Ivy League's Cornell takes extraordin...

Ivy League's Cornell takes extraordinary steps after 3 student ...

There are 5 comments on the WHOtv story from Mar 16, 2010, titled Ivy League's Cornell takes extraordinary steps after 3 student .... In it, WHOtv reports that:

Cornell University, an Ivy League school known for its spectacular gorges and haunted by a reputation for suicides, took the extraordinary step of posting lookouts on bridges and going door-to-door to check on students after three undergrads plunged to their deaths in the past month.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WHOtv.

Billy Bounce

Glenside, PA

#1 Mar 16, 2010
Ahh! How I do miss the old Alma Splatter!

Santa Cruz, CA

#2 Mar 18, 2010
Decades ago I visited Cornell as a high school senior for an admissions interview. I could sense the tension on campus, even in the dining hall where Mom and I ate lunch. Our tour guide was asked about suicides and responded in a rather matter-of-fact way. It all felt wrong and unhealthy to me, and I eventually chose to attend another university. My heart goes out to the families who lost their sons recently, on the cusp of their adulthood, so full of promise. It saddens, even angers me that so little has changed there (and probably many other institutions of higher learning) in all these years. I hope and pray that help is on the way.

Freeville, NY

#3 Mar 21, 2010
Our daughter has been accepted to Cornell. The recent deaths have worried us. Can anyone who is an Ithaca resident shed some light, or opinion, on what's going on down there? Is this just a cluster of suicides, or does the campus atmosphere have something to do with all of this?

United States

#4 Mar 21, 2010
How many past suicides are there? Is it college pressure?

United States

#5 Mar 22, 2010
The way I remember it: When I was a Freshman at SUNY/Buffalo, there was a particularly rainy and dreary fall. Suicides were slightly up (that might have meant an increase of one or two where often none previously existed) on lots of campuses. Many northeast schools, including SUNY and Cornell introduced fall break, to help with the pressure and gloom. I spent my next 3 years at Cornell, where there also can be a lack of sunshine. I loved it there and put up with the weather. I, personally, would not have been as happy to stay in Buffalo, but it's subjective as to where one feels at home. After a few years away and grad school, I went back to Cornell as a residence hall director. There was one year with 3 suicides. However, not all were Cornell Students. One was a NYC person who came to Ithaca to jump from the glorious gorge. Through the years, some jumps have been suicides and some have been foolish and impulsive accidents when someone tries to walk on the railings after a few beers have impaired more than just judgment. All are tragic. There are many pressures at college- social, academic, financial and even worrying about family at home.(I was witness to more than one upset freshman who found out that their parents were now divorcing while they were 100's of miles away.)When I was working at Cornell, I was impressed by how many support people are available to help a student in trouble. The residence program does much to oversee this, unlike the experience of some of my family in the UK when they go off to University and live in "digs" with little supervision. But having said all that, if you know someone going off to school with known mental health issues, then maybe a high pressure school isn't for them unless you build in the extra support from day one. At some point, people have to be able to ask for help. Living in a place where they can have a good social life, find things to do/people to do them with/groups to join is so important. If a student doesn't deal well under pressure, then maybe Cornell isn't for them. There are huge opportunities for a social life, but one has to be willing to make the effort. If they have a good record with that so far, then they should thrive in the diverse and intellectual community. Go with your gut and past record and hope for the best. The bridges are harder to accidentally fall off then they were when we had access to sit on what used to be flat stone edges. No more dangling feet over the edge.Good luck.

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