May 30, 2023

Campus Advisory about Hammocks and Slacklines

The following message is from the Office of Student Affairs: 

Dear UMW Community: 

As we move into the spring season, we welcome the warm weather and encourage everyone to enjoy the outdoors.  

We want to alert you, however, of risks associated with two increasingly popular outdoor activities: hammocking and slacklining.  As you may be aware, last evening a student was seriously injured in a hammock-related accident in the amphitheater.  Therefore, we are providing you with the following safety issues to consider: 

1)            Hammocks and slacklines are forbidden in the amphitheater, which is under renovation. 

2)            Hammocks and slacklines should not be attached to buildings or other campus structures.  The age and strength of columns and structures vary across campus. 

3)            Not all trees can support hammocks or slacklines and the risk of an accident increases significantly when hammocks are stacked or hung from branches rather than from tree trunks.  

4)           Using protective straps will help prevent damage to the tree’s bark.   For guidance on trees and possible damage to trees, please contact UMW’s Director of Landscaping and Grounds, Joni Wilson, at or 540-654-2088. 

Thank you for helping to spread the word about these issues to increase awareness of the potential risks to student safety and the surrounding environment.  Please email me directly with any questions or concerns. 


Juliette Landphair

Vice President for Student Affairs