ITHACA, NY—Once again, Cornell students can proudly claim they have access to one of the best dining programs across the nation. The university marked a special case for the Princeton Review’s Great Campus Food ranking list, qualifying as tenth in the nation with the inclusion of Rusty’s Cafe and fifth in the nation without.
A representative from the Princeton Review had more to say on the matter: “As you recall, our rankings are based on the opinions of current students. We typically try to publish one consistent number, but a significant number of students wrote in saying that the inclusion of Rusty’s Cafe should lower Cornell’s final ranking.”
“Don’t get me wrong, I love the food at Cornell. Terrace never misses and I’m a loyal fan of Temple of Zeus. But the moment I walk by that sad little Rusty’s Cafe sign outside of Uris, I want to throw up,” explained Jan Franzia ‘22, one of the students who wrote to the Princeton Review. “To be honest I’ve never been, but something about the vibes are off.”
Cornell Dining also released a statement in response to the ranking: “We are excited to announce that our dining system has been ranked in the nation’s top ten for the eighth consecutive year. We pride ourselves on a world class culinary experience. Unless you consider Rusty’s Cafe. Then we consider ourselves pretty decent.”
Cornell also beat out fierce competition to win the number one position in the rankings of “Best Private Land Grant Universities Founded Between 1860-1870”, “Top Ivy League Universities in Upstate New York”, and “Best Universities With a Campus Spanning Approximately 4,800 Acres, Nicknames Referencing the Color Red, and a Fall 2021 Enrollment of 25,593 Students”
ROBERT PURCELL COMMUNITY CENTER—Sloppy boys rejoice! Cornell Dining began Thursday by announcing its decision to fix its overcrowded, understaffed dining halls by switching to the innovative “Slop in a Trough” feeding system.
“We believe that Slop in a Trough is the fastest and most effective way to feed our growing student body,” said a Cornell Dining representative. “By eliminating lines, forks, plates, napkins, and vegetarian options, we have created a system in which there are no barriers to students shoving their face into a lukewarm tub of gelatinous nutrition.”
As RPCC opened for lunch, hundreds of hungry freshmen could be seen swarming past the doors to descend upon the bulbous trough laden with glistening slop. The air was soon filled with frenzied slurping noises punctuated by guttural chants of “MMM… THE SLOP!” from wet-mouthed underclassmen. The students’ slop frenzy continued unabated even as Cornell Dining announced that no meal plan refunds would be given as a result of the new slop system.
In response to concerns that the Slop in a Trough arrangement was even less COVID safe than the previous system, the representative reassured the student body that the chemicals in the slop were more than enough to kill any pathogens encountered during the slop experience.
7-ELEVEN—’Twas a beautiful and romantic evening for Ithaca’s it-couple Albert Grant Wellington III ‘22 and Eleanor Theodora Johnson ‘22. While the commoners of Collegetown partook in fraternity soirees and other low class activities, these members of the Finger Lakes region’s high society spent their evening enjoying a fine dining experience like none other at 7-Eleven in celebration of their third anniversary together.
Onlookers marveled in awe as the couple was welcomed into the dining establishment, gasping as the tuxedo-clad waiter pulled out the vibrant red high chairs for Wellington and Johnson before presenting them with a tin of the finest Iranian Beluga fish caviar flown in directly from the Black Sea just an hour prior. “I thought all they had were taquitos and wings, so I didn’t get why eating indoors at 7-Eleven was such a big deal,” said passersby Patrick Hernandez ‘24. “But then I saw the waiter use a samurai sword to open a bottle of Dom Perignon and I finally understood why you need to get on the waitlist six months in advance for a chance at a reservation.” In fact, Wellington had used his Amex Platinum concierge service to earn his coveted spot as soon as he heard the buzz from his upper-class peers.
Those who have been lucky enough to win a reservation at 7-Eleven have claimed that the dining experience is “on another level from other fine dining establishments”, and that 7-Eleven is “what the industry standard should be”, even likening the experience to that of winning the lottery, an activity one can also do at a 7-Eleven.
“I consider myself a connoisseur of fine dining, having been to a number of top rated establishments around the world,” said Wellington III. “But the moment I felt the fluorescent lights blinding me, the smell of stale coffee and grease being absorbed into my skin, and the rumbling of the slurpee machines, I knew I was about to have the dinner of my life—no wonder 7-Eleven has four Michelin stars!”
To finish off an exquisite evening filled with magical theatrics and incredible eats, Wellington and Johnson shared a chocolate taquito topped with a drizzle of housemade plastic nacho cheese.
COLLEGETOWN—In the era of cinematic universes and album series, it can be difficult to find an attraction that is a standalone, original body of work. Each week it would seem a new follow-up to something emerges onto the scene and staying in the loop has only become more challenging. Franchises have dominated our culture, from McDonald’s to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so much so that independent works can come and go with little notice from the general public.
Sometimes an original work can be a much-needed reprieve from the dedication of franchises, so you can only imagine my excitement when I heard about a student-owned and operated dining option. An independent, employee-ran establishment in a world of sequels and spin-offs with delicious menu options? Sign me up! I was incredibly enthusiastic at the prospect of this new spot simply because it wasn’t a tired and overdone destination. But that was until I learned of the name of the place…
2Stay2Go seems like a great idea, run by really inspired and incredibly passionate people who really care about what they’re doing. The only issue is that I haven’t been to StayGo or 1Stay1Go or whatever the prequel is called. The truth is that I’m terrified of not knowing what is going on. I honestly don’t know if there’s a first restaurant out there, but if 2 Fast 2 Furious and Die Hard 2: Die Harder have taught me anything, it’s that you only stylize a title like that for the second entry in a franchise. What happens if I come in and I’m out of the loop? Will the menu have spoilers about the first one? Is 2Stay2Go an instruction? The daunting reality is that I simply do not know what I’m in for and I can only find out by going. In fact, none of us do. Having two 2’s like that in the name usually implies that there’s a first one, right? That’s why I propose the entirety of Cornell’s student body hit up 2Stay2Go and fill in the blanks together.
If every Cornellian were to go and order this weekend, I guarantee we could get to the bottom of it and figure out exactly what the deal is. Whether or not 2Stay2Go is a sequel or spin-off or continuation or spiritual successor, there’s simply no way that all of us, working together, couldn’t connect the dots.
COLLEGETOWN—Generously showing solidarity with small businesses, student Max Eagen ‘21 proudly donated to the latest GoFundMe to save Collegetown’s original restaurants. He also has yet to repay his roommate for brunch.
“At first I just thought he was short on cash, which is totally fine,” said roommate Daniel Nakamura ‘21. “But then I got a Facebook update showing that he donated $20 to Cafe Pacific. I totally support it, but also could I have my $10 from last month?”
In his Facebook post, Eagen stated the importance of supporting local eateries, while stressing the sacrifice he made by donating. “If I’m just a student and can donate, then so can you. Am I a hero to all? No. Am I a hero to one? Bet,” read the post.
Despite multiple texts, Venmo reminders, and DM’s, Eagen still refused to reimburse his roommate. Instead, demonstrating his strong sense of empathy and integrity, he changed his cover photo to a picture that dismantles trickle-down economics, retweeted articles about Small Business Saturday, and edited his Instagram bio to “CU ‘21. KappaSig. Activist.”
“Eagen’s magnanimity is impressive,” affirmed Nakamura. “He just really needs to pay me for that waffle.”
The next weekend, Eagen was spotted drinking a Starbucks frappe and not tipping his barista.
STATEN ISLAND—Longing for a time with better company and better food, Alex Reed ’24 has been missing Cornell Dining’s exquisite meal selections while back at his parents’ house for Winter Break.
“It’s nice to not have to wait in line at the dining hall—sorry, dining room,” Reed said. “But overall, there just hasn’t been the variety of dishes I’ve come to expect from my meal providers. I mean, where’s my vegan cheeseless enchilada bake to go with Grandma’s classic beef stroganoff?”
Despite scrolling through both the Eatery app and NYTCooking to get a taste of what the bourgeoisie of Ithaca and New York are eating, Reed still yearns for the safe consistency of Rose’s Taco Tuesday or the comfortable dim sum of RPCC brunch.
“I even made Alex’s favorite spaghetti and meatballs, but he just mumbled something about Sicilian sheet pizzas and tofu and broccoli with red chili garlic,” said Reed’s mother Lily. “I can’t take another night of him crying into a plate of baked chicken with macaroni and cheese because some place called Apple always made it Kosher.”
At press time, Reed was seen ordering Domino’s just like he did most nights at school.
COLLEGETOWN BAGELS—Let me begin by establishing that I’m normally extremely easygoing. A friend is running late to a meetup? I understand. Got rejected from my dream job? Things happen. Nothing, however, has tested my patience as much as those buzzy little shits that refuse to stay away from my latest CTB California Sunshine bagel.
I’m out here minding my own business, hoping to enjoy a toasted garlic-y, onion-y, bready delight. But right as I open my mouth to take a bite of this warm embrace of cheese and avocado, this bitch ass bee interrupts me. He’s trying to intercept me like the professional basketball player he most decidedly is not. At a table of four people, you really wanted to single me out, huh? What kind of damn call out is this?
Frankly, I’m just a little taken aback by the audacity of these creatures to insert themselves where they are clearly not invited. As if their tiny ass mouths could even fit a crumb of my rosemary salt bagel in their feeding receptacles, if they even have ones. So what’s the point? Why are they doing this? Are they trying to starve me? Did my mom orchestrate this because she noticed I was “looking a little chunky” last time I visited? Did I ask them to invite themselves over and help themselves to my meal and my conversation? I think the fuck not.
Has personal space become too much to ask for these days? It’s not that hard to occupy literally any other cubic foot of this outdoor air space. He needs to take a goddamn hint and politely piss the fuck off. All I’m asking is for the opportunity to get a bite in before my food gets cold.
DAY HALL—Following a surprise press conference Thursday morning, university stakeholders are reportedly responding positively to President Martha Pollack’s announcement that PepsiCo has officially acquired Cornell University in a deal that has rebalanced the university’s finances amid a period of great economic uncertainty.
University stakeholders have been weighing in from all sides with overwhelmingly favorable responses to the acquisition by the global beverage and snack food conglomerate.
“Do I think this will change things around here? Sure. But honestly, changes will mostly be on the administrative side. I doubt students will even notice,” said Dr. Peter Thompson, the Mountain Dew Kickstart Professor of Romance Languages and member of the Quaker Oats Faculty Senate.
The acquisition, occurring for an undisclosed amount, is expected to greatly ease previously anticipated financial hardship for the university while also providing new financial aid programs for students.
“I think this deal will create great new opportunities for students once we get back to campus,” offered Kimberly Rojas, a freshman CS major and recipient of the inaugural Stacy’s Pita Chips Prize for Women of Color in STEM.
“We saw a great deal of alignment between Cornell and our portfolio of other products that, if not consumed in careful moderation, pose extreme health risks to our consumers,” said Bruce Jasper, Senior Brand Director at PepsiCo and newly-appointed member of the Naked [Juice] Board of Trustees. “With the looming financial troubles being faced by the University and our desire to diversify our product mix, this was really a win-win deal.”
As of press time, PepsiCo shareholders, concerned about the acquisition’s impact on quarterly earnings, successfully petitioned the Board of Trustees to immediately end all humanities programs.
BETHE DINING HALL—Following weeks of anticipation over what form the university’s meal plan rebate would take, Cornell Dining unveiled a grotesque 24-hour all-you-can-eat marathon food bonanza.
“We are offering enough food to cover half a semester’s meal plan: buckets of sun-dried tomato pasta, seasoned black beans in a tub, and roasted peppers,” said a sweating Rose Dining Hall Chef Michael Burgess, emptying a wheelbarrow of Frank’s Hot Sauce into a 10-gallon dipping bucket. “We hope getting a 38th, 39th, and 40th serving of tomato soup makes up for the meal swipes lost.”
To ensure students can get the full value of their refund, the university is encouraging students to unbuckle their belts and remove their cuff-links as they sweatily guzzle their way through the refund. “I’m just making sure Cornell doesn’t steal any more money from me,” said a slobbering Martin Grimes ’21, ogling a masala dosa in the Indian section before locking eyes with Thai fried rice.
At press time, dining hall staff members were informing diners they’d still be limited to one piece of chicken per person.
TEMPLE OF ZEUS—Scrambling to beat the lunch rush at Temple of Zeus, Jackson France ’23 was elated to find the thirty tables he wanted all free.
“I’m always extra vigilant on Mac and Cheese Day because I know how cutthroat it can get,” explained France. “I didn’t expect to get more than 22 or 23 tables, but man did I hit the jackpot! I’m so relieved I got the fifty feet of legroom I need to be productive.”
France was relieved to find over two dozen seating options with close proximity to wall outlets. “I was also afraid I’d have to wait forever in line—I’ve seen it stretch for one, even two people. But it went crazy fast! There was nobody in front of me, and when I got to the soup counter I didn’t even see people there to serve it,” he continued.
“I’ll be back tomorrow for sure,” he concluded. “I just hope the building is unlocked this time, so I don’t have to break in again.”