OLGUÍN | Cornell, You’re Failing Your Undocumented Students

For students with precarious citizenship statuses –  a protest in front of Day Hall is not a passive annoyance, but an active assertion. An assertion of their presence, agency and lived experiences while attending our hallowed and supposedly supportive university. While some say that education is the great equalizer, it means nothing if students have to protest in response to the University’s failure to support them, acknowledge their well-being and address their institutional concerns. 

DERY | Normalizing the Gap Semester

Any deviation from the four-year graduation track, particularly by taking a gap semester, for example, often connotes burnout or a lack of direction. This perception isn’t aided by the administration’s similar treatment of gap semesters, or what they call a “Leave of Absence.” In particular, Cornell’s unwillingness to recognize study abroad as well as other endeavors during these semesters by rewarding academic credit furthers the stigma that a gap semester is counterproductive to the college diploma, prolonging our studies and slowing us down. 

SAMILOW | Masks Outdoors, Really?

Surely, the administration knows that the virus is spreading because students are congregating indoors, largely off-campus. So the question really worth asking is: how exactly is the Cornell administration arriving at these decisions? The sheer absurdity of requiring masks outdoors while still packing classrooms and dining halls should leave students questioning the wisdom of the University’s entire coronavirus strategy. Either the administration is foolish enough to believe that outdoor masking is worthwhile or it is implementing measures it knows will have no effect. Neither possibility reflects well on the University. 

CHANG | Authoritarianism Close to Home

The violence and protests in Hong Kong to free the city from China’s grasp escalated to a new point this weekend. Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam invoked a British colonial-era emergency law that banned masks at public gatherings with a maximum penalty of one year in prison for wearing one. Masks have been frequently worn by protestors to hide their identities, and banning them is the first step in an increasingly heavy-handed government response. The situation has become unavoidable for citizens of Hong Kong, and many Cornellians have families involved or affected by the protests. The efficient subway shut down as an emergency measure to disrupt protests over the mask ban.