Students threw snowballs and celebrated canceled midterms Tuesday afternoon as an unexpectedly heavy snowfall prompted the University to shut down for the first time in three years.
GW canceled classes at 3 p.m. Tuesday because of inclement weather; the University reopened at 10 a.m. Wednesday.
“We’re getting attacked by snowball hooligans,” freshman Jordan Paul said. His second-floor window in Crawford Hall was under attack from fellow students, and he vowed revenge.
Others opted for a different kind of hooliganism.
“We’re going to go visit the monuments and get into a big snowball fight over there,” freshman Lynn Tan said. Tan, who is from southern California, said she has been “waiting for a really long time” for snow in D.C.
Suspension of the Mount Vernon campus shuttles stranded some students. But routes resumed shortly after administrators canceled classes.
“All essential University facilities will be working,” Mike Gargano, assistant vice president for Student Academic and Support Services, said Tuesday afternoon. “With the snow and heavy traffic, the shuttles may not be running precisely on schedule. However, that is probably more of a safety issue than anything else.”
Gargano said GW administrators rarely cancel classes because of snow. The last time GW closed, during the Blizzard of 1996, the federal government was forced to shut down as well, Gargano said.
He said his office received the phone call about the closing at 2 p.m.
Some events on campus were canceled Tuesday, but Margaret Cho’s comedy show at Lisner Auditorium, part of Program Board’s Unity Week, went on as scheduled.
The men’s basketball team was scheduled to fly to Orlando, Fla., Tuesday afternoon for the opening round of the NCAA Tournament. But the team spent the night in a Tysons Corner, Va., hotel after snow canceled its flights at two local airports, said Charlene Miller, sports information graduate assistant.
The team was scheduled to take a 2 p.m. flight from Reagan National Airport. After checking their luggage, team members were told their flight was canceled. The team then attempted to fly out of Dulles International Airport, but its flight was canceled again. After exhausting all options, including trying to get on a train, the team stayed overnight in Virginia and flew out Wednesday morning from Dulles, Miller said.
“It was kind of like the trip to nowhere,” Coach Tom Penders told The Washington Post. “We’ve probably spent four hours on the bus and five hours at different airports.”
-Matt Berger contributed to this report.