Don’t Leave Us out in the Cold

Late on Saturday night, I tried to stop briefly in La Iguana to warm up for a minute before heading home. The man at the door refused to let me in, however, saying that it was my choice to go out into the cold that night. Yes, I did choose to go out on Saturday. Yes, I did choose to attend a school in upstate New York. But I also thought that I chose a school and a community that would care more about the well-being of their students.

In case you missed it, the temperature on Saturday night reach a high of 7°F, and with winds up to 10 miles per hour, it felt like -7°.

Yet these statistics don’t seem to do justice to how awfully cold it was that night. The winds were brutal and the cold was more bitter than I’ve ever experienced, and as a third year Colgate student, that is certainly saying something. So, knowing these conditions, why did I go out on Saturday? Because it was a Saturday. In Hamilton. Like any other student my age, I wanted to have fun on the weekend. So sue me. Let’s not forget that Colgate-sponsored events occur downtown as well, such as Friday night movies and concerts at the Barge. So it would seem that Colgate, too, promotes social life in town.

Having established that students will be out on the weekends-rain or shine, cold or warm-I believe that the administration ought to have some responsibility for our health. I appreciate additions like longer Cruiser hours (though the inconsistency of the Cruiser is a subject of another debate), but there is still a HUGE flaw. At about 2:30 a.m., dozens of students rushed the Cruiser stop and were left to freeze. There was nothing open for us: Nichols and Beal was closed, La Iguana was rude and the Colgate bookstore was, obviously, not open.

Disheartened, my roommate and I attempted to run home, but it was clear when we reached the first Greek house outside of town, that we could not possibly make it further. We stopped inside, feet raw and numb, and called a friend for a ride.

There are several problems here. First, there is the cold weather. Whether students wait at the Cruiser stop outside or brave the walk, the danger is there. According to the CDC, hypothermia was the cause of death for 4,607 people in the US over a three year period. With overexposure to naturally cold temperatures, our students are clearly at risk. The second problem was the driving. My friend was sober, but with an inconsistent Cruiser and dire weather conditions, I worry that people will be more inclined to make reckless decisions: driving drunk or trusting a drunk driver. The administration cannot possibly allow this to continue.

No, we can’t relocate the school to Florida and we can’t expect students to stay in and watch movies every weekend, but there is an easy way to solve this. Open the doors!! If the Colgate Bookstore could simply leave the foyer open at night, then students could wait for the Cruiser inside. That’s all I ask! Let us out of the cold. I don’t care that the Cruiser doesn’t run on time, honestly, so long as I can wait inside! It is hardly an inconvenience for the bookstore, which after all has another set of doors inside. It is a simple solution, yes, but one that I think will alleviate the severe dangers that we face. Colgate: for the health of your students and the merit of your reputation you must make this change!