Perhaps Penn State University should re-brand itself the “Nittany Chinchillas” or the “Nittany Bunnies.” “Nittany Lions” seems a much too solid, confident and stout moniker for a school that recently barred its campus outing club from going… on outings. Outdoor outings, at least.
The institution of higher learning-- and greater timidity-- cited “student safety” as the reason for the ban after a risk management study determined that trips outside are too dangerous for its students/snowflakes. The university’s (department of) Student Affairs and Risk Management was behind the new policy, determining that “the hiking, canoeing, kayaking, trail building and camping activities the student-led club has long engaged in are too risky,” according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The outing club’s website said the decision “is a result of an assessment of risk management by the University that determined that the types of activities in which PSOC engages are above the University’s threshold of acceptable risk for recognized student organizations.” Apparently, the outing club’s student leaders were not consulted prior to the decision. In keeping with Penn State’s new policy of retrenchment, the school’s spelunking club and SCUBA diving club have also been permanently prohibited from engaging in the activities for which they were founded.
Less risky and controversial clubs and activities, like the school’s “Sex Week,” which includes instruction in anal sex and transgenderism, will, of course, continue unabated.
Hiking (walking outdoors) and camping out are too risky? Outing clubs will now become “ining” clubs, I guess, featuring activities such as crocheting and hiding under a bed. On second thought, crocheting requires a needle, and, unless needles are for the injection of illicit drugs, they would be considered far too risky an item for colleges to countenance.
Though I’m sure many of the outing club’s members are women, Penn State’s actions are part and parcel of the war on masculinity. To hell with exploration, courage, and intrepidness. No risk is worth anything if someone else could sue—or even disapproves.
It’s a damn good thing we don’t need a Lewis and Clark expedition today, because we can no longer produce Lewis’ or Clarks.
We once were found, but now are lost.