BERNSTEIN | The Great Regional Delicacies of Upstate New York

Minimalism, maximalism, perfectionism — what power can an idea, or a concept, hold over a piece of artwork? I’d like to draw a geographical triangle to represent these concepts, or schools of thought: from the Southern Tier in Binghamton, to the top of the Finger Lakes in Rochester, connected by a corner in the jewel of Western New York, Buffalo.

SULLIVAN BAKER | Academia Must Embrace Ezra Cornell’s Populist Vision

Ezra Cornell, the wealthy telegraph magnate who would co-found our uniquely egalitarian university in the aftermath of the Civil War, was convinced that 19th-century society was bound to undergo a dramatic transformation, a “revolution by which the downtrodden millions will be elevated to their equal and just rights, and each led to procure and enjoy … [the] happiness that all men and women are entitled to as the fruits of their labor.”

Cornell was determined to use his fortune to further this inevitable revolution, so Cornell University, the crown jewel of his philanthropic efforts, would be governed by bold populist principles. Unlike the other great universities of the East, which were defined by their colonial origins and aristocratic traditions, Cornell University would provide an elite education to students who were anything but elite: “downtrodden” young men and women of all faiths who would not otherwise set foot in an ivory tower. Though Cornell’s ethos of service to the common man and woman had great influence on the other educational reformers of his era, including Leland and Jane Stanford (whose namesake university was once referred to as the “Cornell of the West”), America’s prominent private institutions of higher learning have lost the trust of many of the ordinary Americans they exist — or should exist — to serve. With the prominence of exorbitant and ever-rising tuition rates, recent admissions fraud scandals and campus struggles with racism and bigotry, it’s hard to escape the sense that schools like Cornell are set up to cater to ruling elites at the expense of those who lack financial and social capital. This crisis of trust is especially dangerous in an era when faith in American institutions is rapidly eroding, truth is considered malleable and “alternative facts” reign.

Kanye West’s Buffalo Dystopia

8:12 p.m.: We arrive in Buffalo. Jack bought a pass online that lets us park in a clearing under a bridge. A sign bolted to a cement support lists the rates — $75 daily maximum. It’s dark and we’re in a half-awake state from driving on Western New York backroads into fading light. 8:19 p.m.: We walk to the First Niagara Center.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL | Red Drops Two Games to Buffalo Upstate, Marshall


This past week, the women’s basketball team traveled all over the East Coast for Thanksgiving break, first playing University of Buffalo Upstate and then Marshall University on Friday. Playing the University of Buffalo was going to be a challenge and the Red was preparing for the team’s speed and agility on both sides of the ball. In order to counteract that speed, the Red worked on its defensive play as a team, and on the other side of the court, getting the ball off the perimeter and into the paint, where Cornell had the advantage in height. Forwards junior Nia Marshall and sophomore Christine Ehland led the Red in scoring, finishing with nine points each. Freshman forward Caroline Shelquist added eight of her own, keeping Cornell’s numbers solidly with the bigs.

Keep on truckin'

Junior tailback Luke Siwula (right) tries to run through a tackle in the Red’s 20-5 loss to Bucknell last Saturday night in Lewisburg, Pa.