Dean of Students plunges into lake for 2013 seniors

Dean+of+Students+plunges+into+lake+for+2013+seniors

Kacey Minnick/Guilfordian

The sun hung high in the sky as students gathered around the familiar Guilford College Lake. Music blared. The crowd shuffled with excitement. Dean of Students Aaron Fetrow was about to jump in the lake.

Fetrow challenged the senior class to reach 50 percent participation in the Senior Gift Campaign. In return, he promised to take this fateful swim. The seniors gathered their money and awaited their well earned spectacle.

Dressed in a coat and tie, Fetrow appeared to the applause of onlookers. The crowd was substantial, easily boasting more than 50 students in attendance.

“Helen Rice has been yelling at me until, well, about five minutes ago,” said Fetrow, remaining unphased by the task ahead of him. “‘You’ve got your TDAP? You’ve got your shots?’ I’ve got it all.”

Fetrow had been well informed about the dangers of the lake by Dana Professor of Biology Lynn Moseley.

“She sent me a really darling email last night, two pages of problems I could encounter,” said Fetrow. “They all ended in ‘opod,’ and I’m not sure what they meant, really. Some kind of fish in the Amazon that attaches itself to your body in ways you do not want to talk about. Snakes, alligators … this kind of helpful advice.

“The Dean of Students up in Boston University, who is also a lawyer and a colleague of mine, he jumped in the Charles River as a fundraiser.

“(An alumna) said, ‘Aaron, you have got to do this.’ I said ‘Well, I don’t have a river,’ and she said, ‘Yeah, but you have the lake.”

Senior Tobias Olsen, the master of ceremonies and senior gift manager, wore a fake muscle shirt while goading the crowd, keeping everyone’s spirits high as Fetrow was directed to a rowboat and ferried to the center of the lake.

“This was just a group effort,” said Olsen. “I think people wanted to see Aaron go in, and we as a class saw this as a good thing.”

There were many factors that contributed to this fountain of charity, but the motivator for many seniors was clear.

“I guess we were motivated by the prize at the end,” said senior Puja Tolton.

“I’ve been wanting someone to jump in that lake my whole four years here,” said senior Olivia Shure.

The boat reached its destination, and all eyes were on Fetrow. There was a countdown. He spread his arms and with a majestic belly flop, he was in the lake. His pink inner tube floated in the wrong direction, forcing Fetrow to swim back to shore.

“(During the countdown), I was just trying to get a grip on the stupidity of my actions,” said Fetrow upon emerging from the lake. “Go seniors.”

With exams around the corner and graduation looming for our seniors, it is important to remember that college is not just about grades. Sometimes you just need to relax and take a swim.

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