Guest Room

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LEUNG | Avoiding the Void

 

I still remember how ecstatic I was when I landed an opinion column my first semester at Cornell — an over-eager, naive, freshman who was still unsure about her purpose and existence in Ithaca had made it into the newspaper! The future looked bright. And if you’ve followed my journey these last few years, then I applaud your voracity, commitment, support and skepticism. Because you, like me, are most likely still trying to figure out what the hell you’re doing with whatever you’ve been given. Three years later, and I am nowhere closer to finding the answers I sought so eagerly when I was a freshman.

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BENITEZ | The Solipsism of Identity Politics

To fully understand marginalization, one needs to have experienced said marginalization first-hand. This assumption is increasingly fundamental to today’s practice of identity politics, evident in the higher credence many claim ought to be afforded to those who experience racism, sexism, transphobia and whatever other forms of exclusion we can theorize about. In philosophical language, this notion asserts that there is certain phenomenal knowledge — or knowledge about the subjective, first-hand experience of a phenomenon by a conscious entity — that cannot be a priori deduced from full physical knowledge of that conscious entity. Fully knowing everything about, say, a person’s neurobiology down to the most fundamental, subatomic level will fail to yield insight into what it is like for them to have experienced marginalization. This is particularly evident in leftist attitudes within the United States, where people of a marginalized identity often invoke it — for example, “as a gay person of color, I believe …” — to pontificate from a more authoritative position.

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BARAN | Honestly: Veganism, Schmeganism

I’m a member of the conservative right, and I pride myself on tradition. I’m old-fashioned, and I’m not afraid to say it. Faith, freedom and family all the way, baby! My core values are hard work and grit, and I think today’s society is too soft. People need to toughen up, stay on the straight and narrow, and then they can dig themselves out of any rut they find themselves in.

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BRONFIN | Revolving Around The Sun

I joined The Sun because I loved sports. And partially because my best friend Scott joined his college newspaper and I figured if Scott, a decidedly average writer, could cover sports in college, then so could I. But mostly because I loved sports. It’s been four years, and my love for sports has diminished. Yes, I still follow LeBron James way too closely for anyone outside of Cleveland and I could rattle off far too many Division I college mascots, but I find myself disinterested in games or standings or even entire sports (sorry, baseball). Yet, thanks to my time on The Sun, that passion for sports has been replaced with a love of writing, an appreciation for journalism and a community of talented, caring friends.

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POLLACK | The Lion in the Path

I’ve long feared this moment — not the one where I don a cap and gown, cross a stage or two, pick up a piece of paper and enter the rat race after twenty-one years of nurture. No, the moment I’ve feared most is having to convince the Cornell Daily Sun’s readership that the photo editor can write more than a one sentence cutline. That moment is here. Here goes nothing. I didn’t study photography at Cornell.

Guest Room

GUEST ROOM | Continue to Challenge Close-Mindedness at Cornell

On May 1, the Cornell University College Republicans hosted former Vice President Dick Cheney on campus for a lecture and question-and-answer session that was co-sponsored by Young America’s Foundation, a national conservative youth organization. Despite repeated attempts by a group of students and faculty members to prevent the event from occurring as planned, the College Republicans successfully organized a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for nearly 550 interested students and community members to hear from one of the most consequential conservative leaders in recent history. Vice President Cheney delivered wide-ranging remarks, addressing topics such as his justification for the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the U.S. enhanced interrogation program and the Iran nuclear deal, among others. These were all topics that were at the top of mind for those attending the event, as the questions were submitted directly by the public and posed to Cheney verbatim. The majority of audience members were respectful and clearly interested in hearing Cheney’s point of view.

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MORADI | Disappoint Your Parents

Last week, after a phone conversation on what I wanted to do after I graduate ended inconclusively in tabled arguments and passive-aggressive goodbyes, my dad texted me the median income of a political science Ph.D. “About the same payscale as an operator” at the company where he works, he wrote. “You will study hard for LSAT and then we can discuss.”

It hurts knowing it would be literally and metaphorically easier on his heart if I had just gone all-out for law school or had read Cracking the Coding Interview back when I had the chance. Anything would be better than my current trajectory of understably worrisome directionless half-assery. My father is painfully practical and intensely loving, with the kind of radical sensibility of so many other Asian immigrants in America. After all, Baba already took his risks: He started a revolution and fought for it through a horribly bloody war.