Save The Gorges

10Aug08

Cornell, this one is for you. Take a good look:

This is the entrance to the always popular swimming hole in Fall Creek behind Fiji and Chi Psi as I saw it today on a walk. Without notice, the Cornell University administration has decided to permanently fence off access to this part of the gorge. This section of Fall Creek, where countless members of the Cornell community bathe throughout Ithaca’s hot summer, is known to some as a dangerous place to swim. Navin Parthasarathy, a graduate student at UC Santa Barbara, drowned here in August, 2006. The university’s response? Post signs warning people of potential dangers in the gorge. On June 12 this year, Douglas Lowe ’11 drowned when he was pulled under the swift current. It took rescuers nearly 4 hours to find his body.

My friends, my dog, and I swim at this spot nearly every week during the summer. Someone drowns here nearly every year – a fact which the entire community is aware of. I know swimming here is dangerous. Why do I do it? It’s fun and refreshing. Is it worth drowning for? No, but I’m confident in my ability to swim and try not to do anything stupid, like jumping from the ledge 25 ft. above the surface of the water. Swimming in the gorges is illegal, but it’s one of the few things that defines spending a summer in Ithaca.

So, why wait until now to close the gorge?

Listen, buddy. People can only go so far in telling others what they can and cannot choose to do. I believe most people are capable of rational thought. Merely being aware of the fact that swimming here is dangerous is enough information to allow people make their own decisions. In this age of shrinking civil liberties, it’s interesting that an institution of higher education and a (supposed) proponent of free thought would impose itself upon our own free will.

The City of Ithaca has not fenced off entrances to the gorge along Six Mile Creek; a stream with swimming spots that are not without their own share of hazards and injury. On July 8 of this year, a young man was seriously injured during an aborted jump from the abandoned water-pumping building above the swimming hole at First Dam. Maybe they have put up fences in the past, but those fences do not stand today. Why? Because we don’t give a fuck. We climb them. We walk around them. We tear them down.

Okay, I’ve gone on without saying much of anything for long enough. Prz Skrtn, I believe you have my stapler.

Ben Harper – Burn One Down (Live)

Bob Marley – Get Up Stand Up

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

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3 Responses to “Save The Gorges”

  1. 1 cactus

    i for one am outraged at this hipster douchebag.
    i can only hope he doesn’t spam my inbox with some really cunty email explaining how he deliberated making such a gay [not that there’s anything wrong with it] decision.

  2. 2 fuzz

    well he’s definitely a huge, um, hipster – http://www.news.cornell.edu/features/inauguration/photos/photo40.jpg

  3. wait, what happened to “thinking about all the money i’m making moistens my vag”?…that was good.


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