A long-time rivalry was settled in the snow Wednesday evening when more than 200 GW students put on their winter gear and claimed victory against Georgetown in what participants are calling an “epic” snowball fight.
The fight drew around 225 GW students and roughly 75 Georgetown students. GW claimed victory after about 30 minutes, and University President Steven Knapp – who joined the battle – capped the win by declaring that school was canceled on Thursday, marking the fourth-straight weekday without classes.
“I wanted to witness something historic during my last year. Nothing like this has ever happened before,” senior Patricia Kempe said.
The idea for the fight was born Tuesday when senior Kyle Boyer suggested that GW should take on its closet collegiate neighbor. When GW students first arrived at Rose Park, the location of Wednesday’s fight, Georgetown was nowhere to be seen, so Boyer and other seniors directed the students into battle formations, telling freshmen to “get to the front lines.”
At the start of the fight, the outnumbered Georgetown crew retreated up a hill and over a fence. It was here the majority of the fight took place, as GW students hopped the fence for close-range combat. GW students pushed back the Georgetown forces, cornering them, and continuously dousing them with snow.
“We pushed them back; I don’t think they gained any territory on us, so we pushed them all the way. I think in a snowball fight, that’s victory,” Knapp said. After the win, Knapp announced to the crowd that classes would be canceled Thursday.
During the battle, junior Andrew Buonopane climbed a nearby tree, spurring on the GW troops by waving the famous Gadsden Flag, which depicts a coiled snake and the phrase, “don’t tread on me.” The relatively quick victory was marked by a strong dose of school spirit, with the University fight song chanted several times before, during and after the battle. On the walk back to Kogan, several GW students shouted down to the crowd, throwing their congratulations to their home team.
For many students, however, the fight was nothing more than another intercollegiate rivalry and a chance to battle the Georgetown students.
“We came, we charged, we annihilated,” freshman Christine Zaccack said.
When the team reconvened at Kogan Plaza after the win, Boyer gave a supplemental victory speech.
“Anyone who says GW has no spirit, tell them to get to Kogan Plaza right now,” he said.
Many students were excited to see Knapp at the event, as he hopped the fence and threw snowballs along with the students.
“It was really cool he tried to make it out here,” freshman Annie Rosenthal said about Knapp’s appearance. “I felt like we were bonding.”