After accusations of segregation, Cornell University opens “BIPOC Rock Climbing” course to all

by Peter Heck · Feb 23rd, 2021 9:57 am

Last Updated Feb 25th, 2021 at 6:21 am

A racially segregated physical education course called "BIPOC Rock Climbing" landed Cornell University in the middle of controversy until the school wiped the original description of the class from its website.

The original description explained that the class was restricted to "people who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, or other people of color."

After pushback from Campus Reform and other online watchdogs, the school edited the page to say that the class is "designed to enable Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, or other people of color underrepresented in the sport of rock climbing to learn the sport and to feel included and supported."

"All Cornell students are welcome to enroll in this course," said John Carberry, Senior Director of Media Relations and News at Cornell. "While the original description of the course represented an intentional focus on outreach and inclusion, there was never an intent to exclude non-minority students. The description of the course has been adjusted accordingly."

Though the new course details no longer segregate on the basis of race, they still outline that it is intended to offer a "high degree of individual attention" and "supportive space" for BIPOC students, and that class discussions will concentrate on "BIPOC individuals and groups in rock climbing." Only those "interested in learning rock climbing with this special focus" need apply.

The course is available for the spring semester at a cost of $1,890.


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