Cornellians Actually Are Using the Ithaca Gorges for Suicides These Days

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Photo: Doug Kerr's Flickr/Creative Commons

So far this year, three Cornell students have leaped to their deaths in the famed gorges of Ithaca. This comes a year after a graduate from a decade ago was found dead at the bottom of one of them after having inexplicably returned to campus. Writer Rob Fishman's master's thesis on the school's suicide mythology is excerpted this week on the Huffington Post. It's a compelling read, if you have a few minutes. Here's one part that stuck out:

Then, on March 9, at 2:03am, [21-year-old Matthew Zika] updated his Facebook status with a portentous message. "My hope in living life," he wrote, "is that if one day someone told me it would be my last, I could smile and nod knowing full well that I did all I could with the time I was given. Never put off until tomorrow what you'd be okay having never done." On Friday, after his death had been reported, a friend posted to Zika's wall, "I think you mean never put off until tomorrow what you wouldn't be okay having never done."


Not to give you the willies, but this story puts those ubiquitous "Ithaca Is Gorges" T-shirts into quite the macabre context.

Cornell Suicides: Do Ithaca's Gorges Invite Jumpers? [HuffPo]