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WANG | On China, on Hong Kong, on Us

Hong Kong businessman Jimmy Lai plays with fire in the same bored manner I play with my hair. Lai, who has been everywhere recently, has been at the heart of anti-Chinese protests that have consumed Hong Kong in the past few months and has emerged as a vocal figure in its surge to democracy. He has supported anti-government initiatives, called out Xi-Jinping as a dictator and refused to submit when other business leaders have gravitated to the pull of Beijing. He’s his own man and his own empire: He’s a majority owner of NextDigital, a company that publishes reporting critical of China, and if that wasn’t enough, he publishes a weekly column to support protestors as the crisis has gone from mild to middling to full blown seismic. For their part, the Chinese government, so incensed by him, struck out his name in his family records, leaving him a man with no name but plenty of positive press.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘College Shouldn’t Be a Breeze’

To the editor:

“College shouldn’t be a breeze,” writes Christian Baran ’22 in a recent opinion piece. Luckily for author, it isn’t, no matter how you choose to spend your time on campus. It seems that Cornell students can’t win lately. One week, we have people telling us to not glorify being busy and to reevaluate where our definition of success comes from. Another week, we have articles implying that you should feel guilty if you’re taking “easy” classes or a semester with fewer credits.

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GUEST ROOM | Hazing and Its Prevention: Shut It Down

Hazing can be deadly. On Nov. 2, the Piazza, Gruver and Braham families shared the tragic stories of their sons’ deaths due to fraternity hazing with a full house of students in Bailey Hall. Their presentation “Love, Mom and Dad” was the keynote at the A.D. White Annual Summit for Sorority and Fraternity Life. The stories shared and their grief were an emotional gut punch, reminding me of the tragic death of George Desdunes in 2011 and Cornell’s slow progress rooting out hazing.

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GUEST ROOM | How Composting Changed Me

My first-time composting did not end well. I was 19 and not great at handling adult responsibilities, but I wanted to be more ecologically ethical, so I gave it a try. Discouraged by the amount of counter space the compost pail took up, I pushed it under the sink where I promptly forgot about it. That is, until one day I remembered it was there and as I pulled it out and maggots spilled everywhere. Disgusted, I threw the whole thing away and did not even think about composting again until now.

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAY | A First Time for Everything

When I entered college, I scoured the internet for rules on hooking up.  From looking up how to properly give a blowjob to how to not be so awkward, I tried to compensate for the fact that I had negligible experience (the boys in my specialized high school were unattractive, okay). Nothing could really prepare me for reality: First times are learning experiences, and sometimes you can’t know how to do first times until after you’ve done them. First Hook Up
My first real hookup, not including kissing a friend in preparation for a date, was a boy I went to prom with fresh out of a recently failed relationship. We went from zero to almost 100 (unreciprocated oral sex but not in the direction you’d think) with his mom dropping by the basement room about every 20 minutes. It wasn’t a great time, neither of us knew what we were doing.

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAY | Spooky Season Never Ends: How To Ghost

I don’t necessarily endorse ghosting people. It can be incredibly cruel and lead to far more hurt feelings than talking to someone and formally breaking something off would. It’s an unfair way to communicate. The ghoster gets away with pretty much no consequences while the ghostee is left with questions and the nagging feeling of something unresolved. But what about when ghosting someone really does feel like the only way to convey your lack of interest?

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DERY | Where Is the Dorm Pride?

Not all Cornell dorms are created equal. From the moment we arrive on campus, we quickly conclude that the back alleys of the Low Rise community pale in comparison to air conditioned, plasma TV-lit, Mews Hall lounges. Before we know it, our freshman year housing perceptions extend to the greater campus, locked into a standard metric: West is best, the Gothics are much less desirable and South Campus is the housing annex. Campus culture accustoms us to evaluating a dorm based on its amenities rather than what a residential community can offer beyond a roof over our heads. A residence hall and a community have become two very different things at Cornell.

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SULLIVAN BAKER | Greek Life and the Exploitation of First-Year Vulnerability

The Saturday before last, I woke up to a flood of Facebook posts depicting a smiling young man, Antonio Tsialas ’23, an 18-year old freshman who, according to one of the posts, had just been hired as a campus tour guide. Antonio had been missing since Thursday night, when he attended a fraternity event, and the posts implored anyone who knew his whereabouts to contact the authorities. As the hours passed and more “missing student” posts appeared in my timeline, the pit in my stomach grew and grew, and I braced myself for a tragedy. Late Saturday evening, my fears — Cornell’s fears — were confirmed with a brief mass email that told us Antonio’s body had been found in Fall Creek. I had never met Antonio, so my entire knowledge of his personality, of his humanity, came from three lonely adjectives in the mass email: thoughtful, smart, outgoing.

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GUEST ROOM | As Panhellenic Council Votes, Cayuga’s Watchers Is Taking on Party Culture

As advocates of a safer social scene for more than five years, Cayuga’s Watchers greatly appreciates the sentiment of Panhellenic President Maya Cutforth’s ’20 efforts to improve event safety. We were founded in 2012 at a similarly pivotal moment, in the wake of another senseless student death. Cayuga’s Watchers positioned itself as a uniquely student-driven response to an intractable national crisis — the normalization of high-risk alcohol use and insufficient safety measures at collegiate parties. Our goal has never been to stop partying, but to instead educate and promote safer behaviors throughout Cornell’s vast social scene, building partnerships and only ever showing up when we are invited. The mandates proposed by Cutforth would see trained employees of Cayuga’s Watchers required at every event hosted by a fraternity.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: His Record Aside, Scott Walker Is ‘Incredibly Boring’

To the Editor:

When I first learned that former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was visiting Cornell, I must admit, my interest was piqued. Then, I read Irene Hartmann’s grad letter, followed by the response from the Cornell Republicans. While striking, these letters do not paint a full picture of Gov. Walker, and I would encourage everyone to dig a bit deeper. For instance, while Hartmann notes that Walker attacked public-sector unions and blocked consumer protection laws, she failed to mention that Scott Walker turned down over $1 billion in federal dollars to expand Medicaid, meaning state funds were used instead. Nor did she note in her letter that Walker orchestrated the biggest corporate handout to a foreign company in American history, $4 billion, complete with the right to ignore environmental regulations, which has been disastrous.