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Report: Cornell Offers Racially-Segregated Rock Climbing Class, Changes Description When Questioned

Report: Cornell Offers Racially-Segregated Rock Climbing Class, Changes Description When Questioned

“BIPOC Rock Climbing”

This is just the sort of thing Professor Jacobson talked about in a recent podcast with Allie Beth Stuckey. Critical race training is being embedded in everything.

Campus Reform reports:

Cornell charges students $1,800 for racially-segregated rock climbing class, frantically scrubs website when confronted

Cornell University altered the course description of a racially-segregated physical education course offered to students during the Spring 2021 academic semester after Campus Reform reached out for comment.

The class, entitled “BIPOC Rock Climbing,” was originally restricted to “people who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, or other people of color,” before its description was edited to state that the class is “designed to enable Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, or other people of color underrepresented in the sport of rock climbing to learn the sport and to feel included and supported.”

The course’s original description, noting the class’s race-based enrollment restriction, is still visible, courtesy of an internet archive.

According to the new description, posted on Cornell’s website, the class will provide a “high degree of individual attention” and a “supportive space” where students will discuss “BIPOC individuals and groups in rock climbing.” The new description states that the class is now “open to all” students who are “interested in learning rock climbing with this special focus.”

The total price for students taking the course is $1,890—including the standard cost of a one-credit course, $1,575, and an additional mandatory “course fee” of $315.

When asked for comment, John Carberry, Cornell’s Senior Director of Media Relations and News, issued a statement to Campus Reform claiming that “all Cornell students” are “welcome” to enroll in the course, contradicting the original course description.


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If I were a Cornell student, I would ask “Why is PE a University Faculty requirement?” rather than “Why is rock climbing racially segregated.” From the 1890s, Cornell required drill (later called ROTC) for all male students. It later morphed into physical education and a swim test requirement for graduation. The tuition dollars from two years of mandatory phys ed subsidized Cornell’s varsity athletics program that is conducted by the same department. In 1976, after years of student agitation, the requirement was put of the agenda of the University Faculty, and they reduced it to one year rather than abolish it. There is no academic basis for requiring it. It is merely device to have college budgets (including three colleges that are a part of the State University of New York) to subsidize the athletics department. So, $1,800 is not a typo. However, $350 is paid by the student out-of-pocket and $1,450 comes out of the student’s college.

Using this same accounting system, Cornell is proposing a 4 credit hour “anti-racism” class. So, 1/8 of the student’s freshman year tuition will be drained from the student’s college to fund this new initiative. If it were a non-credit class (which is currently the case when taught as a part of new-student orientation), this funding would not be available, and the central administration would have to come up with the funds by cutting something else.

It’s “restricted to people who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, or other people of color”? Surely it would be simpler to just say, “whites need not apply”?

Although those are mighty expensive rocks. Would anyone be dumb enough who’d sign up for this, if they had to pay 100% out-of-pocket?

I believe it was the famous critical race theorist Prof. George Wallace who said. “Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!”

Sadly, he had a falling-out with Herbert Marcuse over a woman and three bottles of gin. Otherwise, he’d be famous.

$1890 to climb a rock wall an hour or so a week for about 16 weeks and we wonder why the cost of college and student loan debt is so high

I thought this story was going to be about an “equity rock climbing course.” White folx have to climb a rock that is twice as high as the one POCs have to climb, to get the same grade.

antisocialjustice | February 23, 2021 at 11:33 am

They can probably find a bunch of rocks just the right size for their peaceful protest activities. You really can’t put a price on that.

Of course, one could slip and fall and die.

And rocks would be forever tainted by the knowledge that they are racist. They’d be on a list.