Editorial

EDITORIAL | Really, Elections Committee?

A meme? Really? When The Sun first commented on the disqualification of Varun Devatha ’19, it did so with the belief that the Student Assembly elections committee would not have made that decision and upheld it on appeal, on such a triviality. Clearly, our faith was misplaced. Regardless of whether the offending image, posted in the Facebook group Cornell: Any Meme, Any Study by a supporter of the Devatha campaign, qualifies as “promotional materials” as defined in the elections rules, the suggestion that the meme in any way “comprised the fairness of the election and constituted a material advantage” for Devatha boggles the mind.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Former S.A. director of elections: Why I resigned after the Devatha decision

To the Editor:

Last year, I served as the director of elections, a position responsible for coordinating Student Assembly elections and running the independent Elections Committee. This year, I resigned from the committee after witnessing its biased deliberations and abuse of power while addressing challenges to the candidacy of Dale Barbaria ’19 and Varun Devatha ’19. I believe that the committee members failed to act as independent arbiters in disqualifying presidential candidate Devatha, acting behind closed doors to rig a race that should be determined by students. The committee ultimately doctored a vote count, terminating Devatha’s candidacy and de facto choosing the next S.A. president. As The Sun reported, Devatha was disqualified for a meme in a 6-1-1 vote, followed by a 2-8-1 vote failing to overturn the disqualification the next day.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: In defense of the Elections Committee

To the Editor:

I stand in solidarity with the response of Travis Cabbell ’18. In response to the defamatory accusations presented against me and the Elections Committee throughout the course of this past election cycle, I would like to share that the committee and I have held ourselves to the highest standards of ethics and equality. The Elections Committee strives to uphold the process that the Student Assembly has adopted to ensure the fairness and integrity of all elections for all positions. If the individuals in question, community members or Student Assembly members do not like the rules that have been placed before us, I encourage any and all of them to speak up and be active in the process to revise them. We were given a set of rules to interpret and some cases on which we had to decide, and throughout this entire process, as public servants of the system of shared governance at Cornell with nothing to gain, we have faced harsh public scrutiny that has made some kind individuals have to stress about one more unnecessary thing.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘First Generation Student Union Calls on Cornell to Review Legacy Admissions Practice’

To the Editor:

Earlier this year, the Cornell First Generation Student Union signed onto a letter alongside first-gen, low-income student groups at 12 of our peer institutions. The letter called upon our respective university administrations to disclose and re-evaluate the purpose of legacy preferences in admissions decisions. A day after the #FullDisclosure campaign launched through an Associated Press press release and an article in The Atlantic, The Cornell Daily Sun reported on our decision to join the campaign. The article was solely based off the #FullDisclosure letter, and an interview with FGSU’s Co-President, Mayra Valadez ‘18 and another Cornell student who is a legacy. This letter aims to clarify and expand upon our arguments for re-evaluating legacy admissions that were not covered or covered sufficiently in the article.

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LEE | A Note to Soon-to-Be Freshmen

This semester seems to have gone by faster than I would have ever imagined. The last day of classes is in a month and before I even know it, I will be done with half of my college career. It only seems like a couple of months ago that I received my acceptance letter from Cornell and was frantically searching through Youtube videos to see what Cornell’s campus and dorms look like. While the plethora of videos and pamphlets provided a basic sense of what Cornell University is like — its stunning gorges, amazing dining hall food, diverse student population, freezing cold winters — very few described the student experience. I didn’t know what to expect from the high school-to-university transition or how students discover themselves through Cornell’s often academically and socially overwhelming climate.

Editorial

EDITORIAL | Why the Wait on Student Assembly Election Results?

It has been 11 days since Student Assembly polls closed. Over the past week and a half, students have left and returned to campus for Spring Break, and the final decision on the disqualification of presidential candidate Varun Devatha ’19 has been made, and yet we are no more informed about the results than we were in March. Late on March 28, the evening after the polls closed, Devatha was disqualified from the election for using a Cornell University logo in campaign materials in violation of election rules. He petitioned the elections committee to reconsider his disqualification, which the committee declined to do, leaving Devatha with one final option: an appeal to the judicial codes counselor, Kendall Karr grad. Karr may have the power to reinstate disqualified candidates if she finds that the committee was biased in their enforcement of election rules.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Concerning the Sun’s mobile website

To the editor:
I frequently visit the Daily Sun’s website on my phone, as I do not use my computer often. As of this year, whenever I open an article on my phone’s browser, I soon get a pop up, likely a phishing scam, from a website claiming to be Amazon.com and that I have just won a prize. I assumed at first that this was a problem that only I had, but over the past months, dozens of my peers have told me that they have the same issue with the website. A close friend of mine told me that he emailed the editors at the paper about this situation and received no response. It seems unfortunate to me that one of the most prestigious college papers in the country is beset with the same basic tech woes as a low-end porn site.

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BENITEZ | Half of Our Lives

There is a psychological theory that half of our “experienced lives” are over by the time we are 19 years old. This is not to say that everyone will die at 38, but that a person who lives until the typical old age would sense that their life prior to 19 elapsed a similar duration to their life thereafter. This asymmetry is believed to be the outcome of our constantly-increasing familiarity with time itself. To a 10-year-old, a year is a monumental 10 percent of their life. For my grandparents, a year is often how long they go without seeing some of their grandchildren.

Editorial

EDITORIAL | It’s Time to Reform Student Assembly Elections

Forty-eight hours after polls closed in this year’s Student Assembly elections, the student body is no closer to knowing just who will represent them for the next twelve months. And now, The Sun has learned that results may not be public until as late as after Spring Break. The reason for this extended protraction is a challenge to the campaign of presidential candidate Varun Devatha ’19. Devatha was disqualified from the election late Wednesday for using a Cornell University logo in campaign materials, a violation of Article I, Section B, Rule 5 of the Student Assembly Election Rules, but has since appealed his disqualification. The letter of the rules is clear: the use of the logo is prohibited.

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DANBERG BIGGS | ‘There Was A Time When There Weren’t Any Teenagers’

In an interview she gave in 1981, Toni Morrison described teenagers as something not completely human. She was worried about a deficiency she saw in American adolescence. The nation had tried to ease its children into adulthood, and give them the chance to consciously decide the person they wanted to be. It placed them in an ecosystem made of  adult professionals whose job it was to support their pursuit. These teens could keep busy with the vocation of becoming.