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Cornell Builds Anti-Drowning Fence
Posted By Dan Haley On August 15, 2008 @ 2:50 am In Uncategorized | 6 Comments
Cornell erected a fence blocking access to the popular Fall Creek Gorge swimming hole earlier this week. The fence is part of the university’s reaction to rising sophomore Doug Lowe’s tragic death at the beginning of the summer. While not enough students are around to get angry about their swimming hole being closed, Cornell blog MetaEzra is up in arms.
The policy may seem reasonable when taken at face value, but you have to realize the University is reneging on a tradition of openness and responsibility that has lasted for close to one hundred and fifty years. If I am getting up in arms about the development, it is because I see the fencing as a symbol for what is being lost on Cornell’s campus — Cornell’s very soul.
This must have been a really sweet swimming hole. MetaEzra’s Matthew Nagowski goes on to explain the difference between a Cornell education and whatever it is you get over at other schools.
Cornell has never been an institution of in loco parentis and as a former Cornell professor of mine (now at Michigan State) once so aptly put it, if I wanted my hand held for four years I would have attended Williams or Notre Dame.
Are you calling into question the manly character of Williams, the manliest of the northeastern liberal arts colleges? Oh, this will not stand, Nagowski! After the jump, Cornell explains the reasoning behind the fence.
MetaEzra reports that Simeon Moss, ’73, said the fence was built to promote safety or encourage good decisions or something along those lines. Moss goes on to say:
We’ve been working diligently to communicate to our community on this issue — such as developing and distributing a gorge-safety brochure that also is posted online posted online and participating in a task force led by the city to develop strategies to improve communications and programs related to safety in the gorges — but we haven’t been as successful as we’d like to have been. Our objective is not to keep students, or others, out of the gorge for any extended period of time, but to address concerns raised by members of the Cornell community who believe that more should be done to communicate the dangers that the gorges may pose to students, faculty, staff and visitors who may not have an appreciation of those dangers.
I really want one of these gorge safety brochures.
As I’ve been writing this post, a question keeps gnawing at me: can’t you just climb over the fence? Look at the picture above. It’s not a big fence. And even if it were a big fence, you could probably climb over it. Providing this thought doesn’t occur to anyone else, Moss and company has conceived a foolproof swimming-prevention plan.
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