The beginning weeks of Carleton’s winter term have marked the start of a new mandatory two-part PE requirement for all students. Several colleges require their students to become proficient swimmers and Carleton has decided to follow in those footsteps — with a bit of a midwestern twist. With the summer season cut short by an intense winter, Carleton has deemed it vital to master the art of frozen water, and therefore issued a requirement for all students to obtain an ice-traversing certification.
Because Carleton’s ice rinks do not house nearly enough space for all students, a layer of ice has been placed on all campus sidewalks.
“The optimal time to add additional layers of ice is between 5 and 6 a.m.,” commented a facilities worker. “We actually lock all campus housing during that time to not let students mess up the texture, but I don’t think anyone has noticed yet.” Dump trucks have been spotted hauling masses of snow to form walls along the sides of the walkways: a gentle encouragement for students to not shortcut their certification.
While most students have been griping about the extra PE requirement and safety violations, hockey players have been ecstatic. They claim the iced sidewalks have a much nicer and more even texture than Carleton’s dedicated ice rinks. These excited athletes, however, have resulted in students maintaining a state of high alert to watch out for bladed hockey players barreling down the sidewalks. The security office has appeasingly noted that these hazards are easily identifiable and avoidable with their “what’s wrong with wearing just a t-shirt?” status.
Student pedestrians, on the other hand, have been in an uproar. With the Arb trails seized for Nordic skiing, now the sidewalks and trails have too been overtaken by sports that most forgot even existed. However, students are excited about the certification they will receive for this requirement, which has opened doors for many. “I feel like this program is finally giving me what I’ve been struggling to find at Carleton: some real-life, practical experience,” one student claimed.
It is indeed a rigorous requirement: one fall results in immediate removal from Carleton. Nearby the especially-slippery sidewalks outside Burton Hall, some clearly non-studio-art majors have begun constructing humanoid snow sculptures to commemorate their fallen friends. Students who haven’t seen that one friend in a while have been advised to check the identities of the sculptures. With the risk of expulsion, students have, at most, attempted to speed-walk on such risky sidewalks. One adventurous (or particularly late) student was indeed spotted successfully running on the ice, though we were unable to catch up with him for comment.
Unfortunately, weather circumstances outside of Carleton’s control have begun to melt some of the ice, turning some of the sidewalks and adjoining roads into slush fests. While unfortunate, this will also perhaps give Carleton the opportunity to transition to the second part of their new mandated PE requirement: the swimming certification.
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