Major League Healing

The events that unfolded last Tuesday have caused many Americans to feel insecure throughout this following week. A certain reluctance for everyday living has replaced the complacent confidence we all once held in this seemingly impenetrable nation we call home.

However, the world of sports has aided in restoring the faith of a people. And baseball, wielding its power as an iconic symbol of America itself, has taken the early lead in the effort for renewal.

As Major League Baseball resumed play Monday night, a similar feeling of anxious pride blanketed most ballparks. Attendance at many of the big city stadiums slumped as many Americans chose the safety of their living rooms to the public gatherings of pro-baseball stands.

In Pittsburgh Monday night, less than half of those who bought tickets attended the Pirates-Mets opening game.

Coors’ Field in Colorado was sold out on Monday night for the Rockies’ match-up against Randy Johnson and the Diamondbacks. However, one third of the paid seating remained empty throughout the contest.

Fans all over the nation expressed their concern for the obvious dangers of being in such public environments in the wake of the horrible terrorist acts.

While heightened security measures were aimed at comforting fans arriving at the ballpark, most people still had reservations to going to the games.

And who can blame them?

Why shouldn’t extra care be taken by security and extra consideration exercised by fans at events nationwide amidst threats of further attacks?

As for myself, the mere image of armed guards and sniffing dogs presiding over America’s pastime is an uneasing and crushing image.

When I was eleven, I was converted to a Yankee fan and made my first visit to Yankee Stadium. The first time I beheld that Eden, I was eleven years old. I had hardly begun algebra, but I knew that I was experiencing something special.

Last week, the image of an empty Yankee Stadium with a lone American flag hanging in centerfield the day after the attacks somehow put things in perspective for me — as it had seven years prior.

Once again I knew that I was experiencing something unique. But on this occasion uniquely tragic, and tears once again weld in my eyes.

I imagine many Americans experienced similar feelings returning to the ballparks they loved this week.

Yet, somehow the power of the American spirit rang proud in our nation’s stadiums, as the power of sport once again awakened a feeling of patriotic togetherness in cities everywhere.

The national anthem was coupled with “God Bless America” at most games, and the recently ubiquitous stars and stripes laced most stadiums’ rafters, walls, entrances, and fans.

Solemn ceremonies for those victimized in the attacks were commonly followed by a call to all Americans for continued support in the ongoing rescue efforts and for the actions America will take in the weeks to come.

In the spirit of our President’s call on citizens to resume “business as usual,” baseball responded nobly.

And at such a trying time in our history, we are all being called upon to respond in exceptional ways.

In the games that followed such ceremonies, baseball players reacted by playing their hearts out as usual. John Franco made a gutsy save in the Mets’ win on Monday night, while Randy Johnson pitched remarkably to garner his 19th win in Colorado.

These men, as some may argue, were by no means going about their business and forgetting the events of last Tuesday. Instead, they were making a very bold and important statement — that statement being: we need to remember, we need to wear the American flag with pride (as all major league clubs were called upon to do), but we also need to embark upon a life of passion fueled by the reemergence of the American spirit.

We can not live in fear at a time when courage will be the test of our nation’s resiliency.

You may have your doubts about ever going to a ballgame again, but baseball has now made its promise to the American people.

Come to us, and we will provide comfort. We will mourn for those who’ve died, cheer for those who’ve long been the true heroes of our nation (the firefighters and policemen we so often take for granted), and we will celebrate the re-forging of our national pride by providing what little relief we can through the avenue of sport.

Many people have done something to help our nation’s broken spirit at this most unfortunate time, and more will be called upon as the war we have been promised approaches.

As an institution with so much influence over an onlooking nation, it is good to see Major League Baseball playing its part.

We could all use such an example.

Archived article by Scott Jones

Eamon McEneaney '77 Dies In Trade Center Tragedy

Eamon McEneaney ’77, an integral member of the Cornell men’s lacrosse dynasty of the mid-’70s, perished in the attacks on New York’s World Trade Center last week, the University reported yesterday. McEneaney is one of the first alumni confirmed deceased after the tragic events.

Considered by many to be one of lacrosse’s all-time greats, he was working for the brokerage firm, Cantor Fitzgerald, on one of the top floors of the North Tower, which was the first of the pair to suffer damage.

Richie Moran, who was McEneaney’s coach at Cornell, suspected the worst when the events of last Tuesday began to unfold.

“I knew he was on floor 104 or 105,” he said. “When the first plane hit, I knew it was difficult to go up and difficult to go down.

“Eamon was a remarkable individual, both as an undergraduate and in the real world,” Moran continued.

Cantor Fitzgerald was among the hardest hit tenants in the World Trade Center. Of 700 employees thought to have been at work last Tuesday morning, it is feared that none of Cantor Fitzgerald’s staff survived.

As an attackman for the Red in the ’70s, McEneaney amassed a reputation as one of the country’s leading scorers, earning first-team All-American honors in 1975, ’76 and ’77. In 1977, when he recorded a whopping 25 points in the NCAA Tournament to lead Cornell to a successful defense of its national title, he also was crowned the most outstanding collegiate player. McEneaney was a member America’s World Lacrosse Championship team in 1978, and four years later he was named to the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame.

To round out his string of accolades, McEneaney was inducted to the national Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1993.

In addition to his legacy in lacrosse, McEneaney was also a standout for the Cornell football team as an All-Ivy wide receiver in 1976.

“He was an unbelievable player,” Moran said.

But for all his feats as an athlete, McEneaney’s true attributes shone brightest off the field.

Moran found that out when he was walking with McEneaney down the streets of Manhattan earlier this year. After a homeless man had approached them, Moran asked if McEneaney had run into him before. McEneaney replied that, though he wouldn’t distribute free handouts to the man, he had been taking him out to lunch every Thursday or Friday for a while.

“He touched a lot of souls,” Moran said.

During the World Trade Center bombings in 1993, McEneaney also proved a hero to 65 people whom he guided down the stairs to safety by forming a human chain system. At each floor, he would make sure to conduct a headcount so that no one would be left behind.

“He wouldn’t let them give up,” Moran reflected. “If people had to be saved, he would be the type of guy to do it.

“He talked about how much he loved the people he worked with.”

Jeff Tambroni, the current head coach of the men’s lacrosse team, met McEneaney prior to last spring’s game against Penn.

“One thing I’ve taken away from him is that he had such a passion to be successful,” Tambroni said.

As fate would have it, this past May brought together McEneaney, Moran and the rest of the 1976 Cornell national championship team together for a 25th anniversary reunion. There, unknowing at the time, the team that owned collegiate lacrosse in the mid-’70s had a final opportunity to salute its star.

“It was sort of a godsend that we were all able to get together,” Moran said.

McEneaney is survived by his wife, Bonnie, and their four children.

A memorial in his honor will be held this Friday at the First Presbyterian Church in New Canaan, Conn.

Archived article by Shiva Nagaraj

What We Need

He had just eaten breakfast there.

She left to get coffee.

He had visited only the day before.

She had planned to visit the day after.

He sprinted to catch his flight.

She missed hers.

He worked on the top floor.

She worked on the bottom.

A tragedy and its aftermath have shaken a country into silence. It simmers, it grieves and soon it will awaken with stories such as these — stories which steal and offer hope in the same breath. In such uneasy times, many have found comfort in the arms of neighbors, in the eyes of strangers and in the hearts of fathers and mothers.

The role of sports in such a tragedy remains cloudy. Watching all sports networks drop their programming to cover the crisis was somewhat of a surprise to all of us. On ESPN.com, a picture of Michael Jordan was replaced by a picture of a scarred New York. His Airness’s much-awaited press conference was pushed to the back seat. All NFL, college football and MLB previews and reviews were stopped in favor of coverage of the attacks. Such an event showed that as important as sports are to our society, they are not appropriate in every situation. Sports, the central figure in the entertainment business, rightly came to a halt.

Clearly, entertainment is not a chief concern of a country in mourning. But at some point, the mourning must fade. While the memories can never be forgotten, it is the role of entertainment to ease the nation back into “normal” life. Interestingly enough, for a week we couldn’t deal with sports, and now we can’t deal without them.

Sports has a healing power like no other. And so we look to the sports world to cure our heartaches of today. Can sports deliver? Certainly there will be ample opportunity, but if the following five scenarios play out, then the transition to normality will be much smoother.

5. Fresno State goes undefeated and wins a national championship.

We were raised to cheer for the underdog, and this year there is no bigger one than the Bulldogs. Led by senior standout quarterback David Carr, Fresno easily dispatches three big-name teams in Colorado, Wisconsin and Oregon State — Sports Illustrated’s pick to win the national championship. The beauty of this team lies not only in its quality wins, but the ease by which it obtains them. In the Wisconsin game, you could just feel a massive force building up behind Carr’s arm, ready to be unleashed at any moment — as if the team was destined to win.

What would make a Fresno-national championship all the sweeter, is that it would represent a triumph over the computer-ranking systems which would penalize them for being in a weaker conference. Fate would have defeated the Bowl Championship Series.

4. A competitive NFL season culminating in an East-West Super Bowl.

The past few seasons have been like no other in the history of the NFL. No longer are there three dominant teams who can book their places in the playoffs year after year. Now, every team (with the exception of the Cardinals, Browns and Cowboys) has a legitimate shot at the playoffs, and there is no clear Super Bowl favorite. This is exactly the kind of season we need again. When fans have a reason to be passionate about their teams, they no longer remain preoccupied with their troubles. Fans can confidently return to bars and rekindle the camaraderie amongst their fellow-fans and hated rivals alike.

Similarly, to have teams from each side of the country in the Super Bowl would be a huge benefit for the healing process. It would force the entire country to become involved and create a kind of buzz that isn’t easily forgotten. For example, last year’s Ravens-Giants Super Bowl inherently could not stir up excitement in the Midwest. However, the Broncos-Green Bay battle of 1998 was ballyhooed weeks before the actual contest. And it is this kind of ballyhooing that we need to return to normalcy.

3. A New York-Seattle Series.

Be it in a League Championship between the Yankees and the Mariners or a World Series between the Mets and Mariners, some how New York and Seattle must be involved in the baseball’s climax.

The presence of either New York team will help the city heal, and the presence of Seattle will help the rest of the nation heal. Seattle is quickly becoming America’s Team. In spite of, or perhaps because of, losing its superstars (Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, and Randy Johnson) it has become the most successful team in baseball. And like America, the team is quite diverse, holding a number of international players.

2. A smooth Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

The Winter Olympics will be the perfect opportunity for America to reunite and form stronger bonds with the rest of the world, both at a political, and more importantly, social level. The friendly competition should lighten any dark mood, and once again show the “triumph of human spirit.” It will be of utmost importance that this event avoid all mishaps, such as the one that occurred when the Olympic Torch last touched American soil, or else the calm illusion will quickly be shattered.

1. A successful Michael Jordan comeback

In the 1990s, you weren’t a fan of a basketball team, you were a fan of two letters, M and J. Perhaps the most recognizable initials ever, MJ brought together those from all walks of life to revel. And boy did we revel. It didn’t matter who he was playing, or playing with, we watched him with respect and wonder. I remember watching him cement his legacy one June night in a hotel lobby in ’98. As his final shot graced the net, I slapped a thoroughly frustrated Jazz fan on the back in pure joy. The guy turned and smiled, as tears welled in his eyes.

“Incredible,” was all he could whisper.

Jordan united Asians, Europeans, and Americans alike with game-winners, tongue wags, and The fadeaway jumper of all fadeaway jumpers. He single-handedly fueled their love of the game, forcing them to put aside their thoughts, their worries, and their burdens. And now, three years later, we look to him to do it again.

Archived article by Sumeet Sarin

Teach-In Evokes Past, Future of C.U. Activism

Five hundred Cornell community members gathered in Kennedy’s David L. Call Auditorium yesterday for “A University Teach-in,” at which faculty members shared their perspectives of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

“We’ve had some students who have asked, quite appropriately, ‘What is a teach-in?'” said President Hunter R. Rawlings III, who moderated the event. He explained that Cornell was among the first to offer teach-ins to the community in the 1960s. “The major intent is to try to shed light on these events and to provide experts

Living Lightly

Members of the Ithaca community were given a first hand look at EcoVillage, a cohousing development outside of the downtown area, as EcoVillage recently celebrated its 10th anniversary with tours of the development, workshops, and homemade vegetarian meals.

A cohousing development is a cooperative community where residents share common land and facilities and work together. Usually a cohousing development has between twenty and thirty homes built clustered together around the shared land.

The EcoVillage Cohousing Cooperative (the first neighborhood of three to five at EcoVillage) was established in 1992. According to Liz Walker, Director of EcoVillage, Ithaca was chosen as the site of the cohousing development because the original director was involved at Cornell with the Center for Religion, Ethics, and Social Policy (CRESP).

“We thought it would be a really good thing to have what is essentially an educational project affiliated with Cornell in some way,” Walker said.

The First Cohousing Neighborhood (FROG) was finished in August 1997. FROG spans three acres and is home to around ninety residents. It was the first cohousing project to be completed in the state of New York, and the twenty-fifth to be completed nation-wide.

In 1996, the Second Neighborhood Group (SONG) began planning. The new neighborhood is slated to be finished in 2002.

EcoVillage residents are committed to living a more ecologically sustainable life. According to Walker, there are a number of ways they have achieved this goal.

The first and foremost is the preservation of the land. EcoVillage is built on 176 acres of land that was supposed to be developed into a typical subdivision, where Walker said 90 percent of the land is used and only 10 percent is left untouched.

“What we are doing is taking the same piece of land

MECA Helping To Lead C.U. Recovery Effort

When Umair Khan ’03 heard of the national tragedies last Tuesday, he reacted first like every other American, with concern and fear that his family members and loved ones may have been injured. He reacted second as an Arab American, with terror that the U.S. response to the attacks would target the Muslim and Arab American community.

As a result of such concerns, Khan and members of the Muslim Educational and Cultural Association (MECA) and the local Arab community have come together to gather on Ho Plaza for two purposes.

The first objective was to raise money for the victims at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in southwest Pennsylvania. Secondly, MECA aimed to demonstrate to the Cornell community that the Muslims and Arabs are distinct groups from the perpetrators of the attacks on the U.S, according to Khan, the vice president of the Arab Club at Cornell University.

“We are mourning just like all other Americans,” said Nassir Memon ’04, MECA member. “We have lost friends in the bombing [along with many others].”

However, as Khan stated, “The American media has equated terrorism with a specific faith and background, one that is generalized to include all members of the Arab and Muslim community.”

“Generalization out of ignorance is our biggest enemy,” he said.

These generalizations have led Americans to associate an entire group with a very small number of extremists, according to Mendi Baladi ’01, MECA member.

“I am scared for myself because of the recent threats [to the Muslim and Arab communities] in other states since this tragedy, and I am scared for my family that lives in Pakistan,” said Shen Husain ’01, another member of MECA. “My father warned me about leaving Ithaca because he fears for me.”

According to Vice President for Student and Academic Services Susan H. Murphy ’73, the administration has taken steps to ensure the safety of the Muslim and Arab community at Cornell. “We have made many services available to them, as we will for all students and groups affected,” Murphy said.

Members of the administration have met with students from MECA and other groups such as the Arab Association in order to discuss students’ concerns, Khan said. And students have been very receptive of MECA’s efforts, he added. “Except for some isolated ignorant comments from students passing by the tables, most students have been very supportive.”

Brad Schnedel ’03 said he was impressed by MECA’s drive to raise money for the victims and to show the Cornell community that they are also suffering from the tragedy.

“In the same way that [the Muslim and Arab communities] are helping to raise money to help the victims, we should help them because they are part of our community,” said Mirna Cardona ’03.

Similarly, Prof. Elizabeth Sanders, government, reminded her class of “the need to reassure the [Muslim and Arab] community that our opposition to terrorism is not opposition to their faith or religion.”

Last Friday, MECA collected $1,800 for the funds started by the administration. These funds will be donated to the Red Cross, the United Way, and Cornellians who have lost family in the tragedy.

Archived article by Jamie Yonks

Alumni Turn to Web Network

Just a short click from the University’s main website is a network of thousands of Cornell alumni which operates solely to let everybody who wants to know that the participating former students are ‘okay.’ In light of last Tuesday’s terrorist attacks focused on New York City, this internet service takes on a far greater significance.

Last Wednesday, University administrators and the office of Alumni Affairs and Development decided to create a website that would allow Cornell alumni affected by the destruction in lower Manhattan, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C., to post their information and let loved ones know that they are alive.

“We felt that our alumni would welcome a means to communicate with each other,” said Ingeborg T. Reichenbach, vice president of alumni affairs and development. Reichenbach said she decided to create the site as a way to help, “people reach out to each other.”

Through the creation of this website, thousands of alumni have done just that. Approximately 4,000 people have posted their names on the site and even more have e-mailed the alumni office, including Reichenbach herself, with well-wishes and praise for giving them the opportunity to find out the status of their loved ones.

“The number [of people on the page] really proves that there was a need for this. We got around 9,000 e-mails back, the overwhelming majority just saying, ‘what a wonderful thing this has been’ just have to this [website],” she said.

Reichenbach noted that just after the attacks, top University administrators held a meeting and decided on what would be best for the Cornell community during this time of high anxiety. Along with numerous other support services — including the establishment of the Sept. 11 Disaster Relief fund and Scholarship Fund — President Hunter R. Rawlings III agreed that this was one service that should also be accessible to Cornell’s alumni.

“We were motivated to enable alumni to contact each other in short notice. It was a way for them to stay in touch with each other and a way for us to stay in touch with them,” Rawlings said.

Along with Reichenbach, he feels that the website performed one simple task: giving people a medium to speak out and show their support and concern for the situation.

“It gives people an outlet for response. We’ve had many, many people say how grateful they are that we have provided this,” Rawlings added.

Keith Kubarek, communications webmaster for the alumni office, also understands the importance of the website because, although simple in design, it provides a very critical function in the lives of those affected.

“A logical place to look [for loved ones] would be the alumni website because of the strong relations with Cornell that alumni have,” Kubarek said.

Similar to other ‘I’m Okay’ message boards, such as one run by prodigy.net, the website enables the individual to have her/his name, year of graduation and e-mail address posted alphabetically. This way anyone can access one’s information and, more importantly, the piece of mind to know that one is safe.

It is this piece of mind that Kubarek is pleased to offer to the community through the site’s fundamental technology.

“It’s fairly straightforward,” he said.

Set up on two servers, the site operates by having alumni enter an e-mailed password in order to enter names onto a list.

Since Wednesday’s meeting, the site’s creation took only four days after Kubarek’s associate, Brian Higgins, contacted as many alumni by e-mail as could be found.

Now that those who have benefited from the website send positive feedback, Kubarek and administrators feel that this service was a necessity.

“The website has never seen this much traffic. A really good feeling has been generated by this [network],” Kubarek said.

“They are very grateful with it and thousands of alumni have contacted the site,” Rawlings added.

Feelings will continue to change as casualty numbers from the attacks increase along with the numbers for the Cornell community. As of today, one Cornellian has been identified as having died due to the attacks although Linda Grace-Kobas, director of the Cornell News Service, notes that the University will not announce any person’s death without “strong family [support].”

For those continuing to search for loved ones, the website also states that just because a name isn’t on the list, “doesn’t mean that the person is not okay,” it just means that their information has not been posted.

As Kubarek concluded, “[the website] is one more source [of information].”

Archived article by Carlos Perkins

Photo Gallery: Campus Copes with Attacks

Students, staff and faculty at Cornell have struggled to comprehend the scope and intent of last week’s terrorist attacks and to mourn loved ones and, perhaps, a national innocence lost.

Sun photographers took time last week to capture some images of the university community coming together to share stories, tears and comfort. We present their photographs here. Please click the “SEE MORE” link above to browse through the pictures.

Archived article by Sun Staff

Noted Doctor Shares 'Awakenings'

A poignant note was struck at the Statler Auditorium Thursday night as Dr. Oliver Sacks, A.D. White Professor-at-Large, gave a lecture entitled “The Real ‘Awakenings,'” showing a documentary describing his experiences as clinician to a group of Parkinsonian post-encephalitic patients, their dramatic almost inexplicable response to drug treatments and subsequent relapse.

Sacks was introduced by Roald Hoffmann, Cornell’s Frank H.T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters and professor of chemistry, also hosting Sacks for his first stay at Cornell.

“He makes the clear choice to recognize the dignity of the ill person and to evaluate the world that is constructed by someone with a disability,” said Hoffman. “Oliver Sacks fits Andrew Dickson White’s dream perfectly.”

Sacks is noted for his work with Tourette’s Syndrome, migraine, Parkinson’s disease, but most notably people suffering from Post-encephalitic Syndrome, the subject of many of his publications and the Hollywood movie Awakenings.

An outbreak of encephalitis in the 1920s was followed by a bizarre and unpredictable condition termed “sleepy sickness,” where persons severely afflicted by the disease and seemingly recovered, became neurologically disturbed. Post-encephalitic Syndrome showed symptoms ranging from Parkinsonian immobility to uncontrolled spasms and insomnia. The latter leading to eventual death from exhaustion, while the Parkinsonian patients survived and were afflicted for the rest of their lives.

“No medical treatment was of any use for these post-encephalitic patients [in 1966],” said Sacks. Indeed the symptoms were so varied, patients ran the risk of being misdiagnosed.

After the initial epidemic of the 1920s, publicity over the condition died off until it became almost insignificant. The patients were “written off,” according to Sacks, and tucked away in the hospital, virtually forgotten.

Dr. Sacks was assigned to treat these patients in 1966 when he first arrived at Beth Abraham Hospital in the Bronx, a hospital initially opened to treat encephalitic patients.

“As I entered I was struck by a number of strange, motionless, transfixed, petrified figures sometimes standing in odd postures, sometimes with their arms raised in the lobby and the corridors, I had never seen anything like this. I was told that some of these patients had been in the hospital for twenty, thirty or forty years,” said Sacks of his initial exposure to the hospital, designed to treat chronic illness.

Sacks was convinced that the patients had an “inner life.” Patients would often respond to music, or sudden emergencies, generally unable to initiate movements. “It seemed a most hopeless situation,” said Sacks of his early observations.

After three years of careful observation Dr. Sacks decided, somewhat reservedly, to test the effects of the newly developed Parkinsonian drug L-Dopa, first discovered in 1967. The drug is designed as a precursor to the essential neurotransmitter Dopamine, which is slowly depleted in the Parkinsonian and Post-encephalitic Syndrome patient.

“This [L-Dopa] was all over the news and some of my patients were aware of it even before I was,” joked Sacks. “I felt immediately that I wanted to try L-Dopa with these patients, I also had severe reservations.”

Sacks discussed the ethical issues raised by the drug in a time when patient consent was not necessary, and with patients with a much more complex disease than pure Parkinson’s Disease. Prior to their immobile state many of the patients had been hyperactive and explosive, which was a source for concern should the drug restimulate these behaviors.

“These people had been put away, isolated, abandoned, and perhaps physiologically and psychologically at a stand still for decades, and if the drugs does work, what then?” said Sacks of his initial reservations.

Following his introductory lecture Sacks showed, for the first time in the United States, a documentary about his patients and their experiences in the summer of 1969. This included video of the patients throughout their treatment. This includes the effects of the administration of L-Dopa.

The results were astronomical and immediate, patients that hadn’t walked, initiated a movement, or talked for years were singing, walking, and leaving the hospital for the first time in years.

“It was obvious within days, certainly within weeks, that the first patients were showing spectacular and unprecedented effects,” said Sacks, evidenced by video of patients making incredible recoveries.

While the patients responded positively initially, many were affected by the sensation of having lost a great majority of their lives. One patient, Sylvia, had been admitted to the hospital in 1926 at the age of twenty-one, she described herself as feeling twenty years old despite being in her sixties.

“The early effects of L-Dopa were wonderful and exciting, and received with a sort of lyrical joy by most of the patients,” said Sacks. However, the miraculous recovery of the summer of 1969, would not be permanent.

The apparent “awakening” of the patients was short lived. All eventually relapsed into different degrees of their former selves, although many did improve overall from their initial conditions.

“I was bewildered and terrified as were many of the patients, I also felt guilty,” said Sacks, afraid he had tantalized his patients with recovery, only to “snatch it away” later.

The video was followed by a brief question and answer session where Sacks commented on everything from the patients initial reactions to treatment to the benefits music can give as therapy. Sacks also spoke on Sunday at Cornell Cinema’s screening of the Hollywood film entitled Awakenings for which actor Robin Williams (portraying Sacks) won an Academy Award. Sacks related anecdotes about the movie with audience members especially about “hanging out with Robin [Williams].”

“He tried to treat the entire patient when he was treating these people he provided a sense of community and psychological support,” commented Camille Moore ’03, “He was treating the patients not just the disease.”

Sacks will be attending classes at Cornell as well as signing books on Friday, and will lead a colloquium, “Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood,” sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, next Thursday. Sacks reacted favorably when asked about his stay at Cornell so far.

Archived article by Leonor Guariguata

Dining Committee Explores Changes

“Food is where the heart is,” said Esther Tang ’02, who chairs the Dining Committee of the Student Assembly (S.A.). The committee meets weekly to review policies and budgets for dining services as well as taking into account student suggestions and recommendations.

“All anyone needs to do to make a difference is ask,” Tang said. “For example, someone from West requested waffles in Jansen’s and at our first Dining Committee meeting of the year, we arranged for it to happen.”

With the active participation of the Dining Committee, meal plan and meal options are annually revised. Changes already in effect for the 2001-2002 academic year include a new sushi chef program, pizza station and hickory smoke station in Trillium and a pizza station in the Ivy Room which will open in October.

Among concerns that students expressed, many complained of the crowded space in Ivy Room which prompted the removal of the salad bar.

“We found that salad bar usage was very minimal,” said Nadeem Siddiqui, director of dining services. “It was important to get traffic moving, especially at lunchtime, when students are looking to pick something up between classes.”

In an effort to expedite the process and further relieve traffic congestion, a pizza station has also been added adjacent to the seating area.

“It’s still been really slow,” said Alexandria Reynolds ’04, who frequently eats at Ivy Room. “Sometimes when it’s really crowded, the lines get confused.”

Jose Ferrer, an employee, noted that while they received some complaints, many students were pleased with the additional space in the Ivy Room. Rather than removing the salad option entirely, packaged basic salads were made available.

“They need more vegetarian food,” said Sameer Gupta ’03, who eats at the Ivy Room daily. “You can only eat salad, pasta and pizza for so long. They’ve been trying to bring in some Indian food at Okenshields, but it’s still not that great.”

“There were just so many things to choose at the original salad bar,” Ferrer said. “We ended up throwing out a lot of food daily.”

The Ivy Room’s neighbor, Okenshield’s, an all-you-can eat dining facility, has also seen changes this fall.

According to Siddiqui, a Tapas Bar, which would allow students to sample small portions of many different menu items is being added.

“We’re also working with different student music groups who will perform during the evenings,” he said.

Siddiqui highlighted numerous feasibility studies being conducted that will help better seating, service, traffic and food programs.

Other plans include a campus-wide pastry program and a grill and fryer in Jay’s X-ing for burgers and fries, which would equate it with services in Bear Necessities on North Campus in the Robert Purcell Community Center. Siddiqui also noted that Cornell Dining will be looking into the offerings at Hughes, which mainly services Cascadilla and Sheldon Court, this fall.

In addition, Risley Dining was renovated during the summer in order to cater to student needs and offer greater options to students on North Campus. Rather than running two large facilities during the day, Cornell Dining chose to close RPCC for breakfast and lunch. Traffic is thereby redirected to North Star, the new dining facility in the Community Commons.

“North Star is very consistent in what is serves,” said Nathaniel Doyno ’05. “I haven’t seen daily rotations except in soups and salads.”

Other concerns students have raised involve the ambiguity of using meal equivalencies at retail stores like Bear Necessities and Jay’s X-ing.

“Sometimes I can’t make the hours because I have classes, so I have to use a meal equivalency at Bear Necessities,” Doyno said. “I want to eat healthy and meal equivalencies shouldn’t mean junk food. Cornell has a responsibility to provide healthy meal options.”

Doyno noted that numerous items such as a rice cakes, Nutri-Grain bars and applesauce which are designated as “grocery items” cannot be bought under a meal-equivalency.

“You can’t buy anything that’s not a single serving that leaves chips and candy bars,” Doyno added. “It’s deliberate too — stocking is done such that students can’t use up their equivalency on healthy items.”

Some students also felt that more vegetarian and vegan options need to be added in order to accommodate the diverse student population.

Gupta suggested bringing in franchises such as Pizza Hut and Burger King on-campus like many other universities do.

“They should just get a McDonald’s or Taco Bell on campus,” he said.

In order to address the need for multicultural food on-campus, Cornell has taken over responsibility for the Kosher Dining Hall (KDH) and a multicultural program in the Community Commons on North, according to Joe Regenstein, a faculty fellow, who heads the Cornell Kosher Food Initiative.

“It is a real challenge each year to put together a plan that really meets student needs and at the same time represents a break-even operation for dining — which is an enterprise unit — it does not get a University subsidy,” he said.

Regenstein noted that the multicultural program aims to identify products students would like to eat and those they would want to avoid.

In other efforts to accommodate students, Siddiqui noted that partnerships were continued to be developed with local restaurants in an effort to allow students to use their ID to purchase meals off campus.

“Students will be able to put money in secondary account called (Flex Dollar) and they pay tax on it on this account an can/will be used for off-campus partnership,” Siddiqui said.

“Our focus is very clear: improve services and maintain financial accountability,” Siddiqui said. “We really want students to be part of the process.”

Tang also emphasized the need for student feedback to programs and ideas.

“I hope that we become a more viable option for help to anyone who has Cornell Dining concerns.” she said, referring to the Dining Committee.


Archived article by Tanvi Chheda