Editorial

EDITORIAL: Good Riddance to the Event Security Fee

Cornell controversies come as fast as they go, usually earning barely a peep from the administration. So consider us astonished to hear the University has, at last, opted to effectively ditch the burdensome event security fee. The move is a win for free expression on campus and a remarkable bout of responsiveness from leadership that too often shrugs off community input. After first hinting at the changes in February, Cornell will now begin covering security costs for most events up to $8,000. In a campus-wide email, Vice President for Student and Campus Life Ryan Lombardi announced the changes, which also include transitioning away from OrgSync, Cornell’s clunky student organization management system.

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JOHNS | Making Free Speech Rhetoric Free Speech Reality

President Trump last week signed an executive order that links federal research and education grants for colleges and universities to their unwavering commitment to “[promoting] free inquiry.” Translation: The long-standing progressive censorship game at colleges and universities is now over. Universities and colleges will immediately cease shutting down, impeding or permitting the disruption of conservative speakers, or now risk losing billions of federal research dollars that are generously given away each year to these institutions of higher learning. It is unfortunate that such an order has become a confrontational stance on America’s campuses, but academia has sadly reached that point. Young America’s Foundation, for instance, favorably settled a lawsuit over this precise issue with the University of California, Berkeley last December. UC Berkeley, facing a constitutional challenge to its speaking protocols, agreed to abolish its “high-profile speaker policy” and speaking fee schedule while implementing a policy that ensures that heckling protesters will no longer be permitted to shut down speakers on campus.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Santorum Deserved Respect, Not Insults

Re: “Santorum Calls Protests Disrupting Lecture Sign of ‘Liberal Intolerance’ at Cornell,” News, Nov. 23

To the Editor:

I hope Cornell can become an institution where different points of view are celebrated, not silenced. Any university, particularly an Ivy League school, should encourage respectful debate with opposing viewpoints. Unfortunately at Wednesday’s Rick Santorum event a small, but vocal group of students inappropriately interrupted his speech claiming that his views are “offensive” to some. The Cornell Republicans did not invite Senator Santorum to campus because we expected a majority of the student body to agree with him; rather we hoped that his perspectives would be educational to students at a university which typically only provides one point of view.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | The Santorum Experience, From a Democrat

Re: “Santorum Calls Protests Disrupting Lecture Sign of ‘Liberal Intolerance’ at Cornell,” News, Nov. 23

To the Editor:

Wednesday, I attended the Cornell Republican’s event that brought Rick Santorum to campus, a move criticized in a previous letter due to his “extremist” views. The night promised dialogue concerning our country’s current political climate and future under the next administration. What I experienced instead was wholly different from this mission and will be ingrained in my memory for many years. I am a registered Democrat from New York and have always been liberal, especially on social policies.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Criticizing Rick Santorum’s Visit to Cornell

Re: “Cornell Republicans to Host Rick Santorum as Fall Speaker,” News, Nov. 14

To the Editor:

Appreciating the challenge of producing the immediate post-election issue of The Cornell Daily Sun I wanted to congratulate your staff on a fine job of grappling with both the emotional and strategic issues facing the Cornell and broader Ithaca communities at this time. One article reported on the front page deserves critical comment, however. The invitation of Rick Santorum to visit and speak on behalf of the Cornell Republicans is presented as an uncontroversial, even thoughtful choice of a group who claims to want to return its attention to conservative philosophy after being distracted by the Trump campaign, which Santorum, unlike the Cornell Republicans, supported and endorsed. Santorum is an extreme Islamaphobe, climate change denier, homophobe and sexist, who is opposed to the use of contraceptives even in marriage.