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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

Fire marshal restricts Row lights

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WILL THE RESTRICTION ON PLACEMENT OF LIGHTS RUIN TONIGHT’S TRADITION?

Recently the talk around campus has revolved around this year’s Winter Lighting.

As the Wofford community has become increasingly aware that the fire marshal and the college banned fraternities from putting Christmas lights on the roofs of fraternity houses this year, an air of disappointment lingers around campus. The ban was supposedly imposed to avoid fire hazard and to protect the fraternity houses from water damage, since stapling Christmas lights onto the roofs creates holes that let water in.

Still, many students feel they are being robbed of a memorable tradition.

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Matt Pettit, member of Campus Union and a Greek-letter fraternity, feels the ban is useless since the Row is going to be torn down soon anyway.

“Finding a way to meet in the middle is the best option, but that’s not the route the college usually takes with fraternities,” he says. At a recent Campus

Union meeting he proposed that the fraternities use a tarp instead of stapling directly onto the roofs, but Facilities rejected this idea because it would create a fire hazard.

Luci Laffitte, who advises the Wofford Activities Council (WAC), explains that while the Row will be torn down shortly, the houses still need to be preserved for the time being. She assures students that the intentions of the college are not to stifle creativity.

“The fraternities are still allowed to do whatever they please on the front of their houses, and on their front lawns. We draw the line only at live animals,” she jokes.

While administration says they only have the college’s and students’ best interest in mind, juniors and seniors remain disappointed at the change in tradition for their last Winter Lighting at the Row. Isaiah Addison, member of WAC, head of the Winter Lighting committee and member of a Greek-letter fraternity, shares that the reason he joined WAC was because he loved Winter Lighting so much he wanted to be a part of planning it.

“Christmas is my favorite holiday, and this event has always been special to me,” he says. “Putting lights on the roof was a bonding time for my brothers and me. It’s sad to see that tradition go, especially since this is the last time the event will ever be at the current Row.”

But because he loves the event so much and because this is the last time it will be at the current Row, Addison says he is working with WAC, regardless of limitations, to make it as well-developed as possible.

Winter Lighting is going to be very similar to years past. Candlelight Carols will be held in Leonard Auditorium followed by the lighting of the menorah on the seal. Everyone will then head to the Row to enjoy the decorated houses, a tacky Christmas sweater competition, cookies and hot chocolate, a snow machine and a photo booth. WAC will be set up in house three again this year.

And, of course, the winner of the best decorated house will be announced. Elizabeth Fields, director of the campus ministry center, explains a change to the event that will be made.

“We wanted to increase the ‘wow factor’ of the event this year, so we want to make the lighting of the houses more of its own moment. The lights will go on once everyone has arrived.” She also shares that Burwell will host a Wofford Wonderland dinner for faculty and staff and their families before Candlelight Carols. There will be a holiday meal, crafts for kids and an appearance from Santa. (Look closely; you may even recognize him.)

So will Winter Lighting be dulled by the change in the lighting of the houses or will it be as enjoyable and spirited as ever? Tonight we’ll find out.

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