The Gustavian Weekly

Gusties Will Shine: So let our candles shine, too - The Gustavian Weekly

By Ben Wick - Assistant Editor-in-Chief | October 2, 2020 | Opinion

Gusties, it’s beginning to look a lot like fall here on the Hill. Although it may be trite to say, fall is absolutely my favorite season.
It’s basically spring, but less wet. I cannot wait to step on some leaves on the sidewalk and hear that oh-so-satisfying CRONCH, for the mosquitoes to die from the cold, to traverse campus with an iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts freezing off my hand.
The best part of fall, though, is when you get to snuggle up, safe in your room from the cold and the wind, swaddled in a sweater and a blanket, procrastinating God-knows-what on Youtube, with a candle to provide me with the best possible fall scents.
And then, I am rudely shaken from my daydream with a realization: Candles are illegal on campus. Gusties can’t even possess candles. Candles, in the eyes of the administration, are contraband. But does anyone really care besides your CF? I think not.
The clause regarding candles in the Residential Life Housing Contract, which details regulations for all Gustavus-owned housing reads as follows, “Any item with a wick or flame or consuming flammable material (including but not limited to candles, incense, oil lamps, potpourri simmer pots, and gas or Sterno cans) are NOT allowed in residence hall rooms or College-owned apartments or houses.”
Along with this ban on all things candle-related, students who are found to be in possession of one of the aforementioned items are subject to a fine per each item and confiscation.
It’s the confiscation for me–f I am going to spend a good $24.50 on a nice, three-wick Dutch Apple Waffle Bath & Bodyworks candle, then my CF is gonna have to pry it from my cold, dead hands to remove it from my apartment. Not that I own any candles.
Sure, my purely-theoretical secret candle stash may or may not be a fire hazard. But so are the multiple extension cords you have fully occupied or your six connected strands of string lights. You probably even have a toaster hidden somewhere in your room just waiting to burn down Uhler.
You might ask me, “Why don’t you just use a diffuser instead?” And I would reply, “Talk to the hand.”
Essential oil diffusers are awful. They might have fun, novelty, light-changing capabilities, but do they flicker? No. Do they provide warmth? Nope. Do they give me headaches? Yeah, usually. Plus, they can be harmful to any Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) you might have in your space on campus. Diffusers may cause unsteadiness, changes in mood or depression and, if ingested, can even cause vomiting or diarrhea.
Besides, don’t even try and tell me that you haven’t snuck a candle or two into the dorms during your time on campus. The allure of the candle is strong and difficult to resist. Just give in. Grab a lighter and set the wick on your Marshmallow Fireside candle ablaze.
Candle usage has been suppressed for far too long on this campus. My plea to you, Gustavus Adolphus, is to let us celebrate the fall and all of its majesty. We’ve got seasonal depression on top of pandemic isolation depression this year, so spare us the fine and let me waft my Milk & Honey candle around my house. (Well, at least upperclassmen. First-years might just burn down Co-Ed if they were allowed to have candles.) Do it for the aesthetic. Let both Gusties and their dearly beloved candles shine, and make both your life and this fall count.

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