Cornell’s attempt to prevent further suicides by fencing off all the campus bridges has left the once-beautiful gorges an eyesore. Check out this set of Flickr photos titled Re-Think the Fence to see for yourself what they look like. As a further measure, according to The Huffington Post, “the school has posted security guards at the bridges, who will be on call until at least after spring break.”
The recent Cornell sun piece, Ithaca Is Fences, does a good job of debunking the utility of erecting fences on Cornell’s bridges. As the fences only protect bridges, not the entire brim of the various gorges, they do not present a plausible barrier to jumpers, who can simply leap off of some other precipice:
Even if we see a drop in suicide rates, it will be difficult to claim success. Given that the number of bridge jumps this year likely constitutes an outlier, statistical theory dictates that the number of jumps per year will regress to the mean — in our case, somewhere around zero. Therefore, we should anticipate seeing a drop in the number of suicides — but for reasons having to do with chance, not policy.
A student lead initiative called Re-think the fence calls for artistic submissions that re-imagine Cornell’s fenced bridges. There are no parameters; one could fully remove the guard rails, or send in a submission of an enclose-on-four-sides bridge.
|This entry was posted on Monday, April 12th, 2010 at 3:40 pm and is tagged with erecting fences, huffington post, suicide rates, guard rails, statistical theory, precipice, debunking, gorges, security guards, brim, dictates, suicides, good job, cornell, ithaca, fencing, bridges, fence, spring break, parameters. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback.|