Fire side stories: Quinnipiac students enjoy new fire pits on campus

Matthew Jaroncyk, Associate Producer

With temperatures cooling off and this week marking the first official week of fall, Quinnipiac has a new way of keeping warm with the addition of its new gas fire pits. 

Located on The Quad and The Complex Courtyard, students like second-year journalism and political science double major Anya Grondalski mention how exciting it is that fire pits are now available for students.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Grondalski said. “I think the university is looking for ways to enhance the student experience and I think this is definitely one of those ways and they’re preemptively thinking about safety, too.”

The idea of adding fire pits across the Mount Carmel campus was suggested in a meeting during the beginning of the pandemic involving the Freshman Advisory Board and Chief Experience Officer Tom Ellett

“We talked about what we could do outside that would be unique and different and engaging for students that are still socially distant and the fire pits came up, and I said ‘wow, let’s see if we can do that’,” Ellett said.

With the addition of these pits, the university hopes that they will help create a stronger and more vibrant campus life while fostering lifelong connections.

“I actually think it’s also thinking about the wellness piece,” Ellett said. “How do we leave the anxiousness of classes and other pressures students have. I really think it’s about we engage students in a place where they feel comfortable.”

To access a fire pit, students must fill out a reservation form at the Department of Public Safety agreeing that they will adhere to all the rules set in place.

Despite the concern for safety, first-year occupational therapy major Victoria Cicero believes that students do not need permission to operate the fire pits for each visit.

“I think it’s good you have to do that [go to Public Safety] in some ways, that way you are using it right and it’s not going to harm anybody or anything,” Cicero said. “But I feel like after you do it once you might be able to do it on your own.”

Students interested in utilizing the fire pits can access them for a two-hour time period everyday between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Fire pits only look to be the start of furthering campus life, as Ellett is currently working with Student Government Association to incorporate a skating rink and a way for students to access the lawn games the university has.

“I really think it’s about we engage students in a place where they feel comfortable,” Ellett said. “It seemingly had worked out well so far from what I can tell when I walk around talking to students.”