Pool noodles provided to students

Before the weekend of September 11-13, Residence Life placed boxes filled with blue and green pool noodles on the first floor of dorms. These were cut to a length that could ensure people were walking around at the correct social distancing space. However, students reacted badly to the cost of the noodles and did not use them for their intended purpose. 

“I think it was a waste of money,” Bobby McMaster, ’22 said. 

Many students on campus brought this issue up when asked. Students were angry that tuition was not lowered and some money went into the pool noodles that could have otherwise been saved for something else later on, or taken off of the price of tuition. 

“It would’ve been different if they had asked students what they thought first as it is their tuition,” Gabby Culotta, ’22, said.

Another student couldn’t understand why (the pool noodles) were purchased at all. 

“They’re just stupid,” AJ Yarborough, ’22, said. 

Some students didn’t think the noodles were needed in the first place, and it didn’t help that the noodles were not six feet long. The use of them hasn’t been enforced either since Friday. Students wish they found something more helpful to enforce social distancing if they really needed to. The pool noodles were completely ineffective in their eyes. 

Students’ actions with the pool noodles were posted to a TikTok page anonymously. With over a million views, a video that clearly states the college and what the pool noodles were for was posted, along with a scene of an intense battle in front of Walker Hall. Students with blue noodles attacked students with the green ones and the blue team won. This video started getting thousands of views within the hour it was posted and comments came rushing in. 

“What did they expect when they gave college students noodles???” one comment said.

Battles rampaged through the campus as people put the noodles to their own use. Comments on the post ranged from people praising the funny moment to students disappointed in the decision to purchase the noodles. Overall, the comments were humorous, laughing at the scene of college students hitting each other with pool noodles, revisiting their childhood. 

Some students think the administration had a good idea at how to enforce distance, but students do not think they thought it through fully. 

“I do appreciate that they’re making an effort to [enforce social distancing] in a way that seems fun, but I feel like there are other places that the money could be going,” Culotta said.

 “It was a neat idea, but the college overestimated it’s students’ level of maturity, especially when they’re in quarantine,” Abby Fields, ’23 said.

 Comments on the post from students from other colleges laughed at the idea of their school giving them pool noodles, wishing they could experience the same thing. 

“I have not seen anyone using them since Friday,” Culotta said.

The intended use for social distancing didn’t happen. Another big point students are making is that after Friday afternoon, the pool noodles have been nowhere to be found. Students are now begging for other things on campus to be addressed that are more important in their eyes than pool noodles for social distancing.

 “By looking at all the Instagram comments, people have been saying there are obviously things that need to be addressed or fixed,” Culotta said. 

Comments on the post reflected this feeling. 

“The faculty said no to the $25,000 weather vane on top of Bentley,” one student commented. 

“There is still a surplus of noodles that aren’t claimed which means that there’s money just sitting in boxes,” Culotta said.

 Students have touched on how there are still boxes full of pool noodles on the first floors, going unused.  The noodles were gone very quickly from places like Brooks Hall and the Henderson Campus Center, but other spots on campus went untouched. 

Students have received no communication from the faculty and staff on the situation still. Students have not been approached or questioned about where their noodles are and if they are using them. no communication when they were set out and none after the battles. 

“We just want to know what is going on,” Fields said.