GUEST ROOM | Students Should Continue to Question the Ethics of the Cornell Alliance for Science

The Cornell community has come to learn about the questionable ethics of the Cornell Alliance for Science through a former Alliance fellow Julia Feliz in recent weeks. I am writing to applaud the Student Assembly for passing a statement in support of Feliz  and to share the experience with the Alliance my community has had on the small island of Kauaʻi. This is not the first time the Cornell Alliance for Science’s practices have impacted individuals from communities of color and undermined social justice. I’ve seen it here in Hawaiʻi where community members and I have been organizing for years to pass common sense pesticide regulations — and where Cornell Alliance for Science funded fellows have aggressively fought us. In the 1980’s, the sugar plantations started moving overseas in search of cheaper labor and less regulation and, in the last decade, completely ended operations on our islands.

GUEST ROOM | How Does Cornell Make You Feel Like You Belong?

As I walked out of Mann Library, a person approached me to ask if I would like to have a portrait of myself taken along with a sentence declaring how I am made to feel that “I Belong at Cornell.” I politely smiled and continued walking. All I could think about was how much I had been made to feel like I did not belong here halfway into my short, 12-week program. Sure, no neon signs declared I did not belong. But the daily exchanges, nonstop microaggressions, covert racism, neuroableism and the constant misgendering on campus from staff that claim to be committed to inclusion and diversity managed to do the same.

GUEST ROOM | Cornell’s Student Assembly: Is This What Democracy Looks Like?

I was very surprised by proceedings I witnessed on Thursday night when Cornell University’s Student Assembly passed a motion condemning the University and Cornell Alliance for Science over the dismissal of fellow Julia Feliz. At the end of the meeting, I said to myself, “this is more evidence of everything that’s broken with our democracy.”
There was no real examination of evidence before judgment was passed. Everyday principles of justice were suspended to allow for the misdirection of anger at University authorities. Students who claimed to be protecting the vulnerable from bullying engaged in the same terrible act, and the audience in the room seemed to assume that’s okay. That is the democracy we live in today.