A letter I wrote to the Director of OSU Student Housing lobbying for a proposal I had for an event during my dorm's annual celebration week.  It was eventually approved and the event was covered by the campus newspaper.

April 19, 1993

Tom Scheuermann,

Director of Housing

Dear Mr. Scheuermann:

We, the residents of the Weatherford Tower, have a proposal for you to consider for our participation in the celebration of Jimmy K Week. As you probably know, Jimmy K Week is celebrated every year in late April or early May by the residents of Weatherford Hall to show our pride in the community which is our building and to remember the man, James K. Weatherford. In our attempt to provide a fun and interesting activity, we think we have hit upon a winner with the idea for a water balloon throwing contest from the top floor of the Tower. We know that putting on this unusual event requires your permission and approval. Therefore we will try to address the concerns that you may have in order for this to be a safe and responsible event, as well as fun.

The Weatherford Tower has a certain mystique coming from its beautiful architecture, its spacious rooms, the pride and self-respect of its largely upperclassmen residents, and its prominent height on campus. Items have been thrown from the Weatherford Tower in the past by people who were not necessarily residents of the Tower in an unconcerned and somewhat dangerous manner. As a result, throwing things from the Tower has been strictly forbidden and a $50 fine has been rigorously applied to all offenders. Quite rarely, do a few fools try throwing something off of the Tower, but to all who live here we do not even consider it an option for fun because we are fully aware of the consequences. Through the event we propose, we will give the residents of Weatherford Hall an opportunity to enjoy the grandness of the Tower with its exhilarating height, but in a safe and strictly regulated manner.

The event would take place on Friday afternoon, April 23, at 3:00 pm. With a musical fanfare playing in the background, Hall Director Melissa Yamamoto (as she has agreed) will give a short speech on the significance of this event to Jimmy K Week and the reasons for the strict regulations on throwing things from the Tower. Then, for 50 cents, any resident would be provided with three water balloons to throw from the balcony of a 5th floor room off the back side of the Tower toward a target of concentric circles on top the Weatherford Dining Hall roof. The concentric circles, made from construction paper or colored tape, are assigned point values to score the accuracy of the thrower. The thrower with the best score will be awarded a Pizza of their choice, the cost not to exceed $12, provided by the Weatherford Tower. After all participants have thrown and the winner decided, a watermelon will be tossed out by the winner as a dramatic and spectacular finale.

Concerning the issues of safety and security, importantly, there will be a Weatherford RA on the Tower 5th floor to supervise any items being thrown off and another Weatherford RA down on the ground to keep people safely away from the target area. We have contacted the Grounds section of the OSU Facilities Department and they have agreed to let us borrow 8 to 12 barricades to which we will connect fluorescent tape to block off the safety zone around the target area and the area below the balcony. Residents will be warned that anyone not adhering to the instructions of the RA's will face discipline and those illegally throwing items from the Tower will be fined. We think these measures will be adequate but do let us know if you require something in addition.

After the event, we, the undersigned, take personal responsibility for ensuring that the event will be cleaned up by 7:00 pm that day: removal of the barricades, sweeping up the balloon fragments, and picking up remnants and washing away traces of the watermelon. From Fred Meyer, we can purchase a plastic tarp, approximately 15' X '20 for less than $2.00 that can contain most of the watermelon mess. We do not think the event we are planning makes clean-up that terribly difficult.

We regret that this proposal was not delivered to you sooner. The only excuse is that we are very busy students. It does not reflect any lack of responsibility we feel toward caring out this event in the safe and proper manner that we describe in this letter. In conclusion, we hope you will give our proposal thoughtful consideration and recognize that this would be a fun and attention-getting way of celebrating Weatherford as we near its closing next spring. (Note: the principal author of this proposal has lived in Weatherford for seven straight years and the pride felt by him and the residents of Weatherford in this building and this community is genuinely real).


Scott Langley  Rob Gomez Mike Bailey
Tower Resident Tower President Tower RA


Writing Samples 

Scott's HomePage