The Collegian
Monday, August 15, 2022

In winter weather, students venture out for sledding, snowball fights

Corrections Appended

When Sadia Gado Alzouma invited her friend to visit Richmond this weekend, she intended to show her a stunning campus set against the backdrop of a warm spring-like day.

Instead, Alzouma, an international student from Niger, saw her first snow and took photos of a campus draped in white.

Amid blustery winds, cracking tree limbs and flickering lights, dozens of Richmond students relished in a rare snowfall Sunday night.

Seizing makeshift sleds -- trash bags, dining hall trays, and Tupperware container covers, among them -- throngs of rowdy students swarmed the hills in front of Boatwright Library and behind the Modlin Center, throwing snowballs and sliding down mountains of white, wet powder. Others rolled piles of heavy wet snow into massive balls to build snowmen.

Some students, reminded of home, rejoiced in the winter weather.

"It feels like I'm back in Buffalo," freshman Jeff Hunt said.

Sophomores Molly Schaefer, from Tennessee, and Shannon Hedrick, from Louisiana, spent an hour outside Sunday night, embracing weather they might not otherwise see in their home states. Hedrick said she saw a snow plow for the first time last year.

"We're from the South but we really like the snow," Schaefer said.

In front of Boatwright Library, freshman Hannah Kelley, a Connecticut native, admitted she hated snow and said she joined in the festivities only because her friend, freshman Marc Hess, forced her.

"This snowstorm is the pinnacle of my experience at the University of Richmond," Hess said.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

Near the Modlin Center, swirling winds weren't too strong to keep a group of students sledding down a hill. The sleds were being torn from their hands by the storm, but the students persisted.

Sophomore Tim Quinn, who lives in Rochester, N.Y., said that snow at home frustrates him because it never disappears after it accumulates.

"I like the snow here because it comes, is fun to play in, and then it goes away quickly," he said.

Elsewhere, a snowball fight involving 50 students broke out outside of Dennis Hall.

"Even though we were fighting with snowballs," said freshman Asa Spencer, "I felt it brought unity to the student body because students that otherwise wouldn't have interacted were engaging in a friendly snowball fight."

This version of the story CORRECTS the spelling of the woman from Niger to Sadia Gado Alzouma sted Sadia Gadu Alzouma. It also CORRECTS that Tim Quinn is from Rochester, N.Y., sted Buffalo, N.Y.

Contact reporter Jimmy Young at

Support independent student media

You can make a tax-deductible donation by clicking the button below, which takes you to our secure PayPal account. The page is set up to receive contributions in whatever amount you designate. We look forward to using the money we raise to further our mission of providing honest and accurate information to students, faculty, staff, alumni and others in the general public.

Donate Now