TAYLOR KERN, Special to The Denisonian—To whom it may concern:

Okay, everyone. It is time. Something needs to be addressed. I cannot take it anymore. Why on God’s green earth…does Denison University smell so wack 90% of the time? Why am I digging myself six feet under in debt so that I can walk to class trying to breathe through my mouth? And then failing and still smelling through my mouth? After spending the beginning of fall semester junior year sleeping in my common room because there was mold in my room, I was hoping I could graduate without interacting with more air contaminants. But no. Mondays smell like manure. Tuesdays smell like turd. Wednesdays smell like a frat party. Thursdays smell like broccoli that is somehow simultaneously undercooked and singed. Fridays…which brings me to my main point, the worst scent of all…Fridays smell like what I believe is vulture urine.

I am not so foolish as to complain about problems without offering a solution. Accordingly, what follows is a series of solutions to this problem that I believe are all satisfactory in their own ways.

  1. We address the pest problem head on. When I say “pest” I do not mean the friendly neighborhood Denison deer. Nor am I referring to the infamous A Quad skunk, who is cute (at a safe distance) and therefore innocent until proven guilty. The pests are the vultures. They do not bathe regularly, they have no regard for personal space, and they are not potty trained. They are a nuisance and they are spooky but not in a good way. Two days ago they all congregated at the dumpster next to my apartment and made eye contact with me as I walked by. That is not how I wanted to start my day. Thus, I propose that we should start an archery team, not in order to shoot them down, but to shoot arrows near them. This will allow us to assert dominance over them and also keep them from staying too close to campus. Frankly, since we tried (in vain) to scare them with firecrackers, they have too much confidence. I do not feel guilty about this. Another benefit of this solution is that all of us would be very prepared if a Hunger Games-esque competition arose between the Ohio schools.
  2. The second solution would be for Denison to subsidize face masks. Coachella has already taught us that face masks can be fashion and thus we could all decorate custom masks to wear on our commutes to classes. This would not only protect us from unpleasant odors, but it would also slow the spread of disease as cold and flu season approaches. 
  3. My third and final solution speaks for itself: LEGALIZE CANDLES. THERE, I SAID IT. Yes, I would say something so controversial yet so brave. If we educate everyone on proper candle safety, we could potentially live in harmony with all of the creatures on campus, while at the same time basking in the warm glow of “Butter Cream.” ALSO: if we are really focusing on candles as Denison’s greatest source of danger, then I strongly encourage reevaluating.    

I appreciate any and all support in this endeavor, as well as any feedback for additional scent solutions. Alone, I am powerless. Together, we can smell a difference.


Student Cursed with a Better Than Average Sense of Smell

Taylor Kern ’20 is na English Literature major and French and Vocal Performance double minor from Baltimore, Maryland.