Daily Archives: February 8, 2011

“Working” a show for the Cornell University Program Board

Any generic Cornell brochure could tout the fact that there are over 800 student organizations on campus that basically cover any possible human interest (I remember on my Cornell tour the guide saying they had SCUBIJEW–Jewish Scuba Diving…there’s one oddly specific example for you). Coming to campus as a freshman, csathe number of possibilities sure is intimidating, especially because high school non-athletic clubs really aren’t that diverse. Sure, you’ve got Mock Trial, Model UN, and the school newspaper, etc. but after running down the laundry list of the 10 or so popular high school clubs…offerings look kind of bleak.

I mentioned Clubfest in this post at the beginning of the year as a way to see what clubs best fit your interests, so there’s one way to narrow down the choices. I’ll tell you about one club-related activity I participated in this weekend just to give you a sense of what it entailed. After all, I’m your humble blogger. What more do you expect?

Okay, so I’m a member of CUPB: the Cornell University Program Board, the group that decides which speakers, entertainers, and comedians to bring to campus and deals with the logistics of the event (i.e. security, ticket taking, etc.). Last Saturday, we brought Aziz Ansari to campus, and I think it’s safe to say that he was a hit–considering the fact that both shows he did sold out.


So, what did I have to do exactly with this event? Well, as a relatively new member, I was there at a couple of the CUPB meetings beforehand as they were determining which entertainer to bring and why. A lot of thought goes into selecting a performer; the club is given a set amount of money to work with at the beginning of the semester, and has to determine, for example, whether a costly large scale performer would be worth bringing rather than a couple smaller-scale acts.

At the event itself, I was assigned to two positions; for the first show, I was told to usher, and at the second I was assigned to security (I know, I know…I’m sure it’s because I’m taking a self-defense class described here). Ushering at Bailey Hall, I realized, is no easy task; audienceCornell University Program Board members are pouring into the venue one after another, and are asking you where their seats are. Being unfamiliar with the venue, I might have messed up directions to seats a few times. If you were the middle-aged couple I sent to the opposite side of the auditorium, I sincerely apologize and hope that you were able to find your seats okay. I’ll improve next time–thats a promise.

For the second show, when I was supposed to act as “security,” it basically involved me on a rotation, standing by doors that people aren’t supposed to go through and directing people the right way. Admittedly, it was not as much fun as ushering, but it was still a blast.

Well then. I’m glad I got this blog post out of my system; it’s 2:30 am and I have an early morning class tomorrow. Let’s answer a prospective student’s question before going off to bed:

I have just spend the last thirty minutes reading every entry of your blog, and I love it! It is super funny and captivating, and it has made me fall in love with Cornell even more. I’m a junior in high school right now, and I’m 99.9999999999% sure that I will be applying to the College of Human Ecology ED later this year. I have very strong academics, pretty good SAT scores, and good quality  extracurriculars. Do you have any advice that would help me get in?

First off, thanks so much for your compliments! I really appreciate it.

As far as “tips” on getting into Cornell, that’s definitely a tricky question. I think I’ve alluded to it on my blog before, but it seems like the admissions office could easily fill up each class with straight A, 2200+ SAT students. However, they wouldn’t want to because that’d call for a pretty boring class! They’d prefer to accept unique, fun, passionate people who could contribute to the the community.

So…make sure that you sound fun, exciting and let your passions shine through via your essays, relevant coursework and extracurriculars! If you do that, you have as good a shot as the next person.

Thanks for reading!