LETTER TO THE EDITOR | Student Assembly, You Don’t Speak for Us

Last week, The Sun revealed that George Rocco DeLorenzo’s ’24, former president of the Interfraternity Council, influential Student Assembly member and executive vice president runner-up, planned to bar criticism of Greek life from the S.A. floor and block resolutions on women’s health and gender issues. In conversations with Pedro Da Silveira ’25, who was elected president of the assembly in May 2023 but ousted moments later over a Title IX allegation, DeLorenzo consistently condemned diverse expressions of gender identity, Cornell’s Plan B vending machine and Gender Justice Advocacy Coalition’s initiative of providing free menstrual products in restrooms. 

While Cornellians assume that attacks on women’s rights happen elsewhere — in esteemed legislatures and gilded courts — DeLorenzo’s actions remind us that many of the attacks on reproductive freedom and gender equality occur on campus. Even more so, they are the choices of a select few. Sexism pervades the S.A., hindering its ability to effectively represent all students and undermining the principles of equality and inclusivity that our institution claims to uphold. As such, it is time to reform the S.A. and create new systems for cooperation, engagement and accountability. We need mediums for our voices to be heard.

To the Student Assembly: We not only need investigations of bigoted S.A. members but also changes to the structure of how the S.A. is run. Too much happens between closed doors — or in text messages of close friends — for a transparent and just use of power. When the S.A. attracts a singular type of person, it does not represent the diversity of opinion on campus. Additionally, since the S.A. has many members blatantly opposing reproductive justice, it is necessary to set rules and resolutions in place to ensure women’s equality and freedom on campus. Wield your power correctly for once.