Welcome to Spring: Broken Floorboards

Spring is fun. Let’s talk about it.

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Last spring, my house (Lambda Chi) purchased an above-ground pool for our front yard… It was expensive. It was impulsive. It made the neighborhood look “trailer park-ish”. And, as we would soon find out, it was super not allowed!

We must have had the pool up for a good 90 minutes before DPS told us to get rid of it… SAD!

I believe their exact words were, “If you clowns don’t take this darn pool down, your house will be fined $2,000.00.”

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After some light cost-benefit analysis, we decided that $2,000.00 (for an above-ground pool, mind you) was slightly outside of our budgetary range. So, with heavy hearts and half-inflated floaties, we began disassembling our new pool.

What was once a shimmering blue oasis in our front yard, was quickly reduced to a sopping wet heap of metal rods and synthetic tarp in the middle of our living room floor… The bare bones of our new pool were to remain trapped indoors, like a caged peacock, unable to fly.

We stood around our pool’s slick metallic corpse, mourning its untimely death, when suddenly, from the crowd of somber bathing-suit clad brothers, one of our guys exclaimed, “LET’S JUST SET IT UP INSIDE!”

A general roar of approval rose from the other dudes in the room. Of course! Let’s just set up the pool INSIDE the house! Awesome idea! NAHHHTTT (Borat voice).

I seriously couldn’t believe how many guys were fully on board with setting up a full-size pool indoors… Luckily, as Deputy-House-Manager (shut up), I quickly vetoed the idea.

But, why? You might ask. Why would I be so against an idea that sounds so harmless? So fun! Why would I oppose something that all the other guys were so unanimously fired up about? What an incredibly good-looking question!

Allow me to answer it with a story…

Back in 1985, the Chi Phi fraternity at Dartmouth College (now called Chi Heorot, per localization) purposefully flooded the entire first floor of their chapter house.

With the floor sufficiently flooded, the dudes opened up all of the windows and doors in their house so that the water would freeze, leaving them with an indoor ice rink…

That’s right, a bunch of Ivy league students tried to build an ice rink inside of their frat house. And, as you can probably guess, it didn’t end well.

Once the water froze, the entire first floor of the Chi Phi chapter house collapsed into the basement! That’s right. These dudes literally broke their f*cking house!

The first floor/basement have since been renovated, but, the guys at Chi Heorot now build their hockey rinks OUTSIDE the house to avoid broken floorboards.

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With this random anecdote from collegiate history in mind, I saw my brother’s proposal to build a pool in our living room as the 2018 version of the 1985 Dartmouth Chi Phi incident. And as they say, “If you don’t learn from history, you’re doomed to accidentally collapse the first floor of your house into the damn basement.”

So, I voted against the idea.

Believe it or not, collapsing floors are actually a pretty real issue in the world of college student housing on a number of campuses.

If you’ve been keeping up with college news this past year you will have seen the story about the off-campus party at Clemson University this past October where 30 kids were injured when the dance floor at a house party collapsed into the basement.

If you HAVEN’T seen it, please go peep the video online, it seriously looks like something out of the movie This is the End. A huge crowd of students just disappears into the ground! I guess you can fall off the floor after all… Sinkhole de Mayo, amiright!?

I’m not really sure what the point of this rambling column is. I guess it’s about collapsing floors, above-ground pools, and homemade hockey rinks…

Above all, I suppose it’s just about being safe out there this Spring. Yeah, safety, that’s what I was trying to get at.

The back-nine of the school year is a lot of fun and if you’re not careful, you might end up falling through the floorboards of a house party into the basement, literally or metaphorically.

Valuable Takeaways:

  1. The school isn’t crazy about DIY pool situations.
  2. Floorboards are NOT indestructible.
  3. Ivy League kids aren’t as smart as you thought.
  4. Off-campus houses are sketch.
  5. Spring is fun.
  6. Go Bullets.

This article was written by Caleb Parker ’19.

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