The chalk wars: fall 2022

Grace KearneyCopy Editor

Chalk has struck campus yet again. Last Monday night, pro-life Gusties took to the sidewalks to share their views on abortion rights and the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Tuesday saw a world of drama. “Spilled” water, mops, Queers and Allies, more chalk, the Women’s Action Coalition, and YikYaks abounded, and absolutely zero minds were changed. 

And I am thrilled. 

Obviously it’s not great that bodily autonomy is a topic up for debate, and obviously this is a conversation that needs to be had, but can we just acknowledge the objective hilarity of writing out this debate on the sidewalk???? We are quite literally stepping on others’ opinions. (That particular sentence was a stroke of genius from Cadence.) Nothing about writing on the sidewalk in an easily erasable medium is going to change any opinions on the matter. All it does is make people double down on their opinions and loathe the other side even more strongly, and quite frankly, I love it. To be fair, I am privileged to be able to laugh off the slogans, but the fact of the matter remains that none of this chalk debate is going to alter any mindsets, change any laws, or do anything to affect anything at all. It’s just drama. Two opposing sides going at it over something that, while it is hugely important to the real world, makes no difference on the sidewalk. 

I have my own opinions on this matter, and while this is the opinion section, it is not my place to broadcast that all over campus. Rather, I sit with my metaphorical popcorn and watch Paris burn with a sort of destructive glee. Yes, the topic is important, yes this affects real people on a daily basis, including people on campus (and to those struggling with all of this, my support goes out to you), but ultimately, what does sidewalk chalk do other than piss everyone off? I feel like I’m living in the moment of Mean Girls when Regina throws the Burn Book all over school, and while it’s delightful to watch the drama, after a while it just gets irritating. Can’t people keep their noses in their own business?

To the anti-choicers: We get it. You don’t like abortion. Don’t get one. Roe v. Wade was overturned, you got your way, can we leave it be now?

To the pro-choicers: Yes, it’s annoying. But remember, we’re in Minnesota, at a liberal arts college. Most people agree with you. Chill it on the chalk.

To Mother Nature: Please rain.

And to everyone: Don’t draw a fetus in front of Campus Center. None of us want to see that on our way to get food.

Getting their point across, specifically drawn across the sidewalks of campus is vitally important to some Gusties for reasons I will never understand. And fighting back with mops and water bottles is just as important to others. But ultimately, if you want to make a difference, chalk isn’t the place to be. The voting booths are.

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