Half-Baked brings Cornellians together over raw ideas

On Friday night, 50 Cornell students assembled in a dark room and ate some raw cookie dough. This cookie dough was both literal and figurative: the literal being the obvious and the figurative being a metaphor for 19 brilliant Cornellians coming forth with their Half-Baked ideas. On Friday (10/21/2016), Half-Baked took place in the collegetown location of the eHub. Half-Baked is a Cornell initiative organized by Eco and Medium Design Collective; it’s a presentation where Cornellians can come up and talk about ideas, projects and musings that are ‘Half-baked’. An event meant to connect

creators inspire generations of Cornellians, Half-Baked: 2nd batch was a big hit amongst the attendees.

14692005_1807975672807611_590795683384454947_oPamela Chueh (’17) and Samsuda Khem-nguad (’16) came up with the idea last semester, drawing inspiration from a half-eaten chocolate cake. With graduation around the corner, Pam and Samsuda wanted to learn from their graduating friends’ raw ideas, incomplete projects and aspirations for Cornell.The first “batch” of half-baked took place last semester. They organized the event in about 10 days and had 8 speakers present ideas. This year, 19 speakers presented and about 60 people attended. On the third floor of the eHub space, attendees were greeted by a ball of cookie dough, a list of speakers and a post-it to take notes on. The dimly lit room was covered in yoga mats and pillows and people sat on the floor as each presenter had 4 minutes to present their idea. With 12 Pecha-Kucha style slides and a half-baked idea, Cornellians shared their frustrations, aspirations and dreams for the place all of us know a little too well.

The amazing thing about Cornell is that despite having a student body of 14,000 undergraduate students, no two people are the same. This was reflected in the ideas of the participants themselves. The pitches ranged from startup ideas to projects for making communities around campus more inclusive. Student Trustee Yamini Bhandari (‘17) suggested more tech support on-campus, because like many of us, she has gone through the frustration of not having immediate support for a broken laptop the night before a project is due. On the other end, sophomores Troy and Mock (‘19) want to bring to campus the simple pleasure of classic, high-quality bubble tea via a cart. Kirby Peters (‘17) wants to do a rooftop farm project on the roof of Mann Library and Emily Dong (‘18) wants to make the rich activist history on Cornell’s campus more accessible and transparent. SA President Jordan Berger (‘18) shared her experience with Cornell’s struggle with inclusion a14560202_1807967772808401_2683683082545231670_ond wants to remind us all to be more open-minded and more inclusive in the way we do things. Haris Hassan (‘17) and Dustin Liu (‘19) are both amazed by the way there are so many brilliant people on Cornell’s campus and through different ideas, want to make it easier to find people to learn from, work alongside and chill with. The purpose of the event was not just present, but also find people to help with these ideas, carry them on to the next generation of Cornellians and making people aware of the possibilities on Cornell’s campus.

The energy in the room was almost electric and every person sitting wanted to help out in baking each one of the projects. Students with ideas found people who wanted to help out and students who wanted to help out found an idea that they wanted to support. Most of the ideas are still in-progress or need someone to kick things off, so if you are interested you can look at the list of projects here.

If you are interested in organizing Half-Baked or have a half-baked idea yourself, you can visit the Half-Baked website. You can also email Pamela at pjc263@cornell.edu to find out more!