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Cornell: No Freedom, No Responsibility

I'm at a loss for words. Carl Becker and Ezra Cornell are rolling over in their graves:


Someone, somebody, some administration has decided in their infinite wisdom to fence off the Fall Creek Gorge leading down to the trails below the Suspension Bridge. Presumably in the wake of Doug Lowe's tragic death earlier this summer.

This really sends an absolutely fantastic message to today's students, the generation of the organization kid: "Don't worry. You are excellent. You are perfect. You can do no wrong. And if there is any danger, we are hear to protect you. There's no reason to use your own sound mind and judgment and learn how to be responsible for your own actions, because we have converted the world into your own danger free play pen."

Yep. That's how you encourage the sound moral and character development of college students today. You wall off perceived danger while allowing them to indulge in all other sorts of reckless and dangerous human behavior, just as every other university in the nation allows.

Is Columbia University going to fence off the streets of New York City whenever something tragic happens?

One of the most unique and compelling aspects of Ezra Cornell's university just received an ugly, chain-linked scar. The gorges are an intimate part of Cornell beauty: their scarred presence marking the landscape with the unyielding presence of time and change, their nature and history a reminder to all of our own mortal selves. Descending into Fall Creek is like taking a voyage through the human psyche.

Mr. Skorton: Tear down this wall. I beg you.

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on August 11, 2008 (#)

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