January 29, 2023
Ithaca, NY | 29°F


Ithaca College Relay For Life splits from Cornell

The Ithaca College chapter of Colleges Against Cancer will host Relay For Life next semester without partnership with Cornell University for the first time in six years.

Student members of Ithaca College’s chapter of Colleges Against Cancer sell T-shirts to raise money at the Relay For Life kickoff event Oct. 11 in IC Square. PARKER CHEN/THE ITHACAN

In the past, each school raised money for the event and the American Cancer Society separately, with the two schools convening in Barton Hall’s nearly two-acre structure.

Senior Shari Kaplan, co-president of the college’s CAC chapter, said the decision not to hold Relay at Cornell was made because Barton Hall is not available until April 30, which does not match the college’s academic schedule.

“We decided to do it at Ithaca at a time that worked for more people,” she said. “That way more people would be able to participate,” she said.

Without Cornell’s involvement, CAC is faced with finding ways to compensate for the loss of resources. The college’s chapter of CAC is scheduled to hold the event March 26 and 27 in Hill Center.

The major challenge for this year’s Relay is providing enough space for participants in the Hill Center and not exceeding fire capacity, Kaplan said. In the past, Cornell had been responsible for providing the building, security and logistical support.

About 1,000 students from the college attended Relay last year.

To fit students in the smaller Hill Center, Kaplan said the college’s CAC chapter might expand Relay into the building’s classrooms for small group activities. She said CAC will be ready to accommodate any number of students at the event.

“It will be a situation where we’re not going to be turning anyone away from participating in Relay,” she said.

Kaplan also said not having Cornell assisting with resources for the event will be tougher.

“It’s a little bit more difficult financially, but we’ll figure it out and we’ll make it work,” she said.

The college’s CAC usually provides most of the money for the event, leaving Cornell with the issue of raising money now that the schools are running separate events.

Morgan Finkel, Cornell senior and president of the university’s CAC chapter, said they are looking for new ways to plan and fund their own event on April 30 in Barton Hall. She said CAC is working to find local businesses to donate to the event.

“Cornell’s [CAC] doesn’t really get funding for things such as decorations and food so we’ve had Ithaca College to find funds in the past,” she said.

Senior Tara Rogers, who plans to attend Relay For Life at the college, said the convenience of location is an added benefit.

“I’m excited to see if more people will go this year,” she said.

Sophomore Nicole Stroney, who participated in Relay last year and joined CAC this semester, said she is less enthusiastic about Relay because of the location this year. She said she will miss the chance to work with Cornell students.

“I’d never been to Cornell, and I never got together with Cornell students, so it was good to bring the two campuses together,” she said.

Tiffany Bechtold, a community executive for the American Cancer Society, is working with both schools to organize the events. She said there is possibility for partnership between the schools in the future.

“This isn’t necessarily the end of all collaboration with Cornell,” she said. “The college is still open to working together in the future.”

Kaplan said next year CAC hopes to hold the event in the Athletics and Events Center, which is scheduled to open in the fall, and the college’s chapter will invite Cornell to participate.