Bascom Hill became a war zone Saturday as Southeast and Lakeshore students flung snowballs to decide which residence area is superior.
As snowballs quickly turned to ice chunks, medical services were put to use in treating battle wounds.
Lakeshore dorm residents emerged triumphant as they pummeled their S.E. dorm counterparts at a 700-plus battle atop Bascom Hill.
The Lakeshore dorms threw, flung and tossed their way to a decisive victory over the Southeast dorms in a snowball fight that attracted more than 700 students to Bascom Hill Saturday.
“Lakeshore trounced the Southeast area. The Southeast put up a pretty good fight. They were the first people to really put a strategy into battle,” said organizer and University of Wisconsin freshman Mike Basak.
Lakeshore students gathered near the Education Building wearing red while Southeast students congregated in front of the Law Building in black and white.
The snowball fight began with the blow of a whistle at 3 p.m., after which war cries rang out as the two sides rushed to fill the middle third of Bascom.
By 3:20 p.m., two charges had allowed Lakeshore to take control of the middle of Bascom, leaving the Southeast contained to the sidewalk outside the Law Building.
“We never back down, never surrender,” said freshman Justin Prentice, who led one of the charges. “There was a weak point that we had to attack, and we exploited it well. We took the high ground and were very successful.”
Around 3:25 p.m., the two sides had regrouped on the upper third of Bascom, but a third charge by Lakeshore at 3:27 p.m. pushed the Southeast down the hill. By 3:30 p.m., they had been pushed into the area surrounding the bridge on Park Street and Lakeshore emerged victorious.
Student Emergency Medical Services Co-president and UW junior Emily Anstadt said no serious injuries were reported, but medical attention was required for several students.
“We found one boy who … had been hit in the lip/chin and shoulder with an ice block. Another girl was hit straight on in the nose and it was pretty swollen. We cared for her and recommended she go into the ER to check for any further damage,” Anstadt said.
SEMS sent six students to patrol the battle and administer first aid after being approached by Assistant Dean Kevin Helmkamp about helping to make the snowball fight safe.
“The snowball fight was … a bit scary from the medical perspective,” Anstadt said. “At the end of the fight, the Lakeshore dorms charged the Southeast dorms down the hill and you can imagine what went through our heads. We ran down the hill after them to try to find any trampled victims.”
Although eyewitness accounts differ, the event attracted far less than the 4,000 students expected, which would have lifted the fight to record-breaking status.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the current snowball fight attendance record is held by Michigan Technological University, where a fight in 2006 attracted 3,700 students.
Overall, Basak was pleased with the event and said that it was not the numbers that mattered.
“I am extremely happy with how everything turned out,” Basak said. “I honestly thought that people were going to get hurt, but you gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet. For the most part, it was a really fun event and it went really well.”
UW Police could not be reached for comment, but there were no known arrests as of press time.