Cornell Employees, Students Evaluate Grab-n-Go Foods

If you have ever grabbed a chilled food item from an eatery on campus, it most likely had a Freshtake Grab-n-Go label with the phrase, “Prepared Daily by Cornell Dining” emblazoned on its packaging. A specific set of Cornell Dining employees go to the Robert Purcell Marketplace Eatery commissary every morning at approximately 4 a.m. to prepare foods that will end up on North, West and Central Campus eateries later that day, according to Karen Brown, director of Campus Life Marketing and Communications. Chef Steven Miller, who oversees the production process, explained that Freshtake employees do not work in other dining halls or work at other times. By noon, the Freshtake products have been transported to all campus eateries and are sold with the Freshtake seal, according to Miller. A wrap prepared in the morning could end up one floor below, at Bear Necessities Grill and C-Store, or at an eatery across campus.

Petition Urging Bernie Sanders To Visit Cornell Gains Support

A petition urging Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) speak at Schoellkopf Field before New York’s April 19 primary — created by Ithaca resident Alexander Stick— has received over  3,000 signatures in under a week. “New York is pivotal for the Bernie Sanders campaign … let’s get enough signatures to fill the 25,597 seats in Schoellkopf Field at Cornell University,” the petition reads.   
Stick said in his petition that upstate New York is  home to “one of the highest concentrations of [Sanders] supporters in the country.”
Kayla Elyse Brooks, a research technician in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and a member of the Facebook group ‘Cornellians for Bernie Sanders 2016,’ said that she would welcome a Sanders rally at Cornell. “I think it would be great for a lot of the students who have adopted their parents’ views to see Bernie in front of them speaking to our generation about our future,” Brooks said. Andrea Stone ’16, creator of the Cornellians for Bernie Sanders 2016 Facebook page, also strongly supported having the  presidential candidate speak on campus. “I think Bernie Sanders is the candidate with the most competent resume and background experience needed to effectively lead our country into an era of technological and educational advancement,” she said.

University of Ottawa Professor Analyzes Sources of Economic Inequality in Cornell Lecture

Nearly 100 people attended a lecture on the variables affecting income inequality delivered by Prof. Miles Corak, economics, University of Ottawa, in Goldwin Smith Hall Monday. Corak began the talk titled ‘Too many children left behind? Inequality, Life Chances, and Public Policy’ by introducing “three facts” related to intergenerational economic mobility and levels of income inequality. He said “generational earnings mobility” – the measure of the extent to which one’s parents’ income determines one’s own income – varies from country to country. The United States and United Kingdom are among the highest ranked of the countries in this metric, that is, in those countries, the most inequality from generation to generation is preserved, according to Corak.

Cornell Tech Students Make App for Filtering Sarcastic Reviews

A group of Cornell Tech students has created a mobile application named TruRatr, which automatically detects sarcasm in consumer app reviews, according to Christopher Hong, a Bloomberg LP software developer and the project’s mentor. TruRatr weeds out misleading product reviews based on language sentiment, leaving viewers with only genuine assessments. Consumers will be able to use authentic information to make well-informed purchases without having to sift through hundreds of reviews, according to tech magazine ArsTechnica. Currently, the app also removes sarcastic reviews from app pages and revises the product’s rating to account for the change. “Whether a review is sarcastic or not is not determined by a simple formula, but by a machine learning algorithm.” — Ming ChenThe team of six students, who are studying topics from mechanical engineering to computer science to business, started designing the app last fall in a collaboration between Cornell Tech and Bloomberg, according to ArsTechnica.

Ithaca Hosts First-Ever Wizarding Weekend

On Saturday, thousands flooded the Commons and the streets of downtown Ithaca, wearing robes, wizard hats and other mystical garb in celebration of Wizarding Weekend — a family friendly, Harry Potter-themed convention. Darlynne Overbaugh, the owner of Life’s So Sweet Chocolates, was the mastermind behind the event. “It started out very simple, and the community made it become viral,” Overbaugh said. “We had about a week to put it together.”
She said that the idea to transform the collection of box shops off of Green Street in downtown Ithaca known as Press Bay Alley into Diagon Alley — the shopping center of the Harry Potter universe — came about on a whim. “The story goes that there was a young man who works for Boxy Bikes, he and his brother were riding in a car, and he said, wouldn’t it be cool if Press Bay Alley became Diagon Alley?” she said.

Cornellians Debate Financial Aid

Several University administrators and professors spoke about a major financial dilemma that may threaten to decrease current financial aid allocations at a faculty forum Wednesday. The forum — “Cornell’s Financial Aid Policies: Unimaginable Outcomes?” — follows up comments that Dean of Faculty Prof. Joseph Burns Ph.D. ’66, astronomy, made at a Faculty Senate meeting last week, where he questioned the University’s ability to continue increasing financial aid in pace with rising tuition costs while still maintaining compensation for qualified faculty members. “We won’t be able to support a diverse student body [if we decrease financial aid]. We’re Cornell. We can’t do that — that’s unimaginable,” Burns said.

Garrett Talks Free Speech, Hazing Issues With University Assembly

Correction appended 
For the first time since assuming office, President Elizabeth Garrett met with the University Assembly Tuesday, emphasizing that she wants a University that promotes open dialogue but also has sensible rules of conduct. “We need to look at what we do regarding freedom of expression, but in such a way that we can have expression, association and constructive dialogue, while at the same time acknowledging that we’re a University,” Garrett said. “We are not about shouting, we’re about discussing.”
“Vigorous debate” needs to be balanced with the fact that the University’s goal is to promote regular learning and the fact that there are also faculty and staff on campus, Garrett said. Still, she emphasized her commitment to free speech. “You won’t find a bigger supporter of free speech than I am,” Garrett said.