It all started with the precious gift that President Loh granted the students of the University of Maryland: a snow day.
On Feburary 16, President Loh tweeted that Maryland’s campus would be closed today due to inclement weather. Students rejoiced at the news of their first snow day of the academic year and it wasn’t long before a Facebook event for a snowball fight was born, because is it even a snow day without a snowball fight?
The Facebook event, “UMD Snowball Fight 2015,” was hosted by Kathryn Klett and senior philosophy major, Sam Elkind. Over 7,000 students were invited to the snowball fight on McKeldin Mall scheduled at 2 p.m., and a total of over 3,000 students committed to attending the festivities.
Comments about the snowball fight were also spread through YikYak, but Facebook was the most accessed social media forum utilized in gathering students for a chance to relive a childhood tradition.
“I was invited by one of my roommates. Just an invite on Facebook makes a difference because I sent it to all my friends too,” junior hearing/speech and communications double-major Shanice Gentle noted.
Students began flooding the field of McKeldin Mall well before the 2 p.m. start time. It was during this time that gloves were slipped on, jackets were zippered up and hats were well adjusted. And rightfully so because the day’s temperature stayed steady at a mere thirty degrees.
“I just put on three pairs of pants, a sweatshirt, gloves and hat,” Gentile said, “[I] put on as much as I could.”
Once a student was geared up, there was no holding back. The mass collection of chaos painted a warzone of snowballs zooming though the air and the undeniable excitement of a target being successfully hit. The key is a perfectly formed snowball.
“You have to try to get it as tight in your hand before throwing it,” junior history major, Adam Dooley advised.
And according to Dooley, once the snowball is ready the target is just “whoever is throwing one at you.”
At the snowball event there were hundreds of targets to choose from, partly thanks to the Facebook event creators. Elkind admits that a majority of the credit goes to Kathryn Klett for conceiving the idea to create an event on Facebook, but couldn’t have been happier to see the turnout.
“The general atmosphere of fun was exactly what I had hoped for, and the numbers pushed the upward bounds of my expectations,” Elkind stated.
Bright red and sweaty faces draped in now wet clothing were all that remained of the Maryland students as they cleared out of McKeldin Mall, but each still carried the same youthful smile they came in with.