Letter to the Editor

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Re: ‘Cornell’s Student Assembly: Is This What Democracy Looks Like?’

To the Editor:

Having been a student in two international graduate programs as well as a facilitator in many international training courses, the intercultural interactions are usually extremely enriching, while working through the normal friction that arises with differences. I have fond memories of one colleague who managed to hijack just about any topic with lengthy commentary on social justice issues. When you were sleep-deprived and merely wanted to absorb the information from a lecture that was crucial for an exam or finishing a paper, it could be intensely irritating. Nevertheless, there was always a kernel of truth in the injustices he pointed out. The professors were reasonably adept at weaving the discussion back to the original objectives of the lecture while valuing his often tangential input.

Julia Feliz, a former fellow at the Alliance for Science, speaks about their experience at the Student Assembly meeting at Willard Straight Hall.

Julia Feliz Says That Cornell Was Racist. Their Story Prompted a Reply From President Pollack, a Student-Led Rally and University Pushback.

Starting October 15, Julia Feliz would not be welcome at Cornell’s Alliance for Science program, its director said. The decision — which Feliz shared in a widely-circulated post — was followed by waves of student support in a Student Assembly resolution in solidarity with Feliz and a planned rally, as well as a University statement disputing many of Feliz’s characterizations.

Julia Feliz, a former fellow at the Alliance for Science, speaks about their experience at the Student Assembly meeting in Willard Straight Hall on Oct. 24.

S.A. Passes Statement in Support of Julia Feliz As Some Fellows Push Back

The Student Assembly passed a statement on Thursday condemning the abrupt dismissal of Alliance for Science fellow Julia Feliz, who claimed the program was racist, while some other fellows at the meeting expressed support of the program organizers’ decision. Feliz was asked to leave the Alliance for Science program — a 12-week program focused on biotechnology — on Oct. 15, after program coordinators told them that they were a continual interruption to the program. During their time in the program, Feliz said that they faced racism, harassment and intimidation when they spoke out on social justice issues, The Sun previously reported. “We find this dismissal egregious and refuse to turn a blind eye,” the S.A. statement read.