College lighting change is a grievous mistake

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February 20, 2017

11:02 PM

Slowly but surely, the College of William and Mary has been changing all the lamps in the parking lots and walkways from orange to white. No longer will the warm glow of orange radiate on the Sunken Garden, for now it has been replaced by cold and emotionless white. The orange glow felt like the embrace of a fire in a living room, inviting people in and making campus feel like home. The new lights, which initially cropped up around Tyler Hall when it was reopened, don’t feel like the William and Mary I know. Instead, they feel very corporate and sanitary, like a hospital or bank.

Maybe the new lights are more environmentally friendly or perhaps they are brighter to ensure better student safety. If it’s the latter I understand the need to change, but if that were the case, every light on campus would be white already. Instead, now we have a heterogeneous mixture of orange and white that makes it look like the campus is confused about its aesthetic. I thought the orange gave the campus a candlelit effect that reflected revolutionary times – while the new white lights just remind me of a horror film.

Personally, I think we should just keep all the lights around campus orange.

Personally, I think we should just keep all the lights around campus orange. In literature, orange is used to represent things like happiness, creativity, determination and success. White is used to represent purity, perfection and innocence. From this perspective, I see the student body more in the orange light. Nobody is perfect like the white light, but striving for greatness and having a sense of happiness is something that’s attainable. That part might be a bit of a stretch, but I think these new white lights are eyesores that don’t reflect the campus aesthetic.

Whether the College keeps the white lights or returns to the familiar orange, it needs to settle on one of the two options. The mixture I mentioned earlier isn’t a good look for campus. The imbalance of color makes walking around feel like the walkways are going through their awkward adolescent phase.

We’re a school rooted in tradition, and though traditions evolve, it doesn’t make much sense to have this slow transition to the ugly, white light.

We’re a school rooted in tradition, and though traditions evolve, it doesn’t make much sense to have this slow transition to the ugly, white light. It seems like a waste of money to replace functional bulbs, so maybe “For the Bold” just means increasing light pollution and diminishing the welcoming feeling the College had in previous semesters. It just won’t be the same walking around in the eerie, white light compared to the pleasant, comfortable orange shining light onto the College’s well-traveled pathways.

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About Author

Nick Cipolla

Senior Staff Writer Nick Cipolla '17 is a neuroscience major from Virginia Beach, Va. He was previously Sports Editor.