A branch of the WFU School of Divinity keeping you informed
By Perry Dixon
As anyone who has spent a month on campus is now aware, the undergraduate student body participates in an interesting tradition every time one of our (major?) sports teams succeeds in defeating an opponent. In celebration, through a presumably traditional practice, undergrads flock to positively bomb the quad with toilet paper. It must be quite a sight to see so many toilet paper rolls lobbed through the branches at once, streaming white banners of victory falling among the trees. It would seem, after the basketball team beat then #2 Miami last week, that a bigger upset means more toilet paper.
Of course, it is understandable why such a practice would be enticing to young undergrads. Chaos can be fun. Destruction is exhilarating at times. Toilet paper is even a bit tame; throwing a tube television off a three-story fraternity house creates a sound similar to a naval cannon. I do not speak from experience. But I have seen a five-year-old walk through the very same lego town he created, delighting in the small community’s untimely demise. Some men just want to watch the world burn.
Toilet papering can be fun. There is a preexisting excuse to toilet paper the trees on campus. Therefore, when the excuse periodically presents itself, it is obvious why so many engage in said activities.
But perhaps it is worthy to acknowledge the rolling of the quad for what it is on its less innocent side. On its most basic level, the practice may be fun. But it is equally or more wasteful. It is literally a practice which clothes campus foliage in human trash. It might be even more accurate to describe the practice as one in which a large number of rich kids get to make a mess they do not have to clean up. Driving a car worth more than most people make in a year is relatively harmless. Trashing your own campus just because it feels good? Perhaps less so.
Walking to the library last week, I passed a small group of young women, either all athletes or a few athletes showing some prospectives around. One of them wondered aloud, “Do they, like, let the rain just wash it away or….?” A better question might be, “Why in the world does the University let us do this?”
But these are the words of a grumpy old person. Wake Forest Magazine published a photo of the freshly rolled quad that almost looks majestic and noble. So it goes.