September 22, 2008

Safety Video Informs Incoming Class of Risks

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“Don’t leave that popcorn unattended!”
The two students featured in the recently-produced Cornell safety video, warns incoming freshmen of the Class of 2012 to watch their kernels in the microwave.
According to the University, this warning is just one of the many issues covered by a new video, the brainchild of Allen Bova, director of Cornell Risk Management and Insurance. Bova created the video because he wondered if Cornell students actually read the student handbook.
In an effort to make the most relevant and important safety issues on campus more accessible to incoming students, Bova created the video with the help of Micah Cormier, a producer in Cornell’s Computing and Communications Center.
The safety video covers topics from gorge-jumping to leaving microwavable popcorn unattended.
Cornell Police Sergeant A.J. Tostanoski III noted that burnt popcorn is no small issue, as it is one of the top causes of false fire alarms on campus.
The video preserves a light-hearted mood for the serious nature of the topics it covers. In addition to general safety tips and concerns, the video also addresses underage drinking, perhaps the most commonly abused rule on campus.
The students in the video inform freshmen about the Medical Amnesty Protocol, which is available for all students in cases of alcohol-related emergencies. They also explain Blue Light phones to students and various ways Cornell will use to contact students, from text messaging, signs and P.A. systems.
When asked about his opinion on the Cornell Safety video produced by Bova and Cormier, CUPD Lieutenant David Honan, said, “Given the amount of information that they needed to cover, it was very accurate.”
He made it clear that he believed that for its length and the numerous topics that needed to be addressed, the video is adequate.
Not everyone shares Honan’s approval of the 18-minute short, however.
Kasey Astakova ’12 said she felt that the film was “boring.”
Cooper Findley ’12 said, “It said some things that were kind of obvious. If we have gotten into Cornell, we should have known these things already.”
Nevertheless, as Bova stated, the University is in a better position legally if it mentions all the possible safety concerns to students.
Some students, such as Sheri Jiang ’12, said they enjoyed the video. “It was a good idea,” she said.
An overwhelming majority of freshmen seemed to prefer watching a safety video over reading a cumbersome text. Others were either apathetic or oblivious to the existence of the safety video.
Students and campus officials agree that the video could have been more substantial.
Honan said, “They could go into more depth on every topic.”
“I wish they had shown more. It felt a little short,” Jiang said.