student humour website at Cornell Universityhas apologized and removed an article it published seeming to make fun of student suicides — a tragedy often associated with the school and its trademark gorges.
The satirical article — titled “Administration Secretly Kind of Disappointed No One’s Used the Suicide Nets Yet” — specifically joked about mesh metal nets that were recently added under bridges around Cornell’s campus. These nets replaced controversial fences that went up following a “suicide cluster” during the 2009-2010 academic year when six students committed suicide.
The final paragraph of the article had Cornell President David Skorton expressing regret that more students have not attempted to commit suicide since the nets were installed:
Skorton then remained silent for a while, before sighing heavily and saying, “It just seemed kind of rude, you know? I mean we put a lot of work into this and it seems like the students don’t even know they’re there…”. Skorton noted he is optimistic about the upcoming exam period. “If just one student utilized this infrastructure during finals week that would be really exciting. Maybe do a flip too. That’d be cool.”
The website is clear — if bad — parody, and a disclaimer at the bottom of the site states, “CU Nooz is satire. It’s made up. Any resemblance to actual persons or events is either coincidence or parody. Shut up.” As a former Cornell student who was on campus during the “suicide cluster” my freshman year, I’m sorry, but this satire hit a little too close to home.
To the editors’ credit, the article was quickly removed from the website after people expressed their discomfort with the subject matter, and the student publication issued an apology on their Twitter account:
The previous article posted was posted by accident by a writer without consent from our editors. We deeply apologise for the controversy.
— CU Nooz (@CUNooz) December 4, 2013
Here are screenshots of the CU Nooz post that we grabbed before it went offline:
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