Why Urban America Can’t Forget Its Farmers

Why do agricultural issues matter to young cosmopolites attending an Ivy League institution and who quite possibly are from a family in the top one percent? Besides being consistently ranked as one of the top agricultural schools in the country and the world, Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences conducts an enormous amount of research and outreach to help end food insecurity, combat climate change and, most recently, protect food production workers against COVID-19; just check out the litany of innovations here. Cornell is in a unique position to conduct its research; unlike many of its peers, it’s role as a land-grant institution informs its involvement in communities surrounding it. 43 percent of the counties in the Southern Tier are classified as rural. If you include upstate micropolities, such as Corning and Cortland, as semi-rural, that figure jumps to 57 percent.

Comfort Foods for When You’re Terrified for the Future of Our Country and the Upcoming Election

The phrase Presidential Debate has become synonymous with “petty shouting match.” Ballot deadlines were extended and then revoked. Some Americans still haven’t received their absentee ballots, while others report “faulty” ballots that don’t list any presidential candidates at all. Everywhere we turn, it seems that there is new election news to lament and almost no way of letting out this stress while locked at home. The week before one of the most important elections of our lifetimes, Americans have never needed comfort food more. 
Logically, we all know that a bowl of chicken soup or mac and cheese can’t actually solve any of the turmoil our country is currently going through. A bag of crunchy, salty chips won’t do the trick either, yet we still turn to these familiar foods to support us emotionally when everything seems like it’s a bit too much to handle.

ST. HILAIRE | This Is What Donald Trump Has Done for Me

Like many people, I tuned into the last presidential debate of the 2020 election cycle last week. The fragile masculinity of two American grandfathers and the way it manifested itself took up 90 minutes on every major news-media station and held the attention of myself and 63 million others on Thursday night. In a way, I think that we have been spoiled. I spent so much of the first debate pointing out disrespectful quips, laughing, internally crying and outwardly cursing our founding fathers for drafting a governmental system that could be completely decimated by “an unlikely candidate.” You know, as if ‘unlikely’ has recently become synonymous with racist, misogynist, xenophobic and ignorant. I have been seeing this new classification of the incumbent President Trump as “an underdog.” I had to refresh my definition of the word and found that it meant “a victim of injustice or persecution.” I feel obligated to express my displeasure that we classify the offender, our persecutor-in-chief, as “an underdog.”

Returning to the more tame and traditional Presidential debate that I tuned into on Thursday, I was bored.

BERNSTEIN | If You’re Voting Biden/Harris in New York, Do So on the Working Families Party Line

The Working Families Party in New York State is at risk of losing its spot on future ballots if it doesn’t reach 130,000 votes for President. This third party is a left-wing advocate for social democracy and progressivism and it’s best known for its support of democratic challengers to moderate incumbents across the state. With new rules raising the minimum votes required for a third party’s spot on the ballot, WFP is at risk of fading away. In 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo formed a commission to reform the campaign finance system in New York. One of the commission’s decisions was to increase the threshold of votes necessary to keep a third party on the ballot in future elections.

BARAN | Vote Responsibly on Election Day

Election Day is quickly approaching. It seems as if everyone has an opinion and a stake in the battle for the presidency. However, the tone of the discourse has mirrored that of the current president’s, even as many participating denounce him. Social media and conversation is rife with half-truths, slander and personal attacks. This is not productive and it is downright hypocritical for opponents of the president.

BERNSTEIN | Don’t Just Settle for Joe Biden, Stand for him

After a brutal primary season, many democrats have feared that a young progressive bloc would refuse to vote for Joe Biden out of a strong rejection of leadership and moderate positions. Since the vice president all but wrapped up the democrat nomination, one plea to progressives seems to be more popular than the rest: Settle. The “Settle for Biden” mantra is going strong; in fact, there’s a grassroots organization of former Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) supporters leading the way in sharing the motto, fit with a 230,000-plus follower Instagram account. The organization wants to convince young progressives who were turned off to the Biden campaign that not voting would lead to four more years of President Trump. This mission is important — Biden may be ahead in the polls, but if they’re as wrong as they were in 2016, this race could be close.

GUEST ROOM | Resuming the Student-Elected Trustee Election

Cornell is a unique institution in many ways. Our combination of private and public colleges, our incredibly beautiful campus and our ideal of “Any Person, Any Study” are just a few examples of this. We are also unique in the fact that our Board of Trustees, the highest governing body of our institution, seats students as full voting members. Traditionally, there are two student-elected trustees one of whom must be an undergraduate student and the other who must be either a graduate or professional student. I have served as the Graduate and Professional Student-Elected Trustee on the Board for the last 2 years, and the student body would have elected my replacement this past Spring.

GUEST ROOM | A Plea to Vote

I need not to tell you the struggles, hardships and troubles that have plagued our nation not solely in our immediate memory, but in our history as a country. From social injustices, to economic depressions, to a nationwide pandemic, our way of life remains constantly in need of improvement. My hope, and the hope of Cornell Votes, is that all Cornellians — students, faculty, professors, administrators, staff and all those who call Cornell home — understand that your voice matters. Every individual person’s experiences, successes, failures, and everything in between matters. You as an individual are not a cog in a wheel, but a valued member of our community, one deserving of respect and decency from others.

Student Assembly Calls for Universal S/U Grading

The Student Assembly passed an amended resolution expressing support for a universal satisfactory/unsatisfactory grading scheme for Cornell students. With the amendments, the proposal to pass all students effectively becomes a blanket pass/fail grading system, only changing the necessary grades to receive a “satisfactory” grade.