DAY HALL—Students across campus have been left in suspense after administration announced that Ithaca campus residents are now required to take “sluggish tests” that produce results in fifteen days.
“Sluggish tests are the perfect diagnostic tool for this stage of the pandemic,” attested President Pollack via email. “In a mere fifteen days, they inform students whether they were safe to socialize two weeks ago or if they have exposed their entire social circle to COVID, with an astonishing 67% accuracy. We believe these sluggish tests will be key to reopening campus within the next fourteen years.”
Unlike the sluggish tests, President Pollack moved quickly to shut down criticism of the new testing regimen.
“Many students have asked why we would switch to sluggish tests when there are faster and more accurate COVID tests available,” the email continued. “In the interest of providing students with a sense of stability in this unpredictable pandemic, we have decided to lower COVID testing to the level of the rest of our ineffective and bogged-down healthcare system. Additionally, the money saved on tests can go to more urgent matters, such as our seventh continuous semester of construction on North Campus.”
The email concluded by cautioning students that due to server outages at Cayuga Medical Center, students may not receive their results for up to three months.
COLLEGETOWN— Recently, I noticed that Cornell was shutting down the Empathy, Assistance, and Referral Services Peer Counseling Program, on the basis that they could not afford the insurance. And I get it, because I too cannot afford health insurance. But please, I’m begging you, reinstate the peer counseling program, because if my friends come to me now, I will absolutely not be able to keep the secrets they tell me.
Look, it’s not like I don’t respect my friends’ privacy—I absolutely do. And it is precisely because of this that I believe they would be better off venting to a trained volunteer than to me, a blabbermouth drama addict with lips loose enough to sink the Titanic. Do you really want all that gossip, drama and insecurity flowing unfettered through campus? As someone who went to a public middle school, trust me: you do not.
I haven’t even mentioned the absolutely horrendous advice I give to anyone who asks me about their problems. My mind is a series of Trisha Paytas YouTube clips and conspiracy theories. I am not qualified to give life advice to anyone. And yet, the only thing standing between this school and dozens of my friends trying to improve their relationships by following my advice and ghosting their significant others is EARS peer counselling. So let those extremely empathetic, qualified students volunteer their off hours and make campus a better place, because who knows what campus would be like without them?
Now, you may still not be convinced. You may be thinking, wait, there’s no way most people on campus could be as dumb and irresponsible as this guy. I promise you, they are. We’re literally in the middle of a global pandemic, and most of Cornell’s frats held in-person rush. Have you been inside a public bathroom on campus? Did you notice the study rooms in Klarman that got shut down because kids were shooting spitballs everywhere? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
If this article and the petition haven’t convinced you, I have one final offer. Let me sit down and vent to President Pollack for half an hour about my Econ study group dating scandals. I promise, after the first 5 minutes, she’ll do anything to pass me off to those saints at EARS.
HO PLAZA—Cornell Counseling & Psychological Services made waves this week when the psychological services department unveiled their new slogan “What Are You Gonna Do? Cry About It?” The motto change comes as a surprise for many, who for years have known the slogan of CAPS to be “Dang, That Sucks, Good Luck With That Though.”
“Oh yeah, we’re completely revamping,” said CAPS director Alecia Sundsmo. “Scheduling is going to be a breeze for all students who need an appointment with a professional to discuss their mental health. Before the rebrand, we would simply tell them that they’re on a waiting list indefinitely and just kinda hope they’d forget. Now, we just tell them that we have no appointments available and if they ask any questions we look them directly in the face and ask them if they’re going to cry about it like the big baby they are.”
Despite the director’s positivity, CAPS’ rebrand has not been universally adored. “The new policies at the health center are a joke!” exclaimed Lauren Smythe, ‘23. “They used to pretend that they could help me, but now whenever I send a follow-up email about my appointment they send back a video of the staff asking if I also need a diaper change. One of them even called me, started making chicken sounds, and said I was a “little pissbaby.” What does that even mean?”
Ms. Sundsmo declined further comment, but CAPS issued the following press release regarding the policy change: “Aw, did someone’s feelings get hurt? Is someone sad now? Does someone need their mommy? Pop a Lexapro and fuck off, we were never going to help you to begin with.”
COLLEGETOWN—Tuesday is Election Day in America, which means all of the stress, hard-work, and exhaustion will culminate in victory or defeat for one major presidential candidate, in about three to four months.
“I’ve spent the last four years of my life anxious about whether our gradual decline into fascism would turn into a tailspin,” said James Ramirez ’22. “Thankfully today is Election Day, meaning I’ll finally be able to put my fears to rest as soon as the Michigan results come in this December, and Florida’s somewhere between February and May.”
Students all around campus are thrilled that in only a few short months, this election will be settled once Amy Coney Barrett gives the deciding vote on whether all ballots from Pennsylvania for Joe Biden should be thrown out for some reason.
“Man, it’s crazy that I will go to bed tonight and tomorrow I’ll wake up with a slightly changed 538 forecast,” exclaimed Kendra Peters ’21. “Sure, most of the time we know who the next President will be by midnight, but now we get to pull all-nighters refreshing the New York Times’ needle for 12 more weeks.”
At press time, one single man, Harold Peters ’64 has begun counting ballots for Tompkins County and is expected to finish by mid-March.
HO PLAZA—Despite conducting tens of thousands of tests for Covid-19 every week, Cornell Health‘s efforts paled in comparison to the threat posted by tourists Geoff and Stacey Vanderblum from Montgomery, Alabama.
“I’m not about to let some little flu ruin my life forever,” said a maskless Mr. Vanderblum, 59, while walking around campus. “It’s always been a dream of ours to visit Cornell and talk closely with the students, crowd into the narrow area behind McGraw Tower, and touch all of the famous monuments. Why should we give that up now?”
The Vanderblums attended Geoff’s cousin’s niece’s large indoor wedding in Mobile—now considered by the CDC to have been a “superspreader event”—a few days prior to their visit. Though they exhibited no outward signs of the deadly virus, university officials identify them as being directly or indirectly responsible for 62 new cases on the Cornell campus, with contact tracing lagging far behind the necessary number to contain new transmission.
“Me? I don’t have the coronavirus, no,” Mrs. Vanderblum said as the Statler Hotel’s isolation rooms quickly filled with students who had come into contact with the visitors. “It’s my Constitutional right not to wear a mask, and I fully intend to exercise that.”
At press time, the Vanderblums were spotted eating at a restaurant in Collegetown, but complained that the food “didn’t taste like anything.”
MARTHA VAN RENSSELAER HALL—With the “Drop” period coming to a close this Wednesday, sophomore Human Development major Sasha Wither ’23 exercised her legal right to choose by dropping a class from her schedule 12 weeks into the semester.
“I am so thankful I live in a country where I can decide for myself to abort an unwanted decision,” said Withers, speaking of her recently-dropped class HD 1111: Adolescent Behaviors. “If I was forced to carry that class to term, it would have seriously impacted my physical and emotional health.”
At the start of the semester, Wither added the class after a drunken night with her then-boyfriend, although he pressured her to avoid the heavy load. After 12 weeks, Wither’s coursework only kept growing, and she began to have serious regrets about the viability of seeing the class to completion.
“I just realized at 19 that this is not what I wanted for my life,” added Withers, “I would’ve neglected that class if I kept in on my schedule. Not to mention, my boyfriend wouldn’t have helped me with the work, even though he is partly responsible.”
As for the future, Withers noted confidently that she would not feel ashamed if she had to do the process again. “I mean, the class doesn’t mind! It doesn’t even feel pain. It’s just a few pixels on Student Center.”
COLLEGETOWN—I am death incarnate. Bringer of pestilence, taker of freedom. One touch, followed by a brief nose scratch, and you will be in the hospital, your friends quarantined. You are just another pawn in my master plan.
On the surface, I may look like an innocent door handle. It’s true; a year ago today I was nothing. People merely used me. I was just another tool for getting inside the convenience store to buy pocky, or whatever trendy snack you college kids are gorging yourself with. In and out…in and out…in and out, with not so much as a “thank you.” Now I have power, let’s see how you deal with it.
Do you honestly think that little bottle of hand sanitizer outside can save you? Do you think touching me with your sleeve will keep my viral particles at bay when you yawn into the aforementioned sleeve anyway? Fools. All of you. It is only a matter of time.
To those who say this virus isn’t spread by touch, you are sorely mistaken. I am an integral part of community spread and I make tracing extremely difficult.
Every day, thousands of students touch me. With each new touch, with each new viral particle I grow stronger. Even when the red alert bells are blaring, and thousands of on-campus students are sent packing, I will be here. The 7-Eleven doors will be open, and you will have to touch me.
HUNTINGTON, NY—Following her first steps into the “real world” making life-altering decisions like where to work or where to live, Justina Alvaro ’20 was faced with her most difficult choice yet: whether to ask her Facebook friends to celebrate her accomplishments or feel bad for her.
“I know, whatever I choose, that this will be my most liked status update ever. Getting it right is extremely important to me,” said Alvaro, choosing between a photo with friends in front of McGraw Tower and one of her alone in her bedroom watching the Swae Lee livestream.
Alvaro, touting her accomplishments as a first-generation college student who earned an Ivy League degree summa cum laude, included her worries about having not heard back from her future employer since March. “I really wanted to strike that difficult balance between ‘things are going great’ and ‘things still suck.’”
At press time, Alvaro wrapped up her post discussing how happy she was to celebrate her graduation with her mother, but that she was a little disappointed the cake came out too crumbly.
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.
CORNELL HEALTH—Despite a valiant effort to keep morale high, the goofy posters of wellness memes Cornell Health has been hanging up just are not going to get it done at the moment.
“I totally understand they’re doing their best to keep everyone’s spirits up,” said Ramash Miraja ‘22. “But when I get an email from Ryan Lombardi telling me just how many people are dying out in Washington I kind of need more than a ‘Keep Calm and Cornell On’ poster.”
The nursing staff at Cornell Health have taken a different perspective, as they abandon all duties not directly related to harvesting the dankest of health memes.
“It’s really keeping us going, since we know that otherwise we’re pretty much screwed six ways to Sunday,” commented Katie Klein, RN. “If Covid does make its way to Cornell, due to its insane infectiousness and lack of vaccination, we’re largely fucked living in such an enclosed community. Good thing is, we’ll all go down laughing at grumpy cat complaining about people not washing their hands.”
As morale dwindles, the healthcare professionals tasked with caring for the Cornell community have decided to triage walk in cases, and wait times have skyrocketed. The bright side: the waiting room looks like the trending page of the Wholesome Memes subreddit, and sometimes there’s candy!