Opinion: Dark Carnival setup hazardous for students

A lighting fixture blocks the sidewalk between Parker Hall and Nichols Hall in preparation for the seventh annual Dark Carnival on Lindenwood's campus.
Photo by Michelle Sproat

MICHELLE SPROAT | Video Content Manager

Every year near the end of October, Lindenwood University hosts the Dark Carnival on the historic side of campus.

Every year members of Residential Life and other organizations help set up the carnival the morning of. 

And every year there are giant light fixtures set up in the middle of the sidewalk between the Spellmann Center and Roemer Hall. These light fixtures have fuse boxes with giant wires that line the walkway. 

In no way is this safe for students walking to class during the day of the carnival. 

This year, Dark Carnival takes place on Wednesday, Oct. 25 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Setup for the event began with Lindenwood Public Safety & Security clearing the parking lots in front of Ayres, Sibley, Niccolls and Parker halls the weekend before. Tents were set up on historic campus starting Tuesday morning. By Tuesday evening, the historic side of campus was lit up with fluorescent football-field lights that blocked the sidewalks.

Many students were not on campus Monday and Tuesday because of fall break. However, they returned to campus on Tuesday evening to find minimal parking, unsafe walkways and a messy situation for classes to resume on Wednesday. 

On Wednesday, students were expected to maneuver their way through the tents, tables, wires and light posts to get to class. While the setup is understandable and is effective for the festivities in the evening, students should not be expected to travel to class in these conditions. 

John Bowman, director of Lindenwood Public Safety & Security, said that parking in the main lot in front of Cobbs Hall will be open Thursday morning, but the spots in front of Ayres, Sibley, Niccolls and Parker halls will be closed. Those spots will not be reopened until the tents and tables are removed on Thursday. 

To fix this issue, Lindenwood should cancel classes on the day of the Dark Carnival since it takes away many parking spots that residents and commuters can use to park for classes. Students enjoy the carnival, including me, but there are unnecessary obstacles that the university puts on students who are just trying to get to class. 

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