Benjamin Velani - Dining Editor for the 138th Editorial Board. (Ben Parker / Sun Assistant Photography Editor)

May 12, 2020

That’s a Full Lid – Spring 2020

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This has been one hell of a start to 2020. It has shown us how negligent we can be when it comes to taking care of each other, and it has shown us the extent to which we take care providers for granted. When I say care providers, I don’t just mean doctors and nurses; I mean the garbage collector, the Chick-fil-A cook, the woman stocking empty grocery store shelves and the 40 year employee showing up to work everyday and finding new ways of doing the same work. Re-imagining jobs that have been the same for decades is no easy feat. But people have done that invisible work so you don’t have to worry about getting your family sick when snacking on spicy chicken sandwiches for a special Friday dinner.

I can proudly say the Dining Department’s staff has also risen to the challenge this semester, continuing to provide relevant, conscientious and tongue-in-cheek content. We have published 45 articles this semester, keeping a schedule of content creation to at least three a week and oftentimes more. There are a million other things that should be taking up the Dining Staff’s time — from helping out with the cooking and cleaning around the house, to figuring out classes and schedules online, to praying for sick loved ones. But, still, they have all managed to make time for The Sun. This is a testament to how dedicated our writers are.

Dedicated and thoughtful, I must add. As one of the lighter subjects The Sun covers, we aim to try and provide a break in the action. But, that doesn’t mean we don’t dig deep. Articles like Jack Waxman’s ’22 “The New Cash Cow: How Solar Can Save Dairy Farms” to Brianna Johnson’s ’21 “The Third Sunday” exemplify that attitude. Food is central to all lives, and it offers us a channel to think hard about many of the most relevant issues of our time: Care, equality, security, pollution, distribution and lifestyle. I hope the world doesn’t look the same after this pandemic. If we change nothing about how we source our food, our distribution systems, our food banks and stockpiles or our eating and buying habits, then we have truly failed all the care providers who are currently carrying us on their and their children’s backs. Luckily, I don’t think my hope will be in vain. I’m already seeing change.

At Cornell, this change stretches from saying goodbye to old Collegetown favorites to celebrating the successes of new Cornell graduates. It also extends to caring much more deeply about local farmers, vegan restaurants and the exciting prospects of CBD. Change is a force of nature, and it will keep shaping the Dining Department throughout the summer months as we continue to put out regular content — so stay tuned.

I don’t want to sound like I’m preaching to the choir, or add another hyperlink, so I’m going to end this brief thank you here. On behalf of the Dining Department, I want to wish you and all of your family well.


Benjamin Velani is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at [email protected].