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Things That Can Boil My Big Red Blood

'Tis the season to be jolly. But alas, there have still been some things that have been getting underneath my skin recently. Here's a non-exhaustive list:

1) Calling unpaid alumni leadership 'volunteers'. What's in a name? Not much. But there's something a bit demoralizing about how the alumni office refers to unpaid club presidents, class correspondents, college alumni board chairs, etc., as volunteers. Are the leaders of student organizations considered to be volunteers? Nope. And neither should alumni.

It's not like we're volunteering our time for the local soup kitchen. Sure, we're volunteering our time and effort, but it's so much more than that. We're engaging and leading a community that we love. If you want to get technical, everybody on the Board of Trustees is an unpaid volunteer too. But I don't think anybody is going to refer to Meinig as a volunteer anytime soon. And besides, Chris Marshall is the secretary of the Cornell Alumni Association. So he works for us.

2) Referring to a singular alumnus or alumna as a plural alumni.

Latin may be an elitist language more befitting the folks at places like Harvard and Yale. But that doesn't mean Cornellians should be uneducated about its use.

3) Fraternity brothers who denigrate other fraternities.

I wasn't in a fraternity, and I'm often of a 'plague on both your houses' mindset, but when you have graduating seniors like Andrew Elkin engaging in antics more befitting a middle-schooler, it really makes you wonder what type of value-added the Greek system is providing campus. Here's Elkin taking a back-handed swipe at Seal and Serpent in the Sun's coverage of Bob Saget's Cornell television show:

Andrew Elkin ’11 watched the airing of the episode on Tuesday. Though he was not concerned with the portrayal of the Society, he was more concerned with its representation of Cornell and the Greek system.

“There are high school students across the country that watch that and to them, this is the Cornell Greek system and that’s just unfortunate,” said Elkin, a member of Phi Gamma Delta.

Would Elkin rather have had Seal and Serpent members binge drinking and date-raping freshman girls on television? Or maybe calling each other bro and texting each other 'HMU' while bragging about how wasted they got last weekend? Or was he just disappointed that the brothers didn't know how to find the prime factorization of 42? Inquiring minds would like to know.

4) Roughly 6500 people have read MetaEzra for one reason or the other in the last few weeks. But we still have only received a handful of submissions for MetaEzra's holiday contest -- 161 things that every Cornell alumnus/a must do.

Enough. That's the real reason for this list. Stop trolling Facebook and IvyGate and submit your entries today!

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on December 15, 2010 (#)

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