New Jersey: Come See for Yourself

The disrespect of New Jersey has been bugging me for a couple weeks now; I just haven’t had time to write about it since it’s the middle of pre-lim week (mid-terms) right now. New Jersey has a reputation for being the armpit of America and smelly and all that other stuff. All this negative publicity gives NJ a bad stigma and a stigma that isn’t very true at all. Of course there are some parts that do smell around the Rt. 3 area of the turnpike and likewise the places near New York City that absorb NYC’s trash, but for the most part NJ is a great place to live, and for me grow up. In fact if you were to go to south Jersey, you’d be surrounded by a bunch of farm land. Nonetheless, I and the 20% of other Cornellians from Jersey (unofficial number) get harassed and made fun of for being from the state. I couldn’t have been quieter during a Cornell hockey game when Cornell was beating Princeton 8-1 and fans began to chant, “Princeton’s in New Jersey”. I turned to a girl behind me who was silent because she too was from Jersey, more specifically the town of Princeton (the same Princeton that the University of Princeton is in) and we both assured each other that Jersey is a nice place and these people are just a bunch of ignorant students from all the “middle of nowhere towns” in New York, Pennsylvania (it’s almost safe to narrow that down and say Philadelphia), Connecticut (Do you like the Yankees or the Red Sox, choose a side!), places in the Midwest like Ohio (let’s make our official nickname a flower) and Illinois( a state ravaged by sports misery and ineptitude), and the West like California (that’s gnarly dude…enough said). To them I say our tourist catchphrase, “Come see for yourself.” (If your state wasn’t mentioned that doesn’t mean there aren’t students from your state here.)

The Princeton in New Jersey chant is tolerable and ignorable. What literally made me hit the roof was watching the last ”going to Hollywood” (the first round auditions) episode of American Idol back in January, which will be the last Idol episode I ever watch. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and seeing. I heard Ryan Seacrest say, “We’re in New York” or something to that but saw Continental Airlines Arena which is in East Rutherford New Jersey and home of the Nets and Devils. Throughout the episode I was told they were in New York but constantly saw Nets and Devils banners and Continental Airlines Arena (both the inside and outside). I still cannot understand why they couldn’t say they were in New Jersey instead of lying to the entire nation. Are Jersey natives Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, and Bon Jovi (just to name a few) not good enough for you. How many platinum artists will it take to make you say you’re in Jersey?

American Idol, you’re dead to me.

On a completely different note, if you would like to get an even deeper look into what students do at Cornell on and off campus a new website just launched called “loudcampus!” that is dedicated to students talking about Cornell “life”. You can find it at www.loudcampus.com.