Last Monday, Jackson Carter ‘25 surprised his introductory Physics zoom lecture with an inspiring new T-shirt choice: one of the “This Is What An Engineer Looks Like” shirts given out by the College of Engineering.
“At first, I wondered why this idiot had his camera on in a 300 person lecture,” classmate Samantha O’Neill ‘25 remembered, “but then I noticed his shirt and realized, ‘Oh this guy is just an asshole.’ So you can imagine my shock when I later learned that they don’t exclusively give out those shirts to white guys who take fifteen seconds to decide whether or not to hold the door to Duffield open for you even though you’re only walking one pace behind them and now there’s a whole line of people waiting to get inside while he internally praises himself for being both a Gentleman™ and a Feminist™.”
During Monday’s zoom lecture, Carter made an effort to sit chest first in front of his camera in an effort to show off that he was, in fact, an engineer and looked like one. Carter also often unmuted to incorrectly correct the professor’s math and, during breakout rooms, personally invited each one of his peers to turn their cameras on too.
“I just think it’s my job, as a Caucasian male, to provide an inclusive environment for my less advantageous peers to speak out and release their burden,” Carter explained. “After all, if I don’t personally talk to all the women in my class, do I truly have the right to bear the insignia of the Cornell engineer in this manner? Do I disrespect the name and honor of my school if I don’t speak up for the masses about the mathematical misinformation being spread by the establishment? Must I be the one emblem of equality in an unfair world?”
By Wednesday’s class, Carter had already dropped the course and become a business major, claiming a desire to “take on a new challenge where I can touch more people’s lives” and shrugging off allegations that a horrendous GPA was to blame.
WARREN HALL—During a rush season that was stressful for everyone, Cornell professional fraternities had a particularly difficult time competing with each other to see who could come up with the most ingenious excuse for yet another class of inductees looking like an assortment of Michael Cera’s stunt doubles, but without any of the charisma.
“Look, we selected the most qualified applicants, regardless of race, color, or creed,” said Johnathan Neal ‘21, head of a prominent business fraternity. “And it just so happened that this time around, all of the best applicants happened to share the exact same skin tone, gender, and affinity for completely unseasoned food. It’s not like we select for that kind of thing, those just seem to be the type of people attracted to a fraternity that talks about Wall Street bankers like they’re sports heroes and pretend they understand economics after one macro class.”
In an anonymous interview, one rejected rushee detailed several sources of bias in the rushing process, including an eating contest consisting entirely of Uncrustables sandwiches, a group watch party of 2018’s Green Book, and a question asked to all applicants meant to assess their love for frisbee golf.
“I’ll admit, we aren’t the most diverse group looks-wise,” mentioned recent inductee Bryce Smith. “But we have a lot of diverse backgrounds in our frat. Tom over there actually spent a semester overseas in England, whereas I spent my summer last year along the French Riviera with my father and both of his girlfriends. And beyond that, the other applicants just wouldn’t fit in with us. One guy said he thought Eminem was kind of past his prime, and that’s just unacceptable? Can you imagine hanging with that guy for a year? I wouldn’t be able to use half my workout playlist!”
Yesterday, the fraternity formally inducted its 10 homogeneous new members with the traditional screening of Fight Club, dinner from Wings Over Ithaca, and arm wrestling tournament.
I was sitting at Terrace yesterday when I overheard a boy with an equivocal ethnic background echoing a number of problematic opinions involving race and class. Unfortunately, in a truly frustrating dilemma, I couldn’t give an unsolicited schooling on intersectionality and ethnicity because his complete lack of distinguishing factors meant I didn’t know if it was my place to do so.
Was I the wrong person to tell him that identifying with the culture associated with one’s surname is entirely one’s own choice, not a designation they are forced to live with? It’s unclear, because his mochaccino-esque skin tone made me wary to enlighten him out of fear I may (unexpectedly!) be the ignorant one.
Sure, his thoughts on diversity and inclusion in corporate hiring practices was ill-informed at best, but maybe his beliefs on “pulling oneself up by the bootstraps” was simply a reflection of his own upbringing as a first, second, or maybe even third generation American. It’s frankly impossible to tell if or where his parents may have immigrated from.
For now, I will sit quietly and let him speak freely, because I won’t be mistaken as unwoke simply to make a point. Just as long as he doesn’t bring up that goddamn lawsuit about Asian bias at Harvard.
DAY HALL— Slipping on her Cornell-branded flannel PJs, President Martha Pollack snuggled under the covers and opened up the results of the Campus Climate Surveys for her nightly bedtime story.
After urging every single one of Cornell’s almost 15,000 students to take the survey, President Pollack eagerly read all twelve responses while sipping a warm mug of Cornell dairy whole milk. “I am dedicated to improving the environment for all students,” she declared, “and nothing helps me unwind after a long day’s work like reading scathing indictments of our toxic campus culture.”
“The student feedback provides a rollercoaster of a story,” said Pollack. “Just like my favorite bedtime read The Berenstain Bears, the surveys help me drift off to sleep by filling my head with fantastical tales. Except instead of fun mammals, there’s racism.”
By 9:45 on the dot, Martha flipped off her night light and went to sleep, dreaming that she was standing atop the slope with a cape waving behind her, with the Presidential Task Force armed and ready for battle.
WILLARD STRAIGHT — In response to mounting calls for increased diversity on the Student Assembly, an open forum was hosted Wednesday to address the SA’s lack of bovine members from the Cornell Dairy.
“I think it’s important that we have this discussion,” said At-Large Representative Jimmy Anderson ‘17, “The dairy cows are such an integral part of this university, but have virtually no avenues through which to address their concerns to the wider community. It’s important that their voices are heard.”
The debate prompted calls to address other forms of mammalian under-representation on campus, including the squirrels on the Arts Quad, and rats who live in the Cascadilla gorge.
“We’re constantly asking how we can better represent all living things at Cornell and open up to the minority species on campus,” added Anderson, “What if the cows want to be milked for fewer hours? This is the kind of dialogue we need on campus.”
After the forum, the SA voted 14-6 in favor the resolution. When prompted for comment, Ole’ Bessie, 4th year dairy cow, stared blankly, mooed, and continued chewing her cud.
HO PLAZA – A march for white civil rights and recognition, organized by the Union of White Cornell Students, occurred on Ho Plaza today, however it was largely unnoticed due to the march being nearly indistinguishable from the normal pedestrian traffic of students on campus.
“That march was today? I was out here giving out quartercards all afternoon and didn’t notice anything different,” said Jeremy Edgerton ’19, sharing the same sentiments of most Cornell students who didn’t recognize that there was anything unusual about the diversity of students going to class.
“I saw a decent-sized crowd of white people leaving Willard Straight at one point, but I figured they were just getting out of lunch. And I guess I noticed another bunch of people who all seemed to be making a fuss about something, but I’m pretty sure one of the guys was Asian, so it was probably just a group of friends.”
The Union of White Cornell Students has already announced that their next course of public action will include sit-ins at administrative and faculty offices, which will likely be overlooked as nothing more than bring-your-child-to-work day.
DAY HALL— As many know, the Cornell University Board of Trustees has been expecting to announce their newest president for about six months. This morning, at 11:55 AM on September 30, proud Board member Robert S. Harrison confirmed that the new president is a girl, weighing 127 lbs, 11oz. The announcement is premature, as the general public expected to wait three more months until the candidate would be revealed.
“The Board of Trustees is very pleased to announce the arrival of their newest president, Elizabeth Garrett,” said Harrison. “She is healthy and ready to meet the world.”
Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, Jan Rock Zubrow, commented quietly, as she softly cradled Beth in an office in Day Hall. “We’ve had twelve rowdy boys so far, so having a girl back at the house will be a nice change of pace.”
Elizabeth’s predecessor, little Davey Skorton (64 years old), said he was “so excited about the newest president” and that he intends to “play with her all the time, teach her how to crawl, help her with homework when she goes to school, and show her how to suspend fraternities like a grown-up!” He’s not too pleased, however, about having to share his room in the A.D. White House.
Harrison assured Skorton that even though there was a new little president around now, they would still love him and give him as much attention as always.
CENTRAL CAMPUS — Chris Reynolds ‘18, a student in Beginning Mandarin I, has reportedly been attempting to greet every Asian student he passes by saying “Ni hao” as if it’s no big deal.
“I don’t even know this kid,” said Charles Park, a senior in the Hotel school who walked by Reynolds on Ho Plaza his weekend. “And my family is from Korea.”
His blissfully naïve enthusiasm has made at least 25 students uncomfortable according to conservative reports and confused over fifteen Asian students coming from places such as Korea, Japan, and New Jersey.
“He says it’s for the practice, but it just makes me wince every time he does it,” complained classmate Wendy Hung ‘16. “Oh my god, Chris, you can’t just walk up and say hello. Even if it’s in Mandarin Chinese.”