ONONYE | It’s 2020; Stop Calling Martha “Martha”

Please stop calling President Martha E. Pollack “Martha.” It’s disrespectful and your internalized misogyny is showing every time that you do it. Martha Pollack is the highest ranked faculty member at Cornell University, and the way that students refer to her is telling of continued gender biases in higher academia. There is a major disparity in referencing senior staff at Cornell University, with President Pollack referred to more frequently by her first name than Vice President Ryan Lombardi and Provost Michael Kotlikoff. In common conversation, students abbreviate these administrators’ titles to “Martha,” “Lombardi” and “Kotlikoff.”

Every time I hear a student refer to President Pollack by her first name, I remember my academic advisor’s warning during my first week at Cornell. She sat down her ten new advisees and explained the importance of referring to female professors as “Professor” or “Doctor” rather than “Ms.” or “Mrs.” She explained the struggle that she has faced after years in academia and her frustration when students, and worse, other academics downplayed her accomplishments when they reference her.

PRESIDENT’S VIEWPOINT | Dr. King’s Dream Today

Each year, as the nation honors the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I re-read his “I Have a Dream” speech, and every time I am struck by the emphasis he places on hope. Dr. King understood that meaningful change would be possible only through intentional, persistent and sometimes difficult action. Yet he also understood the essential nature of hope: that just as hope drives us to take difficult action, action itself can spur hope for change. More than half a century later, Dr. King’s dream of a fully just, inclusive and equitable nation remains elusive. We see this on our own campus, where, shortly before the Thanksgiving break, Nazi swastikas — odious symbols of anti-Semitism and racial hatred — were drawn on whiteboards in residence halls and stamped into the snow.