Vas Mathur / Sun Staff Photographer

S.A. clerk Peter Biedenweg discusses gorge education programs at meeting on Thursday.

April 21, 2016

Cornell Student Assembly Discusses Gorge Safety Programs, Cornell Maker Club

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The Student Assembly discussed an effort to reemphasize gorge safety in the Ithaca community and introduced the Cornell Maker Club at its Thursday meeting.

Todd Bittner, gorge safety committee chair, discussed the creation of an updated version of the gorge safety video.

“The Gorge Safety Committee is charged by the University president to promote safety and responsible use of gorges,” Bittner said. “We have a program based on four areas: education, enforcement, alternatives and infrastructure.”

The new video highlights the dangers of gorge swimming and now includes segments explaining safety precautions. The new video can be found on the Cornell Gorge Safety website.

Bittner said the education programs are working to provide more alternatives to gorge swimming so people can still safely enjoy the gorges.

S.A. Vice President for Finance Matthew Stefanko ‘16 offered suggestions on how to improve the gorge safety video, such as producing two separate videos: a longer one for the Gorge Safety Committee website and a shorter one for rapid sharing purposes.

Engineering Representative Justin Selig ’17 presented an overview of Cornell Make, an initiative designed to foster creative sharing between students.

“When we came on campus a few years ago, we noticed that there was a disconnect between students that wanted to build and access to tools that would give them the ability to do so,” Selig said. “We decided to form this organization to give students access to these tools.”

Selig discussed different areas on campus devoted to Cornell Make, such as spaces in Mann Library, Carpenter Hall and Carl Becker House, and the initiative’s sponsors, including Cornell Diversity Innovation Fund and Cornell Engineering.

“Our goal is to give students the opportunity to come together and create,” Selig said. “We are trying to empower people to make.”

Stefanko said he supports the initiative and stressed the need for more directed and efficient S.A meetings.

“This is exactly the kind of work that we should be thinking and talking about during Student Assembly meetings,” he said. “This is excellent work and I think we’re all really appreciative of it.