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Cornell Didn't Create "No Whites Allowed" Rock Climbing Course

Maxim Sorokopud Maxim Sorokopud
25th March 2021
Cornell Didn't Create "No Whites Allowed" Rock Climbing Course
The course description didn't say white students can't attend (Getty Images).

The Claim

A new rock climbing course at Cornell University illegally excludes white students from participating.

Emerging story

In late 2020, Cornell University announced a BIPOC rock climbing course. The original text description of this course stated that it was “for people who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, or other people of color.” 

In February 2021, news reports appeared that claimed that this description meant that it was a racially segregated course. 

People took to social media to complain. When the description was later updated to clarify that anyone could take the course, others online stated that the college had erased the racially segregated course in an attempt to evade the truth. 

A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body
A supporting image within the article body

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar’s investigation shows that it is misleading to state that the course originally barred white students from enrolling. In the original description, it does not state that white students could not attend. 

The updated description does not indicate that the content of the course changed. Instead, it clarifies that anyone who wants to take the course can enroll. 

Cornell University’s Senior Director of Media Relations and News John Carberry stated to Campus Reform the following: “All students are welcome to enroll in this course. While the original description of the course represented an intentional focus on outreach and inclusion, there was never an intent to exclude non-minority students. The description of the course has been adjusted accordingly.” 

This indicates that the claims of a “no whites allowed” course at Cornell University is a misrepresentation that arose from vague course descriptions.

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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