Guest Room

GUEST ROOM | On Divestment and a Recent Rally at Board of Trustees Meeting

In the days leading up to Oct. 18, University administrators prepared to receive Cornell’s esteemed Board of Trustees, a group of 64 people  “vested with ‘supreme control’ over the University” and with final say on all recommendations made by other administrating bodies, including the Student Assembly. Among this select group of people entrusted with such great decision making power are University President Martha Pollack, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the oldest living descendant of the University’s eponym Ezra Cornell. The student body is granted three representatives, Cornell faculty have two, University employees have only one and tens of thousands of others with a stake in the actions this institution undertakes have no representation at all. For all the talk of the system of “shared governance” on which the day-to-day administration of the University is supposedly run, we can’t help but note how unequally power is actually shared.

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TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | The 44-Year Scholarship

I received a phone call from my head football coach and mentor on a day like any other in my junior year at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis. He told me that a coach from Cornell University would be coming to meet me that afternoon. All of my hard work academically and athletically was finally paying off. My dream was always to play Division I football at an Ivy League school, and this day was my very first step to accomplishing that goal. At that time in my high school career, I had my sights set on Harvard, Princeton and Columbia.

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TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | Self-Care: From an Idea to a Priority

The first few weeks of the school year is full of new opportunities: classes to take, clubs to join and friends to make. With over 1,000 student groups available and even more courses offered, the options seem endless. Students often find their schedules tightly packed as they try to fit as many classes, work opportunities and extracurriculars into their day. As the semester goes on, students can find themselves burning out as they try to stay on top of all of their responsibilities. It’s therefore not surprising that, in recent years, more and more orientation events encourage students to practice self-care to try and avoid burning out.

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TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | Finding Home Away from Home

I still vividly remember my first semester at Cornell as a newcomer wearing a shiny ID on the red “Tatkon Center” lanyard. Early freshman year was many things, but it mostly boiled down to two activities: sporting my fashionable “Hello, my name is ____” sticker and strutting down College Ave. in my massive O-Week group with only Google Maps to guide us to a party we had found on Facebook. Now a junior, I’ve been here long enough to feel at home that I rarely walk through Collegetown in groups larger than three. But watching — from the eHub window seats — the new generation of Cornellians engage in these freshmen processions makes me reflect on my own arrival on the Hill.

Editorial

EDITORIAL: A Messy but Acceptable End to the JT Baker Saga

What a terrible mess. This year’s student-elected trustee race saw Jaewon Sim ’21 take the prize, but only after the ugly disqualification of JT Baker ’21, who ran a campaign focused on student-athletes. The latest news is that Baker would’ve won were he not booted out for breaking an election rule. In light of that, the Committee on Board Composition and Governance opted to split the difference. The CBCG recommended Sim take the traditional student-elected trustee seat and Baker fill a vacant trustee seat.

Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Trustee Chair Responds to Student Trustee Election

To the Editor:

In light of the controversy surrounding this year’s student trustee election, I feel that it is important for the campus community to understand a bit of history and context. Over 35 years ago, the University’s Board of Trustees, out of respect for the concept of “shared governance,” voted to create a Trustee Nominating Committee as the entity that would oversee the election of both student and employee representatives to the Board of Trustees. The TNC is not a committee of the Board of Trustees. It is comprised of campus community representatives, including the current student, faculty and employee-elected trustees as well as additional student representatives; and its authority was quite consciously delegated to this representative campus group and not retained by the Board or granted to the Cornell administration. The TNC is responsible for its decisions, and it has the ability to change its decisions.

TRUSTEE

TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | Interested in the Student-Elected Trustee Position?

Cornell University’s Board of Trustees is unique in its inclusion of students as full voting members. Of our Ivy League peers, we are the only one to seat students on our Board even though many other student communities have argued for a similar position. Other academic institutions may allow students to elect a representative to serve on their Board, but Cornell is one of the few institutions to seat not one but two students. One student-elected trustee must be an undergraduate student while the other must be either a graduate or a professional student. Regardless of their academic status, both student-elected trustees represent the student community as a whole.

dustin

TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | Calling Cornell In

This weekend marked my third Cornell Alumni Leadership Conference. While many elements of the weekend were the same — a seeming takeover of a hotel in a major city and at least 23 renditions of the alma mater — this weekend gave me newfound hope about how we as a community can exercise compassion and move towards the Cornell we hope to be. In the case you haven’t read the aptly- titled Sun article, Cornell gave an alumnus an award and while accepting it, he called Satchel Paige a “Negro,” prompting swift backlash. As I sat in the ballroom, I felt similar reactions to my peers: Looking around to find eyes and share a moment with someone else to make sure I was hearing correctly, scrolling through texts from other students in the room, including one that said “I can check off experiencing a racial incident on my 161 things to do,” and understanding the impact that his words were having on the group. But the focus of this column is not on the incident itself but the way in which we reacted as a community.