Caroline Wilkerson ~ Copy Editor

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and students at the University of Lynchburg are celebrating by decorating their houses with the Christmas spirit.

Erin Gardner, a junior at the University of Lynchburg, exclaimed, “Christmas lights are a tradition in my family and bring out holiday spirit. Christmas without lights would be a cake without frosting. However, it kind of sucks that we can’t hang Christmas lights from the roof…I mean, after all, Christmas lights belong on the roof.”

On Monday, November 26, Courtney Kelsey, Assistant Director of Residential Learning Communities released a campus-wide email explaining the rules and expectations of Christmas decorations on south side. In the email she wrote, “As we anticipate the holidays approaching and your possibly wanting to decorate upon your return from Thanksgiving Break, the Office of Housing and Residence Life will pre-approve the following decorations for Southside residences. One, lights may be displayed on the exterior of Southside residences or in windows. However, students are not permitted to be on roofs….Two, window clings or gel clings may be hung on doors and/or windows of residences.”

Not only is hanging Christmas lights from the roof against school policy, but it also is a very dangerous task. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation Internationals Holiday Data and Statistics, “roughly 5,800 people per year were treated in hospital emergency rooms for falls associated with holiday decorations. More than half of these injuries were caused by falls from ladders or roofs while decorating outdoors.” Furthermore, “Christmas tree and holiday decoration fires result in twice the injuries and five times more fatalities per fire than the average winter holiday fire.”

Another source sharing similar information, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission stated, when putting up Christmas lights of any sort “you should always examine new and old lights for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections. Throw out damaged sets, and do not use electric lights on a metallic tree.”

Despite these major safety hazards and risks, University of Lynchburg students have not been deterred by their holiday spirits.

Jack Timmons, junior, said “My house had a great time setting up Christmas lights. I love the fact that the school allows us to be creative and feel festive.” When asked about the school’s policy, Timmons replied, “It does not make a big difference if it’s (Christmas lights) not on the roof. It’s fun that we have bushes and trees to put lights around.”

Elissa Presslein also agreed with Timmons saying, “For the most part, I agree with the University’s policy. I understand that it is established to keep students safe as well as make note of possible burglaries of decorations. She continued, “Overall, I love putting up Christmas decorations as it makes my house here feel more like home. It is also a good stress reliever from finals.”

Kelsey concluded her email, stating, “please note that any residences found in violation of the decoration policy, or not following the items outlined above, may face a fine and/or disciplinary action.”

Make sure to have all decorations removed before leaving for winter break beginning December 17th.