SnowballPreview_KU

Last semester\’s dorm-battle brought some small injuries due to ice chunks.[/media-credit]

http://http://vimeo.com/8093990

Battle For Bascom Preview

Quick preview of the epic Battle for Bascom, Wednesday, December 9, 2009.

http://http://vimeo.com/8092942

Lakeshore and Southeast go head to head on UW’s first snow day in almost 30 years.

http://http://vimeo.com/8129628

A snow day for the record books…

The University of Wisconsin-Madison canceled a full day of classes for the first time in more than 30 years. The announcement came around 7:45 p.m. the night before, prompting students to celebrate in true UW fashion. The day off came right before finals week, allowing many the opportunity to have extra time to study.

With all University of Wisconsin classes cancelled and the first Wisconsin-sized snowstorm dumping piles of fresh powder on campus, students will have all the time and ammunition needed for an epic first snowball dorm battle of the season today.

At 2 p.m., residents from the Lakeshore dorms will square off against Southeast dorm residents on Bascom Hill for what is quickly turning into a traditional rivalry event.

The event was initiated by three UW freshmen who created a Facebook event page late Monday night looking to blow off steam before finals.

To their surprise, memories of battle royales from last year and the snowballing power of Facebook quickly pushed the number of confirmed attendees into the thousands.

With around 700 students attending last year’s Bascom battle despite frigid temperatures and glare ice, event organizers expect temperate weather and fresh snow to draw snowballers in the thousands.

As of press time, the Facebook event page, “BASCOM HILL SNOWBALL FIGHT,” listed nearly 4,700 confirmed guests.

“There’s well over 16,000 people that have been invited,” event organizer and UW freshman Lauren Jernegan said. “It started as just me and my roommate wanting to get 100 people or so and it just turned into this massive thing.”

The large snowball fights first gained momentum following two large fights between Ogg and Sellery Halls in December 2008.

The Lakeshore dorms will be defending their reputation this year, following a decisive victory at a face off on Jan. 24.

The key to victory last year was gaining the higher ground and pushing Southeast into full blown retreat down the hill, said Greg Stravinski, a UW junior who participated in the event as both a Southeast resident and part of the Student Emergency Medical Services.

Looking forward to today’s battle, Stravinski said the best strategy is to come with a winning attitude.

“Southeast will come and they will look stylish and act cool like they are above the fight,” Stravinski said. “No doubt, Lakeshore will win again this year, just because they really come to win.”

Stravinski added Lakeshore employed a number of strategies last year that lead to victory, including arming themselves with snow-flinging technologies like catapults, slingshots, as well as defensive armaments like snow shields and fortresses.

“Whatever will help them win, they will get their hands on it,” Stravinski said.

He added he remembers multiple Lakeshore residents licking their snowballs as they made them to achieve optimal density and aerodynamics, while Southeast was “throwing flakes.”

While there were a number of minor injuries including at least one ice chunk inflicted facial wound requiring medical attention, organizers said they have not contacted any medical services to alert them of the event.

“I’m kinda worried about that, but I think people that come to the snowball fight will assume the risk. We’ll make that clear,” said Ben King, UW freshman and event organizer.

Nonetheless, Stravinski is confident Student Emergency Medical Services will be present to ensure injured participants get needed medical attention.

Today’s event is not considered the “big” annual snowball fight, which will be held the first Saturday after classes resume in the spring, according to UW sophomore Michael Basak, who organized the January event that brought thousands to Bascom Hill.