GUEST ROOM | Two Possible Improvements to Finals Week

It is already May. Very soon, Cornell students will fight through final exam after final exam in an effort to excel in one of the toughest academic programs out there. As a freshman, this will be my second time going through the final exam period. Even though five months have already passed, my first experience of finals, from December 7-19, still remains vivid in my mind. I am hoping that my reflections of that period can help the school administration make some relatively easy improvements to the student experience during final exam week.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Ignoring Cornell’s COVID Critics is Unforgivable

In the article “Three Years Since COVID-19 Lockdown, Cornellians Reflect on Pandemic,” authors Aimée Eicher and Sofia Rubinson interviewed several students and a professor regarding their COVID-19 experience at Cornell. The Cornellians they selected had nothing but fawning praise for Cornell’s pandemic policies, and Eicher and Rubinson failed to include a single criticism of Cornell’s restrictions. 

Worse, one student, Ceci Rodriguez ‘26, made demonstrably false assertions in a ludicrous argument for reinstituting masking, but Eicher and Rubinson made no attempt to contextualize or disprove her claims. Considering how willingly the Cornell administration trampled students’ rights in the name of COVID-19 absolutism, The Sun has a responsibility to call out flimsy COVID-19 rationalizations.

WEIRENS | Cornell’s Silence on Crime

It began with the mass credit card fraud. Everyone I know who bought tickets to the latest Colgate hockey game and fashion show ended up getting their card information stolen. I would estimate that hundreds of students, if not more, were victimized. Some people discovered the charges early, while far more lived in ignorance while their savings were liquidated. It wouldn’t have cost Cornell any money or effort to inform their students. Why didn’t Cornell take responsibility for the technology error present in their systems that resulted in a major security breach? The reasoning for their silence is unclear, but I find it dishonest and dishonorable. 

In another case of Cornell remaining silent during well-known happenings of student-targeted crime, Olin library is currently plagued by a random man who roams study spaces screaming, swearing at and harassing students trying to study. He’s been doing this for several weeks and is politely escorted out each time only to return time and time again. Another incident regarding libraries was brought to my attention through the student messaging app Sidechat —  on March 5th, a student was chased from Ho Plaza into the Cocktail Lounge by a deranged man. Of course, none of this is confirmed through any official campus source, but it is well known throughout the student body. That being said, I don’t want to treat these rumors as facts, but rather express disappointment that what should be easily accessible facts continues to spread only via rumors.

LORENZEN | Any Person, Any Study… Except for the Performing Arts

But, when a high school applicant researches Cornell’s Performing and Media Arts Department, they first find Cornell’s history of gutting their funding. The major itself — encompassing film, theater and dance — was created after the Cornell administration slashed the department’s budget by a million dollars. Cornell took the Department of Theatre, Film and Dance and cut its budget so severely that it could not survive anymore. When I researched Cornell in high school, that is what I found. And that is why I initially didn’t see myself applying.

GUEST ROOM | Do Better Cornell, Student Demands

We, a collective of students from various parts and communities on campus, issue these demands to hold Cornell University accountable for its atrocious lack of action and leadership in the aftermath of events on Nov 7, 2021 and Nov 9, 2021. These events, including a bomb threat and an active shooter threat, lasted for hours and left students in panic with vague, inconsistent communication from the University. While students feared for their safety, trying to figure out what to do and where to go, many continued to receive emails from professors about assignments, exams, and classes scheduled for the next day. Empathy was nowhere to be found—especially as the Nov 7 situation failed to even receive the usual empty messages of understanding from top-ranking University officials, including President Pollack and Vice President for Student and Campus Life Lombardi.