September 19, 2003
Perfect Citizen Makes Mark On, Off Field
| September 19, 2003
Senior defensive captain Kevin Rooney is the type of person you can’t say enough about. Head coach Tim Pendergast was at least willing to try.
“With all due respect to any other student-athletes on this campus, because we’ve got a lot of great ones: This is my 24th year coaching college football and to my knowledge, I don’t ever recall meeting a finer individual in terms of student-athletes,” the coach said about his veteran defensive end.
The compliment is obviously a huge one and it is undeniably well deserved. Rooney’s r
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September 22, 2003
Scot Elwood ’06, a member of the University wrestling team, died Thursday night after he inadvertently jumped into the Fall Creek Gorge. According to reports, Elwood and a teammate were attempting to find a shortcut to their destination from the area behind Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity, when the sophomore jumped over a fence at approximately 10:50 p.m., thinking there was a trail on the other side. Bangs Ambulance, the Ithaca Fire Department and the Ithaca Police all responded to the call, and upon arriving at the scene, rappelled into the gorge to retrieve Elwood, according to one previous report. Brian Wasserman ’05, president of Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity, said that Elwood was “never inside the fraternity house [prior to the fall].” Word spread quickly among members of the community as coaches and staff provided support for the student who was with Elwood and his teammates, according to Linda Grace-Kobas, interim vice president for communications and media relations. “Scot’s death is a tragedy,” said Provost Biddy (Carolyn A.) Martin in a statement to The Sun. “My thoughts are with his family, his friends, his teammates and the many other people whose lives were enriched by their relationships with him and who are now grieving his death.” Travis Lee ’05 echoed many of his teammates’ sentiments saying that the New Albany, Ohio native “was such a nice guy, he was really likable.” Wrestling head coach Rob Koll said Elwood was “a perfect kid for Cornell” and was a “very, very popular member of the team.” “He was a kid that always had a smile on his face, no matter what the situation was,” Mike Mormile ’05 said. “He always knew how to brighten up our day.” Elwood’s funeral in New Albany is at 11 a.m. today. Koll said that he and ten students left for the ceremony by plane earlier this morning. An on-campus memorial has not been planned yet although athletic director Andy Noel said that, “there’s an attitude that we would really like to do something to memorialize Scot.” “[The parents] haven’t even gotten to the funeral yet,” Grace-Kobas said. “Whatever is done is done in conjunction with the family’s wishes.” In New Albany High School, Elwood captained his wrestling, soccer and lacrosse teams. He also won a pair of matches at both the Wilkes and Edinboro Open competitions and was a state runner-up in Ohio for his weight class. “He was one of my best friends,” said Tyler Shovlin ’05. “It’s going to be hard to get over … he’s going to be in my thoughts, my memories.” This is not the first time that tragedy has struck the wrestling team. During a practice on Nov. 25, 2000, Graham B. Morin ’04 died of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a rare heart condition. According to Noel, Elwood was “a very polite, young man.” This type of incident might make teammates work harder “in Scot’s honor,” Noel added. “These tragedies are unexpected and heartbreaking and we have to continue to work hard and remember our fallen teammates and know how they loved the program,” Noel said. Primarily organized by crisis manager, Catherine Holmes, who was also instrumental in providing support to friends and parents, the team met on Friday afternoon for a community support meeting, according to Tanni Hall ’76, associate dean of students for student support. Hall said the meeting helped “give a feeling of support and a feeling to help each other.” “Whenever something happens, we try to assess who’s affected and what they need,” Hall said. “Healing takes a long time so people shouldn’t expect that they would feel better very fast.” This is the first student death during the current academic year. Last April, the University community experienced four student deaths; Karl Brown ’04, Mihoko Kajikawa grad, Kristen Osborne ’04 and Vinod Kundnani grad. Grace-Kobas said that while Brown and Kajikawa’s deaths were ruled suicides, the autopsy results for Kundnani remained inconclusive and Osborne’s death was ruled accidental. “From EARS to Gannett’s Counseling and Psychological Services to the Suicide Hotline and Cornell United Religious Work, there are services readily available to students who are feeling anxiety and sadness,” Grace-Kobas said. When talking about his first impressions of Elwood, Koll remembered when he showed up to school wearing a ten-gallon hat and his occasional tie-dye attire at practices — characteristics which “was typical of his personality.” “He’s such a big part of everything we did,” Jim March ’06 said. “He was a friend to everybody … he was a great kid. I’m going to miss him a lot.”Archived article by Brian Tsao
September 22, 2003
As returning students may have noticed, Cornell Dining has undergone a number of changes since last semester. These changes include the reduction of seven distinct meal plans down to four, the abandonment of meal equivalency and major renovations to Okenshield’s, the hilltop all-you-care-to-eat dining hall. In an e-mail to The Sun, Colleen Wright-Riva, director of dining services, said, “Cornell Dining spent considerable time with other departments at the University, student groups and in discussions with consultants familiar with programs at other universities before it moved forward with these plans [for the meal plan].” “Cornell Dining met with many student organizations, including the Student Assembly. We also held an open forum to alert students of the issues and hear comments,” she said. Wright-Riva listed a number of reasons why these changes were implemented. “Student dissatisfaction about the need to buy larger plans, student dissatisfaction over ‘losing’ the entire value of the meal equivalency even when the student purchased items of lesser value, the desire to streamline meal plans and a need to develop new meal plans that would later merge with a new residential model on West Campus,” she said. “The West Campus changes are the next phase of the campus-wide residential initiative,” Wright-Rive added. On student response to the meal plan changes, Wright-Riva said, “The response to these new plans has been favorable. There have been just a few students that worry they will run out of Big Red Bucks, but again, these students have likely purchased smaller plans than last year and a small addition to Big Red Bucks later in the semester will still be less expensive than buying larger plans just to get the equivalency.” Commenting on the absence of meal equivalency, Christopher J. Billman ’04, student manager at North Star, a North Campus all-you-care-to eat dining hall, said, “Getting rid of meal equivalency was a bad idea.” “It’s one of the few things that have been a bad idea from Cornell Dining. I constantly hear people complaining about it. But what people don’t seem to realize is that Cornell Dining never operates a profit and is comparatively a really good college dining service,” said Billman. Aaron H. Dobbins ’04 disagreed, saying, “I think it’s better without the meal equivalency. It’s more efficient. With meal equivalency it was like wasting a meal. That could translate into a lot of money if you are a huge kid.” According to Wright-Riva, the renovation of Okenshield’s — the other major dining change — came about as “Cornell Dining has recognized the need to upgrade Okenshield’s for some time. Customer traffic at Okenshield’s has been decreasing considerably over the last several years and the new facilities on North, as well as the anticipated changes coming on West, made it clear that this renovation could not wait.” Chef Wang’s Station, which had been a drawing attraction of Okenshield’s, was altered during the renovations. Wright-Riva said, “Chef Wang’s Station was deemed to no longer be within the NYS building code because it lacked proper ventilation.” “Cornell Dining worked with University architects and realized that with the existing building conditions, there could only be one station under the hoods at Okenshield’s — the grill or Chef Wang’s station,” Wright-Riva said. Wright-Riva explained, “Since students can enjoy grilled items at the Ivy Room and Chef Wang continues to be a ‘legend’ at Okenshield’s, the choice for Cornell Dining was relatively easy. Additionally, we will rotate grilled items on the specialty bar, so they are not gone forever.” Also changed due to renovations was the deli at Okenshield’s. “The deli was popular and our team has heard from a few students that they miss it. We have heard from far more however, that they love the new look and they love Chef Wang’s Asian selections,” said Wright-Riva. Daniel J. Sheinfeld ’04 said, “I thought Okenshield’s was fine before. It had character. I think it looks nice now, but that doesn’t really mater because the grill is gone. …The best food on campus used to be Okenshield’s. Now, I’m never eating there again,” Sheinfeld said. Craig E. Kiczek ’04 disagreed, saying, “I liked the change. I felt like there was a wider selection and the food was definitely much better. The last time I was there before the renovations the food tasted like ass. I would definitely go again.” Dylan R. Greif ’06 said, “I think the change made Okenshield’s better. Before I felt like I was eating at some strange old lady’s house. However, now the lines are much longer and it’s a little crowded. But that’s the price you got to pay.” “Also, Okenshields’ Dave makes my day happier. I would use a meal after going to the Ivy Room just to see Okenshields’ Dave,” Greif added, referring to Dave Sepulveda, cashier and greeter at Okenshield’s. Other changes in Cornell Dining this semester have been the addition of Carol’s Caf