BETTEZ | About That Freshmen Project Team Ban

This fall, Cornell has announced that freshmen will not be allowed to join engineering project teams.

In the introductory documents offered to project team leads this semester, among all the social distancing and COVID-related measures, was the phrase: “First-year students will not be allowed to join teams this fall.” My first reaction was sadness for the freshmen who will be barred from many of the opportunities for social connection that project teams offer and that coveted sense of belonging that freshmen are usually afforded. But then I remembered a conversation I had with a friend in April, in which she described how her well-regarded project team made the conscious decision to avoid recruiting freshmen, as they had realized it massively skews their demographics toward wealthy, white and Asian men. When trying to recruit through organizations like Under-Represented Minorities in Computing (URMC), they realized almost none of them made it onto their team as freshmen because they tended to lack the opportunities wealth buys which make a good project team candidate. They came to the realization that all of the College of Engineering project team leadership needs to come to: Recruitment for freshmen is based solely on their opportunities prior to Cornell, not the students themselves. Entering your freshman year at Cornell, the disparities between the opportunities afforded to different socioeconomic and racial groups begin glaring apparent.

DERY | A Letter to My Incoming Freshman Self

To my incoming freshman self,

It feels like just yesterday when I was in your shoes, dead-set on fall 2019’s much-anticipated move-in, orientation week and first day of classes. As of now you tell those who ask that you’re excited, but we both know that’s a grand oversimplification. Behind that excitement, you’re afraid of the uncertain, terrified you won’t fit in and anxious to see how high school had prepared you for this next big step. As I recall, you’re also getting bombarded with congratulations and advice ranging from alumni graduating decades ago to current college students — whether here at Cornell or those you met back in high school. Allow me to join the chorus and offer my two cents on what to expect, from someone who came out on the other side.

YAO | Revise Advising

My eyes glazed over the platitudes typed on the glossy notecards I was organizing during a guest-led advising seminar session. “Get good sleep.” “Have fun.” “Practice mindfulness.” Sounds like the perfect plan for a productive college career. Just one tiny question: How do I manage all those things with impending prelims and essay deadlines? The question lodged itself in my throat as I glanced at the mental health resources listed on a notecard — the same list I’d seen in every community email. In theory, the College of Arts and Sciences advising seminar is a great idea.

Candidates Vying for 5 S.A. Spots Make Case at Forum

Fifteen candidates spoke on issues ranging from mental health to laundry in the Memorial Room of Willard Straight at a candidates’ forum Thursday evening, hoping to successfully make their case to fellow students as Student Assembly elections near. Currently, the S.A. has five vacant spots — four for freshman representative and one for College of Arts and Sciences representative. There are currently 13 candidates running for freshman representative and two for College of Arts and Sciences representative. Previously open spots —  transfer, LGBTQ liasion at-large and Art, Architecture, and Planning representative — were recently filled as each of the candidates for those positions ran unopposed. Noah Watson ’22 will serve as transfer representative, Tomás Reuning ’21 is the LGBTQ representative and Aram Cass ’23 is the AAP representative.