'Yoga for QTPOC Folx': Despite segregated rock climbing backlash, Cornell offers more identity-specific classes

Cornell University's Women’s Resource Center is hosting three identity-specific yoga classes during the spring 2021 academic semester.

The courses, including “Yoga for BIPOC Folx” and “Yoga for QTPOC Folx," are being offered to put an “emphasis on communities of color and LGBTQ+ folx.”

Despite recent controversy over a racially-segregated rock climbing course, Cornell University is hosting three more identity-specific classes during the spring 2021 semester.

According to Facebook and Instagram posts by the Ivy League university’s Women’s Resource Center, the courses, entitled “Yoga for BIPOC Folx”, “Yoga for QTPOC Folx”, and “Yoga for Women + Femme Folx,” are being offered with the goal of teaching “yoga and wellness” with a particular “emphasis” on “communities of color and LGBTQ+ folx.”

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Despite the fact that the course titles note that they are “for” those particular groups of people, Cornell strenuously denied that the course enrollments are restricted based on race, sexual orientation, or gender identity, claiming that the yoga classes are “open to all.”

In an email, Rebecca Valli, Cornell’s Director of Media Relations, contended to Campus Reform that it’s “clear” that while the courses “focus on students with specific identities,” their enrollments “are not restricted to just those students.”

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Cornell declined to clarify whether the course entitled “Yoga for Women + Femme Folx” was restricted to only biological women, or is open to anyone who identifies as a woman.

This comes amid controversy over Cornell’s decision to offer a “BIPOC Rock Climbing” class, which was originally restricted to “people who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, or other people of color.”

After Campus Reform reached out to the university seeking comment, Cornell scrubbed the race-based enrollment restriction from its website.

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As Campus Reform noted previously, according to the New York State Attorney General’s website, “Students in New York schools are protected by federal, state, and local laws that prevent discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and other categories.”

Additionally, the New York Human Rights Law “makes it illegal” for “non-sectarian educational institutions” to “deny their services to students on the basis of race, color, religion, disability, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, age or marital status.”

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