In response to the tragic suicide spike plaguing Cornell’s campus, the school has taken up a more aggressive approach than counseling, pamphlets and smiley-face posters. The administration has set up 7-foot metal fences on the sides of its highest-risk bridge in an effort to deter would-be jumpers.
The aesthetics-conscious have cried foul, arguing that Cornell’s no-higher-than-average suicide rate does not merit robbing the campus of its natural, vertiginous beauty: the suicidal will just find another way to do the deadly deed. We’re inclined to disagree. Psych-research indicates that removing the immediate means of self-destruction may, in fact, be the best preventative tool of all. When stopped in the impulsive act, the desperate generally don’t turn elsewhere. Indeed, the dark romanticism of the beautiful bridges themselves may prove tantalizing to the lonely and confused. As Kant wrote, (wow, IvyGate’s quoting Kant):
“[Anyone seeing] deep gorges with raging streams in them, wastelands lying deep in shadow and inviting melancholy meditation, and so on is indeed seized by amazement bordering on terror, by horror and sacred thrill. [He is] diminished to insignificance, [and sees only the] misery, peril, and distress that would compass the man who was thrown to its mercy.”
As hard as it is to speculate, we can’t help but think that perhaps one of the six confused students who took their lives at Cornell this year could have used a moment’s more reflection, peering up at near-insurmountable metal bars, or a short walk away from the unbearable heat of the moment. For now, IvyGate’s in favor of the suicide barriers. Your take? A necessary evil or useless eyesore? Take a look at our pictures after the jump and judge for yourself.