AGGARWAL | What I Found Outside of Competitive Club Culture

Club culture is integral to all students’ experiences, whether they like it or not. This culture is not necessarily unique to Cornell — though I cannot definitively say or quantify its impact in higher education across the nation. Here on our campus, I see that it has created a herd mentality with both pros and cons, but from the perspective of a student founder, I believe there is a point where obsession with club culture does more to stifle the creativity of the student body than encourage it. 

I speak from the perspective of an undergraduate senior who is/was involved in a few major clubs with time commitments ranging between six to ten hours per week each on average. One is a prominent dance team, a second is a well-known consulting club and another still is a university-backed project team. For the first two years of college especially, I found myself devoting a lot of time to the work and social commitments of each club — it’s worth noting that these clubs in particular were not casual commitments, although that is the nature of many clubs at Cornell. 

I think of my college experience as two different stories: the first two years of which were spent building up my social experience and my clubs, and the latter two focused more on my personal endeavors.

Pitcher Perfect: Brooklyn Brewery Founder Claims University’s Top Business Honor

Recognized for his work in galvanizing the craft beer movement — a trend that, for many, popularized India Pale Ales over mass-produced cans  — Steve Hindy ’71, MAT ’75 was tapped Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year a week ago for his role in co-founding Brooklyn Brewery. Located in hip Williamsburg, the brewery has expanded in the past three decades from one of the first producers of higher-end beer to a nationally-distributed brand found in bars and booze aisles across the country. Best known for its flagship offering “Brooklyn Lager,” the company — now one of the largest of its kind not owned by an international conglomerate like Anheuser-Busch — has racked up a large line of accolades since its founding, including producing the custom “ShackMeister Ale” for Shake Shack. “The Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year honor is Cornell’s highest recognition for our entrepreneurial alumni,” said Zach Shulman ’87 J.D. ’90, director of entrepreneurship at Cornell told the University in a press release. The renowned beer-maker joins a long list of alumni who have claimed the same honor, including Howard Milstein ’73, who was recognized in 2008 for his long career as a high-powered real estate and banking executive.