August 25, 2021

Diversity Win! One Person in Your Orientation Group is Not From Long Island

GOLDWIN SMITH HALL — Freshman Ricky Harrison sat down in a circle on the floor with his new classmates to play icebreakers and exchange basic information, expecting to hear all about his fellow Long Islanders’ opinions on the travel time to Ithaca, and whether Louie’s Lunch was as good as the tamale stand at the corner of 11th and 45th. To his surprise, Marissa Sheldon across the circle did not say her hometown was Long Island, New York, but she was from somewhere else entirely.

“At first I was like, is that some neighborhood in Queens?” Harrison said while attempting to find Sheldon’s hometown, Scarsdale, on Google Maps. “And then I realized she wasn’t from Long Island at all, which like, whoa, you know? I didn’t think I’d meet someone who lived more than 50 miles from me that quickly!” Talk about progress!

Sheldon is one of at least four students, potentially more, who were born and raised outside of Long Island – a small, but rapidly growing minority on campus. “I’m so excited to be a part of such a diverse community at Cornell,” she said. “We might have grown up in a huge variety of place, but at the end of the day we’re all unified by the Big Red spirit, even if we’re all from different parts of New York.”

Harrison is looking forward to Sheldon’s efforts in creating the Cornell Association for Undergraduates from Westchester County, and potentially meeting people from other parts of the tri-state area.

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