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Cold temperatures draw sparse crowd for senior sleepout

Photo courtesy Dana Krol.
Photo courtesy Dana Krol.

It’s not every day that President Le Roy makes you pancakes for breakfast.

But for a few brave members of the senior class, Saturday was that day.

“The pancakes were fluffy and delicious,” said senior Libby DeKraker. “Barack Obama couldn’t have made them any better.”

Following last weekend’s Buck Fridays’ Party at the Prez’s event, seniors were invited to sleep out on the front lawn of DeWit Manor, the president’s on-campus home.

Given the frigid temperatures, however, only a small number stepped up to the challenge.

Though low attendance numbers were a bit discouraging, the students who did attend enjoyed this unique opportunity, and many agreed that the cold, wet weather was the largest factor in keeping more people from coming.

“I was a little disappointed that more people didn’t show up, but I understand that a lot of factors played into it, especially the weather,” said senior Dana Krol, who works as a Knights for Life (K4L) intern in the alumni association office, which sponsored the event along with Buck Fridays. “But those who did come were excited about it and had a lot of fun.”

Before ending the evening talking around the campfire, those who participated were treated to a reading of “Goodnight Moon” as a bedtime story from the president himself, who also shared camping stories and asked about how life was going for those in their final year at Calvin.

“It was really fun to be able to interact with [President Le Roy] in that kind of atmosphere,” said DeKraker. “I enjoyed listening to some of his personal stories and getting to know him better.”

While some pitched tents on the lawn, others hung up hammocks in the trees or just slept in the open air. No matter the amount of protection from the elements, the chill of the night definitely impacted the group’s sleep.

“I was laying in my sleeping bag in the tent and I couldn’t think about anything other than how cold I was,” said DeKraker. “Other people were sleeping soundly, but I could not stop shivering.”

This was the first time students have ever been invited to sleep on the president’s lawn, but Krol thinks the event has the potential to become a tradition if changes are made.

“It’s a pretty cool idea, but things would have to be done differently in the future,” said Krol. “I think it would have helped to start advertising sooner, because a lot of people didn’t know it was happening.

“And based on the turnout this year, the biggest thing would be to move the timing — either one of the first weekends of the school year as a kick-off event, or maybe at the end of the year as a sort of last hurrah for the graduating class.”

About the Author

Catherine Kramer

My name is Catherine Kramer and I am a senior hailing from Grandville, Mich. I am the features section editor for the 2013-2014 school year. As an English literature major and writing minor, I have a love for words and people and the ways they interact.

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