GUEST ROOM | Letter to Provost Kotlikoff and Vice Provost Nishii

In the past week, some of us have observed people walking around in campus buildings without masks on. It appears that there is no mechanism for enforcement of this mask mandate. We also will not necessarily know if an individual we encounter in or outside of class has been vaccinated or tested. All we can do is wear masks.

GUEST ROOM | Students Will Not Bear the Greatest Cost of a Shutdown This Semester

Despite the overwhelming awareness that this could all be over in a matter of days and despite the best efforts of students online to publicly shame those who break the rules, Cornell was moved to threat level yellow after a mere two days of classes — not by a group of students who contracted the disease in spite of Cornell’s ample countermeasures, but by a group of students who willfully ignored them.  I am sure these people understood the risk to themselves and, given the well-expressed fears by their fellow students online, I’m sure they understood the risk to the student body as well.  And, while I would like to believe the event that caused this cluster was an isolated incident, a rare deviation from the straightforward and essential guidelines we’ve all agreed to follow, frankly, you’d have to be living under a rock to believe that. We can all hear the music. So, if the judgment of your peers, the requests of your university and the very real danger to the health of you and your friends are insufficient motivators to keep you out of a party this semester, then please consider the people who rely on Cornell for employment. Because the fact of the matter is, a few more “get-togethers” gone wrong, and hundreds, if not thousands, of people here are unemployed overnight. Yes, unemployed. Without a job, without a stream of income, a.k.a. something necessary to feed, clothe and house oneself when one’s parents do not do so.

JONES | West Campus House Dinners Should Be Open to Everyone

One Saturday last spring, my friend and I found an open piano room in the basement of Becker House on West Campus to break away from reality for a moment. I talked, laughed, but also enjoyed the sounds of the piano I could produce. Inspired by my playing, my friend encouraged me to perform in Becker House’s talent show later that month, which he was hosting. Unfortunately, as we later discovered, because I was not a resident of Becker House, I was unable to participate in the talent show since it was held during a House Dinner. House Dinners, held every Wednesday night in each West Campus dining hall, are a distinct occasion in which the House Chef prepares a special menu, entertainment is provided by Cornell’s student organizations and faculty and students come together.