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WANG | On Buttigieg and the Religious Left

Normally, Christianity and liberalism don’t blend well in this country, if at all. But in one of the oddest interviews in my recent memory, a Cornell alumnus and a green mayor from South Bend, Ind. engaged in a whole new debacle on the issue. On one side was the casually smug Bill Maher ’78 hosting an episode of the Bill Maher Show on HBO, and on the other was the newest rising star of the Democratic party Pete Buttigieg (pronounced Boot-Edge-Edge), dressed in a toned down outfit that gave the vibe of suburban dad getting off from work more than presidential hopeful. Buttigieg’s resume has landed him on voters’ radar — Harvard educated, Rhodes Scholar, Afghanistan veteran, speaker of seven languages and mayor of a rebounding Midwestern city — but it’s his down to earth demeanor, wide smile and most importantly, a laser-like ability to lay out his thoughts that has had him surging in recent polls.

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PIETSCH | Community Despite Competition

In January 2016, I bought a pair of black Adrienne Vittadini heels so I could make a good impression. I was a sophomore at Cornell and had transferred in the previous semester. I had friends, but I wanted a home. I was going to rush a sorority. A week later, I joined a long line of girls waiting to enter sorority houses for rush.

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GUEST ROOM | A Rocket Hit My House. Now BDS Wants Me Out.

In January 2009, a long-range missile from Gaza was fired into Israel. This has been a common occurrence ever since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. As a child, I was taught at school to immediately run to a bomb shelter if sirens go off, so I did that. I was home alone in my room and quickly ran to the shelter we had in our house. It was 9:30 a.m. Normally, I would stay in the shelter and wait for the sirens to stop, as rockets rarely reached my town of Gedera.

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GUEST ROOM | ‘Singling Out’ President Pollack’s Divestment Confusion

In President Pollack’s much-publicized statement rejecting Students for Justice in Palestine’s proposed divestment measures against Israeli occupation, Cornell’s leader claimed that such action would “unfairly single out one country in the world for sanction, when there are many countries around the world whose governments’ policies may be viewed as controversial.” In case she has forgotten, we would like to remind her of the other countries whose human rights violations have been brought to her attention by anti-imperialist members of the campus community. In May 2017, Pollack’s administration declined to take action to utilize Cornell’s purchasing power to help curb militia violence in the Congo in accordance with the demands of the global “conflict-free” movement. A resolution that earned the near-unanimous support from the Student Assembly was unilaterally dismissed, even though the relatively uncontroversial conflict-free campaign provided Cornell with a feasible action plan to directly address the country’s human rights violations. University leadership simply couldn’t be bothered to care about this powerful student-led effort, let alone act on it. The following month, an SA resolution authored by human rights organizers and Native American student leaders asked the University to divest from dirty pipeline projects that violate Indigenous sovereignty and put the future of all peoples at stake.

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CHANG | I’m Exhausted by Politics

Maybe Jean Baudrillard was right, and the system is accelerating toward implosion. Information in the 21st century is easily dispersed and produced, but at what cost? I’m a long-time politics junkie, binging political information like new episodes of a TV show. But I kept this spring break relatively information-free, and it has done wonders for my stress levels and mental health. Instead of keeping up with hour-by-hour updates, I limited myself to skimming the occasional article and glancing at news notifications.

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JOHNS | Making Free Speech Rhetoric Free Speech Reality

President Trump last week signed an executive order that links federal research and education grants for colleges and universities to their unwavering commitment to “[promoting] free inquiry.” Translation: The long-standing progressive censorship game at colleges and universities is now over. Universities and colleges will immediately cease shutting down, impeding or permitting the disruption of conservative speakers, or now risk losing billions of federal research dollars that are generously given away each year to these institutions of higher learning. It is unfortunate that such an order has become a confrontational stance on America’s campuses, but academia has sadly reached that point. Young America’s Foundation, for instance, favorably settled a lawsuit over this precise issue with the University of California, Berkeley last December. UC Berkeley, facing a constitutional challenge to its speaking protocols, agreed to abolish its “high-profile speaker policy” and speaking fee schedule while implementing a policy that ensures that heckling protesters will no longer be permitted to shut down speakers on campus.

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KIM | Your Health or That Lecture?

In the calm and quiet lecture halls and auditoriums, coughing fits exploded in 10-minute intervals. The sneezing and sniffles drowned out the professor’s voice. The unscrewing of water bottle caps echoed in my ears. Crumpled tissues overflowed the dorm trash bins. And before I knew it, I, too, was becoming a musician in this symphony.

Guest Room

GUEST ROOM | Why I’m Resigning from the Cornell Political Union

This week, the Cornell Political Union was accused of discriminating against Jannique Stewart, a conservative, Christian speaker, because of her religious beliefs. As CPU’s Vice President of Finance, I was present for all full executive board discussions related to the retraction of Stewart’s invitation, and I feel that it is my obligation to shed some light on the incident as neither Stewart nor the CPU executive board has been fully honest and transparent. Stewart was invited to speak to CPU on the topic of abortion. However, after researching her background and discovering her traditional Christian views on sexuality and marriage — namely, her belief that marriage is between a man and a woman — the executive board decided to cancel Stewart’s speech and attempt to find a less controversial speaker to discuss the topic. Contrary to her characterizations in a Facebook post, Stewart’s beliefs were not likened to supporting slavery or denying the Holocaust.

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AHMAD | Death Threats Don’t Scare Me

Long before I became a regular columnist for The Sun, I sent in a letter to the editor about being a Muslim student at Cornell. If I’m being honest, the article could have been a feel-good piece, but it turned out to be more of an angry rant about a series of unpleasant interactions I had during my first year. I’ll admit that it was written somewhat from a place of cynicism, and most definitely from a place of bitterness. Some things weren’t phrased in as polished a way as they could have been, but can you blame me? I was a furious freshman, and an idiot.

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PINERO | Oh, the Places You’ll Go

The relationship between ends and beginnings is parasitic. For something to end, it must already exist. For something to begin, it must not yet be. Burrowed deep inside the ends of things dwells a promise of the new. That promise — of a beginning — must slowly consume the ending within which it is sheltered until it is material and its host is not.