Cornell Coalition for Inclusive Democracy
Started 1 petition
Ask Cornell to support our local community during this crisis
Petition to the President and Trustees of Cornell University: Cornell attracts faculty and students from all over the world for many reasons, but one of them is certainly the beautiful, vibrant, safe city in which we live and work. Cornell cannot thrive without Ithaca. With the spread of Covid-19, however, thousands of our most vulnerable neighbors face threats of a kind and degree unseen in our lifetime. We cannot foresee the precise magnitude of the harm, but we know that countless people will suffer dearly. Indeed, we are confident that for many, including members of Cornell’s staff, the suffering has already begun. As faculty members at Cornell, many of whom live in Ithaca and all of whom benefit from it, we are deeply concerned about this impact. We call on Cornell to take concrete steps, urgently, to alleviate the suffering. In particular, we ask the administration to create an ad hoc committee that will make specific recommendations within 15 days of ways the university can meaningfully support the community and its members. Steps the administration should consider include, but are certainly not limited to: --creating mechanisms that will allow faculty and administrators to take voluntary cuts in their salaries or apply unused travel and research funds; --increasing the funds in lieu of taxes that Cornell contributes to the City of Ithaca; --calling upon trustees to make unrestricted donations that will help preserve the Ithaca they know and love; --asking donors to remove restrictions from current donations; --making an urgent call to alumni for donations to support Ithaca; --applying unrestricted endowment payouts toward the crisis; --freezing all rents for property owned by Cornell University; --allowing students to donate unused meal plan credits to local food banks; --coordinating with local community and nonprofit groups that are also trying to address the crisis. But these are only the first steps, and we call on the administration to do what it can, as soon as it can.