SLEDDING!

By Zach Broeren and Paul A. Djupe

Why go to Denison on THE HILL if we can’t go sledding? Oh, yeah, the discerning moral agency and classes. But what if we exercise our active citizenship muscles to change the rules so we can go sledding without getting written up by CamPo?

The sledding stories from days of yore at other northern colleges are legion and legend. For one, they called it “traying” because, yeah, they borrowed trays. In Minnesota, enough people had skis that it got high stakes pretty quickly. Sure, some people got injured, but that’s kind of the point about stretching our boundaries, meeting new people (in mid air?), and exploring new terrain in yard sale style. Right? Of course, there has been at least one really serious incident at Denison in the recent past (2014), but Denison was all in behind a super sledder in the early aughts (03) in an athletic context – athletes can do no wrong at Denison.

And it turns out that public opinion is on our side, not to mention the media. In October 2021, the 127 survey added a question at the last minute that asked if students agreed or disagreed that “Denison’s Administration should allow students to sled on campus.” The results speak for themselves – 70-80 percent of each class agree that students should be able to sled and most of the rest don’t really care. There’s almost no one that disagrees.

It’s not surprising that there’s a bit of a gender gap, though it’s basically just an enthusiasm gap. Women are more likely to agree (and a few more are ambivalent), while men are more likely to strongly agree. Side note – there is no difference in support for the sled based on GPA. This is about as universal as policy support gets.

Will the Denison administration allow sledding on campus? As of now, all signs point to no and Denison students can prepare themselves for their sledding trips to be curtailed by university staff. That isn’t to say all hope is lost for those who want to bring back sledding down Denison’s campus. Unpopular policies, such as the swipe access restriction only to your building, was lifted only a year after it started in 2020 thanks in part to students speaking out.

Zach Broeren, a Junior at Denison University majoring in Political Science, is now starting to figure out too late he probably should have majored in Data Analytics.

Paul A. Djupe is a local cyclist who runs the Data for Political Research minor. He started onetwentyseven.blog a few years ago in a bid to subsidize collective action. He’s on Twitter and you should be too, along with your president.

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