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Cornell is a Bubble

Cornell is a bubble.

We all know this and we all say it. But, we donít really feel it until we leave our alma mater.

When in Ithaca, everything in Ithaca is of utmost importance. IFC decisions were endlessly critiqued and debated. The Student Assembly Finance Committeeís rulings on funding Ė or non-funding Ė of student groups were protested at Student Assembly meetings. The pressure of overcommitted calendars and upcoming deadlines were all-consuming, and anything outside of the small box of work and more work felt as though it didnít matter. And, to many of us, nothing else did really matter. Cornell and the greater Ithaca were at the center of our world. Rather, they were our world.

I realized this morning, while reading the Cornell Daily Sun looking for a topic on which to write, how Iíve escaped the bubble that is life on the Hill. Now that Iím eight months out, I no longer have much of an opinion on many of the day-to-day issues that seemed of paramount importance to us as students. As a case in point, among the headlines over the past two days are Collegetown drinking (surprise?), liquor license difficulties at the Willard Straight Pub (itís being named The Bearís Den?), GreenStar Groceryís plans to open a Collegetown location (it sells organic food!), and the increase in Rush Week attendance (reassuring for the Greek communityís viability given the recent changes in Rush Week). To be complete, there were some general news stories that could be found in any community newspaper, like a sledding accident on Libe Slope (I hope the student will be okay), Senator Mark Kirk Ď81ís stroke recovery (he will be okay), and the death of Professor Richard Leed í58 (unfortunately he wonít be okay). To students, itís the articles in that first bucket that would likely be the most important and discussed over lunch. Now, Iím much more interested in whatís happening on the national political stage than the latest issues in the non-existent microcosm of my New York City neighborhood.

Although as alumni we are far removed from the bubble, there are still important and just plain interesting Cornell issues to think about from a different perspective. I may not have an opinion on this yearís rush week, but I still care about the direction of the Greek system. And, while it doesnít matter that a new grocery store is opening, I do not want to see the general vibe of Collegetown change. I imagine many alumni feel the same way. After all, you are reading this blog.

Kyle Scott | Posted on January 24, 2012 (#)

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