Legal Bonfires Allowed at Campus Evens Now
By Sara Owen, Managing Editor
The very first official legal bonfire for a UNCP event was built for the Parent’s Weekend kick-off on Oct. 10. It was on the intramural field beyond the varsity soccer field and coincided with a pep rally. SGA decided to give bonfires a try in early October.
Campus police supervised while fire fighters built the bonfire inside a 10-foot barrier. Wooden panels were burned and used to keep the flame alive for more than an hour.
Arthur Herns, safety officer, said everyone must remain 10 feet from the actual fire for safety reasons.
Herns said any student organization can ask for permission to hold a bonfire, but there are channels to go through. He said they would have to fill out a Facilities Use Request Form before facilities can ask the chancellor for approval. Then approval must be given by the Robeson County Fire Marshall as well as the inspector who makes sure the location desired is safe.
The request must be made 30 days in advance.
LeAnn Strickland, a graduate of UNCP, said she thinks everyone enjoyed the bonfire.
“A lot of students were excited,” Strickland said.
Strickland is the new assistant director of a new office on campus called Parent and Family Services.
Strickland said only two other N.C. universities have official bonfires like the one held on Oct. 10. She said Duke University and UNC-Greensboro both have fire pits exclusively for bonfires.
Herns said the policies for requesting a bonfire should be on the university website in the near future.
According to Herns, the next bonfire is scheduled for Oct. 24.
Photo by Sara Owen. Bonfire blazes at intramural field on Oct. 10.