Sunday, August 19, 2012

Cornell University: Pull Down The Fences

Ithaca is no longer gorges.

Ithaca, New York: Bridges with Fences and their negative affects upon the local academic and city wide communities.

Central issue: The Social Contract.


Set very deep in the campus grounds of Cornell University are the some of the most beautiful gorges in the United States. Their natural assets to spark and produce active positive energies in community activism have given both the academic and city - wide communities a sense of Ithaca’s uniqueness when compared with other communities of similar population base, cultural mixtures, and employment base. Up to the summer of 2008 the expression “ Ithaca is Gorges “ symbolized an area self-acknowledge community pride, and aided in local environmental development.

The economic foundations of the United States were damaged as the growing financial melt down eroded the massive capital foundations which were the support underpinnings of the Wealth of the United States. With each financial failure of major capital base national companies, the national massive financial losses and their central anxiety sent negative shock waves into the very heart of the capital stability of both the academic and city community of Ithaca, New York. This set in motion the second largest set of major budgetary cuts through out the academic core of Cornell University. The first came about as a result of the national spiral of inflation when OPEC increased the price of their crude oil exports at 500 % plus within a time span of less than thirty days; the affects of which still were being felt during 2008 and before. This was the immediate consequences of the 2008 financial melt down. The more disastrous came as result of the second negative financial ripple.

The financial picture of parental cash flow supports, and massive losses in the students independent financial foundation specially developed to pay for their education suffered even harsher financial losses when compared to academia such as Cornell University. Large blocks of students suddenly found that as fast as three days there was no monies. There was an immediate rush to Cornell’s Financial Aid who did their best.. Then it came.

Suicides by jumping off bridges exploded upon the campus scene, and the entire academic and city wide community were completely caught off guard. Still shock ensued and the immediate focus was the physical bridges while the national media looked on with a flurry of reports. Cornell administration placed campus police to patrol the bridges, which was later followed by active student volunteers. Examination of the legal liabilities were placed in motion and the immediate remedy was to place fences of each gorge related bridge.

The Social Contract.

Between 1962 to 1974 each American academic community witnessed the magnificent golden era of research and creative thought. Interactions between the students themselves, academia with the local community, and the magnitude of campus activism created the critical core of cultural warriors needed to struggle for national social, political, and social change. Money flowed and the expectation of each academic administrations looked into their future pictures of development with a degree of awe never since experience for what they saw is America becoming Camelot.

It was during this era in which non drug related suicides went down, and reflected an independent student self-inspired and managed social contract. The strength of which proved its power within the social and cultural core of students / scholars was challenged by the negative affects of OPEC’s increases of the price of the crude reserves. Suicides maintained their tradgic levels, no less or no greater.

The emotional connections within the students / scholars were further facilitated by the admissions innovation of admitting non-traditional students’ this also helped in attracting additional monies. The appearance of non-traditional students was largely contributed by veterans of the Vietnam War and their successes in managing their GI bill of rights The social contract between the students / scholars were further strengthen by the appearance of International Students / Scholars whose presences within academia now represents two - thirds of the Graduated Student Core nation wide. The energy and presences of an increasing diverse students / scholars base created a greater awareness of ones own personal future, and the stepping stones of success by fully comprehending how to managed their studies, available resources and their personal rights. All of which focused in how to authored their resumes.

The impact of greater and self-energized students / scholars triggered the development of increasingly enfranchised student controlled assemblies and the student governments they created. This was necessary as the enlargement of the greater diverse students / scholars base out-stripped the ability of Campus Student Affairs. Moreover, campus administrations who had the smarter lawyers saw the asemblies having the additional legal aspect of being virtually judgement proof’ though token insurances were obtained by the leadership of the students / scholars governments. Those academic institutions who were not self-assured — IE. Cornell University — saw such independent student governments as being costs effective, and the condition of timely students / scholars wide vote of approval of mandated student funds were immediately contracted between the students / scholars and the campus administration inolved. This established the political foundation of the Social Contract.

1976 to 1987 saw massive cuts in faculty, staff, and administration personel beginning in the academic year of 1976 - 1987 saw the first ripple affect of the national inflationary rates; the OPEC index became part of administrations financial anxiety. During this time, an aggressive policy with various student services — administration based — issued their own set of additional fees. Not at all once but in about five stages eroded The Social Contract as administration’s fee base grew greater than mandated student activities fees. Leadership within the students / scholars core were confronted with competition with administrations students services individuals As the approach of the academic year of1986 - 1987 several academic institutions lost real contact with their students / scholars base as they became more and more dependent on the advise of management of administrations student services. In most instances American Academia abandoned its Under Graduate Pedagogy. In additional aspects there are academic institutions in which their own Pedagogy has been delayed and not stated at all. Cornell University present unawareness of the loss the Social Contract since 1987 was itself self - facilitated by not focusing upon non - traditional student base as valued clients. The connective emotional, social, and cultural strings which made up the positive networking between each students / scholars were solely vested in becoming responsible for their own lives in order to form more adult relationships and society; this was likewise vested in the students / scholars elected leadership and who having full franchise understood the adult character which their leadership represented.

The single campus wide aspect of the consequences of the 2008 financial melt down was in the speed in which it took hold upon the students / scholars. The OPEC Index took between 1976 to 1987 to take it full affect. Moreover, the inter-personal relationships between the traditional and non - traditional students / scholars base during the 70s were extremely powerful in promoting campus wide self-crises management. The aspect was loss at Cornell University, and further created a dependent students / scholars base instead of franchised students / scholars base. Those who do make up the non - traditional students / scholars base are International Graduate Students / Scholars who are largely culturally distant within their academic programs.

The loss the Social Contract is the single most negative aspect which damaged the socal emotional connective element within the students / scholars base in which once there existed greater positive daily social campus interactions improved the mental health of each of its members. The presence of non -traditional students / scholars provides proxy family structure to emerge within the campus social dynamic. At Cornell this was slowly being lost since 1987.

The cause and affect of the Suicides following the 2008 is based upon the already weaken condition of The Social Contract - one of the affects of the OPEC Index. Moreover, it was after 1987 in which Cornell University abandoned its pedagogic mission to its under-graduate student core. This came about as a result of the desperate need for additional funding and this led to placing greater priorities of developing campus wide department research programs facilitate by Cornell University dependency on a dedicated International Graduate Students / Scholars, and management of administrations students services.

This paper is an introduction to additional supportive research papers which deals with the critical issue.

Pull Down the Fences and Invest in establishing The Social Contract. Two additional notes

of extreme caution.

One. Peoples will still jump off the bridges when the fences are pulled down.

Two: The redeveloping The Social Contract will take at lease four years, and must also be developed along side in a program of academic excellence to inspire additional funding by private sources into campus wide undergraduate programs.

Roger M. Christian email

No comments: