I recently discussed my chagrin at a challenge to the wonderful outdoor program for first-year students at Bates College. As a lifelong backpacker and hiker, I have always admired Bates for the program. One of the oldest college clubs is the Penn State Outing Club, which is 98 years old. In one of the most moronic decisions of the year, Penn State has announced that its outdoor recreation club will not be allowed to go outside because it is too dangerous to be out in the wilderness.
The Outing Club was reportedly not consulted and simply told that Penn State was barring outdoor activities, claiming student safety. It is such a maddeningly moronic decision that one is caught between disbelief and an utter contempt. As we have previously discussed, hiking has been found to have tremendous psychological benefits. The Japanese called it “forest bathing” and as a lifelong backpacker and hiker, I can attest the impact of being in nature can face on stress and mood. With schools dealing with rising levels of depression, hiking has been found as effective or more effective than medication. It appears to have a lasting impact on brain operations with a pronounced impact on depression.Yet, while the school will gladly handout anti-depression drugs, it will kill one of the most effective programs in giving students a sense of well-being.
These are adults going to college. They are in an ample position to judge the risks and waive liability where appropriate. Yet, not only this old outdoor club but two other such clubs have been ordered to discontinue their outdoor activities. It is a disgrace and something that the faculty should address. The ultimate responsibility rests with President Eric Barron and his obviously sheltered administrative staff. I supposed when you create a fictitious “Nittany Lion” as your mascot, students can just pretend that they go outdoors to see one in the wild.
49 thoughts on “Penn State Orders Century-Old Outdoor Club To Stop Outdoor Activities”
Penn State football = safe!
Wilderness travel = dangerous!
What a bunch of maroons . . .
Reblogged this on The Inquiring Mind and commented:
Daily academia loses contact with reality
This made BBC news today…
my university didnt have a hiking club. we had a karate club. what we did was really unsafe. i broke a rib, a couple knuckles, and got knocked out three times. it was a lot of fun but we were strong and they are weak. college kids today are not all weak, just these wimps.
So did mine. Back in the ’70’s we didn’t have all those pads, either. Bare knuckles and bare feet. I had broken ribs and knuckles, too, but the experience was worth it.
Protect kids from a possum but subject them to a pedophile. They Are Penn State!
Jeez Louise, wrap them in bubble wrap and don’t let them out of the dorm.
Can’t take any chances…..
the woods are not a safe space for snowflakes. maybe this is best.
they are weak. leave the woods for the strong
When ever I here of these kinds of “regulations” I always have to ask, “What are solving here”? Are their stats that show Penn State students overwhelmingly getting hurt on these outings? Is it driving up expenses on others? It reminds my of mandated rear view cameras in cars now. Why? What are we fixing? I’m 49 and have yet to met anyone who has been killed by someone by a car backing up in a parking lot. The nanny state does not care, crony capitalism is the result.
Jim22 – I am aware of people backing over their kids in the driveway. I am sure those cameras have stopped a lot of that.
I can honestly say, I have yet to meet a person that knows someone who has done that. Has it happened? yes, but enough to make it mandatory? Not buying it.
I know someone who did that. The little girl survived, but there was a long period of concern of possible brain damage, and her father really suffered mentally and emotionally ever after the accident.
True, as I wrote, I’m sure it has happened, but are there statistics to show that it was necessary to regulate every new car needs this? How about keeping it as an option like it was for years so that stupid parents that don’t look or check behind them can get it if they need.
Jim22 – not sure that the cameras are mandatory, just an option. I find mine handy. 😉
“The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a proposed rule Monday requiring all new light vehicles — including cars, SUVs, trucks and vans — to have “rear-view visibility systems,” in effect, requiring backup cameras.
The rule — which would be final in 60 days — would start phasing in on May 1, 2016 models and be at 100% May 1, 2018.”
“In a 2010 report, the DOT’s NHTSA said that each year 210 people die and 15,000 are injured in light-vehicle backup incidents, with about 31% of the deaths among kids under age 5 and 26% adults over 70.”
Not to sound callous but, 65 kids die from this across the nation and we force a regulation on the whole industry? This is a crisis that needed a law? If this is our litmus test, then yes, Pen State should not allow any students outside. It would also be interesting to know, since this regulation is now about a year old, how many of the 210 people are being saved.
Jim22 – thanks, I do not keep up with safety regs like I should.
Perhaps there are rumors of a sasquatch out in the Pennsylvania forests …..
As a current member of the PSU community, I believe that this is really a move for Penn State to push students towards their own Adventure Recreation office, which charges students money for trips that the clubs organized for free. The Penn State Scuba club (which also got banned along with the caving club) had such a sizable amount in their account that students had to pay almost nothing for the the trips, which Penn State did not get a cut of. Now Penn State can collect money to run those same trips.
Also, the Nittany lion is not fictional. A nittany lion is named for the mountain lions that used to live on Mt. Nittany, till they went regionally extinct.
Ah, greed. Who’d have thought that this action was all about money. Thanks for the rest of the story.
Thanks for the additional insight, Molly, although it is a disgusting reveal. I figured it was the Risk Management attorneys who advised it, but greed makes even more sense.
Such actions are how the establishment prevents young people from turning into reliant, motivated, responsible, independent individuals who think for themselves.
The words are reversed. it is a State Pen.
Interestingly, in central Pennsylvania the state pen is just down the road from Penn State.
Yet more Anglo fascist state mafia serious child abuse by OVER protection.
Ongoing over 4 decades since the anti social Right-tard 19Hateys fake satanic panics stoked by fake media mass deception for P.C./Pure Cowards’ careers, ratings, profit; masked as so called ‘Child Protection’.
A cotton-wool-kids OVER Protection-racket, ‘New Patriotism’, last refuge of scoundrels!
willistina559 – you do know that Lefties run Penn State? The Right could care less if the kids were out hiking.
Schulte you DO know?
That ongoing since the Anglo fascist market mafia rabid Right-tard anti social 19Hateys Uber Alles – ongoing Wall Street – Worldwide BIG Fall, et al.
‘Left-over’ Demagogues are seismic shifted ‘Right’ or more than rabid-Repugnants – not a fig-leaf between ’em, ALL rabid Right/wrong uns for P.C./Pure Cowards’ populist careers, ratings, and PROFIT – Uber Alles.
As for State Penn ‘pedo’ Sandusky,
Please, er, ‘state’. How ongoing CENTURIES of Anglo elite boys (Churchill, Cameron, Johnson, Rees-Mogg etc) from age-8 at Eton/Harrow etc, sytematically ‘fagged’/abused as playthings by pedo tutors and pedo older boys for so called ‘character forming’. Have created NOT life scarred traumatised VICTIMS, but sneering Right-tard high achiever trauma free National and World leaders? Then PAYING for their OWN elite young boys from age-8 to sustain their cynical cycle of the aMused-not-aBused.
While mere ‘underclass’ boys touched (or not), including tough but failed ex-footballers can claim life scarring aBuse trauma, fake media FAT fees, and BIG ‘State’ compo?
Answer please in your own good timewarp.
willistina556 – I am well aware of what goes on in some English boarding schools, or at least used to. Most educated people do. Not sure what your point is.
The points are:
1) Most ‘educated’ people sadly excludes today’s anti social Right-tard fake mainstream mind-raped masses, aka the shallow ignorant ‘Sheeple’.
2) Empathy for all TRUE Victims of abuse including the UK-Childline proven 4% SMALL minority of sex-abuse TRUE victims. Which excludes post-1970s millions of freeloading so called ‘Sex Victims’ fake claiming BIG state compo and fake media FAT fees.
3) Post-Reformation over 4-centuries on five continents where anti social Anglo Right-tards don’t belong, they’ve only ever cared about GREED. If young-child labor/ABUSE sweatshops were now U$/UK legalized, the anti social Anglo Right-tards would be first to invest in ’em – BIGTIME!
willistina556 – child abuse (as we currently call it) is a recent phenomenon in history. The Right, as such, is an even more recent phenomenon in history. However, child abusers come from everywhere. You are painting with too fine a brush.
Rephrase misinformed pedant Schulte, “Child abuse (as we currently call it) is a NON-recent 19th Century phenomenon perhaps first documented by pro social Anglo Victorian Dickens prompting the 1874 launch of the NSPCC/National Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Children. The Right, as such, is an even earlier 18th Century phenomenon first used during the 1789 French Revolution, and referred to seating arrangements in the French parliament: those who sat to the right of the chair of the president were supportive of the conservative institutions of the monarchist Old Regime. The UK Royalist Right Tories are an earlier still conservative 17th Century phenomenon who first emerged in 1678 when they opposed the Whig-supported Exclusion Bill which set out to disinherit the heir presumptive James, Duke of York, who eventually became James II of England and VII of Scotland. The so called ‘Left’ didn’t exist until 1899 when pro social True Scot Kier Hardie formed the first Labour Party pre-dating the Russian ‘Communist’ Revolution by 18 years. Meanwhile, the current UK NSPCC-Childline accurately states that a vast 96% of child cruelty/abuse is NON-sex, with abusers from all demographics and 90% well known to their victims, definitely not ‘Stranger Danger’. Though perversely painted for 4-decades ongoing since the sensationalist for ratings and profit anti social Right-tard 19Hateys by fake mainstream tabloid tarbrush as c.90% Child-SEX abuses, with not Reds but Peds under every bed? Thus accurately fulfilling 1940s pro social true Brit visionary Orwell’s BIG Bro ‘1984’ reverse reality. Day is night, wrong is right, black is white, the clock is striking 13.”
1) The UK pro social ‘Left’ didn’t exist until the Labour Party launched in 1899, with the first ever UK pro social Left, Labour Government a quarter of a century later in 1924. Just 94 years ago, not yet a century of UK pro socials.
2) The much earlier U$ left-of-centre Democratic Party traces it’s heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison’s Democratic-Republican Party. The modern Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson. The Democrats’ dominant worldview was once social conservatism and economic liberalism while populism was its leading characteristic in the rural South.
Garbage in, willstina comment out.
Garbage in, wildbill99 comment out. (Can’t even spell ‘Willis’ – DOH!)
No points for originality. back under your rock.
Squat fer FACTS Hikock – go back to back-shootin’ Bill!
So? Move the club off campus.
They can change the name of their team to the Penn State Pussy Kitties.
But football brings in too much money especially with the free labor of the team members to fool with.
Pre-cisely! What is more dangerous than football? Hypocrites and idiots must be in charge of PSU right now, and I suspect Molly G’s comment is at the root of the action.
But when will they ban football for head and other injuries?
Too much money to be made.
I guess they would really freak out here in Thailand where kids are still being kids, albeit for the most part much better behaved and responsible than American kids. Hey, kids still ride bicycles without helmets, fall out of trees, play in the street, go to neighbor’s houses on their own. Nothing unusual to see a 6 yr. old, usually female, the more responsible of the two+ sexes here, leading a 3 yr. old across the street by the hand, no supervising adult, oh my, call the parenting cops…lol. You will often see young children helping out in the family home, business etc. And they aren’t forced, ok some get a little “encouragement”. In the villages it is nothing to see a 10-12 yr. riding family motor bike to the mom & pop store. They grow up on motorbike, literally. I’m not saying parents don’t protect, my wife is a good example of “protection”, oh yea! They let there kids grow and mature, sometimes with good results, sometimes not. Daughter enters university next term on what passes for an academic scholarship, 1st in the family although the 2 youngest (my wife included) were able to attend a Jr. College equivalent. Son will be right behind as both were always in the top percentile of their schools. Yep, like most Thais I know, they have the growing up scars to show, motorbike a major cause of minor scaring even for adults. They survived childhood quite well.
I won’t speak on how damn dangerous the roads are here, Thais do not drive well. Most wouldn’t survive 30 min. in LA, Houston etc. traffic. Lao drivers are even worse, Cambodian, oh my Buddha!
I always would rather be outdoors in the woods, mountains etc. with the deer, elk, mountain lion, bear hunting, fishing, riding my horse than in some city. Cities are dangerous.
So Penn State students should not do the same activities as 11 year old Scouts. We have a Scout at Penn State, he did the Great Allegheny Passage last year, shock & horror!
Yep, its been newly discovered that hiking and other outdoor activities can be dangerous and should not be sponsored by a university anymore.
But that football team? Absolutely not a danger at all.
100,000 folks don’t show up – cash in hand — in white and blue to watch somebody paddle a canoe on the Juniata River.
you sure hit the nail on the head….
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