THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM | Combating White Supremacy Should Not Entail Throwing Other Black Students Under the Bus

On September 29, The Daily Caller claimed that Black Students United (BSU) at Cornell had insinuated in their list of demands to President Pollack on September 20 that Cornell “is letting in too many African students.” Upon seeing this headline, I dismissed the article as the click bait material straight out of a troll handbook. But because college has taught me to question everything and dismiss nothing, I took another careful look at BSU’s demands. Although the sensationalist article made it seem like BSU had called for Cornell Admissions to ask for birth certificates on the Common App as Trump did during the Obama presidency, to be clear, BSU did not explicitly say that Cornell should stop admitting African, first generation, and Caribbean students. The organization said “the Black student population at Cornell disproportionately represents international or first-generation African or Caribbean students” and that “there is a lack of investment in Black students whose families were affected directly by the African Holocaust in America.” Thus, “Cornell must work actively to support students whose families have been impacted for generations by white supremacy and American fascism.”

While advocating for increases in admissions of African American students is pertinent and should be a priority for all universities, insinuating that Cornell is overrun with foreign and first generation black students and that they are taking away the spots of American black students suggests that there are only a set number of spots for folks with melanin, a quota that should only be filled by a certain kind of black person. The kind of black students who should be here, as per BSU’s definition, are “Black Americans who have several generations (more than two) in this country.” Limiting the definition of “black” to only American students is treading xenophobic waters and unwittingly bolsters the misconception that black students are only admitted into Cornell because they are black.

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM | How to Cope with the Loss of a Loved One During Prelims

The passing of a loved one is never easy. It’s even worse when it happens during prelim season and a continent away from home. While your family and friends come together at home, you are stuck grieving in your single dorm room and studying at the same time. I lost a cherished member of my family yesterday, and I received the news in between two prelims and a work study shift. My world seemed to stop — I was in so much shock that it took me two hours to finish making a Works Cited page for an essay.

THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM | Weighing in on Interminority Prejudice

Over the summer, I managed to save up for a trip to California, one of the places in America celebrated for its liberalism and openness. Ignoring the sinking feeling that few other tourists would look like me, I set about to explore the Bay Area. An exciting aspect of traveling being souvenir shopping, I googled the best place to buy souvenirs, which took me to San Francisco’s Chinatown. Hopping from shop to shop deciding on what keepsakes to buy for myself and my family, I noticed a trend – each store I went into, a shop attendant would be close behind, watching my every move. When discussing race relations in America, whether it’s in a seminar or on social media, racial prejudice is often framed as only a “white problem.” Indeed, having lived as a minority in America for only two years, the first image that comes to mind when I think of racism in America is of torch-yielding white supremacists akin to those who were protesting in Charlottesville, Virginia.

NDLOVU | Reflections on Consent

It’s especially scary when, on the front page of the news, there’s a mugshot of someone you frequently see in your dorm, the dining hall, parties or classes being charged with rape. My heart goes out to the courageous women who survived these ordeals and rightfully reported them. Whenever I hear about these terrible crimes, I cannot ignore the small voice that says, “it could have been you.” Sexual harassment is happening to us individually on the daily, even if we do not realize it, and we must realize this in order to truly help others. Wolf-whistling, cat-calling and lurid up-and-down gazes are so commonplace that most women just brush them off and move on but such sexual gestures indicate that regarding women as sexual objects still persists. Furthermore, it may seem like the recent highly-publicized Wolfgang Ballinger and Xavier Eaglin rape crimes are isolated exceptions within a peaceful, liberal and crime-free campus but the shocking fact is that 5% of women on college campuses in America are victims of  rape or attempted rape every year (Kilpatrick, Resnick, Riggierio, Conoscenti, & McCauley, 2007; American College Health Association, 2013).

NDLOVU | Highlights of Asia Night: The Journey 2016

What were you up to this weekend? Besides the occasional mini panic attack over prelim season (which has finally come upon us) and carefully planned procrastination schemes, which I will regret later this week, the highlight of my Saturday night was actually doing something constructive and worthwhile – attending “Asia Night: The Journey” hosted by Cornell Asian Pacific Islander Union’s (CAPSU) in Duffield Hall on March 5th from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. As a freshman, this was my first time attending this annual event dedicated to showcasing diverse Asian cultures. I will definitely be attending Asia Night next year, and so should you! The event was alive with many people in Duffield taking the opportunity to visit the myriad of booths, drink bubble tea, savor different foods and learn more about on-campus organizations such as Business Asia Journal and Cru Cornell. The colorful traditional attires, posters and on-point sound system made Asia Night a memorable event where Cornellians could unite to take pride in and share their heritage.