November 8th, 2012 | University

Police break up freshman snowball fight

Roughly 200 freshmen gathered on Old Campus at midnight Wednesday night to participate in the year's first snowball fight.
Roughly 200 freshmen gathered on Old Campus at midnight Wednesday night to participate in the year's first snowball fight. Photo by Isaac Stanley-Becker.

For freshmen participating in a massive snowfall fight at midnight, everything was all fun and games — until the police showed up on Old Campus.

Roughly 40 minutes into a freshman snowball fight, police arrived and asked students to return to their dorms. One police officer said they had been asked by residential college masters to break up the event. While most students ignored the officers’ initial request, they complied after about 10 minutes and returned to their dorms.

One rebel, David Minoli ’16, asked one of the officers whether he could throw a snowball at her after he was asked to go inside.

“I’ll arrest you for assault,” the officer replied.

The brief altercation came after the Freshman Class Council announced a massive snowball fight after the first snowfall of winter — which, given its postelection arrival, might appropriately be dubbed “Snowbama” — hit campus Wednesday. About 200 freshmen gathered at midnight for the event and came prepared to lob snowballs at one another.

The event itself began as a battle between the colleges, reminiscent of an intramural sport. Cheers of “Say What? Say Brook!” were met with an attack from Branford students, who formed a single-file line and charged at their rival college. Chants of “JE Sux” filled the air, friends tackled one another, and many were used as human shields. One freshman boy ran across Old Campus shirtless, despite the 35-degree weather.

FCC representatives said they began coordinating the fight earlier Wednesday afternoon when the snow first began to fall.

“We were told it was a tradition for there to be a midnight snowball fight on the night of the first snowfall so we thought it would be a good idea to organize and publicize the event,” said FCC Representative Thomas Tolton ’16.

The event drew snowballs, chants and other snow-filled activities. By 12:15 a.m., four J.E. girls were making snow angels under a tree outside Bingham Hall in a pacifist protest of the snowball fight. ROTC had gathered outside Dwight Hall in their uniforms and formed an alliance, using their combined strength to pelt anyone around them with snowballs. A group of freshmen boys were standing outside Farnam singing, “Let it snow,” and Luke Johnson ’16 was carrying a snowball back to Vandy to leave outside the door of his FroCo, Ric Caraballo ’13.

The snowball fight was particularly exciting for freshmen hailing from warmer climates.

“Coming from Houston, Texas, this is the first snowball fight I’ve ever had the chance to be part of,” David Milewicz ’16 said. “It was excessively awesome.”

In its invitation, FCC representatives sent the freshman class an email signed from the “Federal Conservative Communist Party,” asking students to attend a Yale Political Union debate with Senator Olympia Snowe. The message about the snowball fight was hidden in the email in large, capital letters.

The moment was one of historic proportions. To help you remember the events more clearly, Cross Campus has written an epic poem to commit the massive snowball fight to memory.

It’s a Wednesday night with midterms

And all throughout Yale

It’s quiet and peaceful, you won’t hear a wail

But at 12 a.m. campus was taken by storm

Not another Sandy — just freshmen leaving their dorms

Armed with mittens and hats, out into the night

They all prepared for a huge snowball fight.