April 10, 2002

Slope Day Will Face Only Minor Alterations

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The drastic changes to Slope Day that have been anticipated by some Cornell students do not appear to be taking effect this year, according to an April 8 letter sent by President Hunter R. Rawlings III to Kent Hubbell ’69, dean of students.

The letter largely approved of the recommendations of the Slope Day Steering Committee which Hubbell is chair.

“The letter basically supports everything we recommended,” Hubbell said.

These recommendations include, among other things, the limitation of what kinds of alcoholic beverages students can bring to the Slope as well as in what kinds of containers.

“I am especially pleased with the recommendation to prohibit hard alcohol [liquor or mixed drinks] from the event, allow only beverages [non-alcoholic or alcoholic] in unopened cans to enter the Slope and permit legal age students to bring, at most, one six pack of unopened cans (not bottles) of beer or hard lemonade,” Rawlings wrote in his letter.

The Steering Committee’s original recommendations of a fenced in Slope-area and staff-manned checkpoints have also since been modified.

The Slope now will only be partially fenced in using fencing fragments, the natural topography and buildings surrounding it.

“In my view it is essential that the Committee conduct a thorough analysis of the success of these initiatives as soon as is practical after this year’s event,” Rawlings wrote.

“I’m not sure if it will work,” Hubbell said. “There is concern about how you create a perimeter for the event absent of a fence.”

In his letter, Rawlings also supported the rekindling of the Great Feast, a Slope Day tradition that began in 1979. For most of the early 1980s, Cornell Dining hosted a free, term-end barbecue providing non-alcoholic beverages such as soft drinks and water.

Rawlings also agreed to provide DJ entertainment on the Slope and that he would “work with vice president [Susan H.] Murphy to see what [funding] we can provide.”

Rawlings did ask that the Committee, “schedule the start of each of those events in light of the information provided to you by the Faculty Senate.”

“The timing and volume of the music should take into account the conduct of classes in progress on the Arts Quad,” he said.

Finally, Rawlings supported the Committee’s suggestion to plan alternatives to Friday morning pre-parties but stated that “any such events must be scheduled so as not to interfere with Friday morning instruction.”

Currently, Hubbell is working with students and faculty to arrange for a freshmen breakfast on North Campus. “We plan on adding events for each class in the years to come,” Hubbell said.

Cornell students expressed mixed reviews on the new Slope Day provisions.

“I think they should cater as well as allow us to bring our own beverages, like at Homecoming,” said Burt Weiss ’04. “Having beer sold is convenient so you don’t have to walk around with backpacks.”

“The changes are ultimately a good compromise. I don’t think there will be any problems doing what you’ve got to do,” said Adam Caslow ’05.

Thomas Pipala ’03 agrees, “Hey, as long as I can get wasted, it’s all good.”

Archived article by Marc Zawel