KOH | Cornell’s Community Day: There Was No Restoration   

The month of November began with a ping: an email to the entire student body, faculty and staff declaring a “Community Restorative Day”. In response to “extraordinary stress of the past few weeks” — which included the Israeli-Palestinian humanitarian crisis and war, brewing political tensions on campus and antisemitic threats scattered throughout campus and online — the University canceled classes and work for faculty and staff.

Despite its intentions, however, this day seemed to be the University’s meager attempt to effectively address such concerns within the Cornell community and is a testament to performative activism that infests institutions and our generation today.

For many of my peers and me, the restorative day was in fact, not that restorative at all. With an essay due that day, a prelim scheduled for the following Monday and lab reports due the next week, that Friday was more of an opportunity for me to catch up on my work, rather than to truly reflect or recover from the recent events on campus and beyond.