March 11, 2003

CornellCard, Please

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If you’re trying to have a fun time on a low budget, why not let your parents help fund some of your collegiate activities?

Many students have CornellCard, a credit account with a limit of $650. Parents add the CornellCard option in order to ensure that their children will never be left hungry or in need of a book. But little do they know that this funding option allows for the simple, plastic Cornell ID to pay for more than just the bare necessities of college living. With the account, anything at the Cornell Store can be purchased by the swipe of a card. DVDs, books, magazines, Cornell apparel, computer supplies and the latest Xbox or PlayStation 2 games and consoles can be purchased, appearing as “Campus Store” charges on the billing statement.

Jesse Rodriguez ’05 admits that “after a hard test I always CornellCard a DVD or two. After physics this week, I helped myself to The Ring.”

And although not displayed openly, smokers can charge packs of cigarettes available at the minimart within the Campus Store or at the gift shop at the Statler Hotel. When asked if her parents noticed the daily $6.50 charge on her CornellCard statement, Mara Sherman ’05 replied, “I don’t know why they haven’t figured it out yet.”

Wine and Dine

For students looking for upscale dining courtesy of their loving folks, Banfi’s in the Statler Hotel is the place to wine and dine. Students can enjoy a three-course meal featuring appetizers such as hickory smoked loin or meadow farms venison followed by a truffle honey-basted rack of lamb and topped off with a warm chocolate torte for dessert, all for $43.75 per person, before tip. But gentlemen have no qualms with taking a date there — after all, the CornellCard pays the tab.

And instead of pounding cup after cup of Beast before going out, the discerning Cornellian can drink in style at the Regent Lounge, also in the Statler, where parents can unknowingly treat their children to a bottle of wine starting at $22 or a $5.50 Grey Goose martini.

“It’s the perfect place to drink for someone like me. I have champagne taste and beer money,” quipped Jordan Willis ’04.

Or if drinking on campus doesn’t strike one’s fancy, City Bucks, “featuring 29 restaurants,” now includes Rulloff’s restaurant and bar. Just when you thought that the bar scene was too expensive but the frat drinks were too questionable, City Bucks, a declining balance account, presents a covert way to charge top-shelf booze to your parents at the hot stops in Collegetown.

Apart from helping students get hammered for free, the CornellCard can pay for concerts, guest lecturers or any event with tickets sold at the Straight. And if you want to make that camp-out for front seats more comfortable, even without a CornellCard, you can bursar anything from tents to sleeping bags to a weekend backpacking excursion in Arizona, through Cornell Outdoor Education, once again courtesy of those loving parents.

So next time you’re sitting around looking for a good time but feel the hole burning through your pocket, just remember that your parents love you and that that little plastic card has endless possibilities.

Archived article by Jack VanArsdale