Written by Cheri Armour Samples ’09
I graduated in 2009 from Elon, and throughout my incredible four years there, I remained incredulous each year when, each April, on a beautiful afternoon, the walls and carpets in the residence halls would be streaked with mud.
Incriminating footprints would lead from the bottom of the stairwells to the top, and often, a frustrated RA (me throughout the final three years at uni) would have to report the mess to Physical Plant, who, in addition to their typical duties, had to add “cleaning up after a bunch of over-privileged brats who write condescending pieces in to the school paper blaming the school for their sloppy behavior without so much as a thanks” to their to-do list.
I was horrified when someone submitted “University should minimize Festivus damages,” a piece that outlined the reasons why Elon was somehow responsible for the mess that students left behind following the Festivus romp in the mud. The reasoning provided for why Elon was responsible was because Elon had not provided students with hoses to clean off with, despite the fact that the school has, for years, attempted to disassociate itself from the activity.
Among the reasons that the writer felt that Elon “should” provide students hoses, he or she listed the following:
It “was inconsiderate of university administrators to expect Physical Plant staff to clean up a mess that was exacerbated by the university’s efforts to restrict an event that doesn’t align with the crystal-clean image the administration would like to portray” (The mess is actually exacerbated by students who don’t put any forethought into how they might clean up that day.)
That physical plant didn’t deserve such treatment. (You’re right about that one.)
“It prevented students who took part from doing what they could to minimize the damage.” (What?)
Let me respond to this ridiculous bit of entitled garbage. (And keep in mind, as a millennial, I am never one to jump on the “millennials are entitled” business. I was underemployed for three years, I don’t want to hear that I don’t want to work for what I have.)
So first off, Elon University doesn’t sanction the event because the event involves drinking for a full 24 hours while you slop around in mud in jean shorts and a sports bra. The school would be absolutely reckless to sanction the event because the first year someone dies, gets paralyzed (which, quite unfortunately, occurred during my time at school), or someone goes missing, Elon is now on the line for sanctioning an extremely dangerous event.
So, no, Elon doesn’t sanction the event, and therefore will not be providing hoses for a bunch of adults who willfully choose to roll around in a mudpit with their friends all day. Their decision to not provide hoses doesn’t mean that the university now bears the responsibility for when you or your friends stumble up the stairs barefoot, leaving chunks of mud in your wake, and then when you clog the community bathrooms with mud.
So let me clear something up for you. I enjoy day-drinking just as much as the next 20-something does.
However, when I day-drink, and when it involves making a mess, you know what I do? I clean up after myself. I don’t blame others. I don’t hold anyone else responsible for my actions. And I for sure don’t write an embarrassingly bratty letter into The Pendulum in attempts to blame an education institution for saddling others with my mess.
Get it together.