Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring in 2011; still, UW-Parkside students have few luxuries to enjoy while the campus streetscape feels more like Currier and Ives sprung to life.
The frigid temperatures of Southeast Wisconsin make life difficult for most students and faculty. Amidst one of the most devastating blizzards in recent history, the options for students are even more limited.
Throughout the winter, one particular benefit has become popular around campus: building snowmen. With mounds of snow, carrots, buttons, and a top hat, a dismal February afternoon can transform into a thrill of excitement. Due to a few untimely actions, however, that pleasure is no longer being enjoyed by Parkside students.
In the last month, several reports have been filed to Parkside Student Government (PSG) that their snowmen have been sabotaged by unknown sources. It’s yet to be determined if these malicious acts were intentional.
“If someone builds a snowman, they should have the right to decide when it gets taken down,” said sophomore Katie Breitzke.
PSG’s President Pro Tempore, Jisha Jose, is one of the many victims who found their artwork defiled. On Jan. 23, she worked on a snowman together with SUFAC committee members Matt Axelson and Kevin Croswhite. After hours of labor, the three designed a three tier, seven-foot snowman on the lawn of the University Apartments.
“About an hour later, as I was walking back to my room, I saw the result of the tragedy,” said a disgruntled Jose. “We don’t know who could have committed this heinous act, but I’m almost certain it’s because they were jealous of our amazing snowman-building skills.”
This story matches similar claims made in the past few weeks.
According to Parkside’s code of conduct policy, snow or any natural precipitation is free for the public’s use. Therefore, the rights to a snowman cannot be claimed.
“If it’s [snowman] on public property, anyone has the right to create or knock it down.” assured junior Carl Delcuze’, an avid member of Parkside Association of War Gamers (PAW). “Just because someone made it, doesn’t mean that it’s supposed to stay there for all time… it may not be polite or nice, but it is what it is.”
In the past, renowned author Bob Eckstein, among others, have deemed snowmen as a legitimate art form. Similar to a drawing, painting, or sculpture, they are considered to be a representation of one’s artistic expression.
“When I make a graphic, I don’t want someone to ruin it,” said sophomore Lisa Rosenberg, who’s majoring in Graphic Design. “I’d expect the same respect to a snowman if I built one.”
Respect or not, a member of the community has free access to do whatever they wish with precipitation. As long as they are not doing physical harm to another individual, these culprits are actually not violating campus policy.
According to senior Kevin Klyce, “Are you going to blame mother nature for making it [snow] melt too?”
In this winter wasteland, students crave for activity that might recapture even a slit of August fun under the sun. As they battle through icy winds and reckless behavior, summer sun bathing seems like the only art worth looking forward to.
Article by Eric Zizich