GUEST ROOM | The Case for Keeping Labor in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations

The yawning gap between the industrial democracy of ILR’s embryonic years and today’s landscape of corporate tyranny reflects a systematic crusade against organized labor. Politicians and private-sector actors have worked together to expand poverty and stifle democracy  — all the while siphoning egregious sums of wealth to the already-egregiously wealthy. High-profile strikes made 2022 an exciting year for labor, but the share of workers in a union was the lowest on record, a fact that should profoundly disturb anyone who cares about poverty, inequality or justice. 

ILR Students Have Mixed Views on the New Pre-Enrollment Process

Beginning in fall 2022, the School of Industrial and Labor Relations implemented a new form of pre-enrollment where students are automatically enrolled in their core class requirements. The system is part of ILR’s new curriculum that will apply to all students who joined ILR in fall 2022 and beyond, including all current freshmen and sophomore transfer students in the school. 

This means that the Office of Student Services chooses lecture and discussion times, as well as the professors that students get. Even if a student would like to make adjustments to these pre-assigned core classes, such as changing their discussion times, students were told by OSS that they are no longer allowed to do so. 

Because of this lack of flexibility in choosing the specifics of core classes, some students who planned out their schedules before coming to Cornell dislike the new system. 

“Before coming to the school I had a very particular plan on what core classes I would be taking for each semester,” said Adam Senzon ’26. “I had planned it out perfectly; I knew which professors taught better for macroeconomics, but instead I got a different one.”

If students are enrolled in specific lecture or discussion times that overlap with another course they would like to take, they are no longer able to enroll in that alternative course. “Personally, there have been several elective courses I’ve wanted to take this semester, and sign up for next semester, that I simply haven’t been able to because the time [or] day they are offered intersects with pre-enrolled classes,” said Shoshannah Odinyayeva ’26.

MEHLER | We’ll Get Together in Comstock Hall

The “161 Things Every Cornellian Should Do” may not be the most realistic, but here’s a new bucket list to complete before graduation. Sitting outside of Ives Hall, I witnessed some of Cornell’s return to normalcy with a campus tour of prospective students walking by. The inaccuracies of the tour aside (for which AMST 2001: The First American University is an excellent source of Cornell truths), I listened to the tour guide give a brief view into each college within the University. After wrapping up the discussion of my home, the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, the tour guide stopped to ask her visitors: “Has anyone seen The Office?” I put aside my own quarrels with Cornell’s reputation being tied to a fictional television show rather than our outstanding campus, alumni and more while I waited to hear the tour guide connect the television show with the realities of being a Cornellian. Quoting directly from the show, the tour guide noted how one of the characters in The Office says, “We’ll get together in Comstock Hall,” before pointing to Comstock directly across from Ives and Barton.