Eating Together Online with Strangers During the Pandemic

As college students across the nation impatiently await announcements from universities regarding the status of the coming fall semester, many of us are searching for productive and meaningful ways to spend our free time now that classes have ended. With internships, summer research and academic programs cancelled, some of us are trying to readjust to living in our hometowns with parents and siblings, away from the friends, professors and resources we’ve come to rely on at Cornell. As we navigate this new reality, many students are staying connected with peers through podcasting, music-making and Youtubing, innovating new ways to engage with others in the absence of physical space. A few weeks ago, I learned about a free platform called Schefs that aims to connect students from different universities and facilitate interesting discussions about a wide range of topics, from pop music to quantum mechanics, all through a shared passion for food. Co-founded by two college students, Pedro Damasceno and Lola Lafia of Columbia University, Schefs started out as a way for like-minded people from schools across the nation to come together on their campuses and share a themed meal.

New Program Creates Methodology for Students to Turn What They Are Passionate About Into an Idea

Backyard, a Cornell program that assists students with extracurricular projects, was launched at eHub on Feb. 23. Tina He ’19 and Maya Frai ’20 founded Backyard to help other Cornell students jumpstart their projects and provide guidance along the way. The six-week long program, which requires an application, helps students with side-projects by helping them organize and find resources to create a concrete plan. “Think of it as a side-project incubator that helps people discover their passion, one that helps your personal and professional growth, that could also bring an impact,” He said.