'The Daily Sun starts important conversations that change peoples' lives'

Vee Cipperman

Wayne, Pa.

Why did you choose Cornell?

The first time I visited Cornell, it was early October. The leaves were brilliant colors; the students

person outside

were busy and engaged. I remember visiting the Johnson Museum and standing by the wide window on the fourth floor, from which I saw the breathtaking vista of Libe Slope, Ithaca and Cayuga Lake for the first time. Prior to this moment, I hadn't much considered Cornell; I wanted to attend an urban school closer to home. I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that my first view of the campus changed my mind. The vibrant student body and local beauty formed the basis for a college experience I badly needed. Of course, it helped that I wanted to major in English — a little early research told me that Cornell had amazing humanities faculty and a storied independent student paper, The Cornell Daily Sun.

What is your main extracurricular activity and why is it important to you?

Throughout all four years, The Cornell Daily Sun has been my primary extracurricular, job, baby, community and obsession. I participated in high school journalism, and I knew that I wanted to join The Sun from the moment I stepped foot on campus. I started out as a staff writer in my first semester, spring 2020, covering Cornell and Ithaca remotely through the height of the pandemic. Over the next few years, I'd serve as a news editor, editor in chief and a senior editor. The Sun's dedicated student community and total independence mean that it can challenge injustices, inspire change and tell stories with direct importance to the Cornell and Ithaca communities. Writing for The Sun, I always felt like I was doing something with real-world significance. People read our work, and they frequently engage with it through emails and guest columns. We start important conversations that change peoples' lives. I don't mean to sound dramatic, but The Sun's urgency and impact sets a fire in me. I've found my motivation and life's calling there, and I've also found a community of young journalists that I love and admire.

What Cornell memory do you treasure the most?

I have too many good Cornell memories to pick just one, but a lot of them combine a sense of

woman in front of wreath

community and achievement. Kitsch Magazine has been a major extracurricular for me alongside The Cornell Daily Sun; it allows me to channel my creativity and engage in a different type of cultural journalism. When I was editor in chief, I vividly remember picking up the print run of the first issue under my leadership. I drove downtown with my co-editor, and we spent half an hour enjoying the new print smell and gushing over the bright colors. There's something wonderful and unique, in our digital age, about holding a finished project in your hands. That fall 2021 issue was extra-special, as well, because it represented the culmination of a particularly difficult semester — we'd lost much of our membership and community knowledge due to COVID restrictions, so this magazine represented a semester of rebuilding and reconnecting. It was a really beautiful moment, where I realized that my hard work had created a new community and fostered the collaborative art that I held in my hands.

Who or what influenced your Cornell education the most? How or why?

An important source of education at Cornell, which sometimes goes overlooked, is other

person by the seashore

students. Cornellians learn a huge variety of subjects, represent youth achievement in all areas, and have very diverse life experiences. Some of the most thought-provoking and brilliant things I've heard at Cornell come not during lectures, but through a friend getting existential at 3 a.m. Connecting with students outside my major on a deeper level has created many meaningful friendships, and it has also introduced new material into my learning. My interdisciplinary interests in philosophy, mechanical engineering and even fungal biology, which have factored into my work as an English major in surprising ways, come from other students.


Every year, our faculty nominate graduating Arts & Sciences students to be featured as part of our Extraordinary Journeys series. Read more about the Class of 2023.

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Vee Cipperman