Sarah Wuellner ‘24 is a theater, communication, and education triple major from Hillsboro, OH.

SARAH WUELLNER, Media Production Assistant—First-year students are more thrilled than ever to be back on campus and spend time with friends on the weekend.

 It’s the perfect time to destress from the long hours of classes. However, in the past couple of weekends, first-year students have not been respecting the Denison campus community as well as they did during the Fall semester. 

Being a first-year student, I relate to the excitement that comes with weekend festivities, but there comes a point when our actions get out-of-hand. As we all know, we are still living through a pandemic and with new strands of COVID-19, we must put our health first. Over the weekend, many students were breaking capacity limits in common rooms. It can be difficult to gather outdoors during the weekend, but there is no reason to break the community guidelines. They are put in place so that we can all stay on campus as we successfully did in the fall.

 No one wants to be sent home early or face the consequences of breaking the rules. As first-year students, we are also not of legal drinking age and many students who are caught for breaking the Community Care Agreement will also be questioned on what liquids they may have consumed. Our safety comes first, but we must also be respectful of the residence halls. Living in Shorney Hall has given me my fair share of wild encounters. On Sunday mornings, no one wants to see the trash piling up in the halls, broken exit signs, and broken chairs. Destroying and vandalizing our residence halls is not beneficial to anyone, least of all the custodial staff that has to clean up everyone’s mess. Did we not learn in elementary school to clean up after ourselves? We have the privilege to be on such a beautiful campus, yet we do not care of it. 

Des Woods addressed the chaos from a couple of weekends ago in an email and group message. He explained that the large groups of people, maskless and screaming with alcohol in hand, were unacceptable. The cameras in the residence halls have picked up who partook in the misconduct and those reported will face consequences. No one wants to have this on their record preventing them from applying to jobs and joining organisations. I am used to hearing students as I walk through the Shorney Halls, but that specific weekend, it sounded like a mob and earthquake had occurred. The music blaring and students yelling through the common room, right next door to Des Woods’s room, was uncalled for. 

We have had so many regulations lifted and administration has been pretty laid back with us compared to other colleges, but we need to be respectful of the campus community. We should be aware of quiet hours and courteous to those who like to wake up early. Breaking furniture, including picnic tables, adirondack chairs, and desk chairs, is destruction of property. Also, it is not that time-consuming to take out the trash and dispose of it in the large dumpsters at the back of residence halls. 

Leaving the trash in the halls is just lazy and creates a mess for students to dodge and for custodians to deal with. I am not against the party scene and enjoy going out on the weekends, but there comes a point when we have crossed the line. Not every student destroys and trashes the residence halls, but we need to hold each other accountable and be respectful of others. We can still have a blast on the weekends while also following safety guidelines and keeping our living spaces clean.