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ROSENBAND | Public Shaming: Mourning Cornell in Real Time

I’m a junior now, but the room key to my Collegetown apartment still hangs from the distinguishable lanyard I received when I moved into Dickson Hall as a freshman. If you were smart, you probably discarded it right when you got it, trusting that your amateur status went in the bin with it. Maybe it has stayed with me more as a matter of convenience, but I continue to cling on to that bright-red rope that pulls me right back into the heart of freshman year as a souvenir from a past life — a time when I felt as if I existed in the cross-section between 22 Jump Street and Pitch Perfect. I expected Cornell to change me in a humongous, colossal, monumental, *insert superlative* way, and although it probably has, this mid-pandemic existence forces me to not only mourn the life I lived, but mourn the place I hold dearest even as I’m walking its campus. Even if you’re technically a senior, this year we all start over as freshmen: Overwhelmed, paying too much attention to the little details, fearful of not meeting new people and just generally confused at how this is all going to work.

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GUEST ROOM | We’re Not Just Being Set Up to Fail, We’re Being Set Up to Blame Each Other

On July 21 The Atlantic published an article indicating that colleges were readying themselves to blame students for failed campus re-openings. Inevitable parties and quarantine breaches would be registered as violations of some form of a Behavioral Compact, allowing universities to lay blame directly upon their students. Increasingly, however, Cornell has succeeded not only in creating metrics to blame students directly for the spread of COVID-19 but has leveraged the Compact so that students will blame one another, shielding administrators from much direct responsibility for the campus reopening. Such internalization of responsibility and blame works in predictable ways if you understand the nature of power. The first step is an exertion of force — compelling students to sign the Compact — softened by the fallacy of choice.

Editorial

EDITORIAL | Let the First COVID-19 Cluster Be a Wakeup Call

Last March, when  Cornell shut its doors, students and faculty alike were scared and confused as to what the next few months would bring. Our future at Cornell was uncertain. Students fled from their dorms and houses, final goodbyes were rushed and every student body and faculty member gained a uniquely traumatic experience that will stay with them. No one knew quite how serious the coronavirus pandemic would get. Nearly six months later, the U.S. exceeds 6 million COVID-19 cases.

President Martha Pollack speaks during an interview with The Sun at Day Hall on Nov. 12, 2019.

President Pollack, Cornell Admin Discuss COVID Readiness and Anti-Racism as Unconventional Semester is Set to Begin

The Sun spoke with President Martha Pollack, Provost Michael Kotlikoff, Vice President for Student and Campus Life Ryan Lombardi, Vice President of Facilities and Campus Services Rick Burgess, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Presidential Advisor for Diversity and Equity Avery August and Vice President for University Relations Joel Malina about Cornell’s reopening plan and anti-racism initiatives.

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GUEST ROOM | Cornell Should Pay Closer Attention to its Own Reopening Model

The Cornell reopening model hinges on two factors: Students will return to Ithaca, as found in survey results, and Cornell has no jurisdiction over students who live off-campus, making testing for COVID-19 difficult if the campus is closed. Testing is integral to their model, as it should be, and inability to test off-campus students would mean COVID-19 could and would spread, potentially largely undetected. These factors are contestable, but let’s assume for a moment the model works, at least within its own framework. The model demands testing, testing and more testing within the Cornell community to keep the virus from spreading. It, of course, takes into account the relationship of the campus to the broader area: “We were surprised to see that the outside infections had such a large effect on results.