Collegetown’s Landmark Sign May Return Home

Like many Cornell alumni, Alderperson Mary Tomlan (D-4th Ward) has fond memories of the neon sign that once marked the entrance to Johnny’s Big Red Grill.
“I first came here as a grad student in the mid-1960s, and I used to go to Johnny’s,” Tomlan recalls. “It was a nice place to go late at night for a good sandwich.”
The picture on the sign features Cornell’s mascot, the Big Red Bear, which marked Johnny’s as a link between Cornell and the local community. Celebrities who attended Cornell, like Peter Yarrow ’59 of the band Peter, Paul and Mary, often stopped by the restaurant when they came back to visit Ithaca.
Thus, when the sign was removed last spring due to its structural instability and auctioned off on eBay, some viewed it as the end of an era.

Experts Say Universities Susceptible to Data Breaches

In early June, when a Cornell employee’s computer contained the names and social security numbers of more than 45,000 students and staff members, it was the school’s third data breach in the past four years.
In June 2008, someone hacked into an administrative computer that contained the personal information of 2,500 students. And in 2005, a similar incident affected more than 900 individuals.
The information that universities ask their students to supply can often cost many their personal security if such information falls into the wrong hands.

AT&T Builds Two Cell Phone Facilities on Campus

“Sick! Thank God!” Deanna Surma ’12 exclaimed.
Had Surma just learned that Slope Day was sooner than she thought? No, she was actually reacting to the announcement that AT&T will build two new cell phone facilities on campus. After two-and-a-half to three years of contract negotiations, the facilities, which will be on Bradfield and Donlon Hall, will be completed by late summer.
These have been greeted with enthusiasm by students with AT&T who despair at the lack of good reception on North Campus.
“It’s awesome to hear,” said Philip Alley ’12. “North Campus is plagued with AT&T holes [of service] near Ujamaa and Balch as well as some areas in Donlon. Countless times I’ve been walking through North and my call has been dropped.”

Sustainability Speaker Stresses Individual Responsibility

“If you ask a typical student where electricity comes from, they [would] say, ‘From the outlet,’” said Lanny Joyce, Cornell University manager of engineering, planning and energy and yesterday’s keynote speaker at “Spirit of Sustainability,” a lunchtime talk in Sage Chapel about Cornell’s energy conservation and sustainability efforts. The first of a month-long series, yesterday’s talk focused on the subtle contributions from all people on Cornell’s campus in order to reduce carbon emissions. Future speakers will address sustainability issues ranging from cutting-edge research to new construction.

N.Y. Gov. Proposes Wine Sales at Grocery Stores

Students looking to savor a glass of local vino may not have to travel any farther than Wegmans if the State Legislature approves Governor Paterson’s recent proposal, which allows grocery stores to sell wine for the first time in New York State history. But the liquor store owners affected by the proposal claim that the governor based his decision on drunken logic.
The proposal came about as a means of decreasing the state’s multi-billion dollar budget gap. Supermarkets selling the wine would be required to pay a franchise fee to the state, which Paterson hopes would raise over $100 million.

Students Pursue Fraternities to Advance Career Goals

Professional fraternities like Alpha Kappa Psi and Alpha Chi Sigma, provide an opportunity for Cornell students to combine their motivations for socializing and advancing their future careers into one pursuit. Alpha Chi Sigma, the chemistry fraternity, had 18 new pledges this semester where the typical pledge class includes seven to 10 students.
Students who want to join Alpha Chi Sigma are expected to have a social life in addition to a strong knowledge of chemistry.
“We don’t just want someone who wants to study all the time,” said Emily Majusiak ’09, the organization’s vice-master alchemist.

Multicultural Greek Groups Seek to Expand Reach

For those who desire a unique cultural experience from fraternities or sororities, the Multicultural Greek Letter Council offers several options. While most who take part in multicultural rush come from minority groups, the organizations stress that by no means do they exclude based on race.
This year, MGLC recruitment has seen an increase in interest, which corresponds with an increase in prospective rushees across Greek organizations on campus. Over the past few years, “Greek life has expanded,” said Nicholas Diaz ’10, president of MGLC. “We’ve gone from four chapters to 17.” 

Vampire Romance Flick Avoids Genre Pitfalls

In the film Twilight, during an especially intense scene, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) tells the girl he loves, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), “You’re like a drug … like my own personal brand of heroin.” For many fans under the age of 20, his words could just as easily describe Twilight itself. The film’s emotional grip (not to mention Edward Cullen’s dreamy good looks) makes it impossible not to experience at least one instance of increased heart rate.

Charles Baxter's The Soul Thief

Being a university student in upstate New York can be an emotional experience, triggering binge drinking and even nervous breakdowns.
This is not a personal confession, but a truth confirmed by Charles Baxter’s newest novel, The Soul Thief. The protagonist, Nathaniel Mason, spends his first few months as a graduate student in Buffalo making new acquaintances, struggling with romantic relationships and attempting to make sense of his own identity. Baxter’s descriptive prose perfectly evokes the ambiguities of daily life and the complexity of individual personalities.