Among the laundry list of resolutions the Student Assembly ran through yesterday was an abolishment of the student activity fee and a motion to add an S.A. representative to the Cornell Incident Managing and Leadership teams. This would allow the S.A. to help make recommendations to shut the school down during inclement weather.
Albeit being just a four-day extended weekend, fall break comes as salvation for many students on the Hill. This is perhaps because of the unique stresses of fall at Cornell. On top of the usual academic responsibilities, students spend much of their time attending information sessions, filing applications and interviewing for positions. But not for jobs. For clubs.
If you want to make a club treasurer flinch, you need only whisper the letters S-A-F-C. The Student Activities Funding Commission is the student-run organization that acts as a gatekeeper for over 500 Cornell clubs’ funding. And it is among the most bemoaned bureaucratic hoops on campus. Complaints range from nitpicky rule enforcement to perverse incentives. Some gripe that applying for SAFC funding involves far too many fine details — which, if done improperly, can give the SAFC a reason to pull funds.
As the clock tower bells chimed over a sunny Arts Quad, Student Assembly president-elect Joe Anderson ’20 sat down with The Sun to talk about presidential victory, funding reform, administration on campus, and his vision for the Assembly’s role in it all.
A little over a month ago, Dr. Leana Wen, President of Planned Parenthood, confirmed what the American pro-life movement has recognized for years when she tweeted: “First, our core mission is providing, protecting, and expanding access to abortion and reproductive health care.” In the words of its own leader, Planned Parenthood is an organization that believes its primary purpose is to push for more abortion, full stop. This admission renders the decision made by the Class Councils of 2021 and 2022 to fundraise for Planned Parenthood at their Valentine’s Day Gala completely inappropriate and extraordinarily insensitive. Although the majority of Cornellians may favor abortion rights to one extent or another, there exists a great many of us who believe that the result of the procedure is the ending of a distinct human life deserving of dignity like any other. Despite my own strong feelings on the matter, I understand that in a diverse community such as ours, disagreement on this issue is inevitable. What I fail to understand, and what I object to, is the Class Councils’ reckless decision to spend money collected from each and every undergraduate via the Student Activity Fee on a fundraiser for such a deeply divisive organization — an organization that performed 332,757 abortions in 2018 alone.
Amidst the general upheaval created by the economy, a significant environmental initiative on campus and Reimagining Cornell, the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly held their first meeting of the semester last night in the Straight with approximately 35 in attendance. In addition to the internal campus initiatives, the GPSA also began to discuss the Ivy Summit, an annual summit for all graduate-level assembly members on Ivy League campuses, which Cornell is hosting this year.