Delaware State University has announced that it is banning snowball fights, water guns, super soakers, and most masks that cover the face out of concern that they could present “potential harm” to students.
According to Fox 6, which first reported the ban, violators could face punishment including “warnings, reprimands, community service, fines, or disciplinary probation.”
Now, the school is claiming that it has enacted the new rules in order to create a “safe space” for students. But I think a truly safe space is one where you are allowed to experience the joy that some of life’s simplest pleasures have to offer.
Let’s face it: Snowball fights are pretty much the only good thing about this particular form of precipitation. Snow, after all, is generally terrible. It’s basically just chunks of freezing cold death that fall from the sky, which eventually melt and turn everything they’ve touched into mud. You’re forced to walk around cold and wet — and then cold, wet, and muddy — when all you’re trying to do is get to class. Sure, there are some people who get excited for things like the first snow, but I personally am not one of them. In fact, the moment I see those formidable flakes falling from the sky, I immediately start praying to God to save me from what is assuredly going to be four to five months of pure, shivering hell.
If you can’t tell, I hate the winter. But even someone like me can appreciate a good snowball fight. In fact, other than possibly sledding, the one saving grace that we have as humans in the wintery months of misery might just be the pure, unadulterated joy of a snowball fight. You might have to worry about things like school or work or bills, but when you’re engaged in a snowball fight, all of those things melt away. When you’re engaged in a snowball fight, all you can think about is creaming your friend with a snowball, and dodging your friends’ fire as they aim to cream you. The same joy can be experienced during the summer using water guns. When you’re playing these sorts of games, you can feel like a kid again, and that’s not something that Delaware State should be taking away from its students.
Another thing to remember about snowball fights is that they are, indeed, consensual. If one student were to just randomly smash another student in the face with snow, that wouldn’t be a snowball fight. It would be assault, and I would completely condone the college punishing the perpetrator. Banning snowball and water-gun fights altogether, though, is absolutely ridiculous. After all, most students attending college are adults. By the time you’re an adult, you should be given the freedom to decide whether or not you’d like to participate in a snowball or water-gun fight on your own. You have the emotional capacity to make that decision on your own. What’s more, by the time you’ve reached adulthood, you generally know how to wield both snowballs and water guns in a responsible way. You know not to hit people in the face, and you know that people have to consent in order to be considered a participant in the fight.
College can be a stressful time — exams, papers, figuring out what you want to do with your life after you graduate. Taking away the relief of a snowball or water-gun fight is wrong and un-American — and Delaware State University should be ashamed of itself.
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