Hey man! Big congrats on getting here. I mean that. In a week you’ll forget about how hard you worked to get into a school like this and you’ll just get caught up trying to make it to the next goal, so please just pat yourself on the back while you still have time to reflect. I’m sure you’re proud to surprise your high school guidance counselor who coulda’ sworn you were going to an HBCU.
A red carpet stretches across the room. Wooden sticks, maybe five feet long, are placed in groups of six on top of it. As we walk the expanse of the room, we contemplate the meaning of these rather enlarged sticks, watching as they alternate in fullness and parts. Most people would roll their eyes at this concept of art, others, like us, are in awe that we are a part of it. Dia:Beacon is a museum of art that houses works from the 1960s to present.
When I first arrived in Ithaca three years ago, I found myself taken aback by the general aura of Cornell. Everything seemed to exude excellence. The research, the students, even the buildings exceeded my expectations. Despite the repeated assurances of those around me, I could not shake the idea that, to exist in a place like Cornell, I too needed to be excellent. I spent most of my first semester in a state of constant worry that I could not meet this standard, and I struggled to integrate myself into the Cornell community.
I just sprinted to Mann at the end of Spanish. I once again didn’t do the homework for that class, worsening my already abysmal grade in it. I need to pass it to graduate. I was going to email Katie and tell her that I just couldn’t turn in a column this week. But here I am sitting at this damn table writing this.
On September 11, 2001, nearly three thousand Americans tragically lost their lives at the hands of terrorists. Those terrorists carried out a heinous attack on our way of life, our sense of safety and our freedom. Our fellow citizens were forever immortalized not just as victims, but as heroes. Every year, on the anniversary of this dark day, we solemnly say — or nod in agreement when someone else says — “Never Forget.” On social media, we solemnly retweet and “like” posts bearing the hashtagged phrase. And every year, we are liars.
In response to “‘The Best People Are Not All White’: Some Hotel School Profs Concerned by Lack of Diversity”
This past May, and, most recently, last week, I had the opportunity to meet with Cornell Daily Sun reporter Meredith Liu ’20, to review with her our comprehensive diversity and inclusion initiatives and programs at the School of Hotel Administration and, broadly, at the SC Johnson College of Business. This issue is extremely important, so I appreciated being able to meet with her and to clarify our strategic focus. While in our discussions we acknowledged the challenges that our school and most business schools face, we were also able to share the critical ways in which we are reaffirming our commitment to, and expanding our efforts to, create a truly diverse and inclusive community. One of our school’s fundamental core values is to be a community that is supportive of and inclusive to all. That is foundational to hospitality, and our school’s stakeholders fully embrace this guiding principle.
In a historic change of heart, Cornell has finally decided to open an LGBT living community on campus. Though details remain in the works, the “Loving House” will be a part of Mews Hall and opening to students in Fall 2019. This is a fantastic development for bettering campus life at Cornell and a historic win for LGBT students, considering the losses in the past. What I fear most, however, is that the Loving House will be segregated rather than included on campus, and stigmatized rather than understood much like the other program houses on North. In the finishing touches of this project, Vice President Ryan Lombardi ought to tread carefully and make sure that it is designed to promote Cornell’s unity and diversity as a campus.
I never anticipated that my happiness in college would be so directly correlated to my major. In hindsight, it seems obvious, but I never really believed the whole “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life” mantra. I figured that I could get away with being mildly interested in my major and rest assured that I’d get a decent job that would make me enough money to fulfill me. But as anyone who has changed their major multiple times will tell you, that certainly isn’t the case. No matter how much I tried to convince myself that studying biology for a measly four years of my life couldn’t be that bad, I was miserable in every class.
You know, sometimes it feels like New York’s election laws are written to decrease, rather than increase, the number of people who actually vote. Perhaps it has something to do with the state inexplicably holding two primary days: one in June for federal races, and one in September for state races (it’s not inexplicable, it’s so the good folks in Albany have more time to schmooze in the capital before they have to hit the campaign trail). Or maybe it’s the total lack of mail-in and no-excuse absentee voting and same-day registration. Or how dang difficult it is to change your party once you’ve registered. Oh, yes.
A few weeks ago, it was reported in the San Jose Mercury News that my high school music director was arrested for soliciting sexually explicit pictures from a student. This teacher meant the world to me in high school. Just as accomplished athletes celebrate their early coaches as formative mentors, I looked up to him as father figure of sorts, as did dozens of other students throughout his 14 years as an educator. As one friend put it, his classes were “some real ‘Dead Poets Society’ shit.” And as trite as it is to attach that reference to high school teachers that cared about their students, he was the type of teacher that made the laborious high school visit over winter break worth it because that kind of debt lasts a lifetime. Initial reactions ranged from disbelief to denial, but after scouring through every Bay Area publication and Twitter post online, it was pretty hard to doubt or defend against any accusation.