Any person.
Any study.
Any Cornelliana.

An alumni
blog about Ezra's
University. (more)


Suggestions? Tips?




[+] Cornell News

[+] Higher Ed News

[+] Campus Pubs

[+] Alumni Interest

[+] Diversions

[+] Blogs

[+] Sports

[+] Other Places


[+] By Month

[+] By Author

Cornell's Suicide Rate: Still Lower Than Average

From the Ithaca Journal, we finally get some hard data on Cornell suicides over the last 21 years:

It is a misperception that all gorge suicides are committed by students, Cornell officials emphasized. In the past two decades, there have been 29 suicide attempts from gorges, all but two of which were fatal, Murphy said.

Of those 29, 15 were Cornell students, 10 were members of the Ithaca community, and four were people from out of town, she said.

In the past 21 years, Cornell has lost 25 students to suicide, by all means, Murphy said.

So let's do the math on this one: Cornell has had a suicide rate of 1.2 per year over the last 21 years, or 6 suicides per 100,000 student-years..

By comparison, the national average suicide rate for college students (which is traditionally reported as the result of this Big 10 study) is 7.5 per 100,000 student-years.

And of course, prior to the tragedies of this year, Cornell's suicide rate over the last two decades was 0.9 per year, or 4.5 per 100,000 student-years. That's significantly lower than the national average, and probably where the number will trend back down to over time.

Also interesting to point out that 60 percent of Cornell student suicides have been gorge deaths, but that Cornell students represent only half of gorge suicide attempts.

This is why we need facts, not mythology, on suicide. The myth of Cornell suicides is much greater than the reality. It's just that jumping into a bucolic gorge is a rather stunning way to go.

In other news:

The Ithaca Common Council granted permission for the current chain link fences to remain in place until August. Cornell is now asking to install interim barriers that university officials believe are more aesthetically pleasing. The barriers would be in place while the city and Cornell develop permanent solutions.

The interim barriers are black welded wire, which is less reflective and easier to see through, said Cornell landscape architect David Cutter. A sample of the material being proposed for interim barriers has been installed along a section of the Thurston Avenue bridge.

Courtesy of the Cornell Chronicle, here's a picture of the new fencing.


Matthew Nagowski | Posted on July 17, 2010 (#)

blog comments powered by Disqus

Other Recent Posts

-- WSJ: Cornell Wins NYC Tech Campus Bid (EBilmes)

-- Barrier Update: City Approves Nets (DJost)

-- Big Red Cymbal Guy (Nagowski)

-- New York Times Survey on Campus Recruiting is Flawed (KScott)

-- Barrier Update: Legal precedent suggests City of Ithaca will not be held liable for gorge suicide (DJost)

-- Despite MSG Loss, Big Potential for Big Red Hockey (EBilmes)

-- City Council Will Vote on Suicide Nets (DJost)

-- An Encounter on the Upper East Side (Nagowski)

-- Showing Off Your School Spirit (Nagowski)

-- Chipotle Ithaca? (KScott)

-- Cornell at the ING NYC Marathon (KScott)

-- Crossing Over a Fine Line: Commercial Activity on Campus (KScott)

-- Milstein's Downfall (Nagowski)

-- Can any Cornell-associated organization really be independent of the University? (Nagowski)

-- Slope Media Revisited (EBilmes)

-- Slope Media Group Approved for Byline Funding (KScott)

-- Occupy AEM? (KScott)

-- New campus pub to be good for both Greeks and non-Greeks (Nagowski)

-- Gagging the Election (Nagowski)

-- The Changing Structure of Rush Week (Nagowski)

-- Ivy League Humility in the Midwest (EBilmes)

-- Of Median Grades and Economics Minors (Nagowski)

-- Homecoming Recap (Nagowski)

-- My Cornell Bookshelf (Nagowski)

-- The Sun's Opinion Section Has Suddenly Gotten Good (Nagowski)

-- Remembering the 11th (Nagowski)

-- Cornellian Tapped as Top Economic Advisor (Nagowski)

-- Cutting Pledging, and the Good Which Comes With It (EBilmes)

-- Why Cornell Should Not Close Fall Creek Gorge (Nagowski)

-- Welcome to the Class of 2015 (Nagowski)