September 20, 2000
Engineers to Help Rebuild Pathway
| September 20, 2000
The regular walkway behind Hughes is fenced off indefinitely while Cornell engineers and specialized consultants from local and Albany firms work to prevent the walkway from falling into the gorge.
The existing sidewalk is facing the double problem of being very close to the gorge and built on soil that is unable to continue to support the walkway.
“It’s a combination of the soil structure and proximity that is creating the problem,” said Jeff Lallas, project manager. “We have to find a way to restabilize the border between the location of the sidewalk and the gorge edge.”
Cornell engineers and specialized consultants are working together to find a solution. As of present, they have performed soil sampling and analysis as well as civil engineer investigations.
“We’ve hired engineers who are reviewing the options, but the problem is more serious than we thought,” said Lallas. “We hope they’ll be forthcoming, but it’s still not clear if we’ll have a solution this season – which is why there is a temporary walkway to provide safe passage in the interim.”
The old path is completely fenced off and the new one currently crosses a terrace of Myron Taylor Hall and then proceeds down some new wooden steps.
“When they first closed it, people had to find other ways to get where they needed to go which was inconvenient,” said Jessica Rubin ’03, a resident of the Center for Jewish Living and a frequenter of the route.
Before they closed it, the ground was already sinking into the gorge Rubin commented, agreeing that it was good that the path had been closed and rerouted for safety reasons.
“Now it’s better that they reopened a new path behind Hughes because people have access to that route again,” said Rubin.
Archived article by Anastasia Handy
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September 21, 2000
What’s big and loud and red all over? Even amid what the athletic department hopes will be 25,000 hollering Big Red fans on the sold-out Schoellkopf Crescent this Saturday, it’s impossible to miss it. With over 200 members cheering and playing fight songs, and doubling in size due to returning alumni at Homecoming, the Big Red Marching Band is, according to its motto, “the only real marching band in the Ivy League.” “The Big Red Marching Band is an extraordinary orginization. The group is student-run, alumni funded and performs at a level that belittles any other Ivy band,” said David Conn, the band’s faculty advisor. “Just go to a football game and this is all too obvious.” Originally the ROTC marching band, the group has been a fixture at campus events for almost a century. The lengthy parades and musical performances, however, are simply the end result of weeks of rehearsals. Practices on Tuesday nights, Thursday and Friday afternoons, and Saturday mornings before games commence with Drum Major Tovah Minster ’01 climbing a ladder, sharply blowing her whistle and commanding, “Band! Atten-hut!” The band responds with, “Go Red, dammit!” At the practices, the band puts together a new field show for every home game and practices from a catalog of over 30 songs. Featured tunes at Homecoming will include “Copacabana,” “Emerald Eyes” and “Fire Dance.” The band also plays traditional marching band fare, such as the theme to Jesus Christ Superstar and Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al.” While improving musical ability, participation in the marching band counts toward one credit of physical education — for a reason. “Just think about marching up the slope or around campus, carrying about 30 pounds worth of quads, playing non-stop in about 80-degree weather with a wool uniform on,” said Karen Liu ’03, a percussionist. Although the band is one of the largest student-run organizations at Cornell, the members form close friendships within and across their sections. “The band has really been like my family from the moment that I arrived at Cornell,” Minster said. “The band is the most personable and friendly organization on campus that I’ve come across,” said Kurt Guenther ’04, a trumpet player. “It is a great way to meet a lot of people, and it certainly helped me meet some new people my first few weeks here.” Alumni are looking foward to the annual return to their place in the band at Homecoming, especially if they can play before a soldout stadium. “Being on the ladder and listening to the Band was just as exciting after two years as it was the first day,” said Lowell Frank ’99, former drum major. “Every time I come back to campus, I realize that the memories — as strong and wonderful as they are — don’t really do that feeling any justice.” “The band adds excitement and a certain amount of pageantry to the football games,” said Assistant Athletic Director Tom LaFalce ’94, the band’s advisor and former head manager. “It’s got a tradition of its own, intertwined with the tradition of Cornell Athletics.” Part of the ties that bind the alumni and undergraduate band members together stem from the timeless traditions and jokes that are carried forth from year to year. Duct Tape Appreciation Night, a free-for-all on Schoellkopf Field at a Tuesday night rehearsal late in the season, quite literally binds the band together . “Duct Tape Appreciation Night can trace its origins to 1994, when the tuba section decided that it would be fun to duct tape a certain flute player to the goal post. Things that night were kind of dull, and this was just the sort of thing needed to enliven people,” said Jeffrey Newman ’98, a tuba player who will be back for Homecoming. “Every year since, the band has celebrated ‘Duct Tape Appreciation Night’ to relieve stress near the end of the season, when classes are heating up and the available time to learn a new show for every home game is shrinking due to end of season commitments.” Each section of the band also has its own identity, attitude, traditions and inside jokes. The percussion section favors black clothing and Chinese food; the horn players prefer milkshakes. When Cornell scores and the band launches into “Davy,” the Cornell Fight Song, trumpets and flutes race down to the track to certify the score with push-ups and “flute-ups,” which involve tossing a flute player into the air for each point. Trombones celebrate the last home game of the season by donning bathing suits, despite the chilly November weather, and playing “Hawaii Five-O” for the fans. Perhaps the most lasting tradition, however, is evidenced by the saxophone tattoo. “The sax tattoo originated with the class of ’93, and the newest addition was a freshman who got it last week,” Chris Payne ’02 said, showing off the two eighth notes stamped on her hip. While most of the traditions are not quite as permanent, each display of spirit enables the band to go forth with its primary objective: to boost the spirit of the Cornell athletes and fans. “The band is a great organization to be in because not only to we have a lot of fun but we actually give something back to Cornell,” Minster said. “Every time we get out there to parade or perform a show, we’re not just doing it for ourselves; we’re doing it for the whole Cornell community.” “The Big Red Marching Band is so important to the Cornell community because of the spirit that we provide on campus,” said Heather O’Dell ’01, head manager of the band. “I am really proud of the band this year, and I’m really excited for Homecoming. I think that the alumni will enjoy the band’s performance and parade.”Archived article by Sun Staff
September 21, 2000
“The City of Ithaca is at an important crossroads,” Mayor Alan J. Cohen ’81 said to the University Board of Trustees, noting the intertwined ambitions of both the city government and the University. The sentiments expressed by the Mayor come not from his recent appeals for greater interaction with Cornell and the community though; they are part of a speech he presented on March 29, 1996. Frequently throughout past city administrations — and during the current Cohen administration — significant focus has revolved around town-gown relations. Yesterday that relationship between City Hall and Day Hall took a leap forward with a wedding of interests, as Cornell committed to bringing a state-of-the-art office building to the Ithaca Commons, making the city’s downtown business district a joint concern. Symbolically the partners have been building up a relationship based on trust and cooperation for years. But the edifice of such a relationship, if in doubt because of past incidences, will be unmistakable once Cornell’s presence appears on the Commons in 2002. “This will be one of the largest undertakings of the city, and the magnitude of this project will challenge us all,” said Susan Blumenthal, chair of the city’s Planning and Economic Development Committee, at the news conference announcing the University’s project plans. Members of both city and University offices — some who have worked in both — recall a colorful history of relations between the administrators up on East Hill and downtown. Former Mayor John C. Gutenberger, assistant University director of community relations, noted one particular period of cooperation during the 1960s between the University and the city. Cornell, in fact, offered to support the city by luring two hotels to the downtown area. Unlike the recent plan to open a new Hilton hotel in Ithaca, however, the plans for those hotels fell through. Then, “Cornell got deeply involved in the whole Collegetown development effort when I was in office,” Gutenberger said, noting that while downtown was seeing improvements, conditions closer to the University were stagnant. Cornell and the City of Ithaca were working toward acquiring federal funds to enhance the areas surrounding student housing, but they “just couldn’t generate enough private sector funds to make it happen,” he said. Then came the breakthrough that Gutenberger was looking for as mayor in the mid-1980s. The University established the Center for Theatre Arts , thus concluding what Gutenberger characterized as 25 years of failed attempts to revitalize the Collegetown area. Also during that time in the city’s developmental history, Cornell aided in developing the Eddygate apartments and actually donated land to the city for construction of the parking garage now located behind Eddygate. “It was somewhat symbolic; it was saying, ‘Yes, Cornell has faith in Collegetown,'” Gutenberger recalled. The University and the city made progress simply by sitting down and talking together, Gutenberger said. “If you have a close working relationship, which has happened, then you can discuss these things,” Gutenberger said, referring to the progress in Collegetown in the ’80s and the recent evidence of a resurgence in the partnership. But after helping cultivate this relationship, he watched it deteriorate during the administration of his successor, Benjamin Nichols ’46. One major issue that arose during Nichols’ tenure in City Hall dealt with the negotiation of Cornell’s annual financial contribution to the City of Ithaca. The contributions dated back to the 1960s and compensate Ithaca for its expenses on campus such as fire department activity. Although they are entirely voluntary on the part of the University and unprecedented among New York universities, they nevertheless came under dispute with Nichols in office. Ultimately, Nichols tried to force Cornell to make a larger contribution by withholding building permits from the University. At the time, the withholding of building permits prevented Cornell from undertaking a $12 million rehabilitation project for Baker Laboratory, along with various other construction projects — and local building tradesmen suffered during the standoff as well. “Past mayors have thought that the only way to get something out of the University was to strong-arm them,” Cohen said, adding that “the University has [also] been more parochial in the past than it is now.” Even Cohen’s own administration, which began in 1995, has witnessed its ups and downs in dealing with the University. In October, 1996 Cohen sent an open letter to President Hunter R. Rawlings III to address Cornell’s expansion of its small-market ventures. University book sales, Cohen said, were too aggressive and were encroaching on local business while the University was also proposing a downtown health club that would draw residents away from the local industry. “The University’s stated intent to provide better service and more amenities to students, faculty and staff is producing negative effects on the local market,” Cohen said in the letter. Soon thereafter, though, Cohen noted that the University’s health club plan fell through and Cornell helped resolve the book sales issue as well. Just because the University and the city have developed a relationship of mutual trust and respect doesn’t mean that the two always get along perfectly, Cohen added. Cohen said, “You have to give President Rawlings credit, because [President Emeritus] Frank [H.T. Rhodes’] focus was on building up the University from within. Hunter is now looking beyond the campus, and he recognizes the importance of a strong community for a strong University.” The Cornell building project comes on the heels of many other initiatives taking place downtown. “We have seen the State Street Theatre re-emerging, and the [Tompkins County public library on Green Street] is going to be opening in a matter of months now. It all creates a synergy,” Cohen said. Other developments include the renovation of the old post office into a new Ithaca Town Hall complex, the expansion of the Community School of Music and Arts, the Hilton hotel proposal for the intersection of Tioga and Seneca Streets (across the street from the proposed Cornell building) and the improvements to the Ithaca Commons and existing parking garages. Now the Cornell facility in the Commons suggests a transgression beyond the turbulence that has characterized town-gown relations of the past. Soon the statements of good faith and partnership that have appeared in numerous speeches and memoranda addressing the relationship will be set in stone with the foundation of Cornell’s proposed office building.Archived article by Matthew Hirsch