Westfield State University Viewpoint: Pandemic resilience reminds of reasons to give thanks

Today is a Thanksgiving unlike any other in recent memory. No doubt as you read this, you and your loved ones may be preparing a smaller meal to be savored only by those in your household. Your table is set for immediate relatives and with one extra place setting – where your laptop or mobile device will be stationed to virtually connect with family members and friends who cannot join you in person.

This sounds like the Thanksgiving my wife, Barbara, and I are celebrating today in Westfield. Our children and grandchildren live thousands of miles away, and this year will be the first in many we have not gathered in person. We miss our family very much and long to be with them as much as you likely wish to be with yours. We also miss petting and playing with our two Brittanies.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made this

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TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | Pandemic Reveals Cornell’s Long Path to Better Career Advising

Many institution’s structural shortcomings are typically hidden from public view and usually garner little attention. That is, until a crisis hits.

A crisis, especially one as consequential as COVID-19, forces an immediate assessment of institutional preparedness. Cornell’s students, staff, faculty and senior leadership, for example, demonstrated the resilience of our people and the University by successfully undertaking a campus reopening during a global pandemic.

But during the recent virtual career fair mishap, the pandemic revealed an important insight: There’s much work to be done with Cornell’s career advising.

Last month, technical difficulties forced Cornell Career Services (CCS) to postpone Career Fair Days, an annual Barton Hall mingling of students and employers, which relocated to an online platform due to the pandemic. Students were repeatedly logged out of the website and kicked out of employer queues – only then to be randomly signed in as a different person, sometimes as a

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Viewpoint: As Wildfires Burn, Assigning Blame Is Complicated

With wildfires still raging through parts of California, one question has continued to spark debate: Is climate change to blame?

President Trump, for his part, has taken the stance that he doesn’t “think science knows,” despite extensive evidence linking climate change to the hot and dry conditions that paved the way for the fires. When challenged on this stance in the first presidential debate, he pointed solely to forest mismanagement as the fires’ culprit.

While misinformed, Trump’s errors are instructive: They highlight a recurring problem with the way we talk about the connection between climate science and environmental disaster.

First, Trump’s take reflects the false choice — that either climate change or poor governance is to blame for this disaster — that has caused tension in much recent discussion of extreme weather. Not only are these two factors not mutually exclusive, but they almost always share responsibility for these tragedies’

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