Former VIce President of Diversity and inclusion, Transfer Representative
Current Executive Vice President of the Student Assembly
I transferred into Cornell two years ago in Fall 2018, from the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville. I moved into my freshman year dorm at UVA only two weeks after the deadly white supremacist rallies that happened on UVA's campus and spent my first year of college learning from student and faculty activists in their fight for racial justice at a university struggling to reconcile with its history. Having seen firsthand the importance of student advocacy and action, I ran for Student Assembly only a few weeks after transferring into Cornell. In my two years at Cornell, I have served as the Transfer Student Representative, the Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, and directly-elected Executive Vice President. Check out some of the initiatives I am most proud to have led while on the SA below:
Check out each resolution by clicking on the green hyperlinks!
Platform point 1: Health & Safety
Health and Safety means protecting the most vulnerable populations of our Cornell community, addressing COVID-19 concerns raised by students and student workers, advocating for racial justice on campus, and defunding and disarming the Cornell University Police Department (CUPD).
Health and Safety = Addressing COVID-19 Concerns + Racial Justice
Health: We've seen how systemic injustices in healthcare disproportionately affect students from underrepresented communities, such as our DACA/undocumented students, first-generation low income, Black, Indigenous and students of color, and I vow to advocate for better healthcare treatment for all.
Safety: Black students, students of color, DACA and undocumented students, womxn, and survivors of sexual violence deserve to feel safe in our dorms, our classrooms, and on our campus. I am committed to CUPD oversight, and ultimately, disarming and defunding of the CUPD. I will also fight to protect survivors from the harmful Title IX policies as newly mandated by Secretary DeVos and our DACA students from ICE actions on campus.
This past summer and semester, I have been working with student activists and the Cornell Abolitionist Revolutionary Society on efforts to examine the CUPD. If elected as President, I will push for the following:
Oversight of the CUPD
We need transparency about CUPD's source of funding. Beyond transparency, we need a guarantee that if Cornell is facing budget cuts because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that administration will take cuts out of the CUPD budget before touching any other piece of the budget, especially our offices of student support, diversity and multicultural services, and our academic departments. I will advocate for a longterm push to ensure that the CUPD is disarmed, demilitarized and defunded in its whole.
Flexible Reslife and RA/RF Policies on marijuana
As a Resident Fellow on West Campus, I'm more than familiar with the Cornell policy that requires all RAs on North and South Campus and all Resident Fellows on West Campus to call the police if we ever smell marijuana in our dorms. This is unacceptable, unnecessary, and needlessly puts students at risk by bringing the police directly into our dorms. If elected, I promise to work with the Residential Student Council, and RAs and RFs across campus to advocate for a flexible policy that allows the RAs the choice of when to contact the police, instead of forcing us to call the police.
Equity & Accessibility
The work I've done and my goals in increasing equity and financial accessibility of living at Cornell: We need the abolishment of the Student Contribution Fee, increased restorative justice in our judicial processes that systemically fail to support underrepresented students, housing justice and reform at Cornell, and a centralization of resources to support our first-gen. low income community.
Abolish the Student Contribution Fee:
Judicial Reform - Increased Restorative Justice:
Housing justice and reform:
Past work on housing justice:
Creation of the Housing Policy Review Committee
This past spring I co-sponsored a resolution to create a Housing Policy Review Committee to centralize the fight for better housing at Cornell and create an avenue for the student voice to reach administration about issues with housing
My first year, I was elected in as Transfer Rep after running a campaign that focused on the fact that transfers aren't guaranteed housing when coming to Cornell. Since then, I have worked tirelessly to amplify the transfer student voice in the issues surrounding transfer housing.
I hosted a transfer student panel for the Student Assembly to bring transfer housing to the forefront of the SA.
I have met with administration in various areas of Cornell such as ResLife, and Student and Campus Life to discuss the problems with transfer housing and have pressured the administration to guarantee housing for transfer students in the coming years.
I wrote an op-ed for The Sun with my research and thoughts on the transfer retention rate and how that may be effected by lack of housing.
I believe in holding administration accountable concerning housing situations that detrimentally affect the student experience.
You can find my research on housing and my notes on my meetings with administration concerning transfer housing at the following links:
Centralizing Resources for our FGLI community + Past DNI work:
We need climate justice and increased sustainability at Cornell now.
Push for a recommitment to Carbon Neutrality by 2035, push to 2030
Construction and Renovation:
Sustainable Investments and Transparency of the Cornell Endowment:
A selection of published statements on the work I've done with the Student Assembly to stand in solidarity with survivors of sexual assault in response to harmful new Title IX policies, stand with #NotAgainSU to condemn hate incidents at Syracuse University, and condemn ICE activity in Tompkins County and support our undocumented students.
In collaboration with the Office of the Student Advocate, I wrote and co-authored this statement that condemns the harmful new Title IX policies as passed by Secretary DeVos and vows to use all arms of the Student Assembly protect survivors of sexual assault.
In collaboration with Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion Benedict, we stood in support with students at Syracuse University to condemn racist and bias-related events on their campus.
With help from other members of the SA and members of the Cornell community, I authored the SA statement concerning recent ICE activity in Tompkins County. The Student Assembly has a responsibility to respond to these types of incidents that affect the greater community, and demonstrate that the SA stands in solidarity with undocumented students and individuals.
Contact Me: I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook messenger, or Instagram at @huang.cat!
Cat Huang © 2019