Lauren Bird – Staff Writer
If you’ve been paying attention to your Facebook feed lately, you’ve probably noticed the sudden explosion of videos with the title “Polar Plunge” or “Sandy Hollow Challenge.” More likely than not, you’ve watched at least one of these videos.
In case you haven’t been following this trend, however, the Polar Plunge is a challenge in which people get nominated to jump in cold water and then have to nominate at least three other people. Since Facebook is a heavily used form of social media, nominees post the video proof of their participation on Facebook. Since Sandy Hollow, a park just outside of Sioux Center, is pretty much the only place with water around Dordt, the challenge has become known to some as the “Sandy Hollow Challenge.”
The Polar Plunge began as a fundraising challenge for a baby in Missouri named Landon who has been diagnosed with cancer. People jump in cold water, nominate other people to do the challenge and then donate money for each person who accepted the challenge.
However, students at Dordt who have been completing the challenge don’t seem to be doing it for charity.
Students have mixed feelings in response to the challenge. Marta Vander Top, a freshman, was nominated for the challenge but decided to start a new challenge: the nap challenge.
“I’m not against the challenge, but when I was nominated, I was busy and couldn’t do it within 24 hours. I needed a nap more than I needed to jump in some cold water, so I just made the nap challenge,” said Vander Top.
Students like Vander Top have been using the videos as a form of creativity. A large chunk of Dordt’s student body and even a few staff members have been nominated. Students even got the pleasure of watching President Hoekstra complete the challenge.
“His video made my day,” said Vander Top. “I’ve really enjoyed watching it spread throughout Dordt. It’s one of those things that brings campus together. It’s something that everyone can and has been talking about.”
However, not everyone shares Vander Top’s approval of the Polar Plunge. Some students just ignore their nominations or have made videos protesting the challenge. Jon Hageman, a junior, believes that the challenge is not a good use of time.
“There must be more effective ways to bring campus together,” said Hageman. “This seems like one of those things where people say, ‘Hey, look how cool we are. If you want to be cool, you have to do this too.’ And if you don’t have the right friends, then you can’t get nominated.”
Now that the weather in Iowa is getting warmer, Hageman hopes that the Polar Plunge will stop spreading.
“It’ll probably die away like most fads do. The thrill will pass,” said Hageman. “And I’m looking forward to that so people can stop posting the videos on Facebook. If you’re not going to do it for charity, don’t fill up my Facebook with your videos.”