I’m in the twilight of my days as a columnist for The Sun. I know that, typically, columnists will close out their time with parting words of advice to incoming first-years or graduating seniors. But, although I’ve done that in the past weeks, the fact of the matter is that I don’t have much advice to impart. Or, at least, much advice that you haven’t already heard hundreds of times, and will hear a hundred more times. Go to office hours, try out something new on campus, make sure to wear sunblock on Slope Day, etc.
Our generation has never known a world without the threat of school shootings. We were practicing active shooter situations before we knew how to do long division — our teachers may have used phrases like “Code Red” or “shelter-in-place,” but we know what they really meant. In middle school, we joked about trench coats and heavy metal and “Bodies” by Drowning Pool because when we’re afraid of things, we try to cope by finding some humor in them. In high school, we watched Congress vote down even the most incremental increases in gun regulation as parents from Newtown, Connecticut, stood silently in the gallery and our president cried tears of anger and frustration. For two decades our leaders have failed us.
A few semesters ago, when I was a more active staff writer in this section, I reviewed the 1971 film Walkabout before it screened at the Cornell Cinema. When the opportunity arose to review one of the greatest Australian films ever made, I obviously seized it without hesitation, thankful there exists an institution right here at Cornell that is devoted to showcasing profound examples of world cinema, like Ran and Koyaanisqatsi, alongside more contemporary works like Moonlight and Baby Driver. I didn’t expect much to come of that review — after all, who actually reads this section, if not this paper, right? — but at the bottom of the online article, I found a comment by an alumnus named David Moriah ’72, whose response is tangible evidence of the enduring relevance of institutions like the Cornell Cinema. It has been nearly half a century since David graduated, yet he has “returned to [Walkabout] several times over the years and continue[s] to drink in the deep well of its wisdom and beauty.”
Recently, we were all rudely awakened to discover the Cornell Cinema has been threatened by not just a reduction to existing funding, but a complete withdrawal of financial support.
If you have ever grabbed a chilled food item from an eatery on campus, it most likely had a Freshtake Grab-n-Go label with the phrase, “Prepared Daily by Cornell Dining” emblazoned on its packaging. A specific set of Cornell Dining employees go to the Robert Purcell Marketplace Eatery commissary every morning at approximately 4 a.m. to prepare foods that will end up on North, West and Central Campus eateries later that day, according to Karen Brown, director of Campus Life Marketing and Communications. Chef Steven Miller, who oversees the production process, explained that Freshtake employees do not work in other dining halls or work at other times. By noon, the Freshtake products have been transported to all campus eateries and are sold with the Freshtake seal, according to Miller. A wrap prepared in the morning could end up one floor below, at Bear Necessities Grill and C-Store, or at an eatery across campus.