NORTH CAMPUS—Halloween weekend, typically a staple of Cornell student culture, returned in full force after COVID-19 decimated last year’s celebrations. For many students, this was their first chance to experience a true, in-person Halloween at Cornell. After weeks of building excitement, students were eager for the big weekend to arrive and early reports indicate that it did not disappoint.
“Halloweekend was a fucking movie, bro” said Peter Greenfield, ‘25. “I got the invite to Sigma something’s party at their house and it was insane. I walked in the door and the first thing I see is two absolute smoke shows making out. Like with tongue!”
Eyewitnesses on the scene confirmed that Greenfield’s account of the event was not only accurate but that it was actually even fucking sicker.
“Dude I wanted to stay in at Donlon this weekend, but Peter dragged me out,” said James Gomez, ‘25 before continuing “I’m so glad I went with him because the function was totally like Project X vibes in that bitch, man. You know when you see a couple kissing, but it’s like a guy and a girl? It was just like that except they were both girls! It was so badass.”
At press time, Greenfield and Gomez speculated that their next best chance to “peep some yiddies” at a holiday party was most likely Election Day, maybe Thanksgiving at the latest.
WEST CAMPUS—In response to the recent news that the Ithaca COVID levels have dropped to the point that campus may now return to Green status, several fraternities across campus have expressed concern that this will reflect negatively on Cornell’s Greek life.
“Okay, we’re obviously stoked we can go out again, but we hardly had a chance to break the rules before they took them away,” proclaimed Bradley Flemings ‘22, president of an underground fraternity. “Honestly, it’s going to hurt spring recruiting if athletics keep hogging the spotlight here. I mean, a whole cluster? Getting called out by the administration? Those are our moves.”
Ultimately, these concerns are shared by students of all ages, with several freshmen doubting their previous intentions to rush after the news broke, including Jameson Adams III ‘24, a prospective third-generation brother of Beta Iota Zeta.
“Frankly, this isn’t the brotherhood my father knew,” he explained. “The underage keg parties, attempted bribes of campus police, public drunkenness charges? Where is that Beta? I mean, no self-respecting fraternity would ever turn up a chance to recklessly endanger public safety.”
“It’s been a few weeks since Greek life did something illegal or morally questionable, so we just wanted to touch base,” one mid-level official explained. At press time, Cornell administration hoped to crack down on Greek life as soon as possible, noting the usual increase in alumni donations whenever a fraternity was in legal trouble.
COLLEGETOWN—While not a violation of any official health ordinance, a maskless group of six fraternity brothers hanging out on their porch this weekend was deemed by onlookers as deeply unsettling.
“I counted, and their group is definitely less than 10 people,” confirmed Melody Dominguez ’21. “Regardless, something about it still feels like it poses a danger to the public.”
The non-descript group of young men listened to music on medium volume, played assorted drinking games, and prompted every female passerby near their house to cross the street to maintain a distance well-beyond the conventional 6 feet.
“I had to do a double-take to make sure everything was in order,” said Rick Sobieski ’23, a member of the Cornell Compliance Team. “While they technically weren’t breaking any rules, I can’t help but characterize whatever it is they were up to as detrimental to the health of our community.”
The fraternity brothers reported that while they were glad to have followed the rules this time, they looked forward to violating the compact sometime in the near future.
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.
CHEYENNE, WYOMING—During her unexpected isolation at home, Bernadette Shaw ’20 has taken advantage of her distance from her peers to self-examine and discover a new hobby of rampant, perverse drug abuse.
“I think quarantine makes people feel really uncertain; I see it as an opportunity to reflect on my aspirations, but doing that sober is super hard,” said Shaw, working on her vision board after ingesting 10 grams of magic mushrooms.
Shaw ’20 will be graduating into a literal economic depression, which has promoted her to critically reflect on what’s really important to her. She’s also been thinking of cool new drug combinations which range from the banal: muscle relaxers and white wine, to the innovative: 50mg of melatonin and LSD.
“I’m so scared to wake up one day and not recognize myself,” said Shaw, explaining that she meant it in a “literal and metaphorical way,” citing her experience with peyote, which “showed me my spiritual essence rather than physical form when I looked in the mirror.” Shaw described that trip as “extremely unpleasant, because my spiritual essence is a real uggo.”
Shaw aspires to find a deeper sense of self understanding through exercises like mindfulness meditation, huffing gasoline siphoned out of her mother’s SUV, and electrocuting her toes with the car battery.
Despite disapproval from her family, Shaw plans to continue her spiritual and substance-based journey because what else are you supposed to do in Wyoming?
ITHACA—Although anti-lockdown protests have erupted nationwide calling for the reopening of restaurants and other services, Ithaca’s bar scene is clearly not good enough to warrant such protests.
“Ever since the party scene died last semester, I’ve frequented all five bars Ithaca has to offer and honestly, not a single one of them is worth saving,” said Allen Rogers ‘21. “Not even the allure of Fishbowl Wednesday is enough to make me fight for bar owners that rejected my $70 Connecticut fake last year.”
Other students expressed similar sentiment about Ithaca’s garbage bar scene. “If you’re going to close at 1 AM, why not close permanently?” asked Janice Durney ‘20.
As of press time, protestors were seen in front of Day Hall calling for frat party restrictions to be lifted.
A few months ago, back at Cornell, my roommates got a little concerned when I came home trashed for the fifth night in a row. But I was out with friends, and I was just a social drinker. And then quarantine set in. I thought a few beers every night was normal. I’d have a mimosa or four in the morning just like any regular person. But after six straight weeks, I have come to a conclusion. I am not just a social drinker.
At first I was doing really well, I swear. My roommates and I were staying together in our apartment, and we would spend each night drinking a few Claws while watching Miss Congeniality, 50 First Dates, and Mean Girls on loop. And after we left to go home, we would play drinking games during Zoom lectures. But these days I’m stuck on the sofa in my childhood home, watching Chopped and playing EdwardForty hands with my little brother chilling a few seats over.
I get it. I used to make so many excuses about how I would just “drink to celebrate”. But I woke up at 2 pm and made myself a complete 2.5 course meal before remembering life is meaningless in quarantine and heading back to bed for a stress nap. I think that’s a cause for celebration. Even if celebrating means doing multiple shots alone in my bed at exactly 2:01 pm while crying to Avril Lavigne in the background.
So maybe I’m not just a social drinker. Maybe I have a “problem”. Maybe I am “lonely”. Maybe this is “harder than it seems”. This new realization has really been stressing me out. I think I’ll make myself a gin and tonic to take the edge off.
LINDEN AVE—Wilke Geoff, ‘20, was devastated upon his realization that his love for Cornell stems from the amazing people that teach, learn, and work there, rather than its physical architecture.
Geoff, despite the flight of his roomates, had resolved to “stick it out” in Ithaca, even going as far as posting a fist-shaking GIF Jordan Belfort declaring “I’m not fucking leaving” on his Instagram story. “He kept going on about how he’d stay in Ithaca and ‘it would be basically the same, just without classes,’” recalled Sarah Resy, ‘21, a friend Geoff’s.
Following a particularly emotional season finale of Friends, which he had seen literally dozens of times before, Geoff was struck by the realization that his Big Red love is aimed not at a bizarre mish-mash of architectural styles on the outskirts of a backwoods rural community, but the people that make it so special.
“It was a bit of an afterschool special moment, dude,” he revealed. “Like, it just hit me that everything I treasure about Cornell – my memories, my clubs, my friends, the amazing stuff I’ve been able to study – have nothing to do with physical location. Which kind of sucks because now I’m living in my collegetown apartment alone, and it turns out it’s way less lit when no one is here and all the bars and restaurants are biohazards.”
Geoff is considering returning home, but is still trying to figure out how to walk back his heated statement to his mother that “I’ll live at home again when Cornell divests from fossil fuels!” So, it’s likely to be a while.
PLUM TREE —Though it’s quiet in the empty restaurant this morning, Jamie Takahashi, Plum Tree owner, knows it’s the calm before the storm. “We are a restaurant haunted by its past and preparing for its future. Formal season is about to begin and unless we’re ready, we’ll be obliterated.”
“Every year, Collegetown restaurants face an onslaught of celebratory students. We’ve been planning for this rush, and we’re geared up,” said Takahashi. Plum Tree has collected an impressive backlog of “unnecessarily large” beer cans, neon plastic shot glasses, and disposable chopsticks. “If we didn’t order extras, our provisions would be depleted within a week.” A special-order industrial size tank of saké will arrive by Tuesday.
Takahashi cited increased risk factors unique to the winter season. “These are people seasoned by the elements — the snow doesn’t hold them back. The freshman have figured out the bus system, so the biting cold doesn’t tamp their spirits any more. They’ve all been drinking since sundown — and it gets dark at 4:30!”
It’s not just the servers that have to stay on top of their game. According to line cook Tanya Berd, “Once the sake bombs start dropping, all hell breaks loose. The orders for dumplings and ‘something, like salty, but crunchy, but carby’ start flying. We have to be on the very top of our game to keep rations flowing. When saké bombers go hungry they start to turn on each other. We can’t risk friendly fire!”
The bombardment isn’t expected to cease after Plum Tree festivities, partygoers report. Many plan to retreat to the underground bunker “Level B” in an effort to avoid the aftereffects of the saké devastation.
LIBE SLOPE—Among the thousands of enthusiastic attendees ready to partake in the Slope Day festivities is Daniel Sebastian ‘22, whose only motivation for showing up is the wholesome and thorough consumption of music.
“You don’t need drugs or alcohol to enjoy EDM, especially not during the daytime,” said Sebastian. “I can’t wait to sing all the words to my favorite Steve Aoki song ‘MIC Drop (feat. Desiigner) [Steve Aoki Remix]’.”
Daniel plans to begin his Slope Day pregame by waking up at 7am, cracking open a cold bottle of orange juice, and getting in the mood by quietly shuffling a playlist of his three favorite artists of time: Steve Aoki, EZI, and Cousin Stizz. He then plans to arrive early so he won’t have to squeeze through the crowd to be just the right distance from the speakers for “the best acoustic experience.”
“He’s been talking about ‘Neon Future 1’ and ‘I’m in the House’ (feat. Zuper Blahq), all week,” said Daniel’s roomate Michael Wills ‘22. “I honestly couldn’t care who plays Slope Day. I’ll probably be too drunk to even know there’s music playing.”
Daniel says all the Slope Day excitement he’s feeling now makes him want to join the Slope Day Committee one day so that he too could hire the perfect musician with the rare ability to get students pumped about an enormous concert and daylong binge-drinking.