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The Corne¬ Daily Sun Vol. 135, No. 78



16 Pages – Free







Star Gazing

Boogie Oogie

Partly Cloudy Showers

Students meet weekly to discuss different kinks, approaches to roleplay, latex outfits, and more. | Page 3

A Cornell Professor identified thousands of stars that could potentially support planets with life. | Page 9

Boogie and Doja Cat put on electric performances, and Jeremiah LaCon '21 enjoyed every minute. | Page 10

Roxane Gay Says She Wants To Be Convocation Speaker


Prof. James Turner (right) confronts President Frank H.T. Rhodes in 1978.

Author pitches self for gig after comedian drops out By NICHOLAS BOGEL-BURROUGHS Sun Senior Writer

Roxane Gay to Cornell: I’m available. The best-selling author and visiting Yale University professor said Monday that

on Cornell just hours before he was to be announced as convocation speaker. Gay is a presidential visiting fellow at Yale, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and a prolific tweeter, among other roles. Some students wondered: Does she actually want the Cornell gig? “I was very serious,” Gay wrote in an email to The Sun on Monday evening, exemplifying her zeal by replying to a reporter in just seven minutes. “I would love to do this.” Gay said she had not yet heard from anyone at Cornell — “sadly.” Leaders of the Convocation Committee cited their confidentiality agreement in declining to comment on

This weekend, Prof. Emeritus James Turner was honored in a two-day celebration of his life and commitment to Africana Studies as founding director of the department at Cornell. Prof. Riché Richardson, African-American literature, chaired the programming committee. “We thought that it would be interesting and special to be able to honor Prof. Turner, because he’s given so much to help shape and energize the field of Africana studies,” Richardson

See ROXANE page 5

See AFRICANA page 5

“I was very serious. I would love to do this.” Roxane Gay she’d be happy to fill the void left by comedian Hasan Minhaj and speak at Cornell’s senior convocation. “I’ll hook you up,” Gay wrote on Twitter in response to The Sun’s report that Minhaj had cancelled

HIGH: 56º LOW: 35º

Gothic inferno

Honored for Africana Studies contributions By AMINA KILPATRICK Sun News Editor

Comedian Ronny Chieng Talks Representation, Politics and Life By ANGELA LI Sun Contributor


The roof of Paris’ Notre Dame cathedral in Paris burns as firefights attempt to extinguish the blaze on Monday.

On Sunday evening, comedian and The Daily Show senior correspondent Ronny Chieng interacted with a boisterous audience in Statler Auditorium, touching on topics including Asian representation in politics, Internet critics and how his international background has influenced his perspective on American life. The Cornell University Program Board organized the event. Chieng was born in Malaysia to a MalaysianChinese family, raised in Singapore, attended law school in Australia and now lives in New York City, and he drew on experiences from his travels to inform much of his performance. Chieng said that people from other countries have a romanticized view of America and tend to “think of [America] as a monolith,” but, after emigrating to the US, he learned more about the nation’s cultural diversity and that “every state is like a nation onto itself.” Chieng delved into the nuances of American culture and weighed in on the East Coast versus West Coast debate, calling the East Coast “intense” and pointing to New Hampshire’s state motto — “Live Free or Die” — as an example. He also asked the audience to shout out some guesses for the state motto of Texas. After receiving a few wrong guesses — “Lone Star State” and “Don’t Mess With Texas” among them — he surprised the audience by revealing that the motto is actually

“Friendship.” That the “state motto of Texas is the opposite of every commonly-held connotation of the state” is a “major failure of the PR department of Texas,” Chieng quipped. Chieng also shared his thoughts on Asians in American politics: “We are the only objective referees” in society’s ongoing racial tensions, he said, adding that Asians would approach every problem in politics “with no agenda, just pure logic.” “Imagine the power of Asian people in government,” he continued. “Government shutdown? There’s no


CHIENG page 5


Comedy | Ronny Chieng brought humor to discussions of politics, life and culture Sunday evening at Statler Auditorium.

2 The Cornell Daily Sun | Tuesday, April 16, 2019



Tuesday, April 16, 2019




Finding Joy Despite Uncertainty Noon - 1 p.m., 140 East Hill Office Building

Hip Hop Travels: Appropriation and Urban Youth Identity in Post-Socialist Tanzania 12:15 p.m., 404 Morrill Hall

“Smartfin” Film and Talk with Todd McGrain Noon - 1 p.m., Tatkon Center

“Resolving Conflicts: The Genetic Control of Morphogenesis”: Enrico Coen 12:20 p.m., 404 Plant Sciences Building

Cornell Health: “Let’s Talk” Walk-In Consultations 2:30 p.m., 311 W. Sibley Hall

Reading by Latinx Poet, Javier Zamora 3 p.m., 258 Goldwin Smith Hall

Indigenous Ingenuities as Living Networks, Speakers Series with Karl Hill 2:55 - 4:10 p.m., 100 Caldwell Hall

Biophysics Colloguium with Ke Xu 4 - 5 p.m., 700 Clark Hall

MAE Colloquium: “Dust, Snowflakes, and other Stories” 4 p.m., B11 Kimball Hall

Green Transformation in China and Patient Capital in the Developing World 4:15 - 5:30 p.m., 153 Martha Van Rensselaer Hall

“Are Some Languages Really More ‘Difficult’ to Learn?”: Charlene Polio 4:30 - 5:30 p.m., G25 Stimson Hall


Mandarin Chinese Conversation Hour 4:30 - 5:30 p.m., G27 Stimson Hall

Capstone experience | Nearly fifty Rawlings Cornell Presidential Research Scholars seniors will present their research to the Cornell community on Wednesday.

Adelante Coffee Chat 4:30 p.m., 429 Rockefeller Hall

Cornell University Core Values Listening Session 5 - 6 p.m., G10 Biotechnology Building

Remembering Mullivaikkal: Sri Lanka 10 Years On 4:45 - 7:15 p.m., Guerlac Room, A.D. White House

Thai Festival of the Lights 5 - 8 p.m., Flora Rose House

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Rawlings Cornell Presidential Research Scholars Senior Expo 5 - 6:30 p.m., Clark Atrium, Physical Sciences Building Zumba Fitness 5 - 6 p.m., 5th Floor Lounge, Willard Straight Hall The Fight for Air: Book Talk with Economist Thomas W. Hazlett 5:30 p.m., 175 Warren Hall

The Cornell Daily Sun | Tuesday, April 16, 2019 3


Kinky Cornellians: Inside Cornell’s Secretive BDSM Club By ANYI CHENG Sun Assistant News Editor

From whips and chains to latex care and consent, Cornell’s secretive and explorative kink and BDSM club, Crunch, gathers a group of self-ascribed “sex nerds” every week to talk and learn about all different types of sex. BDSM — bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism — is a sexual practice that can involve roleplay and incorporate the participants’ kinks. Crunch started several years ago after the founding of similar clubs at Harvard and Columbia, which was home to the first campus-based BDSM group. At Cornell, it is a sub-organization of Haven, Cornell’s LGBTQ Student Union. “There were a lot of misconceptions about BDSM and what goes on in it, but a big part of all our clubs is about education: learning about BDSM, kink and the whole lifestyle, and going about it safely,” a Crunch facilitator who goes by “Thrace” told The Sun. “Or as safe as we can make it, anyway.” Within the club, safety and anonymity are key. Thrace’s name is a pseudonym she took on after she joined the club in order to protect her privacy, which is a choice members can make when they decide to join the club. Club meetings are awareness and education-oriented. Meetings are comprised of presentations and group discussions centering on different kinks or other subjects. Crunch’s upcoming meeting, for example,

will cover electroplay — the use of electricity and shock devices in sexual play. “Different things can be used to give different sensations and feelings in a kink context,” Thrace said. “Learning about those different ties and how they can be applied — learning about the ins and outs, how to use them, safety — all that stuff are the types of things we cover.” Historically, the club has brought speakers to campus, such as a speaker who lectured on caring for the latex and silicon suits used in BDSM. Thrace added that Crunch is currently working on bringing another guest to campus in the future. According to Thrace, the club’s name is derived from “munches,” which are social gatherings in the BDSM community meant not for kink-related activities, but for casual socializing. The club currently has around 10 to 12 active members — up from past years’ attendance rates of just a handful of people at meetings. “We’ve had a lot of new people come in, there's been a lot of interest in it. That’s really helped revitalize [the club],” Thrace said. Crunch’s discreet nature makes it slightly harder to raise awareness about it on campus, but the club tables with its parent organization Haven at ClubFest. In addition, it has a page on the social network site FetLife, which describes itself as Facebook for “kinksters.” “There’s also a lot of word of mouth — people just talking about it,” Thrace said. “Anyone can attend, as long as they’re a Cornell student. There’s no requirements to


Crunch time | Members of Crunch compare notes on different approaches to sexual play, including toys like these restraints, collar and flogger made by a local New York state artisan.

be considered a member. Anyone can come drop into one meeting and never come back again, no problem.” She added that many students have done just that: attended a meeting out of curiosity without the pressure to commit to anything. “If this is too scary, you know what? That’s okay. There’s nothing saying you have to look into this while in college,” she said. “We’re going to try and make it as safe as possible for anyone that wants to come, and try to do everything that we can to keep it in that safe and respectable space.”

One of those choices is the use of pseudonyms. “We do try to make it clear that we are a safe space. We’ve tried to foster that type of environment,” she told The Sun. “I think it helps a little bit that Cornell has these safe space rules in place, that kind of helps sets some ground for us.” Crunch works actively to create an open and candid environment free of judgement given the stigma around kinks and BDSM. See BDSM page 5

Car Crash Kills Dryden Local 10 Faculty Members Win A 63-year-old woman was killed in a pile-up on Friday By HUNTER SEITZ Sun Assistant News Editor

Several vehicles were involved in a collision on Route 13, leaving one woman dead and others with minor injuries. According to the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office, a vehicle traveling north on Route 13 hit a vehicle while merging from the right lane into the fast lane. The merging car then crossed the median into oncoming traffic, striking another two vehicles headon, reported the Ithaca Voice. Kathleen Downes, 63, of Dryden was airlifted to Upstate Medical Center by a LifeNet helicopter following the crash, the Ithaca Voice reported, where she later died unexpectedly according to an obituary post-

ed on the Bangs Funeral Home website. The airport’s Crash, Fire and Rescue Team, Bangs Ambulance and the Lansing Fire Department were on the scene providing medical assistance. There will be a celebration of Downes’ life at the Ithaca Children’s Garden on April 17 at 2 p.m. The event is open to the public. The posting also urges that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions should be made to the Ithaca Children’s Garden in her honor. The Ithaca Children’s Garden is located at 1001 West Seneca Street, Suite 101. Hunter Seitz can be reached at


Trouble on Route 13 | One woman died in a car crash on Friday. She will be honored in a celebration of life ceremony at Ithaca Children’s Garden on Wednesday.

Google Research Award By SOPHIA ARZUMANOV Sun Staff Writer

Last month, 10 Cornell faculty in Computing and Information Science received the 2018 Google Faculty Research Award. Out of 158 winning projects, Cornell was the third most awarded out of all participating universities worldwide. To be considered for the award, Cornell faculty submitted research project proposals to Google on topics spanning quantum computing to machine learning. Winners receive funding from Google in order to cover a graduate student’s tuition while working on the proposed project, as well as support from Google researchers. Google’s website states that the goal of the award “is to identify and strengthen long-term collaborative relationships with faculty working on problems that will impact how future generations use technology.” Cornell Tech Prof. Vitaly Shmatikov won an award for his research on the security and privacy implications of machine learning. “I am very happy to receive the Google faculty research award because it shows that Google, which is one of the leaders in the field, is taking security and privacy of machine learning seriously,” Shmatikov told The Sun in an email correspondence. “Cornell is a wonderful place to pursue this research — we have an environment that encourages faculty to work on high-impact research,” he continued. Prof. Christina Delimitrou, electrical and computer engineering, also received an award for her work on optimizing performance and efficiency of “datacenters,” which power the web’s most popular online services. She said that the award offers a “great opportunity” to collaborate with Google, one of the main operators of warehouse-scale datacenters.

Delimitrou also spoke about the long-term effects of the award, which will allow her to “establish longer-term interactions that can lead to our research work having real-world impact.” Many other high-impact project proposals received the award. Prof. Immanuel Trummer, computer science, hopes to combat the viral spread of false information online. “Ultimately, I hope that this research will make it harder to publish — either accidentally or on purpose — wrong claims on the Web,” Trummer said. Prof. Zhiru Zhang, electrical and computer engineering, also won an award for his research on the autonomation of the design process of digital integrated circuits, which are the building blocks of the circuits found in everything from cell phones to laptops. “It is very gratifying to have our work recognized by Google, who is a world leader in computing,” he told The Sun. The complete list of Cornell winners are: • Jayadev Acharya, Electrical and Computer Engineering • Yoav Artzi, Computer Science, Cornell Tech and Daniel Lee, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Cornell Tech • Claire Cardie, Computer and Information Science • Christina Delimitrou, Electrical and Computer Engineering • Thorsten Joachims, Computer and Information Science • Mahsa Shoaran, Electrical and Computer Engineering • Vitaly Shmatikov, Computer Science, Cornell Tech • Immanuel Trummer, Computer Science • Zhiru Zhang, Electrical and Computer Engineering Sophia Arzumanov can be reached at

4 The Cornell Daily Sun | Tuesday, April 16, 2019


N.Y.S. Budget Changes May Signal Good News for Cornell By GRACE LU Sun Contributor

Last week, Democrats in the New York State Senate passed a $175 billion budget, bringing a variety of extensive changes that will be enacted in the coming years. “This is the broadest, most sweeping state budget that we have done and for the ninth straight year it was both timely and fiscally responsible,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo, who championed the budget. “This current state budget is good for Cornell. It funds higher education and student aid at previous levels and funds specific Cornell programs that provide research and service and outreach to New Yorkers and NYS government agencies,” Director of Government Relations for the university, Charles Kruzansky, said. The updated budget is good news for many taxpayers. The majority of middle class residents can look forward to a lowering of income-tax rates, and state spending will continue to be restricted in order to close the $3 billion budget gap. However, there are also a variety of new taxes and fees, like the Internet Fairness Conformity Tax, which will charge sales tax for all online purchases. A state-wide ban on plastic bags will also go into effect next year with a potential additional charge for paper bags. Cornell students and Ithaca inhabitants will be subject to these new regulations. Kruzanksy weighed in on the terms of the budget. “Right now the [New York] economy is doing well and the state is bringing in more revenue year to year,” he said in an interview with the Sun. This could be good news for Cornell — when the New York state economy is in decline, less discretionary funding is directed to schools and higher education to accommodate increased mandated costs like unemployment benefits and Medicaid, according to Kruzansky. With more revenue flowing into the state treasury, more money is available to be spent on Cornell, providing students with more resources and funding.

The new budget also solidified a permanent property tax cap. Depending on the rate of inflation, the growth in property taxes will be limited to two percent per year or less. “[The property tax cap] has set the scene for spending at the state, local and school district level under Governor Cuomo,” said Kruzansky. The budget is also an attempt to fix stagnant government funding. “The state government agencies budgets are basically held flat. This includes SUNY budgets, and Cornell gets most of its state funding through the SUNY budget. The amount Cornell receives from NYS has basically been flat for ten years,” said Kruzansky. According to Kruzansky, approximately 35 percent of Cornell’s funding comes from New York State, and the private colleges also receive direct aid from the state. Compared to other states, New York student aid is the most generous in the United States. “For me, money was a big reason for choosing Cornell,” Sam Lustig ’21 told the Sun. “I recognized that getting access to in-state tuition meant a lot of benefits. For me, I’ve always had it in the back of my head that I wanted to go to grad school or law school in the future, and saving $20,000 a year would obviously help me do that.” Prof. Ronald Ehrenberg, economics and industrial and labor relations, raised concerns about how the new budget would be adopted to Cornell in particular, as a university composed of both private and public colleges. “The budget basically does not provide any increased funding for operations for the state campuses at Cornell,” he said. “That’s the main problem.” The new budget also specifically targets upstate New York as an area of vital importance. “The upstate economy is a long-term problem that is the result of demographics — relatively few people coming into upstate, with the exception of a few places like Ithaca, and a steady outmigration of younger people,” said Kruzansky. Ithaca’s ability to avoid the problems of other upstate regions such as fragile employ-


Follow the money | A breakdown of Cornell’s Ithaca campus finances, contributions and investments in 2018. Prof. Ehrenberg was interested in how the budget will be distributed.

ment bases, older and poorer populations and slow economic development, according to Kruzansky, is largely due to Cornell’s presence. Kruzansky noted that his team, which represents Cornell University before the executive and legislative branches of New York

state government, wants to utilize higher education institutions like Cornell as a source of economic activity in New York State in the future. Grace Lu can be reached at

The Watch Begins

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Fire and ice | Kit Harington and Rose Leslie on the red carpet for the final season of Game of Thrones, which aired on HBO Sunday night at 9 p.m. Leslie played ‘Ygritte’ alongside Harington’s Jon Snow.

The Cornell Daily Sun | Tuesday, April 16, 2019 5


Ronny Chieng Crunch Club Explores BDSM and Sex Jokes and Jabs BDSM

Continued from page 3


Continued from page 1

government shutdown with Asian people in charge. We don’t shut down for anything. We don’t even shut down for Christmas!” He went on to discuss the inspirational message that electing an Asian president would send to Asian children in America. Squatting down as if talking to a child, he joked, “Hey, listen buddy. You don’t have to be just a neurosurgeon.” Antonio Saporito ’21 said of the show, “I thought it poked good fun at lots of different topics, yet at the same time, glossed over many large problems that pervade our society.” Chieng also said that working as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah “is a dream come true” because his job is to “go out into the world and fuck with people.” He recounted his interview with Richard Spencer, a leader in the alt-right and white nationalism movements. One of Spencer’s main arguments is comparing the average I.Q. of different races, Chieng recalled, but when Chieng pointed out to Spencer that Asians have the highest average I.Q., Spencer simply agreed. “White supremacists think Asian people are the best,” joked Chieng. “I’m not trying to defend white supremacists here,” he continued. “But it’s nice to be wanted.” Returning to the topic of his international background, he compared performing comedy in Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. According to Chieng, comedy in the U.S. is relaxed and low-key, whereas in Australia and the U.K., “comedy is serious business” and prone to critique by bloggers who rate comedians with a five-star system. “Ronny Chieng is two stars,” he said. He refers to these bloggers as amateurs “mining for outrage for clicks” who were enabled by the Internet despite having no qualifications or experience in the subject they are criticizing. “How can you critique without creating?” Chieng questioned. He also emphasized the importance of taking initiative and actively following one’s goals, especially in an environment like Cornell. “Don’t get too wrapped up with the bullshit,” he advised the students in attendance. “You guys are at an Ivy League, you’ll be okay.” “Is this a cool school? This is a good school, right?” he asked the audience. He was answered by a shout from the crowd: “Two stars.” Angela Li can be reached at

Gay Saves the Day? Offers to Speak At Convocation ROXANE

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whether they are considering Gay. The committee convened Sunday night and is seeking a replacement for Minhaj for the May 25 graduation weekend event. The committee solicited 1,200 names from members last semester and narrowed them down to form a ranked list of 25 people viewed as successful, relatable and charismatic. Minhaj, the host of Netflix’s Patriot Act, “breached contract” by dropping out Thursday as Cornell’s celebrity convocation speaker, according to sources and internal committee messages. Minhaj’s publicist has not responded to requests for comment and Cornell has not answered a list of questions. Asked what she would tell graduating seniors if she were to take the lectern at Schoellkopf Field, Gay gave a brief preview. “I would talk about how if we don’t start giving each other the benefit of the doubt, and really listening to each other, we are truly doomed to repeat the mistakes of history. But funny,” she wrote. Gay’s morning tweet racked up more than 500 likes (she has more than 500,000 followers), and some replies from hopeful Cornellians. “I teach your writing every semester in my freshman comp and intro creative writing classes,” lecturer Emily Rosello Mercurio MFA ’18 wrote on Twitter. “You would be a phenomenal choice for convocation!” Gay isn’t the only person who spotted an opportunity in Minhaj’s wake. In response to the report of the comedian’s cancellation, Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick ’09 wrote on Twitter: “Fine, I’ll do it.” Myrick spoke to Ithaca High School seniors in 2014 about the importance of living lives of which they can be proud. Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs can be reached at

“We do not kink shame. It doesn’t matter if no one else in the club shares an individual’s kink — we’re not going to judge because we may be the only one who has a particular kink as well,” Thrace said. Although the club’s culture is welcoming and open to any and all Cornell students, Thrace expressed concerns over external stigmatization, especially where it concerns her personal career. “I think some of us are a little more worried about the world outside [of Cornell] finding out,” she said. As a graduate student currently looking for job opportunities, she reaffirmed her decision to use a pseudonym in order to ensure that her relationship to Crunch remain private. “When I first joined the club, I didn’t [use a pseudonym], but then I realized — no, I’m going to look for jobs, I should take a little additional step here,” she said. “Especially as a woman, unfortunately, our personal lives still get taken into

account way more than men’s lives do in the professional world.” Despite stigmatization, Crunch retains its mission to provide open discussions for any kind of member. Thrace cited psychological evidence that everyone has some type of fetish or interest, normalizing the concept of kink. She added that starting these types of conversations leads to stronger, healthier relationships and strengthens personal confidence and identity. “It just makes the whole experience very fulfilling. I would love it if this is something we could all be more open about and talk about without fear of being outed or being judged,” she said. “We’re sex nerds. We’re into all the different ways and the different varieties of sensations you can get about it. And there’s nothing wrong with that.” Crunch meets weekly on Tuesdays. Students interested in learning more can reach out to Crunch at cornellcrunch@ Anyi Cheng can be reached at

Prof. Bracey Honors Prof. Emeritus James Turner AFRICANA

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previously told The Sun. The celebrations commenced on Friday at the Africana Studies and Research Center with panel discussions about working with Turner as a colleague and a student. Additionally, there was a screening of films and videos of Turner led by Eric Acree, director of the John Henrik Clarke Africana Library. The events continued on Saturday with a panel discussion on student activism and lunch. The keynote address was given by Prof. John Bracey, current co-director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a friend and former classmate of Turner. Bracey and Turner attended Northwestern University together for graduate school in the 1960s and helped students launch an African-American studies program at Northwestern. Prof. Russell Rickford, history, introduced Bracey at the event, acknowledging the importance and historic moment. However, he expressed disappointment at the lack of undergraduate students in attendance, calling it a “missed opportunity.” Bracey thought it was “fitting” they honored Turner for the contributions he made to Cornell because of how he changed the Africana department. “Cornell was not seen as an academically interesting place for African Americans until after [James Turner] got here,” Bracey said. “Now when you mention African American studies and the study of African American people, then Cornell is the top of what people think about and that’s because of Jim’s efforts and Cornell is overdue in acknowledging that,” he told The Sun before his speech. As he began the speech, Bracey noted the different approaches Northwestern and Cornell took towards commemorating the activism that occurred on campus. Northwestern tried to characterize the takeover that happened there as a “Northwestern event” when it was actually an “anti-Northwestern event,” Bracey said. He contrasted Northwestern’s actions with Cornell’s by saying Cornell is “smart” to honor the work that Turner himself did. “Jim Turner did this. He got the people in this room, not Cornell,” Bracy said. “Cornell is smart enough to stay away and get people what they deserve.” At the time, Turner and Bracey were in graduate school. They were in a position that was unique compared

to other students, Bracey said, as they were creating “black studies” as their careers progressed — despite many detractors saying it wouldn’t last. “We never taught a class that we didn’t make up ourselves,” Bracey said. “How many white scholars can say they created a discipline? A discipline.” “We are still here, 50 years later, we are still here,” he added. What led him and Turner to fight for a black students program was the undergraduates at Northwestern at the time, he said. The treatment that the black undergraduate students were facing was what “made [them] move.” At Northwestern, the issues stemmed from black students unable to change roommates to plantation-themed Greek parties where black women were supposed to wear aprons and serve guests according to The

“Cornell was not seen as an academically interesting place for African Americans until after [James Turner] got here.” Prof. John Bracey Daily Northwestern. . Additionally, the students wanted better resources and opportunities for their fellow black students. Thus, in May 1968, a group of students supported locked themselves into the Bursar’s office at Northwestern and did not leave until their demands were addressed, according to The Daily Northwestern. Turner took on the role of negotiating between the students and administrators at Northwestern. Graduate students also adopted the rule of mentoring and guiding students rather than leading them, since it was the undergraduates’ “issue,” Bracey said. He also explained how it was their goal to protect the undergraduate students who were fighting. After the Northwestern takeover, Bracey and Turner went their separate academic ways, leading budding Africana departments at different institutions — Turner at Cornell. One thing Cornell may not have realized was the type of candidate they were hiring. Bracey said that Cornell thought Turner was an “institutional candidate” to lead the Africana department — however, he said, that was far from the truth. “They thought they were going to get an institutional brother, to fit into the Ivy League,” Bracey said. “We want a department, we want a budget, we want a library, we want our own space.” Turner was true to himself and con-

tinued to fight for better resources and a stronger department throughout his time at Cornell. “Jim didn’t leave because they burned down a building. Jim said build another building. They didn’t know,” Bracey said. Bracey concluded his talk by mentioning the importance of Africana Studies as a discipline, noting the many accomplishments black people have made and the historical significance of Africa that isn’t highlighted in a Eurocentric curriculum. He explained that in sociology, many white sociologists at the turn of the twentieth century were focused on eugenics and pseudoscience, whereas W. E. B. Du Bois was conducting empirical studies. According to Bracey, Turner was making sure people knew the accomplishments of black people and the history of contributions to society that have been made. “Where are the white sociologist you have to read? I hear you have to read the Souls of Black Folk? The Philadelphia Negro? … Du Bois is the father of sociology, not some white people,” Bracey said. Additionally, he said that as students are advocating for themselves in the future, it is important to recognize that the problems he faced 50 years ago are different than the problems now. The benefit of Africana studies is that it is about deciding what you want to change and changing it, Bracey said. “I can’t tell you what to do. I can help you do what you want to do,” Bracey said. “But you decide what you want to change what you see. That’s what is Africana studies, not dictating the ideology.” He concluded his talk by acknowledging the hard work that Prof. Turner had and how he never stopped fighting and was a “warrior”, even during his time in academia. “You job is to fight,” Bracey said. “Your life is to move towards that and that’s why we honored Jim.” “The regret would have been not fighting,” Bracey concluded. After the keynote speech, there was a panel discussion with current and former professors sharing their own personal reflections on the life and character of Turner. Among those in the panel included Robert L. Harris, former director of the Africana Center. The event closed with tributes from members of Turner’s family that were in attendance, led by his wife Janice Turner, and a closing ceremony for the weekend. Amina Kilpatrick can be reached at


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Letter to the Editor

Re: ‘Governor Cuomo Kicks off Ithaca Airport Renovations to Send the Region Soaring’ To the editor: Among Cornellians who have caught wind of the Tompkins County Airport expansion project, support for the initiative seems strong. If followed through with, local air travel will no longer look the same. Yes, Cornell students applying for high-salary jobs in cities ranging from Toronto to London will be able to more easily travel to interviews. Sure, President Martha Pollack’s non-public roster of endless global expeditions will occur with greater ease. But those truly paying attention realize that these perceived benefits to our Ivy League institution will come at a deep expense to the larger community — one that’s already immeasurably burdened by our wealthy school’s shockingly low local tax contributions. In closed-door discussions with members of the Tompkins County Immigrant Rights Coalition, the airport director described the project as a means of advancing President Pollack’s push for a ‘Global Cornell.’ This loosely-defined vision’s success apparently hinges on the invitation of international corporate investment into this town, or at least into the Ivory Tower that occupies its East Hill. Forget any perceived benefits for a moment and consider the fact the nearly $28 million initiative entails the establishment of our county’s first-ever physical and permanent Federal Customs & Border Control Protection facility. CBP atrocities are all too familiar to many of us, especially given the agency’s use of racial profiling and harassment at upstate Greyhound stations. Federal attacks on immigrant rights have brought the situation to crisis levels in recent years, ones that stands to be heightened by this latest iteration of the local development craze. That being said, we express indignation at just how close the airport deal is to completion. We demand to know what precise role the University has played if at all in the planned expansion, including any private negotiations its leadership held with airport directors and other key stakeholders in the project. We question whether or not our University’s ostensibly liberal administrators care at all for the children caged and separated from their families by CBP on our nation’s southern borders. Given their silence on the matter, we worry that they have failed entirely to consider how a new CBP facility will likely replicate such xenophobic crimes in our small rural corner of New York State. If there’s ever a time for the Finger Lakes region’s arguably most powerful institution to use its political capital for the human good, it’s right now. The large-scale infiltration of CBP in the Tompkins County area cannot be left unchallenged. In conclusion, this enlarged airport will supposedly belong to and benefit us as Cornell students — or rather, those of us whose racial backgrounds and immigration statuses won’t elicit harassment from federal authorities. But read our lips: We say no. The righteous path forward is meaningful investment in the increasingly expensive, poverty-ridden towns surrounding the Cornell bubble, not high-priced developments that benefit the wealthiest among us. More than anything, we reject one of the federal government’s most sinister factions establishing a permanent base in our community. We do so not simply as a symbolic or political declaration of opposition to America’s emboldened deportation machine, but in the pursuit of sheltering our immigrant neighbors from the completion of its ultimate goal: The wholesale xenophobic ‘cleansing’ of those deemed ‘outsiders’ from White America. We are certainly not the first to raise this issue, and rest assured will not be the last. We call on fellow members of the Cornell community to fight for an unconditional moratorium on this project, which could take the form of demanding University transparency or lending a helping hand to the Tompkins County Immigrant Rights Coalition’s ongoing grassroots campaign. A better world is possible, and anti-immigrant state terror isn’t part of it. Steve Tarcan ’20, political chair of MEChA de Cornell Adam Khatib ’20, president of Islamic Alliance for Justice Christopher Hanna ’19, board chair of the Tompkins County Workers’ Center Malikul Muhamad ’20, lead organizer of the Cornell Qatar Action Committee












What to Expect When You Don’t Want to Be Expecting

t took Cornell senior Maddie* three doc- lum may sound tedious, there is reason to tor’s visits to find a birth control option believe that they are consequential. For instance, in the states that are the that worked for her. While trying to find the right contraception, Maddie worried most adamant proponents of abstinence about how different forms of contraception only sex education, we see the highest rates might affect her recovery process from of teen pregnancy. While some states are eating disorders. Weight gain and mood more progressive than others, we are failing changes were among her concerns, but her on a national level to provide students with main focus was which option would allow important information right at the time her to keep a regular, monthly menstrual when they need it. And the information cycle — something that can be an import- deficits we create at age 16 don’t necessarily ant indicator of appropriate weight and self-correct in adulthood. “Getting into the schools is really diffioverall health for those in recovery. Although her medical records indicate a cult,” said Dr. Sareeta Bjerke ’89, OBGYN, history of anorexia, Maddie said her expe- on her experience trying to contribute to rience with it didn’t come up in visits until the sex education initiatives of her school she finally brought it up herself during her district in Connecticut. “For 20 years I third appointment. After reading a study have tried to discuss birth control in public on how different forms of birth control can schools but it’s too politically charged and be better suited for those with anorexia, she there are too many parents who think that felt compelled to raise the issue. “I knew that is not the school’s responsibility.” While New York State is relatively what to ask for on my own because luckily medicine, and specifically women’s health, progressive on the birth control front — is what I study. But this isn’t the norm and from allowing teens to seek out confidenit’s concerning to think how many girls tial services to its passage of the recent approach birth control consultations with Comprehensive Contraception Act — there less information.” is still a ways to go. “In most places, our Maddie’s story is just one of many that youth in the state are not receiving comillustrates the often unspoken complexities prehensive, inclusive, age-appropriate inforof women’s reproductive health. I talked to mation through sex education,” said Ashley other women between the ages of 18 and McGuire from Planned Parenthood of the 25, many of whom were Cornell students, Southern Finger Lakes, noting that even who felt that their experiences seeking out within a state there can be sizable variation prescriptions were similarly complicated by from school district to school district. different elements of their health profiles. And just as there’s variation from school Concerns related to mental to school, there’s variation from health and hormonal side doctor’s office to doctor’s office. effects were among the Elizabeth Marshall M.D., a most common. chief resident of family medIt should be noted icine at the University early on that the vast of Michigan Medical majority of birth School, said that control side effects conversations are negligible comabout birth conpared to the side trol generally effects of a pregnandon’t take too long. “Let’s say cy. And birth conCOURTESY OF ANNIKA BJERKE ’19 someone came trol — despite the to my office for precarious future of its accessibility — has changed a cold but somehow birth control the world by facilitating family planning. came up in the course of the conversation The rate of unplanned pregnancies in the — I can go my through my general spiel in United States has reached a record low, as seven minutes.” This comprehensive spiel, have the rates of abortion and teen pregnan- Marshall said, includes everything from cy. In all of these developments, access to a presentation of different options to an assessment of a patient’s lifestyle factors that contraception has been instrumental. Birth control, by and large, is a great could make one option better than another. Keeping it short and simple, for most thing. But that doesn’t mean that our information on it and access to it couldn’t patients, is ideal: with a straightforward medical record, there’s no need to make the be better. When we think about birth control, process of prescribing birth control more we need to think about accessibility: what complicated or less efficient than it needs to are the barriers — be it cost, age or social be. But the brevity of standard prescription stigma — preventing women from getting processes only makes me more convinced birth control and how can those barriers be of a need for more external information. alleviated? But beyond the baseline of access, Doctors can’t read patients’ minds, so it’s we should also be pushing for more quality important for patients to come knowing information on contraception, including what to ask. In my conversations with Cornell stuthe pros and cons of different types. Each of the physicians I spoke with for dents, I found a surprising gap in the this column flagged a myriad of misconcep- information held from person to person. tions that patients come with when seeking Some students who went to public school out prescriptions. While medical providers in progressive states or whose parents were are an obvious source of immediate and physicians could give contraception spiels accurate information, they alone can’t nec- of their own. Others were more in the essarily shoulder the burden of educating dark, including more than one who said the public on every option, under every they didn’t know IUDs existed until well into their college years. The onus is gencondition, for every person. One might think that sex education erally on women to handle contraception, in schools would be a logical place to assuming financial costs, inconvenience and begin combatting misconceptions, but lim- any potential side effects. But in a country ited curricula have rendered many initia- where our sex education is largely insuffitives counterproductive. In 18 states, for cient and access to health care is scattered, instance, educators are required to teach many women also are confronted with the that sex is only acceptable in marriage. And additional burden of educating themselves only 10 states expressly mention “consent” on the issue. in their curricula. The average age at which teens in the *The subject’s name was changed to U.S. become sexually active is 17, but only ensure their anonymity. 18 states and the District of Columbia Jacqueline Groskaufmanis is a senior in the College of require that information on contraception Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at jgroskaufmanbe provided during in-school sex education. The Dissent runs every other While each of these specificities in curricu- Tuesday this semester.

The Cornell Daily Sun | Tuesday, April 16, 2019 7


DongYeon (Margaret) Lee | Here, There and Everywhere


Cornell Fitness Centers Should Be Free to Students

he cost to attend Cornell University has skyrocketed each year. The tuition for the 2019-2020 academic year is $56,550, a $6,000 increase from the $50,712 I paid for my freshman year in 2016-2017. This price tag is the tuition alone, which does not consider other costs to attend Cornell, such as the student activity fee, housing, dining and much more. The total cost to attend an endowed college at this institution will amount to around $75,000 for the upcoming academic year. At a place where costs stack up higher each year, fitness memberships should not be an added burden placed on students. Why fitness facilities are an additional expense for students who already pay such a hefty price for the Cornell experience has continued to baffle me. During this past academic year, students were required to spend $159 per year or $100 per semester in membership fees to use the Cornell Fitness Centers equipment and attend group exercise classes. This may not initially seem to be a major concern, since many other cost-related issues already permeate across campus. From overpriced apartments to expensive meals, there are numerous ways through which Cornell students, some of whom are taking on loans to help finance their education, are expected to empty out their pockets. $159 may not appear to be the foremost cost issue, but it is definitely a barrier that precludes students who are on a tight budget from seeking a healthier lifestyle. $159 inhibits people like me who aren’t avidly athletic from even trying because we might as well allocate those funds to an additional meal per week throughout the year. “For people who feel the need to exercise, the high membership fee may be worth it. For everyone else who may want to go occasionally, the fee discourages them from feeling the need to exercise,” said Jenny Wu ’19. Among the many issues across campus, mental health has been a key concern according to President

Martha Pollack’s address to the Student Assembly last month. In its “broader and more holistic approach” to examining mental health issues, the University should consider opening the doors to the fitness facilities to all students. From the University’s standpoint, this would be a doable and cost-effective measure that not only improves students’ physical health but also their mental health. As is commonly known, exercise boosts the body’s ability to respond to stress, thereby relieving symptoms such as depression. Encouraging regular activity through

enhancing student well-being. While Binghamton University is one of the few schools nearby that requires a $180 annual membership fee, students there receive a reimbursement if they make 50 visits in a six month period. If providing free membership for all students is unfeasible at Cornell, similar reimbursement programs that have existed in the past should be brought back at the minimum. CFC’s newly launched late-night special option, which allows all members of the Cornell community to use its fitness centers on Friday and Saturday evenings past 8 p.m., is a good start. Yet many students have prior commitments on Friday and Saturday evenings, posing an additional accessibility issue. Students should not have to see enriching their social and extracurricular activities and their health as an “either or” option. The University should designate certain free fitness facilities for each day. The fitness centers could be open on additional days throughout the week at varying times. For example, the centers could be open to all community members during Mondays and Tuesdays in the afternoon, and Wednesdays and Thursdays in the morning, in addition to the evening hours on Fridays and Saturdays. Another possible resolution could be to offer one or more free group fitness classes per week throughout the semester, with a signup deadline required at least 24 hours before the class takes place. There are many processes through which CFC could be made more accessible for its primary users — the students — without posing a major burden on its operations. It is now time for Cornell to realize the need to foster student well-being by adopting a policy that is already set in stone by comparable Ivy League and New York State colleges.

Encouraging regular activity through eliminating the cost to use fitness facilities would bring positive ripple effects. eliminating the cost to use fitness facilities would bring about positive ripple effects in Cornell’s high-stress environment where the number of students who seek Counseling and Psychological Services has risen by eight percent within the past decade. Cornell is the only school in the Ivy League that requires an additional payment from undergraduate students to use its fitness centers during the academic year. Other universities in the area — Ithaca College, Syracuse University, the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology — also include fitness memberships as a part of their student privileges. Just as healthy employees enhance productivity in the workplace, healthy students augment the learning environment. These schools in the Ivy League and in Upstate New York understand that making athletic facilities accessible is an effective method of directly

DongYeon (Margaret) Lee is a junior in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. She can be reached at Here, There amd Everywhere appears alternate Tuesdays this semester.

Sarah Lieberman | Blueberries for Sal


f there’s one thing I hate, it’s getting ripped off. And yet, I feel like I’m diving headfirst into one big, overpriced scam. In the past couple of weeks, after accepting a job offer in New York City, I have turned browsing Craigslist apartments into a hobby. Everyone has told me it’s too early to even browse, but

Ending up back in Kansas after college was my greatest fear. I come from a family that leafs through listings in the newspaper and attends open houses without any intention of moving. I am obsessed with real estate, and I am obsessed with getting good deals. However, I am repeatedly ripping my heart out of my chest as I search for an apartment. I catch myself using the word “affordable” when I really mean “relatively affordable,” which, in real life, is completely unaffordable. I grew up in Lawrence, Kan., so moving to the city was always a distant dream of mine. I remember sitting in fifth hour newspaper class in high school, talking nonstop with my best friend about moving away and “doing the writer thing” with her. I remember learning that I had been accepted to Cornell and feeling like that city dream was close enough to touch — being in New York state and all. That makes me laugh now. But even with graduation on the near horizon, the City still feels like an impossible combination of close and

Move to the Midwest far. I am extremely excited for my job, but it isn’t the insane writing gig that got my heart beating fast in high school. I question how much I have changed throughout college insomuch that I’ve learned that full-time “doing the writing thing” in NYC can’t be supported by picking up a few shifts as a hostess like it could in Kansas. It is close, or closer at least, in geography and time, but it is so far away in terms of feeling like a possible, human thing to do. How can I throw myself into a career and try to build a home while pouring unimaginable money into rent, which isn’t even an investment? Even though I have been dreaming of the City since childhood, I must admit, the math is scary. A Daily Beast article from 2018 explained how young people are choosing to move to humbler Midwestern cities rather than the dreamy, recognizable names on the coasts just for the sake of cheaper rent. “Do the math: The average millennial needs 28 years for a San Francisco down payment, compared to nine years in Minneapolis and less than three in Kansas City,” says the subheading. This type of investment, in choosing less popular destinations for more reasonable rates, is becoming increasingly popular. However, at Cornell, this could not feel farther from the truth. Nearly every senior I know plans to work in NYC, Washington D.C. or San Francisco. Maybe it is a mob mentality, or maybe it is easy to convince ourselves that these cities are where all the opportunities are. Being from the Midwest, maybe I have lower standards for how “cool” a city has to be in order to call it “cool.”

But to me, Kansas City is actually only seeming cooler and cooler. I start to wonder why I had such big city dreams when I remember all the things that make the Midwest special, like the reasonable rent and restaurants. Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana and Ohio are all in the top ten most affordable states, according to the U.S. News and World Report. This list takes into account housing, groceries and income. While it does feel appalling that minimum wage is still $7.25 in some places in the country, it is undeniable that your dollar goes farther in Middle America. So why don’t we consider packing our bags and heading to the Midwest after college? Well, there is something to be said for the romanticism of dreams, and dreams aren’t really about logic. Growing up, ending up back in Kansas after college was my greatest fear. To me, it was a symbol of stagnancy. Now, from upstate New York, it’s easier to see all the good things that Kansas had to offer. And maybe, one day, I will go back. But for now, it’s still all about apartment hunting and the MTA. So, it is maybe the greatest irony that I am arguing for the sanctity of Midwestern living. But it certainly isn’t for reasons such as logic or frugality. The Midwest seems like the clear winner when considering money. Instead, I am going to NYC both because I love it and because the people I love are doing it. I am excited about the work, and I hope to get excit-

ed about paying for an apartment too. I think about all the ways living in the City will be different from living in Kansas or even in Ithaca. I won’t have to commute an hour to the nearest Trader Joe’s anymore, but I will have to wait in line for an hour. I’ve swallowed the difficult truth that I can no longer offer to hold strangers’ babies. I have practiced not saying “good morning,” wearing more black and walking faster. These are all parts of getting acclimated to a new life in a bigger city. Maybe getting used to being ripped off will be a part of it, too. Collegetown real estate prepared me for this moment, and I’m going to keep looking at Craigslist until I cry. For anyone looking to pursue something creative after college, think creatively. My job will give me so much opportunity for learning and growth

How can I throw myself into a career and build a home while pouring unimaginable money into rent, which isn’t even an investment? and the ability to still chase my writing dream. Success at my first job after college, to me, has become finding a supportive network of goal-oriented, interesting people and doing work that I find exciting and fulfilling. Sarah Lieberman is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at Blueberries for Sal runs every other Tuesday this semester.

8 The Cornell Daily Sun | Tuesday, April 16, 2019

The Cornell Daily Sun | Tuesday, April 16, 2019 9


SCIENCE Animal Behavior


Sounds of Spring: The Behavioral Science Behind Birdsong Development By VIVIAN JIANG Sun Contributor


Zebra finches| Male finches adjust their vocalizations in response to the behaviors of females.

Springtime has officially come to Ithaca, and, along with it, a chorus of songbirds from robins to cardinals to finches. While these melodies may seem ordinary, according to Prof. Michael Goldstein, psychology, a songbird’s song is more than just sonorous chirping — it can reveal the mechanisms of language development in humans. Goldstein studies vocal learning in both human infants and songbirds, specifically zebra finches. He is particularly interested in the social factors behind these processes. “Different species use song in different ways. There’s no such thing as a generic songbird. Some songbirds use their song for mate attraction, some use it for territory

defense, some use it for both in different contexts,” Goldstein said. According to Goldstein, if one of the main purposes of birdsong is mate attraction, then a song’s quality can be measured by the response it elicits in potential mates. Goldstein proposed measuring the quality of birdsong by using a “female bioassay” — essentially testing the degree to which females like and respond to a given song. Goldstein explained that higher-quality songs likely demonstrate a mate’s higher fitness or health because “it takes a lot of energy and a lot of motor control to properly articulate a song.” Zebra finches start vocalizing around ten days after hatching. After 30 days, they start making “what’s called subsong, and then plastic songs that are analogous to a baby babbling,” Goldstein said. Subsongs consist of short, variable syllables, while plastic songs are slightly more similar to adult birdsong but still very subject to change. By around day 90, that song becomes “crystallized” and will not develop any further. Zebra finches don’t learn new song past this stage, but what happens between the start of vocalization and the crystallization of song is key — Goldstein has found that young zebra finches rely on social feedback from their parents in order to produce better song. “Dads will sing contingently on the babies’ immature vocalizations. Moms give gestural responses, little wing movements, what are called wing strokes and fluff-ups. The young use this information, contingent

on their song, to build a better song,” said Goldstein. A 2017 study, co-written by Goldstein and four other researchers, tested this idea of social learning in zebra finches. A group of zebra finches were manipulated to have enhanced receptors of vasotocin, a hormone similar to oxytocin that is related to social behavior. In particular, this small peptide has been found to play a role in bonding, competition, vocalizations and many other behavioral features. Another group was given manning compound, a vasotocin receptor blocker, essentially making those finches less socially attuned. A control group was given saline. The study found that the quality of song was related to how “socially attuned” each finch was, based on whether their vasotocin receptors were enhanced or blocked. This study highlights the importance of social learning in song development. This learning process is therefore similar to language development in humans, particularly regarding the importance of feedback. When babies babble, they rely on feedback from their parents, very similarly to how young zebra finches develop their songs based on the responses they receive from their parents. By making plastic song or babbling, both species create learning opportunities for themselves. One factor influencing these similarities in vocal development between zebra finches and humans might be brain structure. According to Goldstein, the area of a bird’s brain responsible for birdsong — called Area

X — is somewhat similar to the superior temporal gyrus in humans, which is involved in speech. Both are connected to structures related to social reward. “At the brain level, there are parallels in conductivity between areas responsible for things like social reward and motivation and areas responsible for song or speech production,” Goldstein said. This idea of social feedback in language development could be very important when considering atypical development. For instance, infants with Down syndrome babble more slowly, which can lead to different reactions in parents and can potentially affect vocal learning. In addition to Down syndrome, Goldstein’s research on vocal development has countless applications. In particular, he cited a better understanding of atypical vocal development in infants born with autism, infants receiving cochlear infants for deafness and infants born into lower socioeconomic households. “By putting development into social context, we’re gaining a better understanding of the biological and social mechanisms that drive developmental change in communication systems, and because we’re doing it in multiple species, that gives us insight into how development itself has evolved — both the evolution of communication as well as the development of communication,” Goldstein said. Vivian Jiang can be reached at

Cornell Astronomers Identify Thousands of Stars that Could Support Other ‘Earths’

By CAROLINE CHANG Sun Contributor

One of mankind’s most timeless questions: are we alone in the universe? Prof. Lisa Kaltenegger, astronomy, and her research team, have recently identified 1,822 stars that could potentially have orbiting planets that support life. The stars of interest were spotted from the TESS Mission, launched back in June 2018, and could be viable candidates for having planets similar to our own. Finding another planet resembling Earth primarily depends on how effectively astronomers can detect and characterize exoplanets, or planets that orbit stars outside our solar system. By using powerful space telescopes, they have already made — and continue to make — progress in spotting and learning more about such exoplanets. These researchers are specifically focusing on studying rocky planets that orbit relatively closer stars to Earth. “Generally, a planet needs to be a certain distance away from the star to not be too hot — so the oceans won’t evaporate due to the extreme heat — and not too far away from the stars, so the planet does not freeze over because it receives so little energy from its sun,” Kaltenegger said. In essence, Kaltenegger explained that, to support life, a planet must fall within the star’s habitable zone. According to Kaltenegger, the majority of the stars from the TESS Habitable Zone Catalog are cooler, redder stars (also known as M stars) that are reasonably close to Earth and are easily observable from telescopes on Earth. Kaltenegger and her team model the light fingerprints of planets that orbit other stars, by searching for small dips in brightness emitted from that star. “It is easier to find [planets] around small stars because an Earth-sized planet blocks more starlight from your view if the star is small, than if the star is very big,” Kaltenegger explained.


Telescope tinkering | NASA’s new spacecraft gives scientists a clearer view of the planets orbiting stars near to us. “When a planet blocks part of the hot stellar surface from our compared to their stars,” Kaltenegger said. “But our telescopes view, the star appears periodically dimmer because we don’t are getting bigger to collect more light from such small dim see all of its hot bright surface. From how much it dims, we objects.” Additionally, to observe an exoplanet’s atmosphere from can figure out how big the planet is compared to its star,” the ground, astronomers would need to take careful steps to Kaltenegger said. According to Kaltenegger, astronomers assess whether the distinguish between detectable water molecules from Earth’s studied planet is getting comparable amounts of energy from own atmosphere and the actual water present in the atmoits star as the Earth receives from the Sun; this is called Earth- sphere of the studied planet. analog irradiation. Studying this provides insight into whether According to Kaltenegger, with the next generation of or not the environment on a particular planet is hospitable to telescopes, such as the James Webb Space Telescope and the any form of life. Extremely Large telescope, astronomers will for the first time Other factors that Kaltenegger’s group considers in their in human history be able to spot and explore the atmosphere research include the size of a particular planet’s star and the of other worlds that could be like ours. planet’s orbit time around that star. However, this exciting research around exoplanets does also present a few non-trivial challenges. Caroline Chang can be reached at “In general, the big problem is that planets are very small


10 | The Corne¬ Daily Sun | Tuesday, April 16, 2019

ARTS& ENTERTAINMENT Boogie and Doja Cat Rock Risley Hall

two people from the audience onto the stage to dance alongside him to his music. After, he brought an additional two people from the audiRisley Hall removed its appearance as a charming dining ence onto the stage — this time to hall and presented itself instead as an intimate and tasteful participate in a freestyle battle. Then venue for a concert for Doja Cat and Boogie on Saturday later, he even came off the stage to night. High ceilings accented with low hanging chandeliers, join the audience and had everyone a 20x16 foot stage, large speakers with a deep base and a large circle around him as he passionately floor for bopping and dancing to the music occupied the hall. rapped “Self Destruction” with no The event, organized by The Multicultural Concert shirt on. Overall, his performance Funding Advisory Board, led off with Boogie — a soulful, was animated, entertaining and lyrical and talented rapper from Compton who recently impressive. Boogie is definitely an signed with Shady Records, Eminem’s record label, in 2017. artist to put on your radar. Boogie’s performance was proof of why Shady Records signed After Boogie’s exciting perforhim, showing that he’s a multifaceted rapper with great stage mance, Doja Cat was up to bat. presence that will make a distinguishable mark on the indus- Personally, Doja Cat was just an try. His set swayed from utilizing hard and rhythmic trap amusing singer who sung the viral beats to melodic and reflective instrumentation. He called hit “Mooo!” on YouTube, having garnered a rich 44 million views. To ALICE SONG / SUN SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER others around me, Doja Cat was much more: She was a queen. After watching her performance, I was convinced of her royalty. As soon as Doja Cat walked on, I was stunned by her beauty and then awed by her flawless falsettos. Her music was fun, making the crowd jump and shake their hips. Her dancing was hot, fluid and very skillful. The crowd lost themselves in wonder when she somehow managed to seductively move her way up and down in platform boots. The experience was unforgettable. Doja Cat sang “Happy Birthday” to one girl in the crowd, and the whole audience proudly filled in verses to parts of Doja’s songs. At the end of the set, Doja Cat called up nearly 20 people from the audience onto the stage to dance and sing alongside her. Boogie and Doja Cat are two special BY JEREMIAH LACON SUN STAFF WRITER


artists who deserve the recognition that they are gaining. If MCFAB decides to host another event, be certain they’ll attract more fantastic performers right and you’ll have a fun time attending. If either Boogie or Doja Cat decides to come back to Ithaca, I’ll definitely be attending and you should too. Jeremiah LaCon is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at

Naked Noise Celebrates Its Tenth Anniversary BY STEPHEN YANG SUN STAFF WRITER

There’s a preconceived notion that noise music is just noise, not qualifying as even bad music. It is also widely believed that producing noise music does not require talent. Yes, its amorphous nature collapses the foundation of traditional music theory. And yes, as such, people argue that noise music deviates too far away from the set of standards we have established to objectively appreciate music. Even among contemporary musicians that have pushed against the traditions themselves, this is often a shared consensus and it further alienates noise music. By its nature, noise music is characterized as chaotic, unfamiliar and offensive. This is accentuated through the use of abrasive frequencies, profuse volume and atonal sound. Arguments against noise music often focus solely on this defiance and rejection of aesthetics, yet I would contend that noise music redefines its own aesthetics and invents a new form of listening experience.


Just go to Naked Noise and you will understand. Presented by Ithaca Underground, Naked Noise could be perceived as a welcoming and inclusive experience for people to enter the world of noise. People both in and outside of the local music scene show up at the event. It is established as an annual large ensemble of improvised ritual drone in the local Ithaca community. As a celebration of the 10th year since its inauguration, the third floor of the Community School of Music and Arts was transformed into an immersive audio-visual experience. The room was encircled by musicians with percussionists in the center and enveloped by a shimmering visual installation that twined the synthesizers and even the moving musicians. Simultaneously, the artists improvised for two 45-minute sets of noise. Even for these artists with varying and distinct styles, they still modestly endeavored to complement others and find the symmetry amid the turbulence of noise music. As an audience, the experience is intimate, intense and almost interactive. More than merely being the audience, those who were

present at the venue were participants of the experience. The audience was encouraged to walk around the space during the performance. To a certain degree, the performance was influenced by the wandering audience. For each artist, their movement signals differing points of accelerations,

“Noise music redefines its own aesthetics and invents a new form of listening experience. ” Stephen Yang ’22 climaxes and pauses at different parts of the room. The space was flowing like a coalesced soundwave with the rises and falls of the performance. After all, the intent of experimental music is to constantly critique the current boundaries. Noise artifacts cannot explain the music’s meaningfulness to its artists and audience, yet the collective experience

becomes the very content of its own music form. As noise music frames an utter sense of detachment through its prevalent use of machines, it is surprisingly all-inclusive and establishes a common language for opinions and artistry to freely collide. Aiden Kolodziej ’21, who participated in the event, said he feels that “noise music provides an environment in which people can connect more meaningfully and authentically as there are no real expectations of the people or of the music.” From his perspective, it appeals to a primitive part of us that surpasses the barriers of our cultural backgrounds, and as such, anyone can appreciate and feel a connection to it in some ways. We both agree noise music is analogous to the notion of being unclothed as it is stripped of any references. Noise is naked, as simple as that.

Stephen Yang is a freshman at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He can be reached at

Comics and Puzzles

Sundoku Fill in the empty cells, one number in each, so that each column, row, and region contains the numbers 1-9 exactly once. Each number in the solution therefore occurs only once in each of the three “directions,” hence the “single numbers” implied by the puzzle’s name. (Rules from Sudoku)

The Cornell Daily Sun | Tuesday, April 16, 2019 11

Puzzle #50


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12 The Cornell Daily Sun | Tuesday, April 16, 2019




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We Are All Witnesses I have been a sports fan all my life. Athletic competition, in all its forms, represents an incredible escape from the realm of bad things. And in any sports fan’s life, there are a few key events that one can always look back on as moments whose drama and intrigue transcend the human experience. On Sunday, we all bore witness to the culmination of perhaps the greatest comeback in the history of professional sports. Eldrick Tont Woods, scarred by scandal and multiple back surgeries, won the most prestigious tournament in golf fewer than two years after considering retirement. And every second of it was electric. Nearly 10 years ago, Tiger’s name became synonymous with shame and disgrace. Off the course, the media put his infidelity under a microscope in headline after headline and his divorce became public gossip, all while injuries, age and fatigue began to limit his once-invincible play on the course. In a matter of months, Tiger’s goal changed drastically: from chasing Jack Nicklaus’ famous 18-major record to swinging a golf club again — perhaps even just walking normally again. Few falls from grace have ever been so dramatic. It’s the sort of thing that most people would not come back from. When Tiger started to make noise in 2018, many began to believe what was once unthinkable: that the man who once churned out victories like a toy manufacturer might actually be able to win again. He posted a top-6 finish at The Open Championship at Carnoustie, then was runner-up to Brooks Koepka at the PGA Championship. But heading into Augusta last week, while many were hopeful that the famous Green Jacket would be placed over Tiger’s Sunday-red turtleneck once again, few actually gave him any chance. Still, from the moment he teed off on Thursday morning, it was clear who the patrons were rooting for. The starter didn’t even announce Tiger’s name. He didn’t have to. And with the doubters looking on, Tiger put on a memorable performance across 72


Eye of the Tiger | Two years ago, Tiger Woods was considering retirement. On Sunday, he won the Master’s.

holes and one by one, the doubters joined the cheering fans as it became more and more likely early Sunday afternoon that Tiger would win. As Tiger made his final stroll up the 18th fairway at Augusta National on Sunday, the patrons — a few thousand or so — let him hear a bit more of what he had been hearing all tournament long. The cheers and applause rained down on Tiger as he prepared to take his final strokes and secure his victory — his first at The Masters since 2005 and first in a major since 2008. And for the first time all tournament long, when the winning putt had fallen, Tiger finally cracked a smile after a stoic four-round 275, one stroke better than his 2005 win. The comeback was complete; the moment was unforgettable. And we are all lucky to have been a part of it.


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Basebatook one game out of three from Harvard over the weekend in Cambridge, avoiding a sweep with a 2-0 win over the Crimson on Sunday.


The Cornell Daily Sun | Tuesday, April 16, 2019 13


Injury-Plagued Red Swept by Lions at Columbia By SMITA NALLURI Sun Staff Writer

Continuing to battle injuries, Cornell softball found itself unable to secure a win last weekend. The Red (6-28, 2-10 Ivy League) was swept by the Lions (17-15, 9-3 Ivy League) in a three-game series. Columbia got out to a hot start against the Red, shutting Cornell out in the first game and winning 12-0. The Red battled back in the second game, only trailing 4-6 in the bottom of the fourth inning. But Columbia shut out the Red in the remaining frames

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and scored six more runs to take the win now we need to come up with that clutch 12-6. hit to give us an early lead.” The Lions completed the sweep on The Red has also been plagued by Sunday as they downed Cornell, 8-0. many injuries this season that have left it “Our pitchshorthanded, ers had a ton of particularly “A few players would benefit from a walks against when it comes C o l u m b i a couple of innings off ... They have to just to pitchers. and we need “A few keep grinding through it.” to clean that players would up,” said benefit from Julie Farlow head coach a couple of Julie Farlow innings off,” ’97. “Our defense needs to make plays Farlow said. “A chance to watch the so these runners don’t score so easily. game being played and to re-set. With Offensively, we’re getting runners on and little depth, they don’t have the chance

to do that, so they have to just keep grinding through it.” The Red will continue to work around its injuries this weekend as it welcomes (6-23, 3-9 Ivy League) to NiemandRobison Softball Field on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. for a three-game series. “We need to play better and expect more of ourselves,” Farlow said. “If the other team threatens, we need to shut the door and keep the game within reach.” Smita Nalluri can be reached at

14 The Cornell Daily Sun | Tuesday, April 16, 2019



2 All-Americans, 1 National Champion for Red By ZORA HAHN Sun Staff Writer

Of all eligible gymnastics teams, the top eight in the country travel as a full team to the USAG Collegiate National Meet — Cornell, at seventh, went as a team to Bridgeport, Conn., to compete last weekend. “Potentially people can compete three days in a row,” associate head coach Melanie Hall said. “On the first day, if your team makes team finals, you compete on the second day as a team again. From that first day of competition, if [you individually are] in the top five, you qualify

for the individual finals, which was Sunday.” Of the top eight teams, two groups of four competed at once. Cornell competed against the University of Bridgeport, the University of Illinois at Chicago and Texas Woman’s University. The top two teams from each group moved on to the team finals. Cornell placed third in their group and thus did not make the team finals. The Red’s 193.400 score beat Texas Woman’s University’s 193.225, but the University of Bridgeport (195.750) and UIC (195.675) were the two to

move on to the finals. However, senior Kaitlin Green and sophomore Izzy Herczeg both qualified for event finals on beam as the top five individual competitors of their group of four teams. The two Cornellians both picked up All-American titles. Green won the balance beam national title with a 9.900 score and Herczeg placed ninth with 9.775. “That win for Kaitlin was her second national beam title,” Hall said. “She also won her sophomore year — she won bars and beam [that year]. She qualified for finals her sophomore, junior and senior

years.” “It’s great — it was the best way I could’ve thought about my last meet going and my last routine ever going,” Green said. “It was really exciting.” Although the team did not make the overall team finals, there was uncharacteristically low scoring during this meet. “I think everyone was pretty generally happy,” Green said. “We hit about our season average and [to do this] with the low scoring, I think we had a really good meet.” Although the scoring may have worked against the gymnasts in

some aspects, the team was pleased overall with how the meet went. “It was a fantastic meet and considering all the injuries and all the setbacks we’ve had, it was a great way to end our season,” Hall said. This was the last meet this season for the women’s gymnastics team and the last Cornell competition in which the seven seniors will ever participate. The younger members of the team will seek to improve further next year even without their graduating teammates. Zora Hahn can be reached at


The Cornell Daily Sun | Tuesday, April 16, 2019 15



Red Falls Again in Ivy Play, 0-5 in Conference By FAITH FISHER Sun Staff Writer

After another weekend of Ivy League play, women’s tennis has yet to secure a league victory. The team battled against Penn on Friday at the Reis Tennis Center, where they suffered a 0-5 loss. A roadtrip to Princeton to take on the Tigers produced similar results, ending the day with a 0-4 loss. Past performance against both of the weekend’s competitors was not in favor of the Red — and, unfortunately, history repeated itself. Against the Tigers, the Red suffered a shutout 0-7 loss last season. As for the Quakers, the most recent Cornell victory transpired in the 2015-16 season. Despite past results, the team went into the match with a clean slate. “We are a really young team, so we just went out there and gave it all that we had without thinking about anything, especially past results,” freshman Maria Adiaconitiei said. “We were focused on our play in the present and I think we showed a lot of fight.” This weekend against Penn, early doubles victories in the second and third spots by the Quakers (13-5, 2-2 Ivy League) set the tone for the rest of the match. Cornell’s duo of Adiaconitiei and senior Mariko Iinuma struggled to compete with Penn’s Iuliia Bryzgalova and OJ Singh, dropping the set at 6-2. Carolyn Xie and Sarah Xu defeated freshmen Sarah Campbell and Khary Pryce, 6-3. The early losses precluded

freshmen pair Valerie Ho and Katherine Nguyen from finishing their doubles match against the 48th-ranked doubles team in the nation. The Quakers’ Marija Curnic and Marta Kowalska possess a 10-3 record in the number one doubles spot. Cornell’s duo, however, gained the upper hand in the match early on by converting on a break point. The fierce match was unfortunately halted at 3-3. The singles round proved equally unfavorable for the Red (6-14, 0-5 Ivy League), losing each match in straight sets. At the number one spot, Iinuma suffered a quick 6-1, 6-2 loss to #91 nationally-ranked Iuliia Bryzgalova. Campbell, at the fifth spot, suffered a similar fate, surrendering a 6-3, 6-0 loss to OJ Singh. Another loss at the third spot ended the day in favor of the Quakers. A trip to Princeton (16-4, 5-0 Ivy League) set the team up for another uphill battle. Princeton, the 39th-ranked team in the nation, is undefeated in Ivy play so far this season with comfortable wins against Penn, Dartmouth, Harvard, Columbia and now Cornell under its belt. The Tigers’ win against Cornell marks its twelfth consecutive win against Ivy League competition. To add insult to injury, the Red played the Tigers on its home courts, where Princeton boasts an untarnished 4-0 record. The Tigers’ domination began early in the doubles round, where the Red managed to gather a measly total of four games against their opponents. Ho and Nguyen endured a 6-0 loss against Princeton’s Nicole Kalhorn and


Whiff | Cornell women’s tennis continues to struggle in conference competition, finding itself on the receiving end of two more losses over the weekend.

Brianna Shvets. Adiaconitei and Iinuma could only scrounge together one game against their opponents. Cambell and Pryce did not finish their match, which stood at a score of 5-3. Singles had a similar result, with Campbell losing 6-1, 6-0 at the fifth spot, Katherine Nguyen 6-1, 6-1 at the third spot, and

Khary Pryce 6-3, 6-1 at the sixth spot. “We need to work on not making the same mistakes over and over again,” Adiaconitei said. “We have a good idea of what it is that is causing us to lose matches, and we just need to make sure that we are working on it in practice so we don’t make those mistakes in

matches.” The Red have two more matches until Ivy play comes to a close. Next weekend, the team will stay in Ithaca to take on Harvard and Dartmouth on Saturday and Sunday, both at 12 p.m. Faith Fisher can be reached at

FIFTY YEARS LATER: Read About the Anniversary of the Willard Straight Takeover in our Thursday, April 18 issue

The Corne¬ Daily Sun




Red Finishes Last to End Regular Season


By BENNETT GROSS Sun Staff Writer


Sub-par performance | The Red finished thirteenth out of thirteen at its tournament over the weekend.

The Red concluded its slate of regular-season tournaments this past weekend when it finished in last place out of 13 teams at the Rutherford Intercollegiate Tournament hosted by Penn State. Junior Jack Casler led Cornell for the third consecutive tournament, shooting a cumulative seven over par, which placed him 28th individually out of 78. Casler’s best round of the tournament, which was also the best round any Cornell golfer scored over the weekend, was his 72 on Sunday, in which he shot two under par on the back nine. The Red’s next-best finisher was senior Tianyi Cen, who shot a combined 229, leaving him tied for 59th. The final three golfers for Cornell were junior Mike May who finished 67th, freshman Noah Schwartz who ended the weekend at 73rd and sophomore Charlie Dubiel who shot a 240 over the three days, placing him 76th. Cornell’s final tally over the weekend left them at 65 over par, 22 strokes behind 12th-place Georgetown. The host Penn State won the Rutherford Intercollegiate Tournament with a cumulative score of three over par, just two strokes ahead of second-place Eastern Michigan. “I think that we all learned what we need to focus in on moving forward,” Casler said. “After talking with the team after the Princeton Invitational last weekend and the Rutherford Tournament this weekend, we realized what we didn’t do well, and we are going to try to use that information to help us practice more effectively this week.” The Nittany Lions won their home tournament for the fifth consecutive season. No other Ivy League teams partici-

pated in the Rutherford Intercollegiate. The Red will conclude its season next weekend at the Ivy League Championships at Hidden Creek Golf Club in Egg Harbor, New Jersey. “We’re all very excited for next weekend,” Casler said. “I have never been to the Ivy League Championship and I can’t wait to play. There are some solid teams we’ll be going up against, but we know that we’re just as good. Throughout the year, our team has shown how well we can really play and it is just a matter of getting all of the right pieces to fall into place. If we’re patient and confident, we’re going to have a really strong weekend.” Last season, the Red finished in fourth place in the league championships, which were held on the Old Course at Stonewall in Elverson, Pennsylvania. “When it comes down to it, anyone can win on any given day,” Dubiel said. “That phrase has been a big motivator for me all season, and it will definitely hold true this weekend. All that I am focused on now is putting in some gritty work this week and hitting that first tee shot on Friday morning. After that, I can only control my process and make sure I’m 100 percent there mentally on every shot.” Yale won by a large margin last year and is heavily favored going into the 2019 tournament. However, the Red finished just two strokes behind second-place Dartmouth last season. Last year marked the first time in program history that the Red had finished in the top half of the Ivy League Championships in three consecutive seasons. Bennett Gross can be reached at


League Record Remains Unblemished Against Penn and Princeton

By FAITH FISHER Sun Staff Writer

Men’s tennis asserted their Ivy League dominance once again this weekend, maintaining a perfect 4-0 conference record and extending their winning streak to 5 matches.

“We are getting to know each other better and execute better as partners.” Silviu Tanasoiu A fruitful trip to Philadelphia produced a 5-2 win for the Red against Penn. Back in the comfort of the Reis Tennis Center, the team rolled past Princeton, clinching another 4-1 win. Cornell is currently tied for first place in league standings with Harvard and Columbia. The Red holds the 60th position in the TRN/Slam.Tennis rankings. The Red’s loss to the Quakers (16-9, 0-4 Ivy League) earlier this season in the ECAC Indoor Championships did not put a damper on this weekend’s dominant performance. Instead, the Red sailed past Penn, inching itself closer to an Ivy League title. “Our win this weekend was certainly a good way to avenge our loss,” head coach Silviu Tanasoiu said. “We played them without our top two players last time at their place, but this time around we had both David and Alafia in the lineup and we knew

that was going to make a great difference.” Sophomore Alafia Ayeni and junior Lev Kazakov opened up doubles play, gaining the upper hand in the match with a 6-4 win. The 40th-ranked pair of junior Daniel Soyfer and senior David Volfson capitalized on the advantage with a late break and clinched the doubles point following their 6-3 win. Singles play was not as decisive, with three matches being forced into three sets and a pair of losses from the Red. Nevertheless, singles wins from Volfson, Kazakov, sophomore Eero Vasa, and sophomore Evan Bynoe helped the Red close out the match against the Quakers. The weather conditions were less than perfect, with strong winds complicating play. However, Tanasoiu was impressed with how the players handled the situation. “They handled the conditions very well — there were some 18-19 mph winds — so not your typical tennis weather,” he said. “Even with that, we competed very hard and well from top to bottom.” The Red (13-8, 4-0 Ivy League) returned home to battle Princeton, the 50th-ranked team in the nation. Despite two losses against the Tigers (18-9, 2-3 Ivy League) in the 2017-18 season, Princeton failed to tarnish the Red’s immaculate 8-0 home record. After Ayeni and Kazakov breezed through their doubles match at the number 2 spot, the Tigers’ duo of Will Peters and

Karl Poling equalized the advantage with a 6-3 win against junior Joseph McAllister and Vasa. Power duo Volfson and Soyfer saved the doubles point for the Red, finishing their match with a comfortable three-game margin. The team recently restructured their doubles lineup, a strategic move that has generated success for the Red. “We made a step forward this weekend,” Tanasoiu said. “We are heading in the right direction

with all of our doubles pairs. We are getting to know each other better and execute better as partners.” The Red clinched 3 out of the first four singles matches to carry home the Cornell victory. Volfson and Kazakov, in the second and third spots, won their matches in straight sets. In need of just one more win, the Tigers’ Will Peters delayed the victory, beating Vasa in a grueling three-set match. Soyfer, however,

defeated his opponent Bill Duo in a 7-6 (1), 6-4 match to secure the third singles win. This weekend marked the Red’s final home match of the season. Cornell will travel to Harvard and Dartmouth next weekend, hoping to ride its winning momentum into these next matches. The contests will be on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. Faith Fisher can be reached at


Flawless | The Red held on over Ivy competitors to stay perfect in-conference.

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