Yesterday marked the beginning of a new academic year, but not everybody’s first day of classes went as smoothly as planned, or as dry.
“Significant flooding” occurred in parts of Olin Hall yesterday morning, causing a flurry of class relocations. At least 12 notices were posted on the closed doors of the building, notifying students of moved or cancelled classes.
The flooding was due to a failed water line in the northwest corner of the building, according to an e-mail the University Special Conditions sent out at noon yesterday.
Obamania erupted in Collegetown just after 11 p.m. on Election Day as Barack Obama was declared the 44th president of the United States. People poured out of bars and crowded the streets as they soaked in the historic moment.
“It’s crazy, oh my God,” Leslie Tseng ’10 said describing the scene at Collegetown as the last hours of Nov. 4 ticked by. “Everyone is running up and down Dryden Road, yelling ‘Barack Obama’ and setting off fireworks.”
Cornell’s president, vice presidents and deputy provost stepped out of Day Hall yesterday at noon and spent an hour amidst the hustle and bustle of Ho Plaza to speak with students on issues of diversity as part of a week-long event called “Day Hall Talks Diversity.”
Questions such as “Is the percentage of whites higher among faculty, staff or students?” and “What percentage of Cornell faculty are women?” were posted on colored signs to facilitate conversations with some of the top administrators, including President David Skorton, Vice President for Human Resources Mary Opperman, Vice President for Student and Academic Services Susan Murphy ’73 and Deputy Provost David Harris.
Although there has been no reported case of swine flu at Cornell or in Tompkins County, members of the Cornell community should “be alert and cautious but not panic,” according to Sharon Dittman, associated director of community relations at Gannett Health Services.
As of yesterday, 45 cases of swine flu have been confirmed in at least five states in the United States, including New York. Because it is a new strain of influenza, people are unlikely to have natural immunity against the flu, which is passed from human to human, according to Gannett’s website.
Dittman said that symptoms of the swine flu are “basically identical” to those of seasonal flu, which include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.
Cornell was a stone’s throw away from hosting the New York Jets for their summer training camp, but officials announced yesterday that the National Football League team chose to spend the summer at SUNY Cortland instead, according to the Associated Press.
Apart from Cornell, Utica College and Marist College in Poughkeepsie were also on the shortlist of possible summer training camp for the football franchise. The team may also plan some public sessions at their Florham Park center in New Jersey and former preseason home on Long Island, the A.P. reported.
“Cortland acted quickly and had all the ingredients to make it really doable here,” Jets owner Woody Johnson told reporters at a news conference.
Since his appointment as the A.D. White Professor-at-large ten years ago, famed British actor, comedian and screenwriter John Cleese has regularly visited Cornell’s campus to share his thoughts on a wide range of topics, including writing, theatre, film, psychology and religion.
And now for something completely different.
Stepping out of the shoes of Basil Fawlty, a gloriously rude hotel manager in the ‘70s television series Fawlty Towers, Cleese spoke yesterday to 130 Hotel Administration students as a well-traveled customer who has stayed in many hotels around the world.
Even before he opened his mouth, British actor and screenwriter John Cleese was already exercising the craft that lifted him to fame — making the audience laugh.
“He is part comedian. He is part psychologist, part master-teacher and fully, a public intellectual,” said Provost Kent Fuchs as he introduced Cleese, whose serious nods to Fuchs’s words enticed laughter from the 700 audience members in Statler Auditorium.
The entrance to Willard Straight Hall is always a contested spot for student chalkings, including those painstakingly colored by students competing for a seat in the Board of Trustees every spring semester. At the very same spot only a generation ago, African-American students, loaded with rifles, paraded out of the Straight after taking over the building on April 21, 1969. This armed movement helped bring student representation to Cornell’s highest governing body, though to what extent is a hotbed for debate.
Robert Gottlieb ’72, who is one of the first Student-Elected Trustees in 1971, believed that the initiative to include students to the board was a direct result of the Straight takeover.