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Wash away the stress

An argument for opening Taylor Lake for student swimming

Katelyn S. Irons | Echo


Anyone notice how hot it has been these last two weeks? It’s been hot. Really hot. I don’t know about you but I’ve been craving a sundae from Ivanhoes and a dip in Taylor Lake. Even though the summer heat is waning, I’m sure we’ll see plenty of stuffy days again before autumn sets in.

During a week when the highs are well into the 90s and a heat advisory is on, you begin to contrive plans of how a friend could “accidentally” push you into the lake or when the best time is to jump in without anyone seeing. However, I believe there is a better way. There is an opportunity that we seem to be missing. This opportunity would not only build that deliciously overused phrase—intentional community—but it would be something that could help make the student body healthier and less stressed.

Taylor Lake is currently not open to students to swim. And not because it is particularly disgusting as a swimming center, seeing as the lake can be rented to churches for baptisms and open swims.

So why aren’t we splashing in our own backyard puddle?

Perhaps it costs too much to hire a lifeguard to make sure no one drowns and sues the school. That is a pretty good reason. I wouldn’t want anyone drowning in Taylor Lake. It would put a bit of a kibosh on my view out my window in Breuninger Hall.

Jokes aside, Taylor is missing out on a great potential bonding experience for sticky, sweaty, survival-seeking students. Swimming is a very healthy activity, having been proven to lower stress, release endorphins and benefit the brain by replacing cells, according to Discovery Health.

See what I mean? Swimming in Taylor Lake would make for more productive students, and a better quality of student life. While we do have a swimming pool, I would like to point out that it offers only two lanes. And while some might argue tight quarters make for great swim sessions, my idea of community is not a traffic jam while doing the backstroke.

An open lake on days when the heat is on—whether from schoolwork or literal high temperatures like this week—would melt away stress and leave students better prepared for their next assignment.

Before you go and think that what I am suggesting is completely unreasonable due to cost, let me tell you my full proposal. Students are not likely to swim on more than a few weekends a semester, so I don’t propose to open a water park and offer a wave pool feature for our refreshment. No, my proposal is much simpler and more cost effective. Even if we just had the beach open once a semester, or even once a week on searing hot days, I think Taylor and its community would benefit.

And if the money just isn’t available, we could cover the cost by selling semester swim passes, or by opening up the concession stand (which, coincidentally, we already have) which has apparently been reduced to golf-cart storage, at least during my time here.

I promise I will buy an ice cream bar—or 10.

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