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The Cornell Review

An Independent Publication vol. xxxi, no. vii

The Conservative Voice on Campus



“We Do Not Apologize.”

February 12th, 2013 INSIDE

What Can the Government Legally Do? Bill Snyder Staff Writer


ince the Connecticut shooting in December, gun control has been at the forefront of political discussion. While the average student might question whether or not guns should exist in society, few people examine the existing constitutional and legal precedents that define American law. As such, the Federalist Society, on January 29th, hosted a gun control debate to help clarify such complicated and often controversial legalities. The purpose of the debate was to clarify the legal aspects surrounding the national discussion on gun control. Alan Gura, the constitutional lawyer who successfully argued the Heller v D.C. Supreme Court case, and Professor Michael Dorf, Cornell Law professor and noted

Constitutional law scholar, focused the debate on how the local and federal courts should evaluate gun legislation. According to Gura, the Supreme Court has defined much of the Second Amendment. “[The right to bear arms] started with history. ‘Bear’ meant to carry,” he remarked. “Heller says the core purpose of this amendment is the right to defend yourself.” By this definition, the Supreme Court has effectively created a precedent in which some basic level of gun ownership is protected under the Constitution and that people are allowed to use guns in a defensive manner. This suggests that for the foreseeable future, gun ownership will remain a part of American society.

However, Gura qualified his statement. “Heller says there are some restrictions, such as the banning of guns in sensitive places.” “The rule derived is that the manner [of using and owning guns] can be regulated.” As such, although gun ownership will remain a part of American society, Congress and local governments can place certain levels of restrictions on gun ownership. Professor Michael Dorf had little disagreement on Gura’s assessment regarding the legalities of gun rights. However, Dorf highlighted some ambiguous elements within the ruling. “The Supreme Court will probably allow a right to defend yourself and a right [to use guns] in the home and public space,” he commented.

SA Seeks Required "Social Justice" Classes

2 + 3

Fraternities Beware! Pledging and Medical Amnesty Don't Mix


Feature: Condemning Affirmative Action

6 + 7

“But what methodology will be used for weapons outside the home?” Because the ruling was partially vague, the government has given an unclear opinion on practical matters regarding gun ownership and use. For example, what constitutes a “sensitive space”? According to Dorf, these unanswered questions are important in understanding gun legislation. As the discussion progressed, both Professor Dorf and Mr. Gura argued the more appropriate methods of judicial interpretation that define gun restriction. According



Continued on page 2

Legislative Ratcheting Is Africana Studies Relevant as an Academic Discipline? Right on the Law Kirk Sigmon Columnist

Kushagra Aniket National News Editor


he context of an academic discipline is as important as its content, because the parameters of our knowledge are often defined by the manner in which we choose to learn, teach and research. Several disciplines that were once regarded as legitimate areas of human inquiry have now become obsolete. A few centuries ago, students could get respectable degrees in alchemy or

phrenology, which are now widely recognized as pseudo-sciences. Added to this list are several ventures in the humanities that were undertaken as a consequence of war and colonialism in the 19th century. For instance, Egyptology began with Napoleon’s campaign in the Mediterranean in 1798. A contingent of Enlightenment scientists and scholars who accompanied the French expedition to Egypt laid the foundations of Orientalism. Similarly, Sinology emerged as the study of classical Chinese language and literature and Kremlinology as that of Russia. And Indology, the study of India, pioneered by German scholars August Wilhelm von Schlegel and Arthur Schopenhauer, flourished in the context of romanticism and British rule. Each of these disciplines was intended to serve an important purpose in its time. To many Europeans, the East was an exotic place of alien, primitive and even barbaric people. The “Orient” as opposed to the “Occident” was a land of magicians and snake charmers. Societies Continued on page 4


hether an assignment or massive legislation, it goes without saying that anything rushed will be of poor quality. As simple as this statement may be, it appears that Congress has yet to figure this out. Let’s be honest here: a lot of really terrible things have happened recently. From Sandy Hook to Hurricane Sandy to the ever-looming issues present in the U.S. economy, the latter part of 2012 was a pretty bad year. For many Americans, there is a growing fear that things outside of our control are harming us when we are least prepared for it, and that fear is beginning to erode away at our confidence as individuals and as a country. Every time some new disaster appears, our confidence (and our money) is whittled away, making us feel more and more helpless in the face of disaster. Legislators at both the federal and state level are busy waving the legislative pen around like an imaginary sword, trying to fight off the mental dragons of fear and uncertainty. The sad irony is, of course, that what they are doing is nothing but another form of so-called security theater: that is, it feels effective and safe, but it is anything but actually safe. It’s

simply exploitation of the politically useful fear of the American public. Take, for example, the Obama Administration’s recent gun control proposals. The Administration’s proposals – which recommend everything from requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales to providing mental health counseling services in schools – could, at least in some sense, be seen as an admirable attempt at fixing worrisome issues within the current gun control regime. The problem is, these proposals are not the kind of fixes that would have ever prevented the Sandy Hook disaster. There is absolutely no proof that, had these laws been in place before the shooting at Sandy Hook, Adam Lanza would have been stopped from doing what he did. Sure, the Obama Administration’s proposals sound helpful – phrases like “increased criminal background checks” always sound scintillating and powerful. But such proposals would have done nothing. Like it or not, the Obama Administration is using Sandy Hook as a bootstrap to justify new impositions on Second Amendment liberties – even though there is truly no connection between the new proposals and the tragedy other than a sense of fear. Continued on page 5


February 12, 2013


Student Assembly Wants To Amend the Curriculum Mandated Additions Would Increase Uniformity Alfonse Muglia Editor-in-Chief


he scheme to enact a universal social justice requirement at Cornell University was first proposed in May 2012. A group of protestors, referring to themselves publically as the “Assembly for Justice”, led the cause. Throughout the semester, they solicited the support of the campus’s staunchest student lobbyist organizations, and they were getting respectable attention by November. Their idea was to add an additional distribution requirement to the Cornell curriculum. This slew of courses, broadly referred to as the Social Justice Requirement, would be mandatory for all colleges. They believed that such a requirement was necessary in response to allegations of bigotry on campus. The demonstrators have since pushed their idea to the top of the Student Assembly’s agenda. At the moment, campus leaders are responding by dedicating a considerable amount of resources toward this initiative. Ulysses Smith, the former Architecture & Art Planning Rep that has now been given the title of Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, is currently leading the effort. Even he, however, has expressed disbelieve that the idea is still being discussed. “I actually didn’t think there was any way we would get that done this year or anytime in the near future,” remarked Smith. “Then again [the idea] kept coming up at a lot of different discussions with different administrators, so we decided to see what this should look like if we execute it.”

According to a report compiled by Smith and Chelsea Cheng, clerk of the Student Assembly, the requirement could be an additional distribution requirement for each of the individual schools, or it could be a universal requirement through the University, like the swim test. “We met with a lot of the different assistant deans, just to get an understanding of the various processes these colleges have in order to bring about curriculum changes,” he remarked. At the first Student Assembly meeting of the semester on January 31st, it was decided that college representatives should reach out to their respective college Deans. While student representatives meet with these administrators, there exists very little knowledge as

efforts have been focused on learning how to change the curriculum. This top-down effort demonstrates that amending the curriculum is no longer an initiative of a select group of radical activists. Rather, this initiative is part of discussions between numerous campus leaders and will be a significant issue in Student Assembly elections later this semester. Meanwhile, members of Student Assembly executive board are talking about plans to make headway on this issue immediately. In their weekly meeting, they have established a two-year timeframe for enactment. Because of the lack of understanding as to what the requirement actually is, the considerable amount of effort being put toward it has come as a surprise to many. Some

Amending the curriculum is no longer an initiaive of a select group of radical activists. Rather, this initiative is part of discussions between numerous campus leaders. to what this requirement would entail or why the Assembly has put it so high on its agenda. There is also no explanation for why last semester’s calls for diversity initiatives have transformed into the loosely defined social justice initiatives, causing many to question the intentions of the activists. The Student Assembly’s efforts thus far have not been focused on addressing this question of intent. Rather than addressing why the curriculum must be changes, their

are arguing that amending professor syllabi does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Student Assembly. Others argue that their leaders are wasting their time with an initiative that will ultimate prove futile. Still other students point to the fact that many schools already have a similar requirement, and that trying to bring them under a universal rule would actually decrease diversity, not encourage it. It should be noted that the 20122013 Assembly has made substantial

What is the Social Justice Requiement? While much about the effort to add a requirement to the Cornell curriculum is still unknown, the Student Assembly is curently exploring three courses of action. Option A: Creating Coursework Under this option, the SA would call upon the University to add new courses. These courses would fulfill the potential requirement, across all seven schools & colleges. Option B: Using Existing Structure Under this option, classes that already exist dealing with diversity would no longer be electives; they would be requirements. Option C: Integration Under this option, existing courses would be forced to amend their sylabi to facilitate the SA's definition of social justice. strides in improving communication with students. They have shown a willingness to hear student feedback on all of their initiatives. Knowing that the student justice requirement will be high on the group’s agenda for the spring, students now have the opportunity to share their opinions and affect the potential policy through conversation. General student body negligence could allow this initiative, which began in the hands of a small group of activists and was pushed by select campus lobbyist, to find its way to the desk of President Skorton. Alfonse Muglia is a junior in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He can be reached at arm267@


Gun Control Continued from the front page

to Gura, the U.S. Constitution can be read through its framers’ intent. Thus, according to him, the Second Amendment and the framers intent of this right must be viewed in a historical context in order to accurately and effectively establish the right. Gura took this logic one step further in interpreting the Second Amendment. “The Second Amendment presupposes the use of weapons used in the military. Technology has changed, which affects the right. However, technology does not change the [idea] of common use.” Based on the historical


context of the amendment, individuals have the right to bear weapons used for common or personal use. Allowing individuals to carry common weapons was how effective local militias formed and what consequent court cases have considered protected under the Second Amendment during the time period. Professor Dorf, however, contended that the right is vague as well as outdated and thus a more interpretive perspective should be used. “What is necessary for self-defense might be lower [than the weapons used for personal use]. But this is completely arbitrary.” Dorf argued that understanding the mindset of the framers is impossible. Given that the language of

the Second Amendment and the Supreme Court cases are somewhat vague, American legislators must use their own personal judgment. By doing this, Dorf argued that the Second Amendment could be standardized to the needs of society today, rather than the historical context of the past. Whether an individual perceives the law from a “conservative” or “liberal” viewpoint, these issues are both controversial and unclear. What is the difference between using a gun at home and in a public space? What constitutes common use? All of these questions are worth considering and debating.

Americans have to accept that the right to a weapon is a fundamental right, and the use of a weapon in cases of self-defense is a core American value stated in the Constitution. Government and society can debate the legal formalities and constitutional restrictions regarding gun control, but at the end of the day, guns will be protected. If society disapproves of this Constitutional value, then an amendment should be passed. Until then, guns are here to stay. Bill Snyder is a freshman in the school of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at

The Cornell Review

Founded 1984 r Incorporated 1986 Jim Keller Jerome D. Pinn Anthony Santelli, Jr. Ann Coulter Founders

Noah Kantro Alfonse Muglia Editors-in-Chief

Karim Lakhani President

Lucia Rafanelli Executive Editor Vice President

Christopher Slijk Managing Editor

Katie Johnson Treasurer

Laurel Conrad

Campus News Editor

Kushagra Aniket

National News Editor

Contributors Caitlin Deming Michael Loffredo Caroline Emberton Roberto Matos Andre Gardiner Mike Navarro Alex Gimenez Kirk Sigmon Raj Kannappan Bill Snyder

Emeritus Members Anthony Longo Lucas Policastro

Board of Directors

Christopher DeCenzo Joseph E. Gehring Jr. Anthony Santelli Jr.

Faculty Advisor William A. Jacobson The Cornell Review is an independent biweekly journal published by students of Cornell University for the benefit of students, faculty, administrators, and alumni of the Cornell community. The Cornell Review is a thoughtful review of campus and national politics from a broad conservative perspective. The Cornell Review, an independent student organization located at Cornell University, produced and is responsible for the content of this publication. This publication was not reviewed or approved by, nor does it necessarily express or reflect the policies or opinions of, Cornell University or its designated representatives. The Cornell Review is published by The Ithaca Review, Inc., a non-profit corporation. The opinions stated in The Cornell Review are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or the staff of The Cornell Review. Editorial opinions are those of the responsible editor. The opinions herein are not necessarily those of the board of directors, officers, or staff of The Ithaca Review, Inc. The Cornell Review is distributed free, limited to one issue per person, on campus as well as to local businesses in Ithaca. Additional copies beyond the first free issue are available for $1.00 each. The Cornell Review is a member of the Collegiate Network. The Cornell Review prides itself on letting its writers speak for themselves, and on open discourse. We publish a spectrum of beliefs, and readers should be aware that pieces represent the views of their authors, and not necessarily those of the entire staff. If you have a wellreasoned conservative opinion piece, we hope you will send it to cornellreview@ for consideration. The Cornell Review meets regularly on Mondays at 5:00 pm in GS 156. E-mail messages should be sent to

Copyright © 2012 The Ithaca Review Inc. All Rights Reserved.


February 12, 2013


In Opposition to Additional Curriculum Requirements A group called the Campus Liberty Project has been circulating the following petition in response to the Student Assembly’s move to add a "social justice" class to all students' graduation requirements. The editors of the Cornell Review fully endorse the sentiments laid out in this petition and encourage our readers to sign on at (linked in the QR code below) This petition is being circulated in response to calls from other student organizations and members of the Student Assembly to increase the homogeneity of the Cornell curriculum in certain areas. These groups currently seek to amend the curriculum of all seven undergraduate colleges by adding even more requirements than those that exist presently. These efforts include: —Social Justice Requirement —Diversity Requirement —Tapestry Requirement From here on, these requirements will be referred to collectively as “the requirement.” We are against this additional requirement for the reasons listed below and call upon our campus leaders to focus their attention to more important concerns. We welcome you to sign this petition and join our cause. We Believe That: 1. It is the responsibility of the Student Assembly to serve as the voice of the undergraduate student body in communicating its desires to the administration. 2. Cornell University is an institution that presently provides a wide range of extra-curricular and professional opportunities for students to learn about social justice and diversity. 3. The Cornell course offerings are among the best and broadest in the country and are not in need of an additional requirement dealing with diversity and social justice. 4. There exists a finite amount of resources that the administration has at its disposal. Other departments within individual colleges will naturally suffer if they are forced to incorporate this requirement into their curricula. 5. The current University response to the diversity question is too focused on one particular dimension of one's background. The University should give more weight to students’ intellectual and philosophical background. This requirement limits intellectual freedom by mandating that every undergraduate student must take courses on diversity. 6. The Student Assembly’s attempt to impart prefabricated, narrowly focused concepts of morality through required classes on social justice and diversity disregards true diversity—the opportunity for every student to craft a curriculum which allows for maximum personal choice. 7. Promoting academic liberty does not hinder the desire of the Student Assembly to increase campus diversity. In fact, it allows students to engage in a wider range of intellectual pursuits. One cannot support this additional requirement while also stating to support increased student choices. Calls to Action 1. In the best interest of students, the Student Assembly should immediately discontinue all efforts to promote the Requirement. 2. In discussions with the administration, the Student Assembly should promote academic policies that encourage free thought, intellectual diversity, and ultimately, provide increased options, not fewer, for every student. By signing this position, I affirm the above beliefs and call upon my student leaders to act in the best interests of all undergraduates so as not to limit our academic freedom.

The Review welcomes and encourages letters to the editor. Long, gaseous letters that seem to go on forever are best suited for publication in the Cornell Daily Sun. The Review requests that all letters to the editor be limited to 350 words. Please send all questions, comments, and concerns to

The Cornell Review




February 12, 2013


Continued from the front page

such as the Royal Asiatic Society (1824), American Oriental Society (1842) and German Oriental Society (1845) were formed to decipher the incomprehensible and to equip colonial rulers with a better understanding of the peoples they sought to govern. But following the retreat of colonialism and perhaps in response to Edward Said’s criticism of the Eurocentric approach toward Middle Eastern, Asian and North African cultures in his influential book Orientalism (1978), these disciplines were either discarded or radically altered. Those scholars that still managed to survive had to take recourse to Marxist historiographies in their celebration or dismissal of indigenous cultures as per the wishes of their patrons. Under the garb of academic sophistication, some of this fabrication resurfaced in the form of “diaspora studies” in our times. Ideas of economic determinism and class struggle were more than evident here. The “diaspora” was viewed as a distinct oppressed class of people sharing ethnic identities. The members of the diaspora had been detached from their ancestral roots and dispersed by the forces of imperialism, slave trade, conflict and resettlement. The concept of Africana Studies is to be located within this context, as it is presented as an investigation into the African diaspora. But the greater problem that we encounter here is that this diaspora might not even exist. Here, it is important to distin-

“…the disparate nature of these studies contained in one department reminds one of the “cabinet of curiosities” that a colonial adventurer would assemble upon his return from the Orient.” guish between African American Studies and Africana Studies. To conflate the two would be a mistake. African American Studies is an academic discipline directed toward the study of the history, culture, politics, and literature of African Americans. On the other hand, Africana Studies or Africology focuses on all peoples of African origin, both in Africa and in the African diaspora around the world. As stated on the website of the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell, this


Campus field studies the cultures of the people of African descent not only in the United States but also elsewhere in the diaspora: “Africana Studies is a tradition of intellectual inquiry and study of African peoples. Using a transdisciplinarian approach, Africana scholars document the global migrations and reconstruction of African peoples, as well as patterns of linkages to the African continent (and among the peoples of the African Diaspora).” This description raises two questions: 1) Does the African diaspora exist? 2) If it does, how do Africana studies contribute to our understanding of the issues and challenges faced by this diaspora? I would argue that this diaspora might not exist as we assume it to and that even if it does exist, Africana Studies might not help us address the issues of the people of African descent in a significant manner. First and foremost, one should note that the basis for the African diaspora is race. Other commonalities such as shared cultural values or historical experiences are not of great consequence because they do not contribute to the idea of a distinct diaspora. If historical experiences were to constitute its basis, then the diaspora would have to include all peoples of former colonies within its ambit. Besides, geography is not a cohesive element, because the diaspora is spread across thousands of miles and covers about a third of the world. Africana Studies is divided into three concentrations representing the three regions of the African Diaspora: Africa, African America, and African Caribbean. The enormous diversity within the African diaspora in terms of language, religion, ethnicity and nationality demolishes the argument of shared culture. Within Africa, too, great differences are apparent as one travels from Egypt to South Africa. Similarly, African Americans have little in common with the people of African countries. Even recent immigrants to the US from Africa face problems and challenges that more closely resemble those experienced by immigrants from other countries. Further, even when Africana claims to address the histories and cultures of all peoples of Africa, it does not give sufficient attention to several large communities of the continent. There is no course in Africana that documents the migration of North African Arabs to America and Europe. While it puts great emphasis on the arrival and settlement of people of African descent in the New World, there is no mention of the large concentrations of indentured laborers from India and China who landed in Mauritius, Madagascar, South Africa, and the Caribbean, to name a few. Don’t these communities also belong to the African diaspora? The fact that Africana does not seem to be concerned with this question makes one doubt the basis for its selective conception of the African diaspora. A glance at the list of courses offered by the Africana Studies

Department at Cornell also proves this point. For instance, ASRC 1500 (The Shape of American Culture: An Introduction to Africana Studies), ASRC 3660 (Race, Migration and the American City) and ASRC 3031 (Race and Revolution in the Americas) are taught along with ASRC 2670 (History of Modern Egypt), ASRC 4600 (Politics and Social Change in the Caribbean), ASRC 4672 (Nationalism in the Arab World) and ASRC 4303 (Nationalism and Decolonization in Africa). The department also offers an assortment of language courses in Swahili, Yoruba and Arabic. To be fair, most of these courses are cross-listed with other departments such as History and Government. One should also note that ASRC 2670 and ASRC 4672 are not taught by Africana faculty but happen to be conveniently cross-listed. But the disparate nature of these studies contained in one department reminds one of the “cabinet of curiosities” that a colonial adventurer would assemble upon his return from the Orient. One can clearly see that these courses hardly present a coherent narrative. The only thread that runs through them is that of race, which is not only inadequate, but also erroneous in some respects. When I first developed these ideas, I took the liberty of circulating them among some friends. One person expressed broad agreement with my thesis that Africana Studies is actually an inversion of Eurocentrism and added: “We still haven't overcome the assumption of the superiority of the 'Eurocentric' approach to subjects, and this approach still underlines our fundamental assumptions, firstly because it forms the basis for the vast majority of our doctrinal writings and research, and secondly because it seems to be embedded in our minds. This hinders a more broad-based enquiry into subjects.” But others objected to this thesis on several grounds: “The existence of a particular racial diaspora is neither presumptuous nor precarious. It is a fact.” “Bigoted understandings of race surely were a major cause of the diaspora and were intimately related to the experiences of peoples in that diaspora….The big picture is that proximity causes peoples to have common historical experiences.” Others contended that the thesis was “decontextualized from the reality of racism in America” and that “pretending racism never happened is a failed strategy”. It is true that the social construct of race has deeply shaped the history and development of African American Studies. African American Studies is a product of the Civil Rights Movement and the first Black Studies program was started at UC Berkeley in 1969. The creation of

similar departments across universities once played a significant institutional role in supporting academic views that were marginalized from the mainstream discourse. On the other hand, Africana Studies first began as a direct consequence of the later stages of colonialism, when European interest in African cultures grew in the 1890s. It was only later that the two disciplines were integrated to encourage a global approach to studying the diaspora. So, the point that I wish to raise is not against African American Studies but rather against Africana Studies and, indeed, all other forms of diaspora studies. Race is a social construct that has no technical basis, and it is difficult to deal with cross-continental issues on the precarious presumption that a particular racial diaspora exists. This assumption is a relic of the

colonial era that somehow persists in our times, at least in some areas. Today we cannot imagine a department on Aryan studies because we understand that the notion of an “Aryan people” is fictitious and dangerous. Correspondingly, we should also desist from viewing Africa overwhelmingly in terms of racial identities and focus more on the internal nuances of the challenges facing the continent and its people. It is a welcome sign that Africana Studies along with some other disciplines, is proceeding in this direction. However, in its core conception, Africana Studies seeks to provide a unique “African experience” with an Afrocentric perspective. The idea that a discipline has to be centered around one perspective, whether it is Eurocentric, Afrocentric or Sinocentric, is itself a product of imperialism. Africana Studies is premised on the acceptance of a colonial projection onto Africa, its inversion and outward reflection. So, as a concept, it is no different from Eurocentric approaches to the world. It should now be recognized that it is a poor and naïve strategy to combat Eurocentrism with Afrocentrism. Rather, it would allow far more comprehensive study if scholars could work with and express a juxtaposition of different perspectives. But most importantly, race must be addressed in an appropriate manner, and this cannot be done through the mistaken projection of a pan-global sense of commonalities onto what is, in reality, a very diverse collection of people. Kushagra Aniket is a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences. He can be reached at


Fraternities Beware

February 12, 2013


Shortfalls in Medical Amnesty Karim Lakhani President

Coffee with Karim


n the administration’s attempt to end pledging as we know it, the Greek community at Cornell has now reaffirmed, with the ejection of the Tau Epsilon Phi fraternity, that medical amnesty applies only to violations associated with alcohol and drugs and not those associated with pledging. Until last fall, medical amnesty had been the absolution a chapter receives for calling 9-1-1 in the case of a medical emergency. The problem here is not whether the university should attempt to end pledging, which is an historic tradition and a valuable experience if done right. The problem now is that fraternities at Cornell, who actively engage in both pledging and drinking activities, must consider the immense pledging violations associated with calling for help.

It seems easy to blame an individual fraternity’s leaders for stalling or not calling for medical assistance when a situation becomes so dire that professional medical help is the only option. But consider the all-too-common occurrence of individuals, who have likely consumed a significant amount of alcohol at a “pre-game”, arriving at a fraternity’s house at a time where pledging violations may be apparent. If those individuals become sick, the President or other risk managers in the fraternity must determine if the situation is so bad as to require medical assistance. With the administration’s recent ruling, these risk managers will likely raise the bar for how sick someone must be before they endanger their fraternity’s recognition by calling 9-1-1. This is exactly what the alcohol medical amnesty policy was put in place to prevent. Without applying the policy to all infractions, its purpose is negated. Being an outsider looking into the Greek system at Cornell, it may seem silly for the President of a fraternity

to delay calling for help in any situation. The issue is that the President of that fraternity, upon taking his position, becomes entrusted with protecting and prolonging an organization that may have existed on campus for over a hundred years and is responsible for answering to many dedicated alumni. Regardless of the hazing violations TEP may have been guilty on, the fraternity’s leaders made the correct judgment in calling for medical assistance. The University, in response, repaid the fraternity by revoking its recognition. In President Skorton’s attempt at ending fraternities as we know them, he has encouraged a system that endangers at least a third of the student population at Cornell. Risk managers who must make judgment calls as to whether someone needs medical assistance are already under-qualified to do so, but are disincentivized from reaching out to capable professionals. I believe the University must eliminate these deterrents and encourage

fraternities to reach out for help regardless of the level of pledging violations they may be involved in. Until the administration makes amnesty universal for all types of infractions, fraternity members, and other Cornellians who may be at fraternity houses, will continue to be in danger. Karim Lakhani is a junior in the School of Hotel Administration. He can be reached at kml248@cornell. edu.


Legislative Racheting

Gandhi Championed Right To Bear Arms

Continued from the front page

Of course, many Republicans are equally guilty of this kind of reactionary, bootstrapping legislation. Ever since the NRA accused violent video games of fostering violence in America, certain Republican legislators have been aggressively pursuing anti-entertainment policies in the wake of Sandy Hook. For example, Rep. Jim Matheson of Utah has recently proposed a bill that would not only make the (currently voluntary) ESRB ratings label on videogames mandatory, but that would also impose severe penalties on retailers who sell, rent, or attempt to sell or rent Adults Only (“AO”) rated video games to minors. Yet again, there is absolutely no proof that this would have prevented Sandy Hook and no proof that it would have any substantial effect on violent behavior. Instead, such legislation exploits the sense of fear and dread that emerged from Sandy Hook to enact policies that impinge upon the liberties of the American public. The big problem with legislation like the examples above is that it has a ratcheting effect upon the liberties enjoyed by American citizens. When emergencies are used as bootstraps for unwieldy but plausibly helpful legislation, legislators may slowly but surely encroach upon the liberties of American citizens

Kushagra Aniket National News Editor

while avoiding criticism or serious debate. As more and more emergencies arise that scare the American citizenry, legislators are given more and more chances to move the proverbial ball down the field. The net effect, of course, is that the average American walks away with less freedom than he had before. It’s time for a reality check: there will always be emergencies and horrible events that we cannot prevent. No matter how advanced and educated we are as people and as a society, certain horrible things—hurricanes, shootings, and the like—will occur, reminding us of the fragility of both our own lives and of the fragility of the society we have built around us. This is, of course, scary. But the answer to this fear is not to buckle to asinine legislative ideas and the mob mentality of post-emergency reform movements. Rather, we must learn to adapt and to recover where we are harmed, and we must learn to bond together rather than point the finger at anything and everything we find harmful in society. Kirk Sigmon is a graduate student in the Law School. He can be reached at


t a time when President Obama has announced severe gun control proposals, it might come as a surprise to note that Mahatma Gandhi, one of the greatest champions of non-violence and someone whom the President counts among his personal inspirations, actively campaigned for the right to bear arms during the struggle for Indian freedom. Today the left claims that much of the original purpose of the Second Amendment—protection against the prospect of government tyranny— has become obsolete and irrelevant. But it is important to note that the British advanced a similar argument for gun control while presenting their rule as the best and most enlightened form of government in the world. Since then we have revised our assessment of the empire. It was then that Gandhi realized that the right to bear arms was important to resist totalitarianism. During World War I, Gandhi called for the repeal of the unpopular Indian Arms Act of 1878 that granted the government extensive powers to restrict the possession of arms. In his autobiography, Gandhi condemned this act in unequivocal

terms: "Among the many misdeeds of British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest”. The right to bear arms was also listed among Gandhi’s 11 demands presented to Lord Irwin before the famous Salt March of 1930. In his letter addressed to the Viceroy of India dated March 2nd, 1930, just before the commencement of mass civil disobedience, Gandhi argued passionately for the right of citizens to bear arms: "And why do I regard the British rule as a curse?…It has reduced us politically to serfdom. It has sapped the foundations of our culture, and, by the policy of disarmament, it has degraded us spiritually. Lacking inward strength, we have been reduced, by all but universal disarmament, to a state bordering on cowardly helplessness." It seems clear that Gandhi saw the right to self-defense and to resist government usurpation as consistent with his unwavering faith in non-violence. Some of his arguments appear to be even more relevant now, when in the wake of the horrendous incidents of sexual violence in India, thousands of women have petitioned the government for more gun Continued on page 11



February 12, 2013


After seriously grave reflection, I've concluded that I cannot countenance nor endorse racial affirmative action as it is currently practiced in universities. Having struggled with this issue for some time, I’ve surrendered to the inescapable conclusion that it is immoral on so many accounts. Indeed, the arguments mounting against it are increasingly potent and compelling. I no longer feel comfortable about keeping silent about this issue and, hence, do not intend to.

therefore be it resolved… 1. That it is contrary to the spirit of a purely merit-based system, which is the cornerstone of a competitiondriven, market-oriented civil society. 2. That it instills a mindset prone to perpetual selfvictimization in Latino and Black students, suggesting that they need some sort of extraordinary institutional-intervention to succeed in life, and cannot overcome through their own endeavors. This paternalism assumes inferiority: “I have less faith in you to achieve on the basis of your own capacities, and through these overcome obstacles autonomously.” 3. [Or] That it may breed an undue sense of entitlement in Latino and Black students: "because my ancestors were oppressed, surely I deserve extra favors and breaks.” This makes a mockery of the ideal of social equality. How can one be equal when they are automatically eligible for institutional charity? 4. That it disproportionately awards and inordinately favors applicants deemed culturally “unique” or ethnically “exotic”, thereby denying opportunities to students that are supposedly less exotic and less unique (often whites). Implicitly designating non-whites as “exotic”, it erroneously presumes that “generic” white applicants somehow will offer less value, less exceptionality or less cultural distinctiveness to the campus community than their nonwhite counterparts. This is problematic because it unfairly frames whiteness as bland, pretending that whiteness is something necessarily dull, boring or anti-diverse. By strictly measuring diversity by the percentage of nonwhites included in its application pool, racial affirmative action fails to recognize the vast amount of cultural and ethnic complexity and diversity existing among Euro-American groups. 5. That it has enabled abuse of the college admissions system based on the knowledge that outright favoritism is offered so generously. Many applicants regularly and gleefully mislead college admissions officers, making it seem like they are more culturally “exotic” or ethnically “unique” than they truly are. Often, these students are your run-ofthe-mill assimilated student, and no more culturally exceptional (rare) than any white student. Some deceptively claim affiliation with a given ethnic minority status, exaggerating the degree to which they identify with a particular cultural group. Such beneficiaries go so far as to proclaim that they belong to an oppressed segment of society – even when they are only marginally affiliated with said


group (and are not so personally disadvantaged themselves), or when they are only a part of that group in a formal sense. This charade is happily maintained to manipulate the admissions process to the fullest extent possible. Doing so arguably constitutes a variation of fraud. The vulnerability of the admissions system to this manipulation is so notorious that it has become a source of ceaseless amusement on the part of its beneficiaries. 6. That observers (White and Asian students) will question the presence of Blacks and Latinos on campus, and that future prospective employers will second-guess the qualifications of Blacks and Latinos suspected of having benefited from racial Affirmative Action; are you truly qualified? This makes it more difficult for minority students to be taken seriously and treated as if they were just as qualified as other matriculated students. The mere existence of racial Affirmative Action diminishes these students in the eyes of their peers; respect will be harder to come by. For those Black and Latino students who did not benefit from racial affirmative action, this is particularly problematic and maddeningly frustrating. 7. That, in turn, it induces self-doubt by making these students wonder: “Did I truly earn my way on the merits of my own grit, or am I merely the recipient of charity from some unknown benefactor?” Inordinate psychological uncertainty and anxiety of this kind is unhealthy for any student. 8. That it stokes White and Asian resentment and is harmful to race relations on campus and in society. Those students who doubt the deservedness or qualifications of Black and Latino students are driven to hostility and animus. These pervasive attitudes contaminate social relations on campuses. The attitude could potentially instill a sense of racial animosity on the part of those tens of thousands of well-qualified applicants (and families) who are denied golden opportunities solely on the base of their race or ethnicity. The bitterness surrounding the system makes it a chief source (causative factor) of still-palpable racial tension in American society. 9. That it does not target or benefit those whom it was initially designed to assist. It was intended to help financially and educationally disadvantaged Afro-Americans from inner cities and the South. It instead helps those blacks who do not necessarily need institutionally provided financial assistance as desperately—those students from upper middle

Feature class or wealthy black households who are not in grave need for support. 10. That it tends to disproportionately favor blacks from Haiti, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Barbados, West Africa etc. (or the children of recently arrived well-to-do black families and immigrants from those countries), instead of descendants of slaves in the Continental US. 11. That its primary social objective is hardly being met. A primary assumption of racial Affirmative Action’s proponents is that its beneficiaries, equipped with solid skills upon graduation, will embark on missions to assist the needy communities of their socio-racial kin through economic and educational empowerment, or even community activism. But typically these graduates don’t embark on the sort of social philanthropy they are urged to perform. Instead, they largely conform to an uppermiddle-class suburban lifestyle, often highly specialized and professional in nature, even moving into predominately white, financially privileged neighborhoods. 12. That it promotes a culture of outright favoritism.

February 12, 2013


14. That the point at which the policy can be abolished has not been specified. It remains unclear just exactly when the cost of past injustices will be fully paid? When will it end? When we completely eradicate racism and establish full social equality? Are these goals even attainable? Should it indefinitely continue to compensate the victims of the past by finding new victims? 15. That its continuation would constitute exclusion of a vast segment of American Society which has struggled to access premium opportunities in higher education for a few decades. Blatant favoritism is often at the expense of White working class and lower middle class applicants, those from the Appalachian region, the Bible Belt, White Southern applicants, applicants from military families, applicants from agricultural families, Whites from rural areas, and White applicants of Protestant Evangelical and Roman Catholic faiths are dramatically underrepresented. Although Blacks and Latinos are labeled underrepresented, many elite schools are themselves unrepresentative of America’s demographic composition racially, ethnically, religiously, ideologically, socio-economically and religiously! The real underrepresented people are

When will it end? Applicants, however qualified, are fleeced because they do not meet ethnic criterion. It does so simply on the basis of racial and ethnic categories, largely at the expense of Whites and Asians. It is the epitome of blatant racial discrimination. How ironic! Proponents seek to eliminate racial discrimination in society by creating even more racial discrimination. They are convinced that it is just and fair to promote a new form of racial bias, but this time under a different name. 13. That, in particular, it unfairly singles-out White students, punishing them for historical injustices that they themselves had no part in perpetrating. The invocation of “historical injustices” subtly sends a message that white students should feel guilty about that which they played no role in perpetrating. Those past historical injustices do not give any institution the moral authority to presently deny duly earned opportunities to an applicant simply because of her race, an “accident” of birth. Denying opportunities to particular individuals who were uninvolved in historical transgressions is plainly unjust on its face. So it operates as if the injustices of the past are sufficient to warrant the commission of new injustices today.

the aforementioned. These groups form a growing number of underprivileged and resentful citizens.    16. That instituting a meritocratic search for diversity makes far more sense with respect to the ends of maintaining diversity and allocating opportunities equitably. It casts a wider net by securing: •

Socioeconomic diversity: Better representation among working class and lower-middle class people of a variety of backgrounds.

Religious diversity: Inclusion of more Protestant Evangelicals, and Roman Catholics will be better represented.

Regional diversity: More applicants from the Bible Belt, Appalachian, and rural areas.

Ideological diversity: Intellectual enrichment through debate: more conservatives to challenge Center-left thinking and culture.

Ethnic and cultural diversity: after all, White Americans as a group are rather ethnically and culturally diverse themselves, no? —Roberto




February 12, 2013


Farewell, Madame Secretary Raj Kannapan Columnist


he Secretary was furious during her Congressional testimony, cloaking the State Department’s failure in a mask of indignation. She railed against the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, throwing at her interrogators inane platitudes such as this: “What difference, at this point, does it make?” She was referring to the laughable idea that her own administration had sprung up after the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi—that the attack was a result of some anti-Islam video produced quite miserably by some sad man in California. Well, Ms. Clinton. It actually does matter whether this video caused protestors to breach the walls of our consulate—as some in the Obama administration have claimed—or whether anti-American sentiment caused the attack. In order to deflect more detailed questions about the decision-making process at State and the White House—which allowed top officials like UN Ambassador Susan Rice and Press Secretary Jay Carney to conclude that one arbitrary video caused a group of armed individuals to kill four American public servants— Clinton stated repeatedly that she was more interested in making sure that America would never have to endure another Benghazi. But if this is the case, then is it not logical to want to understand the actual cause of the attack? Apparently not. Of course, many have pointed to the obvious: that the George W.

Bush administration was not held accountable for the lack of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq or for taking the United States into a disastrous war in the troubled country in the first place. Yet, to argue that this administration does not have to provide an explanation for a specific foreign policy failure because the previous administration was not compelled to provide in public testimony an honest account of the decision-making process that allowed it to make a large blunder, is a miserable failure of responsible leadership. After Clinton’s utterly unrevealing testimony, Obama and his outgoing Secretary of State practically held hands and sang sweet nothings to each other in a 60 Minutes interview with CBS correspondent Steve Kroft, who, by the way, has revealed himself to be an obsequious journalist when speaking with the President (In a 2011, Kroft fawned over Obama in an interview when the President claimed extraordinarily that he was, at worst, the fourth best modern president). The President heaped much praise upon the woman whom he accused in 2007 of lying to American voters about the economic and foreign policies she would pursue were she to win the presidency. He proclaimed, “I think Hillary will go down as one of the finest secretary of states we've had.” Say it ain’t so, Mr. President. What Clinton will be most remembered for is the dignity and stability that she brought to the State Department. This merits little more than praise for workmanship and competence. It does not, as Clinton’s

biggest supporters would like to claim, signify any extraordinary accomplishment. President Obama should know that the list of great secretaries of state remains unchanged from before Clinton’s assumption of the post. It includes such greats as John Quincy Adams, who, worked with the president in developing the Monroe Doctrine and oversaw the purchase of Florida from Spain; George Marshall, who helped craft the post-WWII policy of containment and developed the Marshall plan for reconstructing postwar Europe; and Henry Kissinger, who helped implement the policy of détente with China and established the concept of “shuttle diplomacy”. Unfortunately, for Obama, his Secretary of State will not join these diplomats in the annals of history. What Clinton did during her tenure is represent America in a

Only a Band-Aid

dignified manner, a prerequisite for the position of Secretary of State, not a quality deserving of praise. She has no doctrine to her name. She has not solved any major global issues. She has been unimaginative. She has few notable accomplishments, one of them being the Asia Pivot. This, however, came down largely from the White House. In other words, her tenure has been neither troubled nor terrific. It seems that she has done just enough to build a path to the West Wing. It appears that over the past four years, she put to use the valuable knowledge that she gained from federal bureaucracy and the Washington cocktail circuit—do what you can to move up the ladder. Raj Kannappan is a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences. He can be reached at

Why Gun Control Won’t Solve Our Problems

Lucia Rafanelli Executive Editor

A Fortnight of Follies


was enjoying a quiet night at home, when suddenly the peaceful silence was interrupted by the sound of gunshots. A quick look out my window revealed nothing out of the ordinary. The normal sounds of Collegetown revelers had returned to the nearlydeserted street below. But the next morning I awoke to one of those all-too-familiar “Crime Alert” emails. Hurriedly, I read through it in more-than-typical detail, needing to find out if the incident reported was “shots fired”. And so it was. Admittedly, I was rattled when I found out that the sound I heard the previous night was in fact the sound of a gun being fired quite literally on my street corner. I even contemplated not writing this article. Perhaps the shots were a sign—a prohibition against writing about the perils of the recent liberal push for stricter gun control.


But this doubt that I once thought could be the voice of some prophetic prudence, I later realized was the voice of fear. Freedom, after all, can be a scary thing. It is easy to tell ourselves that people die of gunshot wounds, and so guns must be outlawed. It is easy, this act of scapegoating, and it fulfills a common human desire to find

not the problem. The truth is that people sometimes do terrible things, and that will continue to be the truth whether or not they are allowed to own guns. Perhaps it is hard to admit that the real problem lies not with weapons technology but at the very root of human nature. After all, that cannot simply be rooted out. We are stuck

“Perhaps it is hard to admit that the real problem lies not with weapons technology but at the very root of human nature. After all, that cannot simply be rooted out. We are stuck with humanity and all its flaws.” “the bad thing” and “root it out”. And while guns may be obvious targets for this desire, we must remember that people killed each other long before guns existed. Guns are

with humanity and all its flaws. We should not, though, let our instinctual drive to find something dispensable to blame for society’s worst ills deceive us into thinking that the

presence of guns is the root of violent crime. It is frightening to think that our fellow man is both the true source of such violence and that he is a free creature, but this fear must not stop us from allowing him his freedom. We must not be compelled by our fear to slowly imprison ourselves in laws and regulations, to strip our freedom to do this-and-that simply because, “It might be dangerous.” Everything might be dangerous. Such is life, but to let our inability—or, rather, our unwillingness— to cope with such a permanent state of potential threat drive us toward some terrible fate of democraticallyimposed tyranny—that would be a great tragedy. We must live with each other and rely on each other to act justly. That is the price of society. We must do this even when it is uncomfortable. That is the price of free society. Lucia Rafanelli is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at


Chucky Strikes Again! Roberto Matos Columnist

The Clarion Call


he Obama administration’s decision to nominate Senator Chuck Hagel has undoubtedly been the source of partisan controversy since Christmas. Since 2002, the Nebraskan congressman—who dutifully secured two purple hearts as a veteran during his time serving in Vietnam—has puzzled political analysts with his bizarre deviations from his rank-and-file conservatives on major foreign policy questions. His antics range from bizarre positions concerning the US-Israeli alliance and the Iranian Nuclear proliferation to blatantly inaccurate predictions with respect to the Iraq Surge in 2007. Most troubling of late, however, is Hagel’s bumbling and inarticulate performance at his recent confirmation hearing. The strikingly unrehearsed Hagel was unprepared to respond crisply to the exceedingly pointed GOP questions, which he and his advisers surely knew were due, given the whirlwind of controversy surrounding his nomination in the first place, and given Hagel’s reputation as an unorthodox Republican. That Hagel was so unprepared to withstand the onslaught which McCain and Graham unleashed is perplexing. Even more bewildering is the subpar quality of his offered responses. First, he botched a direct question regarding his mistaken prediction that the 2007 surge in Iraq would fail. McCain brooded over the opportunity to address the Senator, taking him to task on his failure to support the escalation of involvement. The Nebraskan refused to admit that he had been in error, which incited McCain’s ire “Your refusal to answer whether you were right or wrong about it is going to have an impact on my judgment as to whether I vote for your confirmation or not,” remarked McCain. The perception that Hagel’s record of inaccurate predictions on foreign policy might continue is growing, even among dispassionate observers and moderate journalists. Second, and more embarrassingly for Hagel according to the New York Times, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham directed Mr. Hagel to “name one dumb thing we’ve been goaded into doing because of

the pressure from the Israeli or Jewish lobby.” Mr. Hagel, who in 2006 claimed that the “Jewish lobby” intimidates Congress, failed to name even one example, and admitted to this with a sort of lamblike submission. Ted Cruz, who arranged for Senate aides to play a damning recording, insinuated that Hagel believed that Israel had committed war crimes. In 2009, Hagel wrote a letter to Obama, urging him to initiate negotiations and direct talks with Hamas, a position which the Washington Post calls “so extreme that” even Obama seemed appalled. Third, although (the otherwise meek and equivocating) Hagel set forth an assertive and staunchly forceful endorsement of American might in order to stave off claims that he would oversee the dwindling of America’s diplomatic and military influence abroad, conservatives on the panel expressed skepticism toward his commitment to this worldview. Of particular worry was the ambiguity of his stance toward remedying the Iranian nuclear crisis. In 2007 Hagel wanted to open direct,



In light of his prior votes against imposing harsh sanctions on the Persian state, against declaring the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group, and his tepid support for the US-Israel alliance, the prospect of Hagel overseeing operations at the Pentagon has proved harrowing for skeptics and casual observers alike. After all, how can a man who is to oversee and operate one of the can a man who is to oversee and operate one of the most vital national security and intelligence organs in the country, be so confused about his administration’s core foreign policy stances? unconditional talks with Iran, a position which still baffles foreign policy strategists. Moreover, Hagel’s history of opposition toward “keeping all (including military) options on the table” with respect to prevention seems troubling, given that the agency which he’ll oversee may very well be forced, sometime in the next 18 months, to launch a preemptive military strike in conjunction with Israel against the Persian state. In a moment that caused both sides of the aisle to grow weary, Hagel promised that he strongly supported the Administration's (non-existent) support of “containing” Iran, a claim which is self-evidently preposterous, since Obama supports prevention, and not containment. This blunder was so striking that Hagel had to be handed a note reminding him that no such “containment” policy exists.

February 12, 2013

most vital national security and intelligence organs in the country, be so confused about his administration’s core foreign policy stances (especially one of the most critical of national security questions)? During the hearing, there were points at which it appeared that Hagel didn’t even know his own position on certain matters - like sequestration and defense budget slashing - that will be of such spectacular import during the coming months of possible fiscal austerity. The matter has even irritated a few Democrats. Most notably, reports Politico, former White House secretary David Gibbs remarked on a NBC “Meet the Press” panel that he found it “disconcerting” that Hagel was not ready for some of the questions directly linked to running the Pentagon.

“The disconcerting thing, obviously, for anybody that watched it was [that] he seemed unimpressive and unprepared on the questions that, quite frankly, he knew were coming,” Gibbs said. Having witnessed her colleague succumb to McCain’s relentless siege, even Claire McCaskill attested to his impotency. Furthermore, although White House strategists are confident that the Nebraskan will be confirmed, none have argued that Hagel performed well during the hearing. In fact, Hagel has created second guessing in the White House. The New York Times and Washington Post report that, according to a member of Obama’s team of advisers on Iran, the stumbling performance seemed “somewhere between baffling and incomprehensible.” At this juncture, it remains unclear why, precisely, Obama decided to select Hagel to replace Panetta, who insists that Hagel was victimized by an inquisition of overzealous conservatives. What is clear, however, is the decidedly acute irony which has become evident to historically-minded observers of this debacle. This is a man who not only once claimed that Sarah Palin (a staunch opponent of Obama) was qualified to be Vice President in 2008, but whose record is “precisely the anti-sanctions, antiIsrael stance” which Obama furiously denied was the embodiment of his foreign policy worldview in the 2012 election. We can now candidly declare that politics makes for strange (and strikingly misguided) bedfellows. Very comforting, no? Roberto Matos is a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences. He can be reached at



February 12, 2013


Parallels in Men’s Soccer and Baseball

How New Coaches Found Success Within Four Years Alex Gimenez Sports Contributor


he stadium erupted and emotions began to run wild. The Big Red had just clinched the Ivy League championship. For the first time in a decade, players, coaches, parents, and fans were celebrating the successful end to their teams’ season. In 2012, this was the setting for two growing programs within the Big Red community: Men’s Soccer and Baseball. When the Cornell community thinks of athletics, their minds immediately turn to some of the best teams in the college sports circuit. The Ice Hockey program for both men and women has been a powerhouse for many years. Going into the upcoming season Men’s Lacrosse is ranked 7th in the country, as is the Wrestling team midway through its season. In the early days of last May, the baseball team clinched their first conference title since the Ivy League Conference incorporated baseball into their ranks in 1993. Just six months later, the Men’s Soccer team clinched their first outright Ivy League Championship since 1977. Today, these teams represent two of the most popular and tightly-knit group of athletes that Cornell offers. The stories of these athletes and their struggles to reach the top, which have been overlooked by many, are the true sign of their character and an indicator of future success. So just where did these two teams come from and what has lead to their phenomenal performance on the field over the past regular season? The Big Red baseball team finished in last place in 2011, posting a disappointing 10-30 record. Down the road, the men’s soccer team had been making steady improvements since hitting rock bottom with a 1-15 record in 2008. Through grueling training, hard work, determination, and unique team atmosphere, both of these teams were able to make the jump from the basement of the Ivy League to league Champions. “Nothing but our best was expected in every moment that we were on the field whether it was practice or in games,” said junior second baseman Brenton Peters. For the baseball team, success came in the form of a senior class of veteran leaders supplemented by a phenomenally upbeat and talented freshman class. Now graduated players such as Brian Billigen, Marshall Yanzick, Brendan Lee, and Frank Hager had been freshman when Head Coach Bill Walkenbach became head coach and the team finished tied for first place back in


2009. These players experienced success very early in their collegiate playing career, and were bred into Coach Walkenbach’s program from day one. They were able to convey a calm yet aggressive clubhouse attitude that carried the team throughout the season. “I think the intensity that we approached the game with in practice everyday definitely benefitted us when we got into the situations where everything was on the line,” continued Peters. On the field, Billigen led the team in nearly every offensive category and signed a contract to play professional baseball in the Arizona Diamondbacks system. Rick Marks, a transfer, mentored a young Big Red pitching staff while posting a stellar 3.48 ERA over the course of the season. Filling in the holes in 2012, the freshman class was tenacious and made an immediate impact on the Big Red rotation and lineup. In order to go from worst to first, the team needed a strong group of incoming players and this class fit the bill. Utility man Kevin Tatum who started 43 games for the Big Red last season had the team’s third best batting average and on base percentage, providing a key offensive spark in the order. Starting pitchers Brian McAfee and Brent Jones combined for a 10-3 record accounting for a third of the teams overall wins. Closer Kellen Urbon broke the single season saves record with 9 and received recognition after recognition from Ivy League Rookie of the year to most recently being named a pre-season all-American for 2013. “I just tried to go out there and not let my team down. They had worked hard to get us in a winning position, and it was my turn to help the team win,” said Urbon in regards to his approach as the Big Red’s closer. The Big Red baseball team also saw incredible improvements from returning players in 2012. It is hard not to mention Chris Cruz in any article written about this team. The sophomore right fielder broke the single season record for home runs last season recording his 12th homer in the bottom of the 11th inning at Hoy Field to win the Ivy League Championship Series. Sophomore Connor Kaufmann threw a no-hitter against Dartmouth early in the season, and then went on to secure three Ivy League Pitcher of the week recognitions en route to a 7-2 record. Peters flashed the leather last season and developed into one of the toughest outs in the league, posting a .442 on base percentage out of the leadoff spot in the lineup.

Painting the Ivy League Red: The Big Red look to extend the school’s Ivy League competitiveness across all sports. “Baseball to me is all about confidence, and nothing takes it out of the pitcher and the fielders behind him more than a guy who has long at bats and then gets on base after the whole ordeal is over,” Peters said. While all of these accomplishments allowed the team to statistically defeat their opponents, it was what happened behind the scenes in the clubhouse that allowed them to make such a terrific run. Coach Walkenbach and his coaching staff stress a team oriented and mental skills approach to playing the game that is truly unique to the Big Red. “We needed to expect to win in order to be successful, it really is all about the mental game and it was a key to our success last season,” remarked Walkenbach. Isolating each at bat or each pitch and taking the game one step, oneinning at a time, the team found ways to scratch out victories in games they never should have won in ways no one could have predicted. The team atmosphere and camaraderie that exists amongst the players on this team is unprecedented. They are not just teammates as their friendships extend far beyond baseball. Many live together and you would be hard pressed to find one player on the team without at least one of his teammates at his side. “To see the way the team gelled was just a dream come true; everything fell into place,” continued Walkenbach. “And the guys enjoyed the heck out of each other’s company. We had a blast on the road. People were stepping up in big situations and playing.” Similarly to Coach Walkenbach, Head Soccer Coach Jaro Zawislon joined the Cornell Athletics community four seasons ago. Tasked with improving upon a 1-15 season, Zawislon came prepared with an established program designed to make his team a contender. His program stresses four core values: academics, passion and love of the game, lifestyle, and soccer playing ability. In other words, this team has been

built from day one on the prospects of working hard inside and out of the classroom, loving the game enough to sacrifice everything for the goals of the team, and putting together a lifestyle that allows players to better themselves as individuals and as student-athletes. “This season is an outcome of our players commitment to hard work, to self improvement; it is an outcome of their hunger for success, credit to the players in how we got there,” said Zawislon. With this program in place, the team began to improve year by year. In 2011, they made huge strides towards accomplishing their ultimate goal of winning the conference by finishing 8-2-6. The players put in the time individually throughout the off season, hitting their benchmarks and were primed for a big 2012 season; a season in which they posted a 15-1 record to clinch the Ivy League title. “This team surprised a lot of people this year and that's a credit to the team as a whole,” said senior goalkeeper Rick Pflasterer. The team itself operates as a unit, and in a sport like soccer where the individual is much less important than the group, this synchrony amongst players makes their 2012 success even more understandable. Ask any player or coach on this team about themselves and they will quickly point you in another direction, recognizing the importance of the overall team performance. “Throughout the last four seasons there is no star on this team; the star on the team is the team itself. That’s where the strength of this team has been from the beginning, that’s what makes this team successful, and what will continue to bring them success,” Zawislon said. That being said, without the on field success of certain individuals, an Ivy League Championship would not have been possible. Daniel Haber’s production on the field was Continued at right


February 11, 2013

11 Cornell Student Group Promotes Jihad As An Internal Struggle

Posted by Kushagra Aniket

A student club at Cornell called the “Islamic Alliance for Justice” has launched an awareness campaign to alter and redefine the controversial word “jihad,” likening the term often associated with terrorist acts to instead mean moral struggle. “Jihad is a human experience of internal struggle,” argues the organization’s website highlighting the campaign. “It holds a very sacred meaning in Islam, often associated with bettering oneself, achieving patience or finding balance.” In contrast, the U.S. Department of Justice uses “jihad” to refer to the acts of terrorism perpetrated by Muslim extremists under the guise of Holy War. But students at Cornell chide the Western media for using the word jihad “in the context of terror, portraying the word in a politicized and terrifying manner”. The Islamic Alliance for Justice describes its campaign as a struggle against Islamophobia and the alleged misappropriation of the word “jihad.” The campaign recently culminated in “Cornell’s 161 Faces of Jihad,” a Tumblr photomontage that shows students posing with a small whiteboard on which they have written their own interpretation of jihad. In one picture, a young woman sits on a concrete step, and smiles as she displays a whiteboard on which she has written: “My jihad is to stop trying to change the cards I was dealt, and rather the way I play my hand.” In another photo, a young man smiles as he holds up his definition of the word: “To keep things light and happy, like whipped cream!” Other student definitions include: “finding my voice in politics,” “being a role model to my little brother,” and “reconciling who I am with who I want to be.” Another student offers up his definition as: “My jihad is against social injustice and apartheid. Free Palestine!” The group notes on its Tumblr website that it was inspired to undertake the campaign in part because of recent subway ads that state: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.” The mission statement of Islamic Alliance for Justice, officially described as a secular student organization, is to “raise awareness and coordinate effective response to local, national, and global issues of social, economic and political justice.” “The Alliance engages in informational outreach activities as well as advocacy and discourse,” its official campus description states. “This club intends to both provide a way for students interested in the Muslim world to become active in the political realm, and to raise awareness of issues of injustice across campus and around the globe.”


Continued from left

nearly unstoppable. The Ivy League Player of the Year, who recently signed on to play professionally in Israel, scored an unprecedented 18 goals in 2012 season. Haber’s contributions on offense accounted for nearly half of the goals made by the entire team throughout the course of the season. In addition to Haber, the season could not have been achieved without Pflasterer’s shutdown play between the goal posts. Starting in all 17 games this season, he recorded 40 saves and held opponents to just 13 goals. Pflasterer also recorded five shut outs while preventing Ivy League foes Columbia, Yale, and

But through social media, the group, besides championing the rights of women in the Arab world, also focuses on criticizing the “western” conception of human rights, media bias, the right of sovereign countries to engage in counterterrorism strikes and even the freedom to question religious beliefs. Princeton from scoring a goal on his watch. “As a goalkeeper, I try to do all of the little things right and then make that big save every once in a while when the team needs it,” said Pflasterer. With both teams coming off of their biggest years in recent history, 2013 brings with it high expectations and promise for big success. Keep an eye on these two teams moving forward as they may soon be stealing the show as top athletics teams at Cornell. Alex Gimenez is a sophomore in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He can be reached at ajg322@

Meanwhile, many students and professors have lauded its jihad campaign. Related to this, in November, another student group Students for Justice in Palestine organized the “Solidarity from Ithaca to Gaza” rally and received the support of several on and off-campus groups advocating Palestine’s independence from Israel.

Gandhi Continued from Page 5 licenses. In the capital, New Delhi, which was recently shaken by the brutal rape and murder of a 23-year old, some 1,200 women have asked the Police Department to issue them firearm licenses. One might grant that the extensive and perhaps unconstitutional gun regulations proposed by President Obama were a product of great public outrage due to a rush

of high-profile gun homicides. But these provisions might not help in achieving his goal of reducing mass shootings. More importantly, the President shouldn’t forget that the right to bear arms has been associated with struggles for independence from tyrannical rule around the world.

Kushagra Aniket is a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences. He can be reached at ka337@



February 12, 2013

Wisemen & Fools Little else is requisite to carry a state to the highest degree of opulence from the lowest barbarism but peace, easy taxes, and a tolerable administration of justice: all the rest being brought about by the natural course of things. Adam Smith

of arms as the blackest. Mahatma Gandhi

The Militia is composed of free Citizens. There is therefore no Danger of their making use of their Power to the destruction of their own Rights, or suffering others to invade them. Samuel Adams

The only purpose for which power could be rightfully exercised over any member of civilized community against his will is to prevent harm to others. His own good either physical or moral is not a sufficient warrant. J.S. Mill

We must never forget, brothers, to nurse our children and our grandchildren on hatred for them: for Zionists, for Jews. Mohammed Morsi, President of Egypt

The feeding and clothing of me, could not atone for taking my liberty from me. Frederick Douglass

It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere. Voltaire

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution History will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation

It is almost a false argument to say we have a spending problem. We have a budget deficit problem that we have to address. Nancy Pelosi

It is characteristic of the radical that he thinks of power as a force for good—so long as the power falls into his hands. Russell Kirk

No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson

You want to keep people away in an earthquake? Buy some shotgun shells. Joe Biden

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So enter that daily thou mayest become more learned and thoughtful; so depart that daily thou mayest become more useful to thy country and to mankind.

A.D. White, Cornell Eddy Gate Inscription Democracy is the worst form of government. It is the most inefficient, the most clumsy, the most unpractical‌It reduces wisdom to impotence and secures the triumph of folly, ignorance, clap-trap, and demagogy... Yet democracy is the only form of social order that is admissible, because it is the only one consistent with justice. Robert Briffault [Justice Roberts] appears to believe that in order to get beyond politicization, he must first take account of politics. Perhaps instead the way to stop deciding cases on the basis of politics is to stop deciding cases on the basis of politics. James Taranto Forward, forward, forward.... Barack Obama

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Cornell Review XXXI #7  

Cornell Review XXXI #7

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