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February 7, 2022

Student Snow Day

The Seagulls pose in front of their prize-winning sculpture.
Photo: Melia Covington

Winter storm Izzy blew through Greenville on Jan. 16, offering three days of activities in the snow for students. This marked the first time BJU has canceled classes because of snow since January of 2018, according to David Fisher, the vice provost for academic administration.

With temperatures reaching 30 degrees for the high and dropping to 28 for the low according to The Weather Channel, the winter weather persisted throughout the day. By Monday morning a total of 5.5 inches of snow had fallen in Greenville as reported by 7News WSPA.

Students gathered at Alumni Stadium and the lower athletic fields to enjoy activities such as snowboarding, snowball fights and snow football. Abigail Dwire, a sophomore kinesiology major from Africa, said she enjoyed playing football in the snow. “It’s … a lot harder to run in the snow, so it … gives it an extra twist,” Dwire said.

Converting metal chairs, boards, mattresses and plastic bins into sleds, students enjoyed sledding down Library Drive and other icy slopes around campus.

For many students the snow presented a unique opportunity to make memories. “I’m from Florida, so this is the first snow I’ve seen in … 10 years,” Logan Gruber, a sophomore criminal justice major, said.

Reshi Pasupuleti, a junior English education major from India, remembers seeing snow only at an indoor, winter-themed park in her home state. She enjoyed experiencing real snow this week. “It’s fun until my hands start to freeze,” Pasupuleti said.

On Jan. 16, the University announced a snow sculpting contest for societies and student organizations. According to Aaron Burk, the assistant men’s director of Student Life, 10 societies and one student organization participated in the contest on the lower athletic fields.

Andrea Gwillim, a sophomore graphic design major, headed a team of four Theta Sigma Chi Colt members who sculpted a snow minion for the contest. The members mixed snow with paint to add color to their creation.

The Kappa Sigma Chi Knights joined with two members of their sister society, the Alpha Sigma Omicron Ambassadors, to create a snow castle. “We did it this morning instead of last night [because] we knew the snow last night was not really packable,” Kaleb Shelton, a junior English major, said on Monday. The team began their sculpture just two hours before judging began on Jan. 17.

The judges included Burk; Jon Daulton, the director of Student Life; Allie Balsbaugh, a junior nursing student; and Julia Glenn, a junior business administration major. The judges chose the winning entries based on creativity, theme and detail. The Chi Kappa Delta Dragons won third place with a dragon sculpture; the Chi Theta Upsilon Gators received second place with their painted creation, Gwen the Gator; and the Zeta Tau Omega Seagulls won a prize of $200 with a lighthouse sculpture.

Eva Kovalchuk, a senior nursing major and president of the Seagulls, said that her team built a tower “using sandcastle-building methods, one bucket of snow on top of another.” After letting the tower freeze overnight, they used an ice scraper to shape it into a lighthouse and added ice cubes for detail on the top. “It was awesome winning because we had put in so much time into making it,” Kovalchuk said. “It was very validating.”

Due to dangerous road conditions, the University canceled its scheduled Martin Luther King Jr. Day service projects as well as in-person classes on Tuesday, allowing professors to hold classes virtually if they desired. Students resumed classes on Wednesday, Jan. 19.