Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Storm Cancels Classes, Spurs Students’ Snowballs

Storm+Cancels+Classes%2C+Spurs+Students%E2%80%99+Snowballs

Georgetown University students took to campus outdoor spaces to sled and hold midnight snowball fights following a rare snowstorm Jan. 15. 

The storm saw 3.4 inches fall at Reagan National Airport, the official measuring site for Washington, D.C., making it the largest snowstorm in two years and the first time over an inch had fallen in the District since Jan. 16, 2022. As a result, the university moved in-person classes held Jan. 16 before 12 p.m. and Jan. 17 before 10 a.m. to an online format.

As the snowstorm hit D.C. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a university and federal holiday, students were able to enjoy the snow on Georgetown’s campus — using makeshift sleds to slide down Leavey Esplanade, hosting snowball fights on Healy and Copley Lawns and making snow angels outside Dahlgren Chapel.

Sophia Copeland (SFS ’24) said she enjoyed going with a roommate to a late-night snowball fight on Healy Lawn.

“We pelted snowballs at each other, at our friends, at strangers,” Copeland told The Hoya. “At one point we were by the cannons and someone was yelling ‘cannonball!’ as they threw snowballs into the crowd. I had the time of my life, and it may have been the most fun I’ve ever had in college.”

A Jan. 15 snowstorm moved Georgetown University classes online and sent students outside to build snowmen and start snowball fights.

Reesa Bhowmik (SFS ’26), a native of Singapore, said the snowstorm was only the second time she had ever seen snow and the first time she had ever experienced significant snowfall after only flurries fell during the winter of 2022-2023.

“I remember just the first time even seeing flurries at Georgetown was such an incredible experience for me, because I’ve spent my whole life in the tropics,” Bhowmik told The Hoya. “That for the second time ever for me to really see snow to again be at Georgetown, and just be an experience that I could share with a lot of my friends for whom it’s such a common happening, but for me, it’s so novel — I think it’s just an incredible experience.”

During the snowfall, Bhowmik built her first snowman, made her first snow angel and went for a walk to Heyden Observatory to look out over campus. Bhowmik said the snow gave Georgetown an air of happiness.

“It gave me a little bit more faith in the Georgetown community, because everyone was out there,” Bhowmik said. “People were having snowball fights and building snowmen and just enjoying it with each other. I think it was just so lovely to see how the community came together.”

Renée Clark (CAS ’24) said she was excited that a major snowstorm finally hit the District during her senior spring, allowing her to fully experience snow at Georgetown with her friends.

“I have never really seen the campus in snow, Healy in snow, with everybody, my friends, going outside and having a good time and sledding,” Clark told The Hoya. “It’s been so much fun.”

Students used cardboard boxes, mattresses and trash bags to sled down campus hills. 

Clark said she particularly enjoyed seeing the carefree, joyous atmosphere around campus.

“Genuinely, I can’t even describe the feeling of joy that the past couple of days on campus have had,” Clark said. “It’s amazing.”

Felix Rice (CAS ’26) also participated in the snowball fight and said he enjoyed seeing Georgetown community members take time for themselves instead of stressing or working late.

“It was nice that everybody was outside late and just having fun,” Rice told The Hoya. “We don’t do enough genuinely fun stuff, just for the fun of it, enough.”

Still, Rice, who grew up in the suburbs of Dallas, said the snow was unfamiliar and too cold for him.

“As a Texan, I’m not built for this,” Rice said. “I guess I’m just not a winter guy. I didn’t grow up with winter.” 

“I’m ready for it to be spring again,” Rice added.

National Weather Service forecasts predict an additional two to three inches will fall in D.C. on Jan. 19 into the morning of Jan. 20.

Copeland said she is excited for campus to see another snowstorm so soon after the Jan. 15 storm.

“Even just the thought of it brings a smile to my face, and a childlike joy just from very deep inside of me just wants to burst forth and have a couple more snowball fights,” Copeland said. 

Bhowmik said she looks forward to experiencing her third ever snowstorm with her close friends.

“I’m very excited,” Bhowmik said. “I have all my snow gear ready to go, my boots that I bought at the start of freshman year that I was waiting for a chance to break them out. I think it’s just so cool that I get to experience this with other people.”

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