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Penn State's 98-Year-Old Outing Club Is No Longer Allowed to Go Outside

"Student safety in any activity is our primary focus."

OutdoorsAndor Bujdoso / DreamstimeWhat's more dangerous: rugby, or a walk in the woods? At Pennsylvania State University, the administrators apparently think it's the latter.

The student "Outing Club," which has gone backpacking, kayaking, and hiking in state parks over the course of its 98-year-existence, will no longer be allowed to host outdoor events after administrators conducted a risk assessment, according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"The types of activities in which [Penn State Outing Club] engages are above the university's threshold of acceptable risk for recognized student organizations," according to an official announcement.

A key issue for administrators was that the Outing Club frequently visit locations with poor cell phone coverage. This wasn't an issue during the Coolidge administration, but now that cell phones exist, students are apparently expected to remain glued to them at all times.

"Student safety in any activity is our primary focus," Lisa Powers, a Penn State spokeswoman, told The Post-Gazette.

And yet the treasurer of the Outing Club said that he hadn't heard of any injuries sustained on club outings in recent years.

Leslie Demmert, the angry alum who alerted me to this travesty, said in an email:

Students can still play field hockey, rugby, and football at Penn State...but they can no longer enjoy a cave or go scuba diving or even make an outdoor adventure under the guidance of trained student leaders at Penn State. Why? It's too dangerous to be out of cell phone range. I'm an alumna ('71, Liberal Arts) and I'm furious that Penn State administration allows indoor activities but has hobbled healthy, outdoor leadership and controlled risk-taking opportunities.

Where are people supposed to learn to try new things if not in college? How will they learn new adventures and outdoor recreation if they aren't supported?

Penn State wants to be more than a football school. How about they reconsider this shortsighted decision on organizations that have proven themselves to be safe and inexpensive, financially and emotionally, for over half a century?

The Post-Gazette's Don Hopey reports that the administration is hoping to reform the Outing Club into some kind of movie-watching club:

Ms. Powers said meetings between the Outing Club's student leaders and the university are "ongoing" about the club's future role on campus.

Those talks are focused on the possibility of "forming a different kind of club," [current club president Richard] Waltz said, one that still holds film festivals and hosts speakers, but can no longer lead students on walks in the woods.

Maybe they can take virtual reality walks in a padded room—provided there's cell service.

Photo Credit: Andor Bujdoso / Dreamstime

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  • SQRLSY One||

    Nanny State loves us all!!! More than you can ever know!!!!

  • SQRLSY One||

    Scienfoology Song… GAWD = Government Almighty's Wrath Delivers

    Government loves me, This I know,
    For the Government tells me so,
    Little ones to GAWD belong,
    We are weak, but GAWD is strong!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    My Nannies tell me so!

    GAWD does love me, yes indeed,
    Keeps me safe, and gives me feed,
    Shelters me from bad drugs and weed,
    And gives me all that I might need!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    My Nannies tell me so!

    DEA, CIA, KGB,
    Our protectors, they will be,
    FBI, TSA, and FDA,
    With us, astride us, in every way!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    Yes, Guv-Mint loves me!
    My Nannies tell me so!

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    Apparently they love is more than ourselves.

  • Yaspar Kyashred||

    Us? Reasoners don't miss-spell two-letter words.

  • tomhynes75||

    Placeholder for funny Jerry Sandusky joke. Haven't thought of it yet, but wanted credit for first! anyway.

  • tomhynes75||

    Is there cell phone coverage in the men's locker room shower? Asking for my friend Jerry.

  • Yaspar Kyashred||

    Have they calculated the risk of sitting around fiddling with their cell phones? I believe a sedentary lifestyle is a major cardiac risk factor.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    Penn State Colleges of Engineering and Medicine will soon patent a skin holster for cell phones so students can even be ready for Jerry Sandusky events in the shower. In all the appropriate skin colors, of course.

  • tomhynes75||

    The types of activities in which Jerry Sandusky engages are above the university's threshold of acceptable risk for nekkid young boys. FTFY

  • Jerryskids||

    "Student safety in any activity is our primary focus" pretty well sums up how stupid this is. You're going to stop these kids from going outside and getting some exercise because sitting around on their fat asses is so much safer for them? There's trade-offs to be made, you have to balance the fun and the risk, but you count the fun in a fun activity a little more. That's the whole reason it's called a fun activity, the fun is the point and therefore is the primary focus of the activity, you stupid cow.

  • Rich||

    Yep. "Safety is our primary focus." "Safety is our main concern." "Safety is paramount."

    Such claims are simply incorrect, unless followed by something like "as exhibited by our request that you not attend our University, where you have a non-trivial chance of being injured."

  • Paloma||

    Hell, one in five to be raped!

  • Chili Dogg||

    More like eight in five!

  • StHarry||

    Don't ya mean 5 to 8?

  • Oldcnut||

    6 to 9?

  • Ariki||

    Nah, some of us rapists are more efficient than others.
    We use cell phones to swap.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Well, at least they're dropping the pretense that their primary focus is education.

  • Rich||

    "Dropping the pretense that our primary focus is education is our primary focus."

  • RabbitHead||

    If you sit on your ass does it even count as activity?

  • Mickey Rat||

    "You're going to stop these kids from going outside and getting some exercise because sitting around on their fat asses is so much safer for them?"

    It is safer for the University. They cannot be sued for the students sitting at home doing stuff not sponsored by the school..

  • croaker||

    Perhaps they should switch to a different kind of "outing" and start with the members of that risk assessment boondoggler.

  • musgrove||

    These students have gotten exactly what they've asked for. They want to be treated like children, so they allow anyone, administrators in this case, to be their parents, and make all their decisions for them and protect them from the world. Then act like resentful teenagers when reality hits.

  • UnrepentantCurmudgeon||

    And you know this about the students in the Outdoor Club how, exactly?

  • JesseAz||

    He stalks the students in the woods waiting for their cell phones to lose service, that's how.

  • SIV||

    I assume he is speaking of "these students" collectively. As in the loudest, whiniest, most out-spoken minority of the student body at Pederast State and national current-consumers of higher education services, and not the PSU outdoor club specifically.

  • gormadoc||

    So, not these students.

  • Chasman1965||

    I presume he's talking about college students in general, not the Outdoor Club in particular.

  • Flinch||

    It really does show how horribly weak a high school diploma has become since public education has warped into a pension program for teachers unions. Community standards have been bulldozed. People forget there didn't used to be such a thing as high school - they were created to elevate knowledge needs pressed by the industrial revolution. In short, schools responded to community needs, not white papers shuffled around by leftist hacks or professors pointlessly publishing for the purpose of attaining tenure at some university. We need an overhaul: students should have near full command of the english language after 8th grade, with points beyond dedicated to reading, writing, and the added vocabulary to think about college. Geometry should not be optional, etc. And... it should probably be shortened by one year, leaving room open for trade schools or just getting the bored [like myself] off to college sooner.

  • Jickerson||

    It really does show how horribly weak a high school diploma has become since public education has warped into a pension program for teachers unions.

    Well, it always was weak; it has just gotten a bit worse.

  • An Owl Named Dur||

    This is absurd. You could wrap them in several layers of bubble wrap, with bicycle helmets and knee pads and, with adult supervision, they could go outside for a few minutes.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    People wrapped on bubble wrap outside are 8000% more likely to be sex trafficked than people inside. It is known.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    People wrapped on bubble wrap outside are 8000% more likely to be sex trafficked than people inside. It is known.

  • flyfishnevada||

    You said it, twice, on the internet so it must be true.

  • Rich||

    the possibility of "forming a different kind of club," ... one that still holds film festivals and hosts speakers

    "Please silence your cell phone during the presentation, if you feel that is safe."

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    It is safe than trying to watch a movie around me with your fucking ringer on.

  • CE||

    But only pre-screened speakers from an approved list, who pre-screen their speeches with the university administrators to be sure there is no risk of triggering anyone.

  • Ken Shultz||

    I often go on motorcycle trips way out in the middle of nowhere--with no cell service. I'm old enough to remember when the whole world had no cell service.

    If you're really worried about it, there's this thing called a satellite phone.

    You can lease them.

    http://www.globalcomsatphone.c.....idium.html

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Flare gun. Works just as well, more badass.

  • Longtobefree||

    Single shot zombie weapon. Light 'em up!

  • Flinch||

    Sure... but when the bill comes in at $10/minute, run and hide.

  • ZZZMike||

    Alumni take note.

  • An Owl Named Dur||

    On the other hand, concussions, CTE, torn ACL's and MCL's are OK 'cause $$$$$

    Plus the occasional cock up a pre-teen ass.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    Occasional? It sounded more like frequent. Maybe Penn is supporting old Jerry.

  • Echospinner||

    This is ridiculous. Rock climbing club was one of the few I belonged to in college. No doubt climbing and repelling down cliffs is right out these days.

    I am very happy that I am an old fogey now. Would not want to be a young person today. They have taken all of the fun out of it.

    If it is cell phones they are worried about buy or rent a satellite phone or two when they go camping. Problem solved. Probably good idea anyway.

  • Flinch||

    This sort of "problem" was handled reasonably well before cell phones: you shared your camping destination (or planned climbing routes) with someone else before you took off. If you were into something gnarly, you probably brought a radio and had a group of the less radical enjoying a bbq at a base camp nearby.

  • MollyGodiva||

    As a current member of the PSU community, I believe that this is really a move for Penn State to push students towards their own Adventure Recreation office, which charges students money for trips that the clubs organized for free. The Penn State Scuba club had such a sizable amount in their account that students had to pay almost nothing for the the trips, which Penn State did not get a cut of. Now that club as been cut off from their own funds.

  • Txcon||

    If you read the original article at the link it notes that the university still offers outdoor trips through its programs and doubled the price of those trips shortly before this decision was announced. So it sounds like you're right.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    That explains a lot. Good catch @Molly G.

  • Longtobefree||

    As a wise man once said "follow the money"

  • Slocum||

    Yep. Sounds to me like this isn't a nanny-state story at all, really. It's a story about using safety as a pretext for eliminating lower-cost competition.

  • cpreston||

    I registered just to thank you for tracking down the actual story behind this post. I like perusing Reason articles every once in awhile, but there are too many articles like this that go for sensationalism rather than reporting on the real story. Frankly, the real story is even more interesting than the story Reason went with.

  • An Owl Named Dur||

    What's the balance in the PSU Ass Bandit Club account?

  • Gospace||

    I guess none of the administrators have children in Boy Scouts who perform all these dangerous activities at even younger ages....

  • Gospace||

    And I forgot to mention- Have they performed similar risk assessments on their AROTC, NROTC, and AFROTC units? Well, maybe not AF......

  • An Owl Named Dur||

    If the club could make a few million "outing" against Michigan and Ohio State every year, they'd have no fucks to give.

  • Shirley Knott||

    They used them all up in the locker room.

  • Jimbo||

    As my mother said (and not joking) when she heard my son had decided on AFROTC: "If he wanted to be in the military, why did he choose the Air Force?"

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    *chair force

  • Jimbo||

    My brother was Marine ROTC, so the bar was a little higher for her.

  • Cy||

    "Do you like golf?"

    -Retired Air Force friend when I asked about whether or not I should join the Air Force

  • Vernon Depner||

    I guess none of the administrators have children in Boy Scouts...

    I would guess the Boy Scouts stay well clear of anyone associated with PSU.

  • Chasman1965||

    Probably not.

  • Echospinner||

    It is potential liability that the university is worried about. Which is a wussy stance but that is what you get these days.

    If so then the students may be screwed here. The university can't stop them from going on hikes on their own however.

  • Iheartskeet||

    Yep. If I was the club leader, i'd give the admin the finger and just dissolve the club rather than have it descend to movie-watching. Then just start a Facebook club page or whatever. Screw 'em. What a shame.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Official clubs are heavily subsidized. Big difference making the participants pay.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Citation?

  • Echospinner||

    Common knowledge at least when I was in school. A portion of tuition goes to student led activities. You could apply to the student union for funds if you were a registered group.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    When I was in school, there was a "sudent union fee" that was tacked on to my bill. Either way, I wouldn't call those activities "subsidized" per se, as they are paid for by the students.

  • Dace Highlander||

    So you were aware of that Student Groups are subsidized thru the SGA. Wow, just trying for the trolling.

  • Dace Highlander||

    So you've never heard of funding of Student Activities thru the SGA? Or are you just trying to be aggressively uninformed?

  • Echospinner||

    Student Government or Student Union it was called where I was. Same thing I think.

    There was a fee tacked on when I was there. I do not know if the total funding came from other sources as well.

    Not sure what you mean by trolling.

    In any case Molly G who is there explained what is going on at U Penn.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    I don't know if Highlander is challenging you or me.

    If the funds for these various clubs and activities come from a SGA or SU fee, which is paid for by the students, then those clubs are not being "subsidized". They are being financed directly by the student body, no different than paying a fee to have access to a fitness club in your hometown.

    I don't know the funding system at U of P but when above,
    Marcus Aurelius said the clubs are "heavily" subsidized. I responded with "citation?".
    Still waiting for a citation.

    I don't know why the others got involved since they didn't answer the question.

  • gormadoc||

    It's not technically subsidization but it's pretty close. Most students don't participate or use all of the services and clubs available even though they pay for it. I certainly wouldn't pay for the several newspapers available to us if I could help it.

    It's similar to how lactose intolerant people still get to help pay for dairy subsidies.

  • Trollificus||

    Similar to how I'm not much for invading or bombing other countries, but I still get to help pay for long-range missles. Though if, to appease my discontent, I were given a turn at the "target and launch" board...

  • Echospinner||

    Yes that is it. Maybe they could write a letter to REI and ask for a grant. That company gives away a lot of money. Or get a crowdfunding started. I would sent them something just to screw the admin.

  • Echospinner||

    The other shame is that clubs like this a great social activities. You can meet members of the opposite sex when you are not drunk, ok that might happen later but still.

  • Iheartskeet||

    True, but camping and hiking are fairly cheap. Its not like its football or lacrosse. My son goes to a small technical college, and is on the surf team/club. Even though the school subsidizes attendance at competitions, the members still pay 90% of what it costs to go surfing...wetsuits, boards, etc etc.

    I'd bet most of the people in the outing group likewise have their own gear.

  • Echospinner||

    Most do and should.

    Thing is the group will die out over time if it is not an ongoing recognized student activity. This has been part of the university for more than 90 years. It looks like admin wants to kill the student led clubs. I have a problem with that.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    Yeah, without the university, kids will stop surfing. Do you know there are some Universities that don't even have an juggling club?
    I believe the children are our future. Do we really want that kind of future?

  • Iheartskeet||

    Well, it might...or it might not. I agree its a shame, and it looks at best inconsistent relative to the risky behavior the school tolerates elsewhere, and at worst has the whiff of the SJW impulse to stop people from having fun they don't approve of. Wanna bet the "movie nights" they propose will be a series of woke LGBTQ indie flicks ? I doubt we even need to ask.

    Just saying, if I was a leader of the club, I'd rather euthanize it than see it become part of the SJW borg.

  • FreddyB||

    "Students can still play field hockey, rugby, and football at Penn State...but they can no longer enjoy a cave or go scuba diving or even make an outdoor adventure under the guidance of trained student leaders at Penn State. Why?"

    Because football is a profit center for the school and spelunking is not.

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Sandusky managed to combine the two...

  • FreddyB||

    Ouch. I guess for student safety they should ban the "Insiding Club," too.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    Wait, PSU's showers have stalactites too? I thought that was just because I hadn't cleaned mine in a while.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "Students can still play field hockey, rugby, and football at Penn State...but they can no longer enjoy a cave or go scuba diving or even make an outdoor adventure under the guidance of trained student leaders at Penn State. Why?"

    You are conflating several different categories of Sport, Hobby, Club, Activity, etc.

    A better question is: Why does the University get involved in any of it? You've already got a community of thousands of young people living in close proximity. The organizing of similar minded people to do various activities will happen without Big Brother.

  • Dace Highlander||

    You must be intentionally ignoring the comparative risks associated with each of the indoor "safe" activities such as torn knee ligaments (field hockey), contusions, abrasions and various head injuries (rugby) and let us not forget concussions and repetitive concussive injuries which is the new football mantra. Did that go by too quickly for you?

  • Tom Bombadil||

    You miss my point.

    The football team is funded and sanctioned differently than the ultimate frisbee club.. It is an entirely different "category". That is what I meant by "conflating".

    Lighten up.

  • Robert||

    The NCAA was formed basically to ratchet down college football until it no longer was played. But the students could still play in clubs off campus, & when the colleges realized there could be $ in football, the orient'n of the NCAA reversed.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    They should recast spelunking as a women's sport, which just happens to have a lot of male-presenting lesbian trans women (MPLTW), and claim Title IX violations. And anyone who questions that identity is a homophobic cisbigot.

  • Paloma||

    Meaning that the students who are football players make them money.

  • Cloudbuster||

    I don't have cell phone service at my house. Oh, God! Somebody save me!

  • Devastator||

    You are practically a cave-man. You probably only have 6Mbps download/1Mbps upload. Luddite. Philistine.

  • SIV||

    My line of work sometimes/often involves working in rugged, remote areas far more dangerous than PA State Parks. We occasionally get SAT-phones or at least sign paperwork acknowledging we know how to use the SPOT devices I've never been provided.

    If emergency communications is the real issue SPOT offers a reliable and liability-limiting solution. Perhaps the administration perceives outdoor sports as a gateway to self reliance, personal responsibility and other right wing virtues.

  • Chasman1965||

    If I were a student in that club, I would lobby to get several SPOT (or the Garmin equivalent which has two way messaging) devices. That way they would have a way to contact EMS even in the middle of a wilderness without cell service. It's probably not a bad idea anyway.

  • SIV||

    How 'bout some alt-text:

    STEVE SMITH SAY WOOD WOOD WOOD

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "Student safety in any activity is our primary focus,"

    Correct University position:

    "The Outing Club registers at the Admin Building. When they come to the Admin Building, we make sure it is a safe environment.
    Once they leave, we don't give a flying fuck as long as the activity is legal. These are adults for Chrissakes. Also, I thought the Outing Club was a place for gays to come out of the closet."

  • Vernon Depner||

    When are they going to start prosecuting women who give birth for child endangerment, for expelling their helpless infants from the safety of the womb into a dangerous world?

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I think that is covered by original sin; and the sex that produced that child was no doubt rapey.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I think that is covered by original sin; and the sex that produced that child was no doubt rapey.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    2/2 squirrels agree, and echo that sentiment

  • No Longer Amused||

    Since when do students (legal adults) need permission to go on an outing?

  • Vernon Depner||

    They need to be a recognized student organization to use university amenities and get university funding.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    Who pays for the university amenities and university funding of student orgs?

  • LynchPin1477||

    A combination of the federal and state governments (which is to say, taxpayers), philanthropies and individual donors, parents and extended family, and in some rare cases, students themselves.

  • Chasman1965||

    Part of tuition in a lot of schools. There's a "student activity" fee that most university students have to pay.

  • CE||

    Student fees. (mandatory)

  • John C. Randolph||

    Ok, who's making book on how long it takes for these idiots to realize that they've fucked up and made a PR disaster for themselves?

    I think they'll reverse this within a week.

    -jcr

  • Eidde||

    Maybe they'll say it was a misunderstanding, and/or blown out of proportion by right-wingers on the Internet.

  • Eidde||

    After all, what about all those goober colleges with loyalty oaths and...

    ...sorry, channeling the rev there for a moment.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    1. SJWs never admit to being wrong.

    2. SJWs always double down.

  • Longtobefree||

    Some of the fun things I did in college without a permission slip or even a raised eyebrow from the administration.
    Cave club (yes, underground, slippery mud, cold temperatures, 200 ft rappels and all that)
    Scuba club (yes, underwater where you need machines to breathe)
    Rifle & Pistol club (we kept weapons on campus, open carried and all that 2A stuff; zero school shootings Va Tech '70)
    And, oh by the way, we also played a form of red rover with the state police during the anti-war protests. Not a safe space in sight.
    The only 'dangerous' (in today's terms) club I did not join was the sports car club, because I couldn't afford any car.
    And yet, here I am, sucking up social security and medicare benefits from all the safe space sissies.

  • Robert||

    They must've been reading David Paulides & his collected cases of disappearances in parks & forests.

  • Vernon Depner||

    I'm listening to him right now on Coast to Coast.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    When you are out in the back country you have to assume responsibility for your own safety, protection and defense. I'm inclined to think that is the real issue with the University, that doing such things could lead to an awful lot of wrong-think.

  • Eidde||

    It's possible that Penn State was genuinely worried about liability issues...eg, a student dies on a hiking expedition, the student's mom finds out the expedition was subsidized by the University and files suit.

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    "Yes ma'am this is the coroner's office. I've got some good news and bad news. The bad news is that your kid died during a Penn State hiking expedition. The good news is that you are going to be rich."

  • Rich||

    Obviously the solution is unreadable TOS for admission which absolves the University.

  • silver.||

    My school's outdoors club had a crisis when a girl fell off a cliff and died while they were on a big hiking trip in the Rockies one summer. Even the girl's parents didn't want the program shut down. The administration slapped on a bunch of new regulations, of course.

    I utilized the gear rental a lot. $20 for a kayak, paddle, and safety gear for a weekend. It's pretty much the only thing I miss about that damn school, so I'm not surprised that the administration was so eager to ruin it. Moronic assholes.

  • Trollificus||

    Well, we've increased funding for secondary education. Not coincidentally, tuition has rocketed upwards. The influx of money has been used on new buildings (ugly, self-indulgent architecture) and especially: MORE ADMINISTRATORS!!

    All the new departments, like the myriad non-profits that have solved homelessness, poverty, drug abuse, child hunger, and other social problems, are staffed with upper-class, white, white-collar poli-sci and public admin majors, all reliably liberal if not ferociously committed to The Revolution.

    And when you hire more administrators, you gonna get more administration! Nowhere is it mentioned what the death rate from Outdoor Club activities has been over its 90+ year history, I'm guessing it's gone from 0% in the Roaring 20s to 0% today, the new factor being NOW somebody is getting paid to determine the safety of such activities. Welcome to current year!

  • Emotional Opposition Animal||

    Students can still play field hockey, rugby, and football at Penn State...but they can no longer enjoy a cave or go scuba diving or even make an outdoor adventure under the guidance of trained student leaders at Penn State.

    When they play those sports, they're under the supervision of Penn State professional coaching staffs, which are known for putting kids' safety first.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Reminds me of that silly Chevy Chase movie where the guy "introduces" himself to Fletch as "Ben Dover,"
    "

  • LynchPin1477||

    As a proud alum I can confirm that the girls really did look like the ones in the picture.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    No shit? I'm therefore inclined to think you were a 5th year senior and stuck around for a few years of graduate study?

  • Devastator||

    You should try Arizona State. Those hot days bring out the best in the coeds...

  • ||

    Wait... Penn State actually allows their students to have cell phones?

    Aren't those dangerous? Don't they put their holders at risk at being cyberbullied? Or sex trafficked? Or doordashed?

  • GiantPanda||

    Cell phones are not allowed during chess matches. Have they also closed the Chess Club?

  • Oldcnut||

    Just when you think that PC millennial snowflake stupidity can't get any worse, along comes a university outdoor club that can't go outdoors because it is not safe. Satire is dead. I despair of the Republic.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I've often said that when you are in back country [or anywhere cell phones do not work] you are responsible for your own safety and protection. I suspect that is the real issue here, Penn State [or insert authoritarian organization of your choice] cannot tolerate their children being out of reach and not subject to their intervention. That sort of behavior could generate all kinds of wrong ideas, you know. A known cause of looneytarianism.

  • Will W.||

    This is something where as usual, colleges overstep themselves in thinking that adults can't function without their supervision. This is the problem I have --if they were children, this would still infuriate me, but I could at least see that they were trying to protect the children. But they are more than likely legal adults because this is college, right? Give them a waiver to sign saying that they understand the risks, and have a nice day.

  • Trollificus||

    Because, as there is abundant precedent to prove, "waivers" are no barrier to a slavering personal injury lawyer.

    Data set: Electrical station with 8-foot chain link fence topped by two feet of barbed roll wire, a double-locked entrance and several large signs stating "RISK OF DEATH" and "ENTRY FORBIDDEN"...f'ed up kid manages to get inside and electrocute himself. 1...2...3 and SUED! And not the utility company (with their own rabid attack lawyers), but the church on whose property the city had forced the station. Church disbanded, officers moved out of state. Basically "Fuck all y'all, no money here, neener neener!", though I don't think those were their exact words.

    When the legal system has as its unacknowledged goal the enrichment of lawyers,. such counterintuitive actions as PSUs' here should be expected. (in the service of their own enrichment, of course)

    *-and by "data set", I of course meant "anecdote". But a true story.

  • Sam M||

    Just curious: Why does it need to be a club? Students do all kinds of things outside the bounds of the university. I am sure lots play, say, Fortnite, without the imprimatur of the PSU Officially Sanctioned Fortnite Collective. If they want to go on a hike, go on a hike. Why does it need to be a PSU hike?

    PS: I notice in the picture for this article, the couple in front is holding hands, and the girl in the back is giving off a third-wheel vibe. I strongly suspect there are at least a few undergrads at PSU who would volunteer to accompany her, whether the hike is sanctioned by the school or not.

  • Chasman1965||

    Well, the students pay an activity fee. They want their part of that activity fee to pay for their club, as it pays to help other clubs. Other than that, there is no reason that they can't do it on their own.

  • Flinch||

    Clubs being a function of student body governance [mostly], and noting students are paying customers being told to shove off by an administration with less testosterone than Theresa May [who wouldn't call a muslim by name if they breeched Parliament security with a dull knife], they should sue - and demand some resignations as part of the settlement. But that's just me.

  • Inquisitive Squirrel||

    Oh don't worry, field hockey, rugby, and football will eventually be eliminated by progressivism, too.

  • gphx||

    As long as they don't ban hockey masks. No reason.

  • gphx||

    I've never seen a black and/or Muslim person in the woods. I don't want to talk about the time I saw the gays.

  • Devastator||

    I want to join the outing club in the picture. Is that a thing?

  • Devastator||

    "A key issue for administrators was that the Outing Club frequently visit locations with poor cell phone coverage." -- we have truly become a nation of pussies.

  • Azathoth!!||

    Student safety?

    Keeping kids safe?

    What the fuck? This is college. There are no kids there. These are adults. The school has no say in what they do. They can cave dive, they can base jump--it's not any of the school's business. At all.

    Why the fuck are we acting like people in their twenties are toddlers?

  • Rossami||

    Ditch the college's club and join a local Venturing Crew. There are several right near campus.

    Or if there's not one you like, form your own. Much as I consider the University's decision short-sighted and wrong-headed, there's a strong argument that you should let universities focus academics - the stuff they're supposed to be good at - and go elsewhere for other aspects of your personal growth.

  • jelabarre||

    The more I read about the dipshit stuff being done by colleges/universities these days, the more I'm certain my daughter shouldn't bother with college at all. Go to a trade school, where you pay them to teach you a JOB, nothing else BUT the things you need to do a job, at less money and half (or less) of the time. *Then* once you're gainfully employed you can go out and do all the "cultural" thing the colleges think you should know about, but on your own terms.

    I think they should also eliminate "teacher colleges" and go for "tracher trade schools". Way too much of the bullcrap teachers are spouting these days probably comes from them having to go to these centers of snowflake-learning in the first place.

  • RonBPalmer||

    Snowflakes creating other snowflakes. Looking forward to the day when technology eliminates universities altogether.

  • Chasman1965||

    As other posters have said, the real reason is that they are competing with the Outdoor Activities provided by Penn State employers.

    From the linked Post-Gazette article:

    "The Outdoor Adventures trips also cost more. And that's not a small thing for students, Mr. Waltz said.

    The Outing Club collects a $20 dues payment at the beginning of a semester and then charges $5 to $10 for trips. Counting gear, food and gasoline, each participant would typically pay $25 per trip.

    The cost of Outdoor Adventure trips bumped up from between $30 and $60 last year, to between $90 and $130 this year, Mr. Waltz said, and appeal to different participants."

  • SutureSelf||

    Are these adults or are they children? They can't just be adults when it is advantageous to the administration for them to be and children when being children is advantageous.

  • Flinch||

    Oh, damn those "safety first" pinheads. The number one cause of death is living, so... don't you want to live? If its total safety they are after, I know exactly how to achieve perfect stats: close Penn State. We all know why the hypocrisy about football is - they won't touch it because it makes too much money. So the safety mantra is all bullcrap, and... so are their aspirations to greatness. People died putting a man on the moon, exhibiting there is no discovery without risk. Penn State is now just a football club, with no apparent will to aspire to greatness or serve humanity in any capacity. Just clock that dollar, and keep the student loan mill humming, while minting a slush fund out of football team members on the short leash of a "full scholarship". More like indentured servitude... if you get an education there, it's an accident.
    As for no cell phone coverage... I highly recommend it once or twice a year. Turn it off, leave it at home and let your mind settle with the absence of noise. The beauty of an outdoor adventure is to totally connect with nature and get just how wonderous this planet really is.

  • TxPiper||

    "last Child in The Woods". A must read from several years ago. ( I Forget the authors name ).

  • CE||

    How many 98-year-olds go to Penn State anyway? And are still able to go hiking and stuff?

  • vek||

    God. Can't a civil war just start already so people who make insane decisions like this can be cleansed from society??? I'm sooo tired of the madness.

  • The Federal Farmer||

    Moor cell towers!

  • Yaspar Kyashred||

    Have they calculated the risk of sitting around fiddling with their cell phones? I believe a sedentary lifestyle is a major cardiac risk factor.

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