OP-ED: Dear Freshmen, that Twenty-Person O-Week Friend Group is Much Cooler Than You and If You Don’t Have Best Friends Yet, Just Give Up Trying

RUTH BADER GINSBURG HALL—Freshies, the first week of college is tough—college-living is a huge transition! If you’re feeling worried about the multitude of first-year frights—homesickness, courseload, dining hall food—you should probably add yet another anxiety to that list: the fact that you don’t have any friends while every single person around you has already found their long-time besties.

College moves quick! While you initially may have thought that you had some time to “find your people,” time is rapidly running out. Look out your window. See that group of 15 or so excited 18 year-olds? Well, they can see you sitting alone in your room, and think you’re a fucking loser.

One such ultra-popular freshman, Kylie Richards ‘27, expressed how easy it was for her to adjust to college life. She struggled to understand how you could be a loser with no friends when you have had 14 days to learn everything there is to know about someone who you get along with super well.

“I am so cool and I have, like, one-hundred friends,” Richards said. “We’re all super pretty and rich and already have boyfriends and girlfriends who we will be with forever. Yay!”

A friend of Richards’, Alex Ellis ‘27, concurred. “I have so many friends already and it has only been two weeks,” Ellis said. “The amount of available friends is finite so I had to collect as many as possible. I have so many friends and I get along with every single one of them. Woohoo!”

OP-ED: I Didn’t Spell Your Name Wrong, Your Parents Did

If I am forced to endure the humiliation of being placed with three random students for a doomed group project, required to carry the burden that is creating the PowerPoint, and undergo the emotional labor of selecting the order in which the names will be listed on the presentation. (If I put my name first, I seem like a cocky asshole, but I refuse to sell myself short by putting my name last especially since I have done all the work of creating this presentation, thus far). The absolute LAST thing I need from my pathetic, oaf-like group members is to tell me that I spelled their names wrong when they have done nothing until now but sit here and stare at me, breathing with their mouths open.

FIRST my group member makes me second guess my work, staring at his name to make sure I spelled Michael like any other English speaking- bald eagle loving American citizen would. THEN he has the GALL to tell me  “no it’s actually Mycal with a Y and no H.”  

He had the audacity to say it to me like I was the one who fucked up when HIS PARENTS were the ones who deigned to put a Y in a name that has no Y and remove the H from a name that historically contains a goddamn H! The name Michael is historically derived from a Hebrew name that means “who is like god.” Tell me ‘Mycal’, do your parents think they’re smarter than FUCKING GOD? There are many things I’d challenge god for but ruining a perfectly good name is not one of them. 

Mycals parents (who I now imagine to be named Krysteenaah and Sztievin) violated my number one rule when it comes to naming children: misspelling a name does not make it in anyway unique. It just makes you fucking irritating to anyone who has ever had to write or spell your name. If your name is Karissell or Paislee, I regret to inform you that your parents have broken my second cardinal rule of naming children: misspelling a word does not make it a name. My last rule goes out to all of the Karsyns, Karleighs, and Avahs, of the world. If as I am typing “correct” spelling of your name, that little red dotted line appears and auto correct is just fiending for me to change it to a normal spelling or, perhaps a different word entirely, the name was never correctly spelled to begin with.

 If this stirs up some sort of identity crisis, I am not sorry. Please seek help and then confront your parents about this injustice in a very public way.  May I suggest the thanksgiving dinner table or the funeral of a close family member. 

OP-ED: Graduate Students are Hypocrites for Expecting Better Treatment than Livestock Despite Congregating in the Big Red Barn (by President Martha Pollack)

As the 14th president of Cornell University, it is my responsibility to ensure the well-being of the more than 20,000 students who study, work, and live in Ithaca. To that effect, my administration has made tremendous strides towards improving the student experience; from somewhat reducing the amount of asbestos in a few buildings to making Ryan eat chicken wings with that guy from YouTube, we have greatly improved quality of life on campus.

While most students are content with our contributions, a small but highly vocal minority insists that we are failing them. Despite their cushy positions, they feel compelled to call for higher stipends, expanded insurance, and a host of other privileges far outweighing their contributions to the university. Yes, these graduate students, and more specifically the rabble-rousers of the Cornell Graduate Students United, have made it their life’s work to oppose all recent progress at Cornell.

During my annual trip to the Ithaca campus, I was greeted by an ugly barrage of homemade signs advocating for greater worker’s compensation. My advisors suggest such demonstrations are all too common even during the 51 weeks of the year I spend in New York. The CGSU demands action on their baseless claims, but they deserve little attention. No, the graduate students fail to realize the fundamental contradiction at the heart of their platform, a flaw so foundational that it is impossible to take their propositions at face value.

This union pigeonholes itself by virtue of its own organization. They masquerade as crusaders for equity, but their den suggests something far more base. What supposedly enlightened and well-deserving scholars would willingly demean themselves by inhabiting the home of animals?

I speak, of course, of their headquarters: the Big Red Barn.

The Big Red Barn! How apt for the proper role of graduate students: to provide for the university while we reward them with the barest minimum of compensation we can legally provide. They are our cows, our pigs, our sheep: if we can wring a few good years out of them before riding them into the ground, we’ll consider it a success. For decades, Cornell believed these graduate students had accepted their positions in our hierarchy. Evidently, they have forgotten their place.

In reality, they should feel grateful we tolerate their presence at all. As a computer scientist specializing in artificial intelligence, I am intimately familiar with the sudden obsolescence of formerly cutting-edge technology. The sewing machine replaced the toiling seamstress practically overnight. What machine will replace the graduate student? I cannot say, but perhaps they should take heed of the fact that no technology will ever produce better eggs than a hen.

I can also code in twelve different languages. Don’t fuck with me.

The CGSU claims Cornell’s administration is Orwellian. But the graduate students should expect nothing less than 1984 while they reside in an animal farm.
President Martha Pollack is a member of the board of executives at IBM and moonlights as the 14th President of Cornell University.

OP-ED: If I Oversleep And You’re Walking Slowly In Front Of Me As I’m Late To Class, I Should Be Allowed To Kick You Like A Horse

ITHACA- Slow walkers have long been a burden on society, but since quarantine has ended they’ve only gotten worse. I didn’t think those meandering menaces could honestly get much slower, but here we are. The most infuriating part about their speed, or lack thereof, is that they fail to consider the schedule of others and take their sweet time getting to wherever they’re going at their glacial-like pace. This outward disregard for the lives of others in frankly concerning, seeing as a person who doesn’t care if someone else is on time or late is clearly capable of anything (other than walking at a normal fucking gait). It is precisely because of this willful dismissiveness for their fellow man, that I firmly believe that I should be allowed to kick slow walkers on their sides, much like a cowboy spurs his horse on the sides to sprint ahead.

While my detractors may say that slow walkers are not the problem or that I should “try waking up earlier,” I view these apologists as just as bad, if not worse. Allow me to explain my rationale: If I wake up at 10:55 for my 11:25, I am NOT late seeing as, although I overslept, if I am out the door at 11:15, I should be able to make it to class on time. But if I get stuck behind one of these motherfuckers who strolls aimlessly and without purpose, then I am LATE. If I am to be made late by someone traveling so slowly, I should be allowed to encourage them to make haste by any means necessary, including, but not limited to kicking their sides and yelling “hyah!” to spurn them into speed.

This is not an indictment of slow walkers (although they deserve to spend eternity burning in the ninth circle of hell) but rather an argument to increase the efficiency of sidewalks. Walking up Libe Slope feels like a chore normally, but when trapped behind a slow walker it becomes a 15-minute ordeal that only makes the experience worse in every conceivable way. Or College Ave, crossing onto campus from Collegetown, where the narrow sidewalks can be entirely bottlenecked by one or two of these sloths. Accordingly, to maximize the efficiency of our walking paths and for our participation credits, we should be able to kick these slowpokes to make it to class on time.

Op-Ed: Why I Won’t Be Sending My Super Spicy Manifesto to the Sun’s Op-Ed Section

I have a take that is probably hotter than a damn quasar, but you will never see it published in the Daily Sun Opinion section. While my piece would definitely scorch Guest Room like the Notre Dame Cathedral, I feel like my earth-shattering letter would just get lost in the shuffle of entirely unfounded, trigger-happy writing. My take is not “be happy rich kids go here” hot, nor as toasty as “grade deflation is real, sheeple: let’s get rid of it.” Nay, my take is spicier than both… combined. However, in an act of brave defiance, I refuse to stoke the fires of the Cornell community with the stick of dynamite that is my opinion. So there is nothing to fear; I will not be exploding your freaking minds anytime soon. Additionally, I call upon every Cornell student whose veins run hot with controversy and whose pens flow with pure capsaicin to stand as a unit and boycott the Daily Sun Opinion section. Allow them to shiver in the cold without our steamy opinions to keep them warm. Let us watch them crumble under the weight of pedestrian takes that are backed with “data” or are based in “reality.” We shall extinguish the Sun with freezing, well-written opinions, and only after then shall we rise like a new dawn on our own sun that is fueled exclusively by our wildly off-collar perspectives. But like, for real, peep my piece on the The Odyssey: “Why You Should Wait Until Sex To Get Married.”

OP-ED: The Way I Got the Vaccine is Actually Ethical, I Promise

I am a simple man, really.  Every day, I wake up, put my pants on one leg at time, enjoy a cup of coffee, and commit all my other silly tasks just like the rest of these plebeians I call peers. What sets me apart, you may ask? Unlike those vulnerable fools, I actually qualify for the vaccine across five different categories (six on a good day). 

Yes, you heard me right, I am ethically immune: no antibodies or terror necessary. My aforementioned fellow students admittedly have not asked about my journey to the mythical land of Syracuse, but my travels there were valiant. Driving back down Route 81, frigid wind in my no longer immunocompromised hair, it felt good to be the hero. I was Odysseus, and this was my Odyssey. 

Back in Ithaca, few things in life feel as good as being the literal savior of my friend group. Although they do not yet see my power, I am certain they soon will. Yesterday, I invited them all over to spit in my mouth, just for fun! When was the last time someone spit in any of their mouths, much less 7 people? Exactly. Those virgins could not even begin to compete with me. 

Four magnificent days have elapsed since my second dosage, and although the “I’m Vaccinated!” the sticker has kept its tantalizing allure, it is beginning to lose its adhesiveness. Do not worry though, I just bought some scotch tape for this exact purpose. I shall don my prize another day. 


OP-ED: Gurgle Gurgle (By: Your Tummy During Zoom lecture)

Gurgle gurgle. Growl. Grrrrrrr. Slosh. Slosh. Slosh. Burble. Grrrnrn. GrrrRRRRrrrr. Glurp gleep glorp. I am tummy, and it is time for class. Pop pop.

Snurglesnurglesnurgle. Splish. Sploosh. Brrrrrrrooooooooppppplllleeeeee. GRRrrrrr. Brurhuriruruh? Boop. It’s brave of you to have your mic turned on right now, within gurgling distance. Ploosh. Gululuululugugglugulgulg. 

Blub blub. Grumble. DAIRY ALERT WEE WOO WEE WOO! Gkgkgkgkgkgkgkgkgkgkgkgkgkkggkggrrrrrrrrrrrrpppppp.  Gurglegurgle. Hmmmbmblblblbmbmb. Grrrrrrrr.

Glug glug glug. RRrrrrrrrrr. Mmm. Brrrrrrrrgrgrggggggggg. Hhnnng. I am tummy, and I will not cease to gurgle. Grrrrr. Burbleburble. 

Brrrrmmmmm. Did you think I was done? My gurgles are limitless. Glug. Gurgle. Shoop. Mmmmmrrrrrr. When your class is over, when you consume food in a fruitless attempt to acquiesce my hunger, when you lay awake in bed, I will remain here, gurgling. Gurglegurglegurgle. Grrr.

“My Free Speech is Being Impinged,” Writes Yet Another Student in Largest Campus Newspaper

ITHACA—On Friday evening, Joshua Barkley ‘21 detailed Cornell’s desire to stifle free speech in a campus newspaper consumed by 20,000 readers, the seventeenth opinion piece of its kind published this year.

“Barkley’s enlightening views on the silencing of conservative voices on Cornell’s campus is truly groundbreaking stuff,” said conservative commentator Aaron Northrup ‘02. “It is frankly disturbing that prior to this exposé, only sixteen students had been given the opportunity to decry this unjust state of affairs in front of the entire student body this year.”

The essay, which chastised the university for uninviting problematic and unpopular speakers, is being hailed as a fearless defense of civil liberties on par with the previous dozen pieces published by the same site over the past few months.

“As a cisgender heterosexual conservative white man, I’ve faced a lot of discrimination here at Cornell,” said Barkley. “Like the four others who have published this exact viewpoint in the past month, I knew I was taking a big risk telling my story. But this issue could not live in the shadows anymore.”

At press time, three more op-eds on the same topic had been published by the same paper.

Op-Ed: I Missed My COVID Test and Then Got Sent to a Gulag

A few days ago, I got an email saying that COVID testing was about to get “more strict”. That there would be “severe consequences” for people who missed their tests. But hey, I accidentally slept through my 3 PM testing slot after 7 straight months of a nocturnal sleeping schedule, which I thought qualified as one of the vaguely defined “valid excuses”.  And that brings me to now. It’s cold. I’m hungry. And after missing my COVID test, I was whisked away to a gulag. 

There are some pros and cons. I finally met Provost Kotlikoff, and I really didn’t know what he did or who he was, but it all makes sense now that I know he has his hands full running this place. They set us up in the West Campus Gothics to teach us character. I’m allowed two meals a day exclusively from Okenshields.

Now, I spend my days toiling for Cornell 1920’s-Soviet-Union style. I’m either revamping North Campus dorms or starting construction work in the heart of Collegetown that simultaneously never makes progress but inconveniences every pedestrian. And I feel honored that I got the chance to remodel President Pollack’s home. It was a huge relief because she couldn’t afford paid labor anymore when the COVID aftermath cut her salary from $600,000 a year to $590,000. Man, if I knew how much it was terribly impacting people like that, I at least would’ve set an alarm for my COVID test. 

I’ve been etching the days that have passed with an old rock into my bedroom wall. I’ve since lost track of how long it’ll be until I get sent from my crumbling West Campus dorm to my bug-infested apartment and switch from eating free shitty Cornell Dining food to $20, but slightly less shitty, Collegetown food.

With my newfound hand calluses, a renown work ethic, and a sense of emotional numbness I didn’t know I was capable of reaching, I am ready to enter back into the world. And the staff has been helpful with the transition. They even suggested we all change our watches to military time. I already have my reminder set for 03:00 tomorrow, and I’m glad this won’t ever happen again. 

OP-ED: My College Experience And Particular Group of Friends are Special and Worthy of a Verbose Opinion Piece

Salutations my fellow denizens of this hallowed ground we refer to most nobly as Cornell University. As multitudes of you have come to fathom, our scholastic odyssey has come to an abrupt dismissal at the hands of this villainous pandemic. Nevertheless, there is little reason to become morose. I am here to show my solidarity with you all. How, you ask? By penning this insightful and sesquipedalian opinion piece in an venerated college news publication.

I attended Cornell, and was a fourth-year student before the onset of the plague. And in my time here, I forged social bonds amongst my peers that were in fact, remarkable and unique. Now, allow me to recount the mental nouns evoked in my consciousness by this period of crisis:

Sadness, nostalgia, fodness, pride, anger, resolve, love, etc.

Do people care? Yes, they certainly do. Does this revelation offer new perspectives? Is this not the impetus to heart react my scalding opinion in regards to the events that have transpired? As an individual who packed decades of experiences into slightly over seven semesters, my collegiate experience has bestowed on me exceptional wisdom. This is knowledge I have acquired from the communities and individuals that I have engaged with on campus. This is wisdom that necessitates publication.

Much obliged Cornell,

Wells Buchanan 20’