May 6, 2001

Staying Slope Free

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Today is Slope Day. The day on which the most alcohol is consumed across the campus. The day people come out of hiding from the libraries and drink with the rest of Cornell. Today, vomiting on your own shoes is something to be proud of. Your body takes serious abuse on Slope Day. And for that reason, a certain segment of Cornell has to abstain from the festivities: the athletes.

“I want to see what it’s like,” admitted freshman Sarah Sterman. “But there are other things that are important to me as well.”

Sterman is the number two pitcher on the Ivy League champion softball team. Her squad will be pulling out of Ithaca this evening to head to Harvard for the NCAA tournament play-in series, beginning tomorrow afternoon. With stakes that high, the team can’t be hungover.

Sophomore Michael Egan, one of the men’s lacrosse team’s leading scorers, has been around for one Slope Day already, and doesn’t regret missing the event.

“I can live with it. I don’t think I’m missing much,” said Egan. “It looks like it’s fun, but I don’t think you need to get hammered one day out of the year to have fun.”

Egan and the rest of the team won’t even be in Ithaca when the day arrives. The Red has a game in Columbus tomorrow against Ohio State. However, even if the laxers were to be in town, they wouldn’t be permitted to drink. Most teams have rules regarding alcohol, and the men’s lacrosse team prohibits drinking 72 hours before a game.

The women’s lacrosse team has a 48-hour rule, so freshman Michelle Allen won’t be imbibing any either. Her troops have a 3:15 p.m. practice today in order to get ready for a contest with Johns Hopkins tomorrow.

“I haven’t completely decided yet [whether to go to the Slope],” commented Allen. “The older girls have told me you should at least go there and see what it’s about.”

According to Egan, it’s not about much.

“It’s not too impressive. A bunch of people go out for the first time and get hammered, and they end up having the EMS pump their stomachs,” observed Egan.

Not all of the athletes on East Hill will be avoiding Libe Slope, however. Sports that aren’t in season, such as ice hockey, will be represented in the crowd. Last year, the women’s ice hockey team even had shirts made specifically for Slope Day with “WHOC” emblazoned on the shoulder.

As for those who are still competing, there are other ways to celebrate the end of classes.

“Personally, I’m just not going to do some homework for a couple of days,” said Sterman.

“If we win on Saturday, we’ll probably make it into the NCAA tournament,” added Allen. “That’s enough celebration for me.”

Archived article by Alex Fineman