In Bed with Big Red: The STI threatening the Ivy League

Etta Slater.

In recent years, there has been increased legal action regarding the need for people to disclose their sexual health issues before engaging in the act of, as the Brits like to call it, ‘the old rumpy pumpy’ (much like the familiar ‘hokey pokey’ and the actions are exactly the same… in out, in out… you get the idea). Currently, 24 U.S. states enforce disclosure laws that require people to tell their chosen partner about their STI before engaging in sexual activity. However, there is no such law, or even proposed law, in any state which legally requires a student at Cornell ‘University’ to disclose their place of education before participating in a sexual encounter with an Ivy League student. This seems to me to be an outrageous oversight of the legal system, especially when one considers that most STIs are more selective in whom they choose. Each year, only 1 in 20 young people contracts an STI whilst annually, Cornell accepts a whopping 3 in 20 people. Thus, it is more likely that an unwitting party will engage in a tryst with a Cornell student than with an STI- riddled individual. I believe that being made aware of the risks of engaging in intercourse with a sufferer of a remedial educational background should be a basic legal right for any Ivy League undergraduate. Whereas there are courses of treatment for many STIs, there is currently no cure for the endless harmful ramifications of intercourse with a Cornell student.

Medically speaking, post-Cornell-coital symptoms can include becoming redundant in academic discussions, a noticeable plummet in IQ, and in the extreme case of the encounter being fruitful: an intellectually underwhelming child, thus perpetuating a toxic cycle of Ivy League bench- warming and scholastic mediocrity. Surely the brightest minds in the country have the right to know their partner’s academic disease and its potentially life-threatening consequences before jumping into bed with them?

Looking back at my rambunctious undergraduate years, this issue falls particularly close to home. In the Fall of my senior year, I found myself canoodling at the bar of Mel’s with a man who by all accounts appeared an entirely eligible romantic partner- he was tall, good-looking and well dressed- a welcome change from the mason jar-wielding scruffians whose sexual capacity goes so far as a cheeky beast-with-one-back over an old Bernie campaign poster. Admittedly, my suitor for the evening was a little slower in keeping up with the discourse, more of a squash match of a conversation than the usual banterous volley, but I merely attributed this to the readily-flowing alcohol or a prior stint on the wrestling team (a conversation path which naturally I wished to avoid). I confess that my mind wandered on several occasions to the thought of inviting him back to my dorm in East Campus. However, as he raised an arm to gesture to the bartender for another round, I caught a glimpse of the unmistakeable Cornell logo on his newly exposed breast. I stopped dead in my tracks. I had presumed his red sweater merely hinted at communist leanings, not unusual for any Columbia male, but in reality, it concealed something far more deadly: a Cornell education. I would rather he’d had full-blown chlamidya. Upon being pressed for his schooling, the man abashedly confessed he was indeed a resident of that loathsome Ithaca campus. I was, thank God, able to make my excuses before the encounter could go any further. If only the young man had been upfront about his condition, we may have been able to come to some sort of understanding, such a rain check whilst he transferred to Penn in an attempt to work around this debilitating academic predicament. However, he chose to remain as silent as I imagine he does in a discussion about anything but the weather. I am blessed that I was able to avoid intercourse with a non-Ivy League student but I fear for others who may not be so lucky. Having experienced this issue first-hand, I now feel responsible for bringing it into the mainstream of discussion. Sex should always be an enjoyable and informed experience, and part of that is knowing your partner is your intellectual equal. I encourage all Ivy League students to call your local government officials and urge them to take action, so that Cornell students will no longer be able to stimulate you in the bedroom, before letting you know they can’t stimulate you in the classroom.