While many undergraduate students will be thinking about upcoming finals and papers this weekend, Hotel School students will be working around the clock for three days, showcasing their talents to some of the hospitality industry's leaders in this year's edition of Hotel Ezra Cornell (HEC). The function allows students to run the Statler Hotel for three days.


"For 76 years, Hotel Ezra Cornell has tested the capacity of our students to turn knowledge into action," said David Butler, dean of the School of Hotel Administration.


"This year, the emphasis is on education," said Scott Weisz '01, managing director of HEC, who explained that one of the four panels the students planned for this year would focus on "innovative ways to change the guest experience."


Butler remarked that over the years, students had been striving to make HEC "not just a culinary feast but an educational one," and the student research presentations, open to general audience on Saturday morning, is particularly exciting to him.


But the weekend will provide more than food for thought, with ten banquets and other culinary activities scattered over the three days.


"The main banquet on Saturday is going to be upscale, and continental," regaling some 230 guests, administrators and speakers, Weisz said.


Students at the school will participate in various capacities to make sure the event goes as planned. According to Jeremy Frank '03, "It's obviously an exciting weekend ... HEC gives people the opportunity to utilize the knowledge they received to really show hotel executives why hotel school students are good and should be hired."


From his involvement in the function last year as assistant guest director, Frank felt he had the chance to see "how running the hotel is done," an practical experience for which he was grateful.


"My friends in other schools think HEC is weird. They can't imagine knowing everyone in their class, let alone working for free in the middle of the night with them," Frank commented.


The high level of involvement of the student body and the year-long planning of the event usually pays off, as the Hotel School is considered the world's best, and for more than three quarters of a century, HEC has been "a challenge that our students have consistently met with distinction," Butler said.


Archived article by Ariane Bernard

December 23, 2015

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