Lennox Cao/Sun Contributor

A man walking on the arts quad after heavy rain on March 19.

May 5, 2022

Movies on the Arts Quad Return with Less Input from Students

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After a roughly six month long hiatus during the winter, evening film showings have finally returned to the Arts Quad on April 24. While their return is welcomed, students say it has come with a lesser voice in choice granted to the student body. 

This semester, the films were chosen by Campus Activities, without any student input, a change from when the films shown were chosen by the student-run Cornell Film Club last semester. 

Gillian Harrill ’22, president of the Cornell Film Club, discussed how the film selection process in the fall was focused on finding what would best draw in students.

“Normally, [the] Cornell Film Club would poll the student body,” Harrill said. 

Harrill said this would lead to unconventional films such as “Shrek” being shown, which would still draw large crowds.

While Cornell Film Club worked closely with Campus Activities in the fall to bring back this event, Harrill stated that they were not asked to help out this semester. 

Isaac Chasen ’23 expressed a desire for students to have more of a voice in the film selection process.

“I definitely think students should have a platform for helping to determine what movies are shown,” Chasen said. “Whether it’s through the Film Club or by directly surveying students.”

Farhan Choudhury ’25 echoed this sentiment, expressing his belief that having some student input would increase turnout.

“People might be more inclined to go if they have some say in picking the movie that they’ll be watching,” Choudhury said.

Campus Activities did not reply to requests for comment by The Sun on why student input is no longer directly considered.  

This year’s chosen films include “Encanto” and “The Parent Trap,” which were screened on April 24 and April 28 respectively. “Black Widow” is scheduled for screening on May 5. 

At the movie night event on April 24, the first 100 attendees at the screening received a free blanket, an incentive to attend.

Leo Almada-Makebish ’22 was one of the attendees for the screening. He found the movie screen night to be a wholesome break from other social cultures at Cornell.

“Cornell can perpetuate a culture of partying and heavy drinking,” Almada-Makebish said. “So, having screenings of movies like “Encanto” just allows for a different and healthier way to socialize.” 
The films are a part of the larger Big Red Pride Days, a series of activities for students to celebrate the end of the spring semester. These events all lead-up to Slope Fest, which is set to return in-person for the first time since 2019.