Classes were canceled, and Elon University’s Young Commons was blanketed in snow. Within a matter of seconds, what was once a quiet scene of fresh snowfall became a full-fledged battlefield, and white balls of fluff were flying in every direction. Students approached both ends of the commons armed with snowballs.
Before the fight broke out at 3 p.m. on Feb. 13, a list of rules was established. The main rule was to avoid any injury. Instigators instructed participants specifically not to hit people above the shoulder or above the waist and to avoid the face at all costs.
The students split up into two teams, one on each hill. After a countdown, each side rushed toward the other, snowballs in hand.
Phrases like “long live Elon,” “head into the fire,” “turn down for what?” and “snowball so hard” rung out across the commons.
Strategic participants constructed forts in the snow and barricaded themselves from the crossfire.
“Our strategy is to duck and cover and try not to get hit,” said senior Stephanie Driscoll. “I was stuck inside on a snow day, and it was time to get out and have fun in the snow.”
Senior Greg Zitelli organized the snowy fight through a Facebook event labeled “EPIC SNOWBALL FIGHT ON THE BOOBS!”
“I was really pumped when I first heard we didn’t have school. I stayed in on Wednesday and watched a bunch of movies, but by Thursday I was really ready to get out of the house,” Zitelli said. “I thought it would be cool to have a snowball fight and get a ton of people to come. A couple of my friends thought it sounded awesome, and so we created an event on Facebook.”
More than 1,000 people were invited to the event on Facebook,though Zitelli himself only invited 150. He also posted in several Facebook groups, which helped spread the word quickly.
“I love the Elon community and really wanted to get everyone involved,” he said.
Zitelli estimated that more than 200 students participated in the battle. Some of them were Zitelli’s friends, but many more were freshmen who lived nearby or other students who heard about the event by word of mouth.
Senior Carrie Shropshire came to the fight to have some fun and make the most of the snowy weather.
“It is my senior year, and I wanted to make the best of it,” Shropshire said. “Plus no one would go sledding with me, so this is the next best thing.”
Seniors took this opportunity to make for up lost time. Some even chose to put off their schoolwork for this opportunity to get outside and play.
“When I got there, I was shocked at how many people were already there,” Zitelli said. “There were definitely over 200, maybe even 300, and people came and went all afternoon.”
In the midst of all the chaos, some students chose to partake in other, less violent activities. A few students were seen making snow angels, and a makeshift sled made of a storage box was dragged across the field.
The fight lasted for about an hour. Some students turned in from the cold, while others stuck around longer, building snowmen, having mini snowball fights with each other and frolicking in the snow.