It seems that, every year, Halloween in Ithaca gets a little bit scarier, and not in a spooky sort of way. Every year before this one, in spite of global warming, there seems to be a steady decline in the temperature. Actually, being a sophomore, I can only speak for last year’s Halloween night, but I remember feeling quite out of place in the near-freezing temperatures dressed as a lifeguard (original, I know). And now, this year, a sour girl named Sandy, dressed in wailing winds and strong rains (she won’t ever win a costume contest dressed like that) threatened to trick or treat around the neighborhood. To make matters worse, Hurricane Sandy clearly does not have any plans of bringing any candy or joy of her own since, as of Monday night (when I am writing this column), it seemed that Day Hall was determined to hold classes despite the threat of hurricane weather.
Fears of being blown across the Arts Quad aside, the decision to maintain the prominent “Cornell University is OPEN” displayed at the top of the Cornell.ed “status” page adversely affects University faculty and staff far more than it affects us as students. Although there is some inherent risk associated with walking to class in driving rains and bone-chilling winds faster than 30 miles per hour (other than your umbrella snapping), there are much greater risks for the faculty and staff who must drive in order to reach the campus. Although there could have been some chance of freak, falling tree branches or flying debris on your morning (or afternoon depending on potential skipped classes) ambulatory commute, these members of our University community could have had to drive on sick roads while potentially dodging fallen trees. Cornell being the only Ivy League university still open on Tuesday showed a lack of regard for these faculty members who might have ended up cancelling their classes anyway.
However, I do not want to spend all my time talking about students and faculty; I would prefer to talk about the true victims of Hurricane Sandy (terrible name for a hurricane, by the way): the children. Sandy is all trick and no treat for the children of the East Coast. Since Hurricane Sandy falls on Halloween week (from here on referred to as Halloweek), and especially since the Hurricane will likely affect Ithaca the greatest on Halloween, the Ithacan children’s ability to trick or treat will be impaired by pneumonia-causing conditions. Do you remember how exciting Halloween was when you were a kid? I remember, I would run around the neighborhood with my best friends in costumes of increasing impracticality (in terms of keeping a young child’s body warm) and get to see all of the adults of the neighborhood dressed in references that I could not understand (the rule was to not go to the house whose creepy middle-aged bachelor owner would dress up as Hannibal Lecter). I loved Halloween as a child but it seems that the children of Ithaca will not be able to experience the same joy that I felt every year, or at least they will not this year. Here’s to hoping that they are still able to go out even if it’s not quite after dark.
The theme of early Halloween trickery continued Monday morning with sophomore PeopleSoft course enroll. My course enroll was Monday morning at 7 a.m. and I came into the enrollment period knowing that I had very limited space in two of my classes (read: one and two free spots, respectively). Fortunately, Oracle decided to bestow a great treat upon me by allowing me to successfully get into the class with two seats remaining. However, I was predictably not so lucky with the one-seat class. Thankfully, I am not too worried; I am on the wait-list and am confident that I will be able to take that class after all. So freshmen, here’s my advice to you. When you go through your first course enroll at Cornell do not get too worried if you don’t get into your desired classes right away, there is a large chance you will end up switching classes anyway. You just need to roll with the punches, dodge the debris and go out trick or treating in the pouring rain.
David Fischer is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Fischy Business appears alternate Wednesdays this semester.