EDITORIAL: Past Time to Investigate Cornell’s Qatar Campus

The University’s longstanding, disturbing refusal to investigate labor conditions at Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar has fallen out of the discussion as of late. It is past time to bring the discussion back to light. Some context for the uninitiated. Human rights groups charge that Qatar’s foreign labor sponsorship system enables exploitation bordering on slavery. Migrant laborers come to the Gulf nation seeking work, but are quickly funneled into involuntary servitude.


Weill Cornell Medicine Creates Colon Cancer Fund for President Elizabeth Garrett

Two days after President Elizabeth Garrett died of colon cancer, Dean Laurie Glimcher of Weill Cornell Medicine announced the launch of The President Elizabeth Garrett Fund for Colon Cancer Research on Tuesday. The creation of this fund a fulfillment of one of Garrett’s last wishes, according to Glimcher. “Before her untimely death, Beth expressed her desire to create a fund at Weill Cornell Medicine to advance research in colon cancer,” Glimcher said. Glimcher stressed that while Garrett’s death is a tragedy, it is also an opportunity for reflection. “It’s also a painful reminder of why we’re all here — to advance medical research and offer patients the best care, so that they can achieve their dreams and live as fully as possible,” she said.


Cornell University Assembly Resolution Urges Weill Qatar Investigation

The University Assembly passed a resolution Tuesday requesting specific information on labor practices at Weill Cornell Medicine in Qatar in response to allegations of labor abuses. The resolution requests that details of any and all previous labor investigations or audits conducted at Qatar be sent to Cornell. It passed with a final vote of 10-0-1. Recent protests have revealed a substantial interest in labor practices and conditions in Qatar among students, staff and faculty, according to the resolution. The motivation for the resolution was a report from the International Trade Union Confederation that raised concerns of labor exploitation in Education City in Qatar, possibly even in Cornell facilities, according to Alexander Thomson ’13, executive vice chair of the U.A.
Qatari labor practices enforce the kafala system — a migrant-labor monitoring process which requires all unskilled laborers to have an in-country sponsor but also allows employers to commit massive labor exploitation with minimal legal repercussions, according to the resolution.