Slope Day – Cornell University
Jason Koski/University Photography
|Students celebrate last day of classes during SlopeFest, May 6. View slideshow|
For Shauna-Kay Rainford, the best thing about Slope Day is the community feeling. “This is the one time where all Cornell, everyone is united,” the junior said.
Slope Day, the annual event celebrating the last day of classes, spilled over Libe Slope May 6. The weather cooperated nicely, with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-60s.
Rainford had just won a game of skee ball on Ho Plaza, the site of SlopeFest, the nonalcoholic portion of Slope Day. Many of the activities are free, paid for from Student Assembly funds. A crowd of onlookers gathered around the center of the plaza to watch step dancers from fraternities and sororities strut their stuff. Other students lined up for henna tattoos and food, from cotton candy to frozen yogurt bars.
Volunteer Valerie Kelly, an administrative assistant at the Animal Health Diagnostic Center, was manning the inflatable basketball hoops. In past years, she has handed out water on Libe Slope. “It’s a day to help out, and Cornell supports it,” she said. “It’s a great event for students.” Other volunteers — both students and staff — scanned IDs, collected tickets and ensured that the day remained safe for all participants.
Music wafted over the plaza from the concert stage at the bottom of Libe Slope. Ra Ra Riot opened the afternoon of concerts, followed by The Cool Kids. Rap artist Nelly (aka Cornell Haynes Jr.) headlined.
Many SlopeFesters gave Nelly a shout out by sporting Band-Aids on a cheek, part of his iconic look. Slogans on de rigueur tank tops also dropped his name: “I love Cornelly, “Ezra Cornelly” and “Whoa Nelly!” “It’s getting hot in herre” referred to the refrain from his 2002 hit, “Hot in Herre.”
Other tank tops and tee shirts just celebrated the day: “The Sun regrets today’s errors,” “Newman Nation” and “Frosh are Fresh.”
For Adam Hardie, Class of 2012, Slope Day gave him the chance to relax after job interviews in Texas and California. “Usually it’s just a pretty good time. Everybody is happy to be here,” he said. As a senior, it’s his last “official” Slope Day, he said. “So giddy up.”