Witnessing the walk

It’s early Sunday morning as the streets of Burlington are graced once again by students bound for their beds and refuge from humiliation.Although many agree that morning air is fresh and the sunrise is always pretty, these tattered, tired and often intoxicated walkers aren’t fooling anyone. The walk of shame, as explained by UVM sophomore Marga Franklin is simply “when someone gets too drunk and hooks up with someone they don’t know well enough and they have to walk home in the morning.”The walk has most likely been around as long as alcohol and sex, but here at UVM, the walk is a staple in the social fabric of the University.According to UVM sophomore Megan Foster, the shameful walk is far from uncommon on UVM’s campus. “You will more than likely witness at least one every weekend,” she said, “more if you’re watching for them.”Who takes the walk? According to Franklin, the walk can be taken by anyone. However, “it is often more easily identified and more stigmatized for girls,” Foster said.In correlation, UVM sophomore Adam Wood thinks (from experience?) that freshman girls are probably taking the most walks of shame. Walkers can be identified wearing the same clothes as the night before with messy hair, smudged makeup (or black sharpie) and sporting a substantial hangover, Foster said. Although often embarrassing, “most of the shame is not a by-product of the disheveled appearance, but rather the negative connotation associated with a regrettable one-night stand,” she said.”They’re usually walking because the person they hooked up with doesn’t care enough to spend the gas money to drive them home,” Franklin said.Although Franklin speculates that most walks are taken “between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m., before the other party is awake,” MAT resident Evan Lunter has been witness to a less traditional walk of shame.”It was 3 a.m. and she walked out of the guy’s room wearing baggy men’s sweatpants and stumbling to get back to her room in the adjacent residence hall when she casually walked right through puke on the floor,” Lunter said. Wood said the closest he has come to the walk of shame came before he had even hooked up. He was forced to roam the dorm halls for “safety equipment” before he finally received an embarrassing bag containing 72 lubricated condoms from his floor’s RA, Wood said.Foster said that a friend of hers once received a standing ovation from half a floor of guys as she walked from the dorm room into the hall.Good news for walkers is that, according to Wood, everyone makes the walk at one point in their lives. As long as it isn’t a habit, he says, “it is actually more comical than shameful, at least after a few days.” On top of that, springtime is approaching, and if nothing else, perhaps the warm weather will remove some of the injury from the insult of UVM’s morning stroll.