BERNSTEIN | It’s Closing Time

“Closing time, open all the doors and let you out into the world.”

When the song “Closing Time” plays, a gear starts turning in the college student’s mind and a flashing alarm light goes off in the brain, fit with siren and all, to give one message: leave. A grand exodus occurs, often with little to no communication. A few goodbyes can be heard, a couple people will say “well, I guess it’s time!” but by and large — even when some will, of course, choose to linger — the patron or partier will make for the exit without question. The casual laughs and conversations will continue as they migrate, but people don’t have to talk about leaving. They just go. 

This psychological conditioning happens late at night every weekend on campuses across the country, and it also happens every May. 

“Closing time, turn all of the lights on over every boy and every girl.”

The switch is flipped automatically in the beginning of every summer: the lights come on and we immediately head for the exit doors.

GHAZI & YAMAZAKI | And Then They Were Roommates

When you put a minimalist and a maximalist in a room together at 18 and tell them to make the arrangement work, it makes no sense that ours did. For four years, we inhabited two different Cornells, but we worked as roommates because we both wanted to create the same Cornell: a place where you can be both soft and strong, thriving and hurt, grounded in your being and terrified of your becoming.

CHEN | A STEM Look Into the Opinion Section

I shouldn’t have worried about my reach or doubted the Daily Sun’s reach either. My team members for my Intro to Game Architecture course and fellow E-Board members for Women in Computing at Cornell loved resharing and boosting the links to my columns as soon as they came out. Even my ode to Duffield somehow reached my sister, who works in the Bay Area and has been out of school for five years, via her coworker. A junior from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln emailed me a four-paragraph response to my “Stop Catfishing Computer Science Majors” piece offering a separate angle from his personal experiences. My words were getting somewhere. Someone was reading. That was all that mattered.

SEX ON THURSDAY | How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Be Queer

I had a few (straight) relationships in high school, but I could never reconcile how my thoughts dwelt on the lingering touch of my friend’s hug and the warmth of his leg next to mine when we sat together at the crowded restaurants. One stuffy summer night in the park, I melted when he reached over to wipe away a drop of beer from my face and slid his fingers along my cheek. All we had were those moments, half-hearted but unmistakable, and all I could do was to wait and see if they would ever amount to anything. I wasn’t gay, I’d tell myself. That little word would upend my life.

SEX ON THURSDAY | Summer of STDs

When the United States repealed the 18th Amendment in 1933, alcohol was finally legal. People were swarming the newly-opened bars and rolling barrels of beer through the streets. In the Summer of Love 1967, youth cultures gathered in San Francisco to cast off conservative values and experiment with sex and drugs. 

Though our 2021 context is entirely different, we are poised to share similar collective experiences of jubilation. 

After more than a year of virtual concerts, conferences and classes, glimpses of “normal” life continue to dance around our yearning minds. Tinder bios now read “fully vaccinated,” like an adoptable puppy. I can finally hug my friends without worries in a flash of optimism.

LIM | Not the End

I feel torn between an unwillingness to believe fatalistically in endings, and a fear that I might be underemphasizing the uniqueness of being at Cornell and at Ithaca. The above quote feels like an important reminder: the urgency with which I need to love remains throughout my life. What changes is the context and circumstances through which I can love people, pursuits and causes.

MORAN | Good Grief

Growing up, I always sought an older brother figure, and I got that from Bill. I took his music taste, his hand-me-downs and later his love of writing. I spent Thanksgiving with him, and after debating Mac Miller’s discography for hours, I wrote my first article for The Sun (which was rejected by Pete which convinced me to compet for assistant Arts and Entertainment editor so that I could force it through). That conversation in 2019 came out of nowhere, and reminded me why I started writing in the first place.

GUEST ROOM | Unmask Your Anxiety

I am not afraid of dying, I dread living forlorn. Which is why masked people and “social distancing” trouble me so, and why the recent CDC recommendation cheers me up. French philosopher Emmanuel Lévinas thought that face-to-face encounters initiate our humanity: By revealing our fragile faces to one another, we expose our mutual vulnerabilities so we may truly connect. Has COVID  flipped the coin —  do we now signal vulnerability by masking our faces so we may justify why we should disconnect? 

If we do, it is fear, “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror” that may tear us apart. I hope that “forever maskers” will change their mind, but their anxiety is just another early sign of the Post-COVID Stress Disorder (PCSD) that is upon us — as are the recent deliberations about wearing masks outdoors.

SEX ON THURSDAY | Sex Songs: Sexy Songs for Sex

The year is crashing to a close and that cutie whose video you pin in discussion section just got their second dose. Pop a squat in their Zoom DM’s and shove yourself into their frame of view before they book it back to New Jersey. Cast your doubts to the side and go get boba with that guy who’s attractive in two of his tinder pictures but not in the other three. Put your dick on the table and text that girl from your FWS who your measly little freshman self could only admire from afar. Live dangerously.

ONONYE | What I Learned When I Ran for Student Assembly President

“My name is Anuli Ononye, I’m a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences and I am running to be your next S.A. president…” 

I apologize to anyone who heard my Student Assembly president spiel more than once in the past few weeks. At this point, I have the five minute speech so deeply ingrained in my head that I can say it in my sleep. 

To preface this article, I am writing this at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 8 and I have no idea who “your next S.A. president” will be. Regardless of the election results, I can say that running for S.A. president has been the most rewarding, challenging and meaningful experience of my Cornell career. Whether you’re thinking about making your S.A. debut next election season, you can’t stand the S.A. and need one more reason to love-to-hate us, or you’re just curious about campaigning, here are my biggest takeaways from the last month:

Start With Your Platform

The best advice that I received throughout this entire campaign was to “articulate why I wanted to be S.A. president without lying to myself.” Although this seems like the bare minimum, it’s actually a harder ask than you’d think. It’s deciding why you want to spend hours a week in S.A. meetings, your summer vacation talking with administrators and the rest of your time here opening yourself up to the entire campus community.