GROSKAUFMANIS | Land of Second Chances
Two years ago, while sitting on a roof in Collegetown, I saw a girl run barefoot down Catherine Street holding an open handle of Absolut while zig-zagging away from a cop who, from my vantage point, was palpably frustrated but remarkably patient. I couldn’t see what happened when they reached the bottom of the hill, or if the girl — probably drunk and potentially underaged — got into any kind of trouble. But if she did, it was probably a muted version of the kind of punishment one might receive outside this unusual land of second chances. Relative to other places, there seems to be little consequence for “bad behavior” at Cornell. Sure, on any given weekend in Collegetown you may see an officer lecturing a freshman about an open container or someone being written up for peeing in public, but for the most part, illegal behavior here — in this uniquely privileged, unusually wealthy bubble we live in — seems to happen with near impunity.