As the end of the year approaches, campus officials have begun a thorough review of various public safety measures in light of the University’s recent budget cuts. Representatives from the three colleges in Ithaca — Ithaca College, Tompkins County Community College and Cornell — met last night in the Africana Center for a panel discussion of the challenges facing their respective student bodies.
At about 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, a small fire broke out in the third floor kitchen of Risley Hall, keeping its residents from their rooms for about three hours. No serious damage was done, as the fire was quickly put out by Devin Conathan ’08, who received first to second degree burns on his left hand.
“I walked by the kitchen and saw a four-foot flame coming out of a pan in the stove,” Conathan said.
Upon seeing the fire, Conathan was “a little scared,” but he maintained his calm and put out the flame with a fire extinguisher.
The resident who set off the fire by leaving an oiled pan on the stove unattended apologized to the entire Risley community through an e-mail later that night.
At about 12:10 p.m., a new sound joined the regular rustling of fallen leaves, perpetual prattle of pedestrians and typical traffic noise. The wailing of C.U.’s emergency sirens pounded the eardrums of people on virtually all locations of Cornell campus — no matter how seemingly isolated or remote. In the future the sounding of the sirens could indicate an emergency, but yesterday was a test.
The University tested its emergency system in order to gauge its effectiveness and efficiency. Richard McDaniel, vice president of risk management and public safety, said the emergency system consists of three ways to alert students, faculty and staff to the presence of an emergency on campus: sirens, voice messages and text messages.
The news of Olin Library’s renovation, which is set to begin in 2009, includes plans to update the building’s fire safety system and has stirred discussion on campus, raising questions as to how safe University buildings actually are.
That Olin Library does not meet fire codes brings into question fire safety systems in other buildings on campus.
Carl A. Kroch University Librarian Anne R. Kenney did not explicitly say whether or not Uris Library, built in 1891, meets fire codes. The building has never been completely renovated despite “numerous renovations [and] improvements to portions of the building,” according to Kenney.
The recent arrests of three local men associated with a cocaine-trafficking ring will make a “significant dent” on the drug trade in Tompkins County, District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson told The Ithaca Journal last Tuesday. Curtis Echols of Rochester, said to be the ring’s leader, along with his sons, Curtis McCool and Darrell L. Bailey, have been charged on about 30 counts of drug trafficking.
According to The Journal, Echols allegedly distributed cocaine to both Bailey and McCool, in addition to Kelly Keefe, an Ithaca resident who was arrested on charges of alleged ties to a cocaine ring two weeks ago.
Ryan Lavin ’09, president of the Student Assembly, was at the scene two years ago when a group of students helped pull the body of a drowned teenager out of one of the gorges. Now, Lavin, along with other student leaders, Cornell administrators and Ithaca city officials, participated in a meeting on Friday to discuss new tactics for enforcing gorge safety issues in light of recent deaths and injuries.
A squad car rolls up to the sprawling mansion of a fraternity. The beer pong table needs a challenger, and the officers are more than happy to oblige, taking off their hats and rolling up their sleeves before letting the ping-pong ball fly.
Some, especially Cornell students who have found themselves involved with the Cornell University Police Department, wish the above scenario might occur — members of law enforcement in Ithaca remembering what it’s like to be college students.
Riding along with CUPD from roughly 10 p.m. until 1 a.m. on Friday showed much can also be learned from sitting inside the squad car. Reversing roles between the CUPD and Cornell students can enlighten both sides of the story.