College Dean’s Message About Last Night’s Heavy-Breathing Party
By Nate Dern, THE NEW YORKER
It has come to my attention that, last night, a large group of first-years selfishly put at risk the very thing that so many of you want from Ponderosa University—namely, an in-person, residential college experience. We knew there’d be risks returning to campus during a pandemic, and that’s why you all signed the updated Code of Conduct, which enumerates our latest safety protocols. However, it seems that the administration didn’t adequately anticipate the full range of possible student recreational activities. So let me be very clear: from this point onward, all so-called heavy-breathing parties are officially banned.
Although a few decades have elapsed since I graced the hallowed pathways of Ponderosa U. as a student, it was still quite a shock to learn that heavy breathing in close proximity to one’s peers could be considered a pleasurable pastime. The very notion that first-year students would find it fun to gather in a small room, stand very close to one another, and, as campus security described the scene, “rapidly breathe back and forth into each other’s mouths” confounds me.
Then again, I don’t get TikTok, either. But I do get this: breathing so fast in someone else’s face that you hyperventilate might be fun in the short term to some, but it presents a long-term risk to all.
Regrettably, I received a second report, about how, after the heavy-breathing party was shut down, an additional group of first-year students gathered on the quad to participate in a game of “Share the Backwash.” I don’t need to go into the details of this game’s bizarre rules; suffice it to say that any drinking game which involves an entire keg of beer and thirty students but somehow only one red Solo cup is a severe safety violation. For the love of hygiene, I am begging you to control yourselves.
And, yes, I must also address the other incident that occurred even later in the evening with an even larger group of first-year students in an even smaller space. Our investigation into who organized the combination “Screaming Karaoke Plus Foam Dance Party” in the basement of Quenton Hall is ongoing. That basement is not well ventilated, even at the best of times. Turning it into a moist environment where people are shouting song lyrics into a shared microphone? Totally irresponsible. You would have been better off just sharing a beer bong. (Speaking of which, please stop sharing beer bongs. I may be old, but I know how to search #SharedBeerBongChallenge on Instagram.)
We are also preëmptively banning the following activities: mud-pit kissing booths, face-to-face streaking, manual beach-ball-inflation relays, two-lick touch football, and improv-comedy troupes (not because of covid-19—it’s just time).
Given what we saw on campus last night, I am strongly considering making classes online only and sending you all home. But, for now, I’ll leave it at this: a stern warning, which is the harshest type of warning that our Board of Overseers allows me to give.
P. James Radkowski
Dean of First-Year Student Life
—— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: September 17, 2020 at 08:31PM