The University Star’s dos and don’ts of river etiquette

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Spring has sprung, and with it comes changes across our lush campus. Flowers bloom, animals come out to play and the dirtbags of San Marcos emerge from their Natty Light-fortified townhouse-caves to spread havoc (and Axe body spray) on our beloved river. To help reduce the number of tubing terrors, the Ed Board has compiled a comprehensive list of dos and don’ts for fun the sun this spring.

DON’T put the “ew” in “Sewell”
While we’re sure you look totally fab in your thong bikini (and kudos on doing those squats last winter), this type of minimal coverage probably is not ideal for say, a rigorous volleyball match or a round of hula hooping. It is hard to focus on relaxing with friends when our gazes are constantly being drawn to that—ahem—letter in your mailbox. A little coverage goes a long way. The same courtesy should be shown by men, too. We know you are proud of your whole below the belt situation, but let’s leave the Speedos to Europe.

DON’T mess with Texas
There are trash barges and bins all around the river, so there is exactly zero excuse to lazily release your empty Corn Nuts bag into the wind. Not only does it make the riverbank and water look like something out of “Swamp People,” but litter can cause very serious harm to the creatures living in and around the river. The endangered blind salamander would much rather live in crystal clear water than trapped in an empty Four Loko can, we promise.

DON’T be a musical terrorist
The editorial board feels very comfortable stating that no one else at the river wants to hear the Skrillex-Insane Clown Posse-Carly Rae Jepsen mash-up CD your roommate made you. There is nothing wrong with listening to music, but keep it at a reasonable level. Or, better yet, make it personal and pop in your headphones as you sun yourself. Leave the boomboxes in 1992, along with neon windbreakers and the first Bush administration.

DO cut the cord
There are fewer activities more fun than rounding up a bunch of friends for an afternoon of floating. However, there is a fine line (literally) between floating in a fun tube group and causing a major traffic jam because you insisted on bringing 75 of your closest pledge brothers and sisters on your outing. Gather up a group of no more than five for your outing—but your cooler gets its own tube, obvs.

DO stay (reasonably) sane
While a refreshing cocktail or can of beer can be the perfect complement to a warm spring day, a visit from the police department or an ambulance can ruin your time at the river faster than you can say, “I was just holding it for a friend!” The rules about drinking at the river have changed in recent months, so brush up on them. Ignorance is definitely not your best legal defense. And even if you are drinking in one of the approved zones, it is a good idea to keep your wits about you and not get completely lit. Not only is it dangerous to be that drunk around a body of water, we can guarantee that your friends do not want to deal with you when you are that turnt up. Act like a dirtbag and you will be abandoned on the trash barge.

DO apply sunscreen
Crispy is never a good look, it is hard to mack on the man or woman of your dreams when you look like the shriveled up skeleton thing from SpongeBob (“They’re selling CHOCOLATE?”). If you are one of those naysayers who refuse to slather on the SPF, let’s put it this way—do you want skin cancer? Layer it on, y’all.