When I tell people back home that I go to Cornell, I tend to get a lot of groans. They are groans that encapsulate an outsider’s perspective of expensive private schools like ours. “Cornell” and “Ivy League” are terms that, in the public eye, are entrenched in privilege, wealth and selectivity. As much as I’d like to say the public’s presumptions about our school are wrong, the University has a lot of issues working against it which we need to address. More specifically, to fight this perception of rampant elitism on campus, we have to start with the toxic culture of Cornell’s clubs.
The low acceptance rates and peer-to-peer competition of a selective admissions process don’t stop at Cornell’s gates.