Cornell University is currently addressing a concerning incident involving a student, Maria Lima Valdez, who allegedly posted a message on her Instagram story that read “Zionists must die.” This statement, deemed antisemitic, has prompted an investigation by the university’s authorities. President Martha Pollack communicated to the student body about the ongoing police investigation, highlighting the seriousness of the issue and the university’s commitment to maintaining a safe and inclusive environment.

Who is Maria Lima Valdez?

Maria Lima Valdez is an undergraduate student at Cornell University, currently pursuing a double major in Government and Africana Studies, with a minor in Latino/a Studies.

Valdez is actively involved in several organizations and activities at Cornell. She is a part of the Cornell Tradition Fellowship, MECHA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicanx de Aztlán), Mexsa, Residential Student Congress, and Cornell Outdoor Education. She is also a member of Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Society, demonstrating her interest in the legal field.

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In her role at the Cornell Farmworkers Program, Valdez leads research efforts to improve the working conditions of farmworkers. She assists with issues related to immigration and labor rights and advocates for better wages and conditions. Valdez has also been involved in Cornell University’s Conferences and Event Services as a Student Manager and Operations Assistant. Additionally, she completed a summer internship with USAID, where she gained further experience in her fields of interest.

Valdez attended Sunset Park High School before joining Cornell University. She has been at Cornell since 2021 and is expected to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government in 2025.