Five months ago, I wrote a letter to the editor arguing that President Rawlings’s email to the community against graduate student unionization “sets a dangerous precedent for using the Office to meddle in the internal affairs of students.” With the Sun’s article “Cornell, Union File Grievances on Opening Day of Voting” it seems my thesis has been vindicated: university administrators have been violating the spirit, if not the letter, of restrictions on them. This is not unique to graduate student unionization, but rather another example of the University prioritizing power and image over students’ voices. In my four years here, I have seen a University more than willing to throw its students, faculty, and staff under the bus. Literally. Two years ago in snowy conditions, a Cornell staff member was struck and killed by a TCAT bus.
On a complimentary cot, one-year-old nugget me flew across the ocean blue to America. My family moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where my mom babysat, made diapers out of clothes and relied on governmental programs like WIC to keep me fed. The O.G. dumpster divers, my parents furnished rooms with trashed treasures. Modest beginnings and hard work gave bloom to comfort. We tumbled up the East Coast, moving every year of my childhood.
For those who claim that Trump will protect “Christian America,” I must say that I strongly disagree with you. A Christian America is an America in which its people strive to live the commandments of Christ. We have already seen that Trump does not come close to living by Christ’s commands –– so how can one say that Trump is protecting “Christian America” when he actively opposes everything Christianity stands for?
International students are indeed the first ones to be thrown under the bus when tough decisions need to be made, because the administration expects us to remain quiet. My heart aches when I read how the university, behind closed doors, tokenizes us to achieve superficial diversity but does not really care about our student experience.
The important number for the university’s financial stability is actually net tuition revenue: undergraduate tuition minus financial aid. In other words, how much money does Cornell get from tuition after it pays out financial aid. If net tuition revenue is not growing as fast as costs, the university will eventually have to make some cuts to spending or find ways to increase revenue.
Furthermore, we must look at racism not as a series of interpersonal violations, but a structural system of disadvantage that is founded on political and economic exploitation fully understood only through the lens of history.
Look how the Democrats handled the past election. Ever since Obama was elected president, they have been pushing the same Hillary 2016 agenda. There was never any choice in the matter, after Obama we were to have Clinton. End of discussion. The DNC actively worked against the Sanders campaign when he threatened to take away the nomination from Clinton and promote actual progressivism to the party.
As the members of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly Executive Committee and the Graduate and Professional Student-Elected Trustee, we have heard from several eligible voters who are no longer comfortable voting in the upcoming election for myriad reasons. We are writing this column in the hopes of convincing those individuals to consider participating.
It’s curious, this phenomenon, but it’s not inexplicable. After all, the four chairs are positioned on opposing sides of the table and therefore are capable of obliging contrary perspectives. Now, let us prod at the dichotomy between privacy and companionship that afflicts many of the table’s visitors. When you find yourself lured into the sphere of the table, do you want to see, or do you want to be seen? Will you sit with your back turned to your audience, or will you sit with your eyes wide, feasting on the glimpses of passers by and by? This challenge raises a key line of logic about the human population.
Yet Cornell waited until the last minute before issuing a shutdown, at the risk of the safety of its students, faculty and staff. While some professors used their discretion to cancel morning classes, the university administration deferred their decision until late morning despite adverse weather conditions that had not only been forecasted, but were distinctly visible.