Sitting in my Communication Law class this morning, my wonderful professor brought up a gem of a piece of Cornell history that I had to post about: Cornell Professor freaks out over Yawn. Personally, I found the whole situation hilarious, but that won’t be the subject of this long overdue post. The whole discussion about this event, the attention it brought to Cornell, and hilarious significance it brought to my sophomore Fall semester, made me want to write a post about those ‘historical’ moments that have made an impact at this school.
In no particular order here they are:
1. NYC Tech Campus
Winning the rights to Roosevelt Island was a HUGE jump for Cornell, especially when competing against some of the most elite research institutions around the country. This Cornell appendage is going to help grow the name of the university, and allow it to be involved in some of the most progressive research and academics in the world. It will also likely bring even more Cornellians to NYC (not that there is a lack of Cornell alums in NYC), and expand the capacity for grads to connect outside of Ithaca.
Almost everyone knows the story, a string of public suicides sent our campus into a tailspin. The tragedies were covered by the national news, students were put on high alert, and for the first time since I had been here, people were scared. In response to national outcry the University brought in 24 hour security to place on all of the bridges around campus, and set a plan in motion that is just now getting finished. The thought was: because we believe suicide is impulsive, how can we block impulsive decisions- Fences. We left for spring break with security guards and came back to 10ft fences on all of the bridges with barb-wire on top. It serves as a constant reminder of those darker days, and a reminder to keep watch over the ones that are closest to you, and even those that aren’t. Currently the fences are being phased out in favor of nets…progress on this project can be seen around campus.
3. Sweet 16
What a time it was to be a Cornellian. Never has our big red blood flowed stronger than when these guys made the NCAA Sweet 16. This was the shot of life that our campus needed after a rough spring semester; they were our symbol of resilience. For the first time our school banded together and acted like a state school…running from city to city watching this team sweep victories over improbable opponents. They had the swagger of underdogs, and these amazing guys have never lost it. Though the youngest members of that team are mere months from graduation, they keep the spark alive in their younger teammates, and keep the Cornell spirits knowing that eventually, we’ll get back there again.
4. Miss America
As Jo’s sorority sister, and a native Marylander, I feel n0 shame in including this in my post (this is my blog after all). Many of you may read this and wonder why it was significant…well, just think about it, how many people from Cornell have ever competed in the Miss. America pageant? Yeah, I bet you can’t think of many. It was special, it was amazing, and Joanna proved to be an amazing role model to women all over the country for her poise, intelligence, and graciousness. Despite some negative press at the beginning of her reign as Miss Maryland, the Cornell student body and Ithaca community really came together to support her during her run to become Miss America. The day after the pageant, I hear people all over campus talking about how she’d been robbed, how amazing she looked, and how that weird tap-dancer from Idaho needed a new hobby. In summary: everyone was proud, and everyone was rooting Jo on to her final stop in the top 10. (Secretly everyone thought it was super cool from day 1…I’m still trying to get her to let me wear her crown)