Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘Cornell Needs to Postpone the Fall Semester’

To The Editor:

Deepti Talesra ’21 and Paula Amols ’75  both make great arguments for not opening the University this fall. There are issues regarding the quality of education online, issues of comradery, and significant financial burdens to Cornell University, Ithaca and the student body. We do not have a crystal ball; we have flawed changing models of the pandemic’s progress and a ton of unknowns as to what will or may happen this fall and coming winter.  Coming out of shelter-in-place too early will likely lead to a second wave of disease and death beyond anything we personally have ever experienced. Physically calling students back from all over the world where the virus is at various stages of infection could present a significant health problem for the Cornell and Ithaca communities. Experts and data suggest that a vaccine will not be available this year and maybe not be fully available until later next year.

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GUEST ROOM | Friends and Colleagues Say Goodbye to Thomas Ruttledge

Dr. Thomas Ruttledge died on Tuesday while out on one of his famous bike rides. Tom discovered his love for chemistry while an undergraduate at Wayne State University. He wrote his thesis on pathogen interactions in plants with David Lynn at the University of Chicago and later came to Cornell University as a post-doctoral associate.  He taught at Earlham, Whitman and Ursinsus Colleges before coming to Cornell a little less than twenty years ago. Here he taught some of our largest organic chemistry classes, and the more general Language of Chemistry class.  Through the Cornell HHMI Accelerating Medical Progress Through Scholarship and Douglas programs, he was active in the underrepresented minority STEM education work of the chemistry department. Tom Ruttledge had been teaching Chem 2510, 1150 and 3010 for so many years that, until his recent heart problems, it is difficult to remember another professor teaching any of those classes.

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FROM THE EDITOR | In the Amber

As deadlines creep and finals loom, The Sun will begin a brief pause in publication today. For the next two weeks, our staff will set down their reporting hats to — hopefully — rub sleep from their eyes, pass exams, polish up final papers and take a well-deserved break from the whirlwind that this semester has been. These past few months, The Sun and its peers again demonstrated the need for quality, independent journalism on college campuses. As countless voices sought outlets, The Sun created a forum for students, faculty, alumni and prospective Cornellians to hear each other in a time when our voices are farther apart than ever. With the loss of pre-lecture grumblings and coffee-counter conversations, the importance of a space to share information and insight is clear.

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HUA | The Butterfly Effect

Freshman year — pneumonia and a broken heart. Sophomore year — a broken ankle and financial stress. Junior year — bronchitis and misplaced trust. Senior year — finally finding my family at Cornell, only for these last moments with them to be snatched away. If you had asked me on my first night at Cornell whether I would ever consider writing for The Sun, I would have scoffed.

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YANG | Weifeng the Freshman

I have always claimed, to those who know me, that my college experience here at Cornell has followed a healthy upward trend. My best semester was probably last semester. As a senior, I was truly living my time. I have found my community in Cornell Republicans and Cornell Political Union, among friends and mentors, often acting like an old man telling stories of the past (which, frankly, is just three years away). I found my voice here at The Sun, as the Chinese columnist annoyingly acting out his “Chineseness,” and daring to, for the first time, share my subversive thoughts about my beloved motherland with the public.