and they score some of the most coveted positions in the industry. It’s not that these future developers can’t solve the problems put forth before before them. It’s that they often have no idea what the problems are in the first place.