The Cornell Daily Sun Welcomes its 141st Editorial Board

After the day-long affair of elections and a gauntlet of long missed in-person speeches charged with an electrifying fervor for student journalism, The Cornell Daily Sun has elected its 141st editorial board. This year’s group of shining Sunnies is poised to create a board that is as vibrant and zealous as its namesake number is palindromic.

JOHNS | Making Free Speech Rhetoric Free Speech Reality

President Trump last week signed an executive order that links federal research and education grants for colleges and universities to their unwavering commitment to “[promoting] free inquiry.” Translation: The long-standing progressive censorship game at colleges and universities is now over. Universities and colleges will immediately cease shutting down, impeding or permitting the disruption of conservative speakers, or now risk losing billions of federal research dollars that are generously given away each year to these institutions of higher learning. It is unfortunate that such an order has become a confrontational stance on America’s campuses, but academia has sadly reached that point. Young America’s Foundation, for instance, favorably settled a lawsuit over this precise issue with the University of California, Berkeley last December. UC Berkeley, facing a constitutional challenge to its speaking protocols, agreed to abolish its “high-profile speaker policy” and speaking fee schedule while implementing a policy that ensures that heckling protesters will no longer be permitted to shut down speakers on campus.

EDITORIAL: The Small Things

The biggest college admissions scandal the FBI has ever prosecuted: wealthy individuals paying for their kids’ admissions into elite institutions with fake athletic records and artificially inflated test scores. And a Cornell alumnus, Gordon Caplan ’88, is among the offenders. This scandal goes to the root of a noxious, pervasive problem in higher education — the influence of money on opportunity. Though the $500,000 in bribes from actress Lori Loughlin to the University of Southern California is an extreme example of this national problem, universities like Cornell let wealth legally influence their admissions in small but unfair ways every year. While our University is “need-blind” for domestic applicants, we do not remove money from the admissions process.

EDITORIAL: Collegetown Housing: A Work Not Yet In Progress

Correction appended. Today’s story on the high demand for large apartments in Collegetown underscores the need for substantial change in how Cornell does housing. It is not a sign of health that students feel compelled to sign leases well over a year before moving in — nor is it acceptable that many of those houses often exist in various states of perpetual disrepair. Cornell can and should do more to foster a better system of housing for upperclassmen, particularly in Collegetown. Yes, Cornell has begun to implement its Master Housing Plan, including the much-trumpeted North Campus expansion, but we are skeptical that those efforts will ease the pressure on Collegetown rentals.

EDITORIAL: Kevin Hallock, The Right Choice for the College of Business

Habemus decanum! Kevin Hallock, the current dean of the ILR school, has been announced as the next dean of the SC Johnson College of Business. While we — along with what often seems like a vast majority of students, and indeed, faculty — are still slightly confused as to what the College of Business actually is, we see reason to be hopeful of Hallock’s appointment. The College of Business is comprised of three rather disparate elements — the Johnson Graduate School of Management, the hotel school and the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management — and much of the controversy surrounding the business college’s creation dealt with each constituent school’s frustration at being subsumed into an amorphous, indistinct body. That frustration is certainly merited; each individual school prides itself on its unique flavor of education and expertise, and it certainly would be a shame if those flavors were overpowered by the bureaucracy of an umbrella college.

EDITORIAL | Cornell Owes Answers on Wansink’s Research Blunders

A series of six retractions and several corrections issued by Prof. Brian Wansink, marketing, director of the Food and Brand Lab, is deeply concerning and requires further investigation and explanation from the University. The reputation of Cornell’s research is critical to the success of its students and faculty, and should be a predominant priority of the Administration. Faculty who produce research with inconsistent data or improper methods risk not only their own academic reputations, but those of all their colleagues, students and that of Cornell as a whole. Cornell previously concluded that the errors found in some of Wansink’s research “did not constitute scientific misconduct.” However, the ongoing string of retractions is indicative of a pervasive lack of proper methodology and analysis. Cornell must further investigate the integrity of Wansink’s research findings and provide an explanation for the retractions and corrections — the University must do better than merely referring back to an outdated statement from last October.