These issues are complicated, but the solution is straightforward: Cornell University should implement a non-medicalized process where graduate students can apply confidentially to work and teach remotely without needing to provide documentation. Those who choose to seek these accommodations are doing so to protect their health and safety and those of their loved ones.
Dara Brown ’13 law ’18 looked back on her time as a student-elected trustee and on important issues facing the University in an interview with The Sun, encouraging students to “get involved in something they’re passionate about.”
The Consensual Relationships Policy Committee has undertaken a long overdue revision of Cornell’s policies on romantic and sexual relations between faculty and students. These relations are fraught because of differences in power and experience, because they can involve serious conflicts of interest and because they can have disruptive effects on the functioning of and climate within our professional workplaces. However, there is another class of romantic and sexual relations that seems similarly fraught — in kind if not in degree — that has received almost no discussion: those between graduate students within the same department or workplace. Graduate school provides a transition between young adulthood and full professional stature, and graduate students mature enormously over the course of their studies. Before graduating they may participate in many of the professional functions of faculty, including undergraduate teaching, training and supervising new graduate and undergraduate students, evaluating students and writing recommendation letters, managing collaborations, and writing and reviewing manuscripts and proposals.
A meeting on Monday led graduate students to question the administration’s commitment to shared governance at Cornell after frustration surrounding further details to President Martha Pollack’s presidential task force last week.
A coalition of graduate students has issued a list of demands to Cornell administrators — calling for increased funding, representation, training and more — in the wake of what the group called several recent injustices.
The union election will be held on March 27, and is open to all graduate assistants currently employed by the University. Ballots will be counted by the American Arbitration Association, a neutral third party.