“I have heard of many unfortunate incidents happening to women on campus while they were walking home by themselves at night, so I always make sure to walk home with a friend or call an Uber… I’ve been taught to always have my guard up, especially at social events,” said Jamie Levy ’23
As a student-athlete, a black man and a supporter of JT Baker, I am disgusted and disappointed — though not wholly surprised — by the outcome of the recent student-elected trustee election. JT’s disqualification was not only unjust but is reflective of the campus climate at the predominantly white institution that is Cornell University. Furthermore, JT’s disqualification speaks to larger issues of exclusion of student-athletes and students from underrepresented communities at large from the limited, competitive and time-consuming opportunities in shared governance. Both the president of the University and the chair of the Board of Trustees have spoken out with strong statements condemning the disqualification decision by the Trustee Nominating Committee. And yet, the only actions being taken are empty calls for “reforms” for future elections.
If I’m being completely honest, I hated Cornell when I first started attending. It was nothing personal, it was mainly just a combination of homesickness, intimidation and the infamous adjustment period. Unfortunately, my so-called adjustment period felt more like a chronic state and lasted much, much longer than I anticipated. When I look back at my time here — something that I tend to do a lot these days as it’s my last semester — I realize that the primary reason I got through it, and eventually began to love Cornell, was because of the mentors I’ve had along the way. In my freshman year, against this background of inner turmoil and a sense of not fitting in, I was simultaneously trying to orient myself onto the pre-med track.
Prior to coming to the United States for university, I regarded the American Dream as a far-fetched ideal that had little to do with my personal life. Taking part in Ellis Island role-play simulations in middle school and reading about Willy Loman’s despairs in Death of a Salesman made me aware of the disillusionment associated with the so-called land of opportunity. While I was able to appreciate the sentiments and discussions that revolved around this ideology that has shaped much of the U.S., I saw it as a distant concept as a non-immigrant foreign student expecting to leave the country after my student visa expires. But over the past two and a half years, I, too, have developed my own American Dream. Lively discussions across campus about social mobility and success have ignited a desire to work hard to improve my circumstances, who I am and who I strive to become.
“That is that students who are perceived to have benefited from affirmative action are then expected to integrate at all times, because that’s the bargain: you get admission and you diversify the white environment,” Warikoo explained.
On Jan. 25, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights opened its sixth Title IX investigation into alleged mishandling of sexual assault investigations by Cornell, making it the university with the most active Title IX investigations. Under Title IX, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” At Cornell, that promise has come into question. The accounts of all parties involved in the recent Doe v. Roe case were unfairly evaluated under Policy 6.4, the University’s problematic policy for handling cases of sexual harassment. Cornell came under fire for instances of evident discrimination in this case.
For the third time since 2002, the School of Industrial and Labor Relations is defending itself in court against allegations that it was discriminatory in laying off female workers.
Francine Moccio filed a lawsuit against the University on April 8, claiming that she was discriminated against based on both her age and gender.
Moccio was hired in 1990 as a Senior Extension Associate for the ILR Extension program in New York City. At the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year, the 58-year-old was notified that she would be laid off at the end of this semester.
“The ILR school does a lot in training other people how not to discriminate,” said Moccio’s attorney, David Marek. “It’s important that if they have problems internally, these problems are addressed.”