LORENZEN | This Semester, Commit to Ending the Illusion of Discourse

Last week, fellow Opinion columnist Michael Johns Jr. wrote a column entitled “This Semester, Commit to Discourse.” In it, he eloquently makes the case that in answering “that core question — how do I grow? — we must commit ourselves to spaces of political and philosophical encounter.” While I do entirely agree with my esteemed colleague and fellow Cornell Political Union member’s opinion on this topic, I must argue that it leaves a profoundly important stone unturned in discussing how we may, as a community, heighten political and philosophical discourse on Cornell’s campus. The truth is that committing to discourse is not nearly enough. I have found that, on this campus, there are three main manifestations of civil discourse. The first is the absence of discourse — that which Johns makes such a compelling argument against.

JOHNS | This Semester, Commit to Discourse

This semester, Cornellians are returning to a campus familiarly abuzz with activity. There are no shortage of extracurricular activities and other opportunities to explore here: Cornell claims to have over 1,000 active student organizations and 60 fraternity and sorority chapters among its countless ways to get involved just about everywhere on campus, and members of all of these groups are arriving back in Ithaca this spring with fresh resolve and enthusiastic plans for the semester ahead. It can be exciting to consider the vast breadth of possibilities available at Cornell, but between course shopping, mapping major requirements and juggling commitments to countless other organizations that students are already invested in, it can sometimes be difficult to consider other  opportunities. It’s a familiar story; many Cornellians are hugely overcommitted. But as Clubfest approaches this Sunday and Cornellians take stock of their obligations, they should consider an essential question: How do I grow as much as possible at Cornell?

MORADI | In Defense of Intolerance

I recently mentioned Facebook-unfriending a Trump supporter from my high school in a tweet (Can you imagine a bigger millennial stereotype?). One of my former classmates tweeted back, “you unfriended someone just because they had a different political opinion than you?”

His statement reminds me a lot of those sappy social media posts about unity in the face of division. You’ve seen them, or something like them: a Facebook photo of a car that has both a Trump and a Clinton sticker captioned, “My husband and I don’t always agree, but we don’t let politics get in the way of our impassioned lovemaking! Don’t let the media fool you!! We can disagree as a nation and still all be intimately in love with one another.

GROSKAUFMANIS | On Not Having an Opinion

At times, it feels like we as people are the product of hundreds of intersecting opinions, and that these are the building blocks that construct our character, or, at the very least, our political identities. I have plenty of opinions — probably too many. Right now, off the top of my head, I can think of about six different things that I find to be kind of prickly, that I want to talk about, write about or start conversations about. Like the fact that, on my first day of work this summer, on the same Metro line I took into D.C. every day, a woman was raped at 10 a.m. in broad daylight, and the media gave it less attention than the construction work being done on that transit system. Or the fact that Merrick Garland still hasn’t gotten a confirmation hearing.