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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.

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BETTEZ | Let’s Reconsider Our ENGRIs

If you spend enough time on the engineering quad, you’ll eventually hear some variation of this: “I was going to do [insert some engineering major], but then I took the ENGRI for it and it was awful.” The Introduction to Engineering classes, or ENGRIs (pronounced by sounding out each letter), that all engineering freshmen are required to take to explore a major are good for one thing: elimination. They come from a well-meaning place from the engineering administrators, who are aware that the rigid scheduling locks us securely into our majors before we can get a good sense of what they’ll be like. They attempt to let us explore majors we’re considering more before we fully commit to the years-long process of knocking out our flowcharts of requirements one by one. But the fact that we’re only supposed to take one of these classes can lead to some unfortunate consequences. It means that those fairly certain about their major, and those who like or feel neutral enough about their ENGRI, often end up choosing it because they’ve never known anything about the other majors.

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DERY | Home: A Futile Attempt to Resume Life Before College

While America pretends that turkey is edible every Thanksgiving, my hometown friends and I unapologetically devour plates of delicious home-fried chicken. Last week, we perched ourselves on the familiar living room couch, cheered as we watched the Cowboys lose and grasped ketchup bottles in-hand: a refreshing tradition that started long before college. Back then, what I now revere as my hometown traditions were the standard. So, by the time I visited home over this break, after planning my days and nights in advance, after hyping-up “the return” for weeks, it all seemed contrived, almost artificial — canned like the gravy we weren’t eating. I felt out of place at home for the first time.

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SULLIVAN BAKER | When We Use Alcohol to Cope, We Fail Ourselves

On a November evening — more winter than fall — two dozen Cornell Political Union members debated a contentious question: Is Cornell failing the United States? I passionately opposed a fellow ILRie who argued that Cornell does a disservice to the nation by failing to address its toxic student culture, since I’m confident that Cornellians’ contributions to society outweigh our institution’s flaws. But a portion of her speech stuck with me. “To deal with [Cornell’s] hyper competitive environment and zero-work life balance,” she observed, “Cornell students turn to alcohol — whether it’s karaoke Tuesday, Fishbowls or the handle of vodka in the closet.” This tendency should be glaringly obvious, but it’s one that many of us seem to be in denial about. For many Cornellians, alcohol doesn’t just enhance a night out; it’s seen as a tool for coping with the demands of life on East Hill.

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAY | All for the Thrill of It

Picture this: It’s freshman fall, just a few weeks into the semester. You’re at some annex in Collegetown that you never actually learned the name of but managed to get yourself into (you’re a girl in a low cut top. It wasn’t hard). You’re dancing and drinking with your friends when someone catches your eye. They come up to you, you chat, you drink, you dance and things progress.

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAY | A Nice Guy’s Guide to Not Being Creepy

Creepy boys don’t often think of themselves or their actions as creepy. The rants my friends and I often have about how men suck don’t register in their minds as having any relation to them. They’re too nice to hurt a girl, they say. Still, there are many things that men have done to women on campus to make them uncomfortable and yet there are very few men who recognize this. That doesn’t add up.

Editorial

EDITORIAL: Mandatory Life Skills Class: A Socioeconomic Equalizer

In a recent interview with The Sun, President Martha E. Pollack discussed how increasing socioeconomic diversity at the University was a top priority for her. This is an admirable goal which Pollack says goes beyond active recruitment and includes supporting students while they make their way through Cornell. The Sun previously reported on various initiatives led by the University and students to promote socioeconomic diversity including addressing food insecurity and cost of textbooks. Pollack also reported success in overcoming resource gaps with a flipped classroom structure. These are all necessary steps for creating an environment for students of all different backgrounds to thrive.

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KENKARE | Forget Buses and Planes, Cornellians Need Teleportation

I learned from Dwight Schrute that “Cornell is an excellent school. Without its agricultural program, we probably wouldn’t have cabbage.” But I think Cornell should cease all research efforts to improve the modern cabbage and put its considerable manpower and resources into creating a teleportation device. I am not being flippant; on Saturday, Nov. 30, I realized, with a clear mind and full heart, that my Sunday flight into Syracuse would inevitably be delayed and my bus into Ithaca missed. This weekend was hard on everyone.