We’ve got some Cornell University news to report. As many of you know, Cornell has developed a reputation over the years for its student suicides. In fact, according to “The Ithaca Journal,” between 1990 and 2010, 27 people have committed suicide by jumping over the bridges of the gorges on the Ithaca campus. It should be noted that this figure of 27 only includes suicides by jumping off the bridges over the gorges. It does not include other suicide statistics of Cornell University students.
Many people have asked us over the years if depressed students are attracted to Cornell University or if the university does something to students while they’re there that leads them to suicide. We honestly don’t know. We do know that students at Cornell are more competitive about their academics than are students at other Ivy League institutions such as Brown or Dartmouth. At Brown and Dartmouth, students tend to be much more relaxed. Is it that relaxed, non-competitive students are attracted to universities like Brown or Dartmouth? Or do the Brown and Dartmouth communities foster an environment that discourages competitiveness and encourages a more positive, we’re all in it together approach? We don’t know the answer. We suspect it’s a little bit of a combination of both theories.
So what’s the news? The news is that Cornell University is installing nets over the gorges. They’ve already previously installed fences at the sites of student suicides, but they’re hoping that nets do the trick. They’ve installed these nets at several bridges over gorges. Hopefully this will decrease tragic student suicides at the university. Cornell University insists that their suicide figures are no different than other universities. We’re not so sure about that. But we do hope very much that this move can turn things around.