Cornell is ever-changing, and it took me the better part of my college career to make peace with this reality. Whenever I felt I had found a foothold at last, Cornell came around again to challenge my conviction. Are you sure this is what you want? By the way, here’s some new information. This rapid change has been overwhelming at times, and I will be the first to admit that I am not the best with change.
At a July 15 campus reopening town hall, administrators tried to field nearly 2,000 questions on topics ranging from academic policy to freshman orientation. Since the June 30 announcement, many details on what the fall semester would look like still remain unclear. Now, administrators are offering a glimpse into the rules and planning initiatives that would be in place when thousands of students return to Ithaca in August. Panelists included Ryan Lombardi, Zebadiah Hall, Gary Koretzky, Lisa Nishii, Jenny Loeffelman, Vijay Pendakur and Pat Wynn. Move-In
Cornell asks that students quarantine for 14 days and get tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus, but all will be tested upon arrival.
Whenever being home was getting to me or quarantine seemed like it would never end, I would comfort myself with a vision of the little studio apartment I’d saved up to lease in Ithaca. There would be houseplants galore, I could once again see my friends and I would be more mentally challenged than I am currently by my three-month free trial of Skillshare. Enter Pres. Martha Pollack’s email, announcing the hybrid, altered semester and the start of classes on September 2nd. That email was the answer to a lot of my prayers, though there are the obvious limitations as a result from COVID-19. Yet, ever since it arrived in my inbox there’s been a sense of anxiety I can’t kick.
I came to Cornell as a naive, optimistic, wide-eyed freshman, filled with a sense of unbridled excitement about what the future would bring. I left as a cynical, pessimistic senior with bags under my eyes, filled with a sense of overwhelming fear about what the future would bring. Not exactly the profound character development I had been hoping for. Alas, life isn’t a sitcom and happy endings aren’t guaranteed, but I am so incredibly thankful for the many moments of Sun-shine I experienced in between an awe-inspiring arrival and a dismal departure during my (almost) four years in Ithaca. Four years ago, I didn’t know what I was going to major in, I didn’t know who my friends would be, I didn’t know which extracurriculars I wanted to join and I especially didn’t know if the brand new winter coat and snow boots I bought would get me through the Ithaca winters.
The recent announcement from the Department of Homeland Security adding restrictions to Non-immigrant F-1 student visas is a xenophobic, bigoted and inhumane political stunt designed to further nationalist rhetoric. The decision to restrict student visas is the latest attack on the international community under the guise of national economic security or public health. These include but are not limited to the 2018 Muslim travel ban, various attempts to overturn Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policies and recent rollbacks on foreign worker visas. Denying students the right to educational opportunities based on immigration status is in direct violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. This discrimination based on national origin endangers not only student achievement, mental health and physical health amidst a global pandemic, but is also detrimental to the longevity of Cornell’s educational philosophy and Ithaca’s economy.
After four years of being a reporter on the objective side of things, I’ve often dreaded this graduation column. I’m not very good at articulating how I feel, and definitely don’t think I’m a great writer. So I’m going to stick to the basics and do what I know best: Talk about The Sun. When I first got to Cornell, I followed the advice that almost all of us receive and tried new things. I signed up for way too many listservs at Club Fest and attended a lot of G-bodies as that excited freshman during the first semester.
While searching through The Sun’s online archives for a Solar Flashback story last fall, I came across an editorial that touched me profoundly. It was from September 27, 1910, over a century ago, and it captured the very essence of my experience as a Cornellian. “And let us say that you do not realize now the days you are passing through,” it read, addressing new students. “Look back at the remembrance. It is a wholesome existence with room for work and play, room for thought but little thoughtlessness.
I joined The Sun in fall 2017 for reasons I no longer remember, but I was certain that I would not last a semester. I had never done any journalism in my life, and before college, I had never written anything in English more than 300 words. Somehow, I stuck around and even made it to editorship, but every single day I was down at The Sun’s red brick office in the Commons, I questioned if I was qualified to be there. When I had to call the shots on something, I wondered if the swarm of talented people in the newsroom was actually convinced by my reasonings, or if they were just being nice. I’ve been hyper-aware of who I am since the very beginning of my time in this country, when a customs officer at John F. Kennedy airport commented on how well I speak English “for a Chinese student” as he stamped my passport.
“The online ecommerce experience is competing with the in-store experience,” Makar said. “It’s going to be as good or better of an experience than it is in store. Ultimately, stores will adapt how they operate as more business comes through online.”