Snowing to be banned on campus by 2005

After taking huge steps forward against smoking last year, the Carleton administration will set its sights this fall on enacting an ambitious three-year plan to eventually eliminate snowing from campus.

Administration spokespersons cited health problems and societal pressures as chief reasons for the new plan, tentatively named the Witter Anti-Snowing Plan (WASP), after John Witter, the student who proposed it. Statistics show almost 70% of students last year reported health problems that most likely resulted from the presence of snowing on campus. Hundreds of colds and cases of sniffles formed the brunt of these, mostly attributed to the dampness and cold brought daily into students' lives by snow.

"It's more than health," said Robert Gissing, '03, chairman of the student committee looking into the repercussions of the proposed snowing ban. "Most students want to have a choice whether or not they have snow blowing in their faces all the time and that's what something like WASP will provide. But, yes, it does pose a health problem."

Also influencing the decision to initiate WASP were letters from scores of concerned parents, citing schools that already have snow-free campuses and asking why Carleton hasn't caught up.

"It's true," said Angela Fontaine, '03, of the WASP committee. "Florida State, Rice, UCLA, the list of snowless schools goes on. It's time for Carleton to catch up to the nation's top colleges and universities."

If the Plan is adopted, snowing will be allowed on only certain portions of dorm and no snowing will be allowed on any non-dorm college buildings or within 50 feet of any building entrance, something the committee calls the "Clean Ground Zone." Next winter, snowing will be outlawed on all campus buildings, leading to an entirely snow-free campus by 2005.

The Plan was adapted from Carleton's new anti-smoking regulations, which will also be enacted beginning this term.

It's not all dry shoes and warm walks, though, for WASP has many pro-snowing enthusiasts up in arms and even skeptical about the realities of enforcement.

"I never took it seriously when they were talking about this last year," said Andrew Hood, '04, president of Let It Snow, a pro-snowing group. "I mean, how will they make the whole campus snow-free? Where will we go for a good snowball fight?"

While this is a common feeling, the pro-snowing attendees at Wednesday's under-publicized Snowing Conference were few. Evidently, seniors and most juniors are indifferent, since the majority of the policy will go into effect after their graduation. Freshmen and sophomores seem to be mostly anti-snowing. Still, those who came were outspoken.

"Snowing is a reality of life," said Fred Lohse, '04, of Let It Snow, at the talks. "People need to accept it. The last thing we should do is make Carleton more of a bubble."

Administration spokespersons, however, weren't listening.

"This is a good change," said Mark Govoni, Dean of Students. "This is progress. This is one of many steps we're taking to bring Carleton into a new millennium."

"Progress my ass," responded Hood. "This is fascism."

Artists' conceptions of how traditional campus scenes will look in the winter of 2005, should the Plan take effect.