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Cornell Erases Racially-Segregated Rock Climbing Class From Website
Barnes Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA.
Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Cornell University changed the description for a racially-segregated rock climbing course after a student journalist confronted the university. 

According to a website archive, Cornell offered a course to students for the spring 2021 semester titled “BIPOC Rock Climbing.” The class was restricted to “people who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, or other people of color.” After a contributor for Campus Reform brought the course to the university’s attention, the school changed the course description. 

The new description claims that the course was “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.” 

Cornell spokesman John Carberry told Campus Reform the “BIPOC Rock Climbing” course is available to every racial group. 

“All Cornell students are welcome to enroll in this course,” Carberry said. “While the original description of the course represented an intentional focus on outreach and inclusion, there was never any intent to exclude non-minority students. The description of the course has been adjusted accordingly.”

The course costs $1,890 per person. A regular one-credit course at the university costs $1,575 in addition to a mandatory $315 “course fee” for equipment. 

Following the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, racially segregated events on college campuses have increased exponentially. Many of the events claim to be “safe spaces” for people of color to avoid hearing white voices that may offend them. 

A 2019 report from the National Association of Scholars uncovered a slew of cases where universities segregated residence halls, commencement ceremonies, cultural centers, alumni groups, and classes based on race. 

At Elon University, students were asked to join a “white caucus” meeting for white students to “unpack race and systemic oppression.” At the University of Florida, Ph.D. students in the anthropology department hosted a segregated virtual town hall that barred white people from attending. The University of Kentucky segregated its resident assistants into training groups based on race as well. 

Opponents of segregation believe that schools that host racially segregated events may be violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination at taxpayer-funded institutions. 

“No person in the United States shall, on the ground of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance,” Title VI of the Civil Rights Act reads. 

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and former Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) penned a letter to the Department of Justice calling for an investigation into racially segregated events taking place on college campuses.

The Biden Department of Justice has opted to scrap investigations into racial segregation on college campuses. Earlier this month, the Biden Justice Department announced it was scrapping an investigation into Yale University for alleged racial discrimination. 

RELATED: Biden Justice Department Scraps Investigation Into Yale’s Discriminatory Admissions Process

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