November 13, 2012

After Five Decades, Cornell Outing Club Holds Last Meeting in Japes Lodge

Print More

Bidding farewell to their historic home in Japes Lodge, the Cornell Outing Club’s members held their final meeting at the group’s location near Beebe Lake Tuesday.

COC meetings have been held in Japes Lodges on Tuesday nights since the club moved into the building in 1958, according to club president Brendan Brown ’15. However, this tradition will cease this week after  the University shuts down the lodge indefinitely.

In September, the COC was told by the University that it  would have to leave its home due to unsafe roofing conditions. Jim Gibbs, the University’s director of maintenance management, told The Sun that he “is concerned about the structural capacity of the roof.”

COC leaders said they were worried that they would not have a space to store the club’s gear, which is worth several thousand dollars. However, the University has offered the club “few promising leads” about short- and long-term facilities off-campus past the College of Veterinary Medicine, according to Brown.

“Until we can redevelop the Japes site, this will be our best option,” he said.

Although COC’s presence on Beebe Lake will be significantly reduced as a result of losing its home, Brown said the club hopes to “preserve recreation” on the lake. Paddling on the lake, Brown said, is the method by which the club has been able to “touch the community most widely.”

Knowing that this is likely their last time in Japes –– which the University has no plans to repair –– members began the meeting by sharing stories and laughing about their memories of the lodge.

Bhuvanesh Sundar grad said that many of the trips he went on with the club were “really relaxed [and] a lot of fun.”

However, after the approximately 30 members in attendance finished reminiscing, the club returned to business by discussing future trips. Brown said that even without Japes, the club will continue to bring students outdoors, despite the possibility that doing so will require “more diligent planning.”

“I know I’m going paddling after Japes closes. I know people will be going backpacking after Japes closes,” he said.

COC secretary Mary Kate Connelly ’15 said that while the club may lack a “core gathering space,” she is certain that the sense of community surrounding the club will persist.

The club relies mostly on email communication in order to plan often spontaneous outdoor trips, and as a result, the lack of a physical base should not hinder its ability to function, Brown said.

“Most of the stuff we do is not [in Japes],” Brown said. “It’s outside.”

The COC will hold its first meeting outside of Japes next Tuesday in Goldwin Smith Hall, where the club will show a movie, Brown said.

Original Author: Tyler Alicea