The Student Assembly (S.A.) announced yesterday that last Friday’s initiative to raise money for the United Way Sept. 11 Fund donated more than $2,400 after 983 students signed up to skip dinner.
The program began Oct. 2 when sign-up sheets were made available in dining halls campuswide. The money comes directly from each donated meal, amounting to 32 percent of the total food cost or $2.66 per person.
Although the original plan was to close two or three facilities to funnel the operating costs to the United Way fund, according to Nadeem Siddiqui, director of dining services, the number of donated meals was not deemed enough to close dining halls.
The S.A. is pleased with the student response although it is lower than expectations.
“I think overall it was a little bit less than we were expecting, but  students is better than zero students,” said Michael Matly ’03, vice-president of public relations for the S.A. “I think it was a positive experience overall.”
The program was finally approved after weeks of negotiating between New York State tax attorneys, Campus Life and Cornell Dining.
Citing the “stressful week” of prelims, Siddiqui said the deadline for signing up was extended a second time from last Wednesday to last Thursday to get more donations.
Lauro Ferroni ’05 chose to give up dinner last Friday. “It was a simple way for me to contribute help for the Sept. 11 Fund,” he said.
Siddiqui hopes that there will be more opportunities for Cornell Dining to assist in helping with the World Trade Center relief efforts.
“There are other things that we are taking on,” he said. “I just wanted to make sure the effort is not lost in the process, that this won’t be a one-time event.”
He is already looking into future programs, including sending students to New York City to cook meals for volunteers. Another event in the works is a banquet this spring with proceeds to be donated to proper relief funds.
Siddiqui also emphasized that Cornell Dining is open for suggestions for future charity programs. He can be reached at email@example.com.
“I wanted to thank the S.A. and Cornell Dining for their help,” he added. “The students are great.”
Archived article by Andy Guess