DELGADO | Quarantine Chronicles: Five Takeaways from a Remote Semester

A new era of social isolation has brought with it a plethora of alterations to society and individuals’ way of life. People have coped with these challenges in various ways, surmounting unimaginable obstacles. Here’s five lessons I have learned from my home-bound semester during the pandemic. 

Camaraderie is mankind’s gateway to survival

During my academic career, I have found my most memorable and exciting moments to be when working within a team. At these moments, my effort and my share of the work no longer affects only me, but a group greater than myself. Each member upholds a different role, and each of our contributions matters, and is imperative to, our ultimate  goal.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Inside the Student Assembly’s Late Night Purge

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article included a signatory who had not signed this letter. That signatory has since been removed. To the Editor:

Three weeks ago, we, fourteen members of the Student Assembly, decided to vote no on Resolution 11 – Calling For the Disarmament of the Cornell University Police Department. We did so for a variety of reasons. Some of us believed the resolution did not properly consider the consequences of disarmament to campus safety.

GUEST ROOM | A Call to Action on Food Equity for Students on the Ithaca Campus

There has not been a more critical time for Cornell University to meet the needs of food insecure students. Supporting spaces like Anabel’s Grocery — a student-led grocery store on campus sourcing local fresh produce and dry goods and selling them at prices lower than or equal to Wegmans — was a step in the right direction. And yet, the University has now prevented this space from operating during the pandemic. Is access to quality food for all students not essential? 

When Student Assembly representatives vote on a resolution to reopen Anabel’s this Thursday, they should know the significance their vote will have in ensuring food access for Cornell students. The school claims that the Cornell Food Pantry which offers “free, confidential access to food and personal care items,”  is adequate in providing food to those in need.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: RE: ‘Antiquated Ivy League Rules Rob Student Athletes of University Careers’

To the Editor: 

The Cornell administration and the entire Cornell community are to be congratulated, and even more so thanked, for the great job they have done in tackling the virus at Cornell. Cornell has exhibited great leadership. I also applaud our Ivy League for putting safety and human lives ahead of entertainment and personal preference in the suspension of winter athletics. This suspension is the right move even allowing for some sports that might be safe enough to take place with the proper safeguards. What I don’t understand, as mentioned in a Sun column this Monday, is the Ivy League’s stance on the addition of one year to the athletes total eligibility, making up for the year eliminated due to the virus.

YAO | Complacency: Just as Contagious, Even More Dangerous

Recently, Pfizer announced that the company had ended its coronavirus vaccine trial with a 95 percent success rate. Moderna shortly followed with news that those who received two doses of the vaccine still had elevated levels of antibodies three months later. This is news that we have waited on for almost a year, and it is most certainly cause for hope and celebration –– we finally have the means to quell the virus that governs our lives. 

However, that doesn’t mean that we can relax and resume our lives as usual. It’s dangerous to succumb to the boredom and agitation that makes us complacent and impulsive. We cannot forget that contracting the virus can mean life or death.

KEMPFF | Antiquated Ivy League Rules Rob Student Athletes of University Careers

Jimmy Boeheim ’21 should have been the Ivy League dream. Towering over his peers at 6’8,” Jimmy always knew he would play college basketball. His arrival at Cornell seemed like a fairytale; he was the first recruit of the new head coach and quickly fell in love with both the campus and the team. 

His story follows a now familiar one: A promising junior season was cut short by the COVID pandemic. However, the National College Athletic Association extended eligibility for all college athletes by a year. If he wanted to play, he could.

GUEST ROOM | Students, Stand in Solidarity with Ithaca’s Building Trades Workers

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unevenly impact working-class and marginalized communities, it has become clear that no crisis can be separated from the influences of rampant economic inequality. The U.S. climate crises, which are reportedly increasing in frequency and magnitude each year, are no different. For this reason, the promise of the Green New Deal as a policy platform that can address climate change, environmental racism and economic injustice has inspired the imagination of millions across the country. But workers and union leaders nationwide are warning that a transition to clean energy that does not include strong worker protections can create dire consequences, further exacerbating the massive wealth gap by weakening organized labor and pushing workers into temporary, unstable, or unsafe work. 

In the aftermath of Ithaca’s 2019 Green New Deal resolution, the local conversation has paralleled the national, with our community’s workers fighting for more worker-friendly policies to be prioritized in Tompkins county’s green jobs agenda. Currently, there is no worker representation on the county’s Industrial Development Agency, which is the department that provides tax abatements to developers seeking to build in the county and incentivizes many green development projects.

BERNSTEIN | Winter Break is Almost Here; Savor it

We’re two weeks away from the end of the first of two dominantly online semesters, but the metaphorical (and literal) hill left to climb feels as high as it was in September. With finals yet to come and a near universal post-Thanksgiving lack of motivation, winter break feels miles away. But our 48 days off from mid-December to February 8th represent so much more than freedom. The extended break is real, it’s coming and it’s a necessary time of respite in the wake of months of total anxiety. Burnout is always real, and online school and the pressures of the outside world (like you know, the pandemic) have only made it worse.

TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | A Wake-Up Call for Campus Democracy

Heated debates on the Student Assembly floor are usually indicators of functioning campus democracy. But last week, our student government veered off course during a Zoom meeting on Cornell Police disarmament when representatives used little restraint in hurling personal insults at each other and talking over those with opposing viewpoints. Throughout the semi-finals week that followed — dubbed a “Week of Hate and Harassment” by The Sun, representatives suffered from bullying and name-calling. What has happened to our system of shared governance? Right now, our student leadership could use a reminder that the most effective way to advance Cornellian interests is to rely on the time-honored instruments of campus democracy, such as mutual respect and a discussion of values, rather than resort to ad hominem, scorched earth attacks on fellow students.  

For many Cornellians, these debates on racial justice and police violence aren’t theoretical; they are of lived experiences.