Since long before the time of Henry David Thoreau, people have had the desire to venture away from their usual surroundings. In the modern age, this has become more important, as modern people seek to temporarily rid themselves from the distractions of 21st century living.
The student “Outing Club,” which has gone backpacking, kayaking, and hiking in state parks over the course of its 98-year-existence, will no longer be allowed to host outdoor events after administrators conducted a risk assessment….
A key issue for administrators was that the Outing Club frequently visit locations with poor cell phone coverage. This wasn’t an issue during the Coolidge administration, but now that cell phones exist, students are apparently expected to remain glued to them at all times.
I’ll grant that Reason has a political axe to grind, so I consulted other sources, including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – and didn’t feel much better.
Ms. Powers said the university conducted reviews of all campus recreation-supported student groups — 76 sport and three outdoor recreation organizations — to evaluate student safety risks and produce assessment reports. She declined to provide a copy of the assessment report for the Outing Club, saying it is not a public document.
The other two outdoor recreation organizations, the Nittany Grotto Caving Club and the Nittany Divers SCUBA Club, were also judged too risky and directed to end trip offerings. Club sports that passed the risk review include the Archery Club, Boxing Club, Alpine Ski Racing Club and Rifle Club.
While I’m sure that Reason magazine was inwardly pleased that the Rifle Club wasn’t considered dangerous, you have to wonder about these designations – especially since (for the most part) it is presumed that adults are engaging in hiking, scuba, and caving.
But one thing is certain, according to the current president of the Outing Club:
The Outing Club has been through many changes in its 98-year history….