News & Politics

Penn State's Camping/Hiking Group Banned After 'Risk Management' Review

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As someone who grew up in the outdoors, Penn State’s Outing Club is one I’d have liked to join while attending college. However, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports: “After this weekend … the 98-year-old organization has nothing on its calendar, and unless things change, it won’t.”

“The Outing Club isn’t allowed to go outside anymore.”

Why? That wholesome, family-friendly activity was deemed to be too dangerous for Penn State’s young adults:

“This is a result,” the announcement said, “of an assessment of risk management by the university that determined that the types of activities in which PSOC engages are above the university’s threshold of acceptable risk for recognized student organizations.”

Also halted by the review were the Nittany Grotto Caving Club and the Nittany Divers SCUBA Club.

Lisa Powers, a Penn State University spokeswoman, told the Post-Gazette in an email, “Student safety in any activity is our primary focus.”

Got it. So does this mean … no more ROTC?

Actually, Penn State has the largest ROTC program in the United States. Hmm.

College students are adults. They’re 18 years old. They are legally able to sign contracts, vote, and do dangerous things like join the military. Yet Penn State is coddling them like children, protecting them from themselves because the university thinks it knows better about what’s good for them.

Note, however, that Division I college football — with it’s 100% injury rate — wasn’t impacted by their review. Neither was any other sport, like, say, Penn State’s boxing, MMA, and jiu-jitsu clubs.

If you want people to act like adults, you should treat them like adults.

Or at least like Boy and Girl Scouts.