(Yichen Dong / Sun Staff Photographer)

October 2, 2015

Olin Bans Stone Throwing on Musical Steps

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Cornellians walking along the musical terrace on the roof of Olin Library will now see a sign: “stone throwing is prohibited.”

(Yichen Dong / Sun Staff Photographer)

(Yichen Dong / Sun Staff Photographer)

The ban on throwing rocks on Olin Library’s musical steps was instituted this academic year in response to complaints from staff members that stones frequently hit the windows of the surrounding buildings, according to Ezra Delaney, associate University librarian of administrative services.

Furthermore, Delaney said student stone-throwers shattered a 10 foot by seven foot glass window of the second floor of Olin Library on July 3 over the summer. There were no injuries reported from the incident.

Delaney added that the accumulation of stones could constitute a danger in case of fire.

“The University Fire Marshall has informed us that Olin terrace is a fire exit from the building and the accumulation of stones on the surface make walking this path dangerous,” he said.

The ban has incurred criticism from some students, as throwing stones across the musical terrace has long been a tradition among Cornellians and is included as one of the “161 Things Every Cornellian Should Do” — a list of Cornellian rites of passage produced by The Sun.

While Delaney acknowledged that throwing stones is a Cornell tradition, he said the library views safety as a more pressing concern.

“While we are aware of the tradition of throwing stones on the terrace, it has become a safety concern which needed to be addressed,” he said.

Despite the new sign, some students are still unaware of the rule and said they were sad that they would no longer be able to participate in the tradition. Others said it defeated the purpose of musical steps.

“I didn’t even know about the new rule. It is sad,” said Andrew Kim ’18. “That was one of the best things about the Olin roof.”

Others pointed out that the musical steps have little to no purpose without the possibility of stone-throwing.

“What’s this world coming to when you can’t throw stones on things that were made to throw stones on?” Michael Eaton ’18 asked. “That’s genuinely upsetting. That’s bullshit. The romance is gone.”

Henrietta Conrad ’16 added that she “didn’t even know [the steps] were musical” until now.

“Now that I know, I can’t enjoy this integral part of Cornell’s campus,” Conrad said.