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Trouble at Cornell

OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 10,322 Senior Member
A fraternity has been closed after an attack on black student, though it seems the fraternity was already in trouble, and it's unclear what the relationship to the assault is.


Cornell's statement: http://statements.cornell.edu/2017/20170917-pollack.cfm
I will not tell you "this is not who we are," as the events of the past few weeks belie that.


Within the next two weeks, I will convene a Presidential Task Force charged with examining and addressing persistent problems of bigotry and intolerance at Cornell.

Persistent problems? So not just this one assault?

Replies to: Trouble at Cornell

  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 63,447 Senior Member
    edited September 20
    http://cornellsun.com/2017/09/15/ithaca-police-arrest-student-for-possible-hate-crime-in-collegetown/ has some more information on the ΨΥ chapter's previous problems. (This article has links to other related articles.)
    Black Students United at Cornell University said in a statement that the people shouting the racial slurs were members of the Chi Chapter of Psi Upsilon, which had its recognition revoked by Cornell in May of 2016. The former president of Psi Upsilon, Wolfgang Ballinger ’17, pleaded guilty in February to forcible touching and was sentenced to probation.

    http://cornellsun.com/2016/05/25/cornell-revokes-recognition-of-psi-upsilon/ describes the derecognition of the ΨΥ chapter in May 2016.

    The Cornell Daily Sun has lots of more recent related articles.
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 10,322 Senior Member
    Sounds like a lovely place.

    NYT -
    The fraternity, Psi Upsilon, was banned by Cornell in 2016 after a long history of complaints that it violated the school’s code of conduct.

    The final offense was its decision to give a party during a suspension, which had been put in place because the fraternity president was accused of sexually assaulting someone at the frat house — he later pleaded guilty to forcible touching. But a group had been trying to bring the fraternity back to campus.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 21,028 Senior Member
    edited September 21
    This fraternity has been in trouble for some time. D2 told me about it few days ago. I am appalled by their behavior. I hope all who were involved will be held accountable and be punished accordingly.
  • blevineblevine Registered User Posts: 661 Member
    The title of the thread irks me. There are always some bad eggs, and not just in frats.
    But that hardly means "Trouble at Cornell". We have race relation problems all over the US.
    It is a national history that is sadly continuing.
  • monydadmonydad Registered User Posts: 7,482 Senior Member
    edited September 22
    Well... it *was* trouble.
    And it *did* occur near (though not *at*) Cornell. By Cornell students.

    Prospective applicants should not read too much into this "investigation" though, IMO. Given the circumstances, it is not surprising to see a new President start off on one of her very first "issues" and show leadership by taking a firm stand. However, in substance, I basically agree with #4. I am not aware of any particular problems in this regard at Cornell that are beyond, or any different than, everyplace else.

    Also, having a kid who was in a fraternity (though not at Cornell), I would caution about painting everyone there with the same brush. It's quite possible there are members of the same fraternity who are appalled at the behavior of those few miscreants.
  • lisaollisaol Registered User Posts: 268 Junior Member
    My daughter is friends with the boy who was assaulted. She said he is a really nice kid. The incident happened across the street from her apartment. The boys in question belong to a frat of "very privileged boys" who believe themselves to be above the law as proven last year when the boy raped the girl and had Daddy bail him out. (and yes, she was raped. My daughter knew her too) Apparently, Daddy owns a bunch of nightclubs in NYC. That being said, you get a few bad seeds in every frat/sorority. Overall. Cornell is a great place.
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 Registered User Posts: 10,322 Senior Member
    I made the thread title that rather than "frats in trouble again" or "more racist assults on campus" or whatever mainly because of this:
    I will convene a Presidential Task Force charged with examining and addressing persistent problems of bigotry and intolerance at Cornell.

  • blevineblevine Registered User Posts: 661 Member
    Cornell is a very large school with diversity of income, race, nationality, similar to the United States melting pot.
    I applaud the new President of Cornell for taking it seriously, but frankly this is a cultural problem that can happen anywhere. Many users of this site are researching where to apply/attend, and the PR related to a very few high profile cases at a very few schools causes undue concern. There are racial incidents and rapes at colleges all over the country, but when it's a well known school like Cornell, UNC, Duke etc, gets more press. Plain and simple.

    Very difficult for a school of that size (maybe any size) to screen people and weed out such potential racists/rapists etc,
    even when there is data to support keeping them out. I know someone who was kicked out of a major state undergrad school for bad behavior, somehow was allowed to transfer to my undergrad school, where he continue to terrorize others until we was caught and punished yet again. Years later I read about this individual, in an article about how his employees were picketing his business for terrible treatment. I noted that he ended up getting a masters from Cornell.
    Three schools accepted this social deviant. We are too protective of the rights of the guilty, and they are allowed to carry on with their lives and bring their bad behavior with them.
  • monydadmonydad Registered User Posts: 7,482 Senior Member
    edited September 22
    Charging a task force to "examine persistent problems" does not mean there *are* really persistent problems that are materially any different for what exists basically all over the US. If there are, I haven't heard about it.
    And anyway how would she know, she's been there exactly ten minutes.

    But by all means have them "examine" it. Everyplace should be seeking to improve itself.
  • ALAL Registered User Posts: 123 Junior Member
    As a current Cornell student, I would say that the administration tends to over-exaggerate the extent of bigoted behavior on campus. This assault is probably the most intense racially-charged event that has occurred in recent memory. These "persistent problems" probably just include the verbal harassment aimed towards some Latino students in light of the DACA announcements. That is the only other occurrence of bigotry I know of from this semester.

    Also, this is President Pollack's first semester at Cornell. It might take her some time to analyze how the groups on campus function, and how minorities are treated as a part of campus culture.
  • nmcormnmcorm Registered User Posts: 16 New Member
    Let me offer a perspective from America's heartland - "Make America White Again" flyers have just been found at the University of Michigan, the latest in many similar incidents. Other local colleges, like Eastern Michigan, have also had multiple racial incidents in the past year. It's more indicative of the national cultural/political environment than what's happening at any individual campus. Not necessarily fraternity related, but does that really matter?
  • CALSmomCALSmom Registered User Posts: 443 Member
    The title of the thread is unecessarily inflammatory. I don't t know if ohiomomof2 has any kids attending Cornell but most of us posters are either parents of Cornell students or students. My son is happy at Cornell and he views his school through a lens of reality which is no campus is perfect and *trouble* can be found on any campus. And AL makes a good observation about the new president; it will take time to gain a proper understanding of the student body. Fwiw, my son's group of friends is so racially and socioeconomically diverse, I love it!!
  • CT1417CT1417 Registered User Posts: 4,079 Senior Member
    @CALSmom -- agree with you completely about the diversity of my son's friends. Much more so than I had during my years on campus.
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