(Newsline photo by Melissa Quijada)
UMD Students Celebrate, Fret About, Unscheduled Snow Vacation
Friday, Feb. 12, 2010
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Sophomore biochemistry major Joe Pennington "cleaned out all the food in [his] pantry."
Sophomore education major Katlyn Sierakowsi celebrated her Feb. 11 birthday throughout the week, mostly at Thirsty Turtle’s happy hour.
Sophomore kinesiology major Marlie Doriston "went to the gym, and surprisingly saw more people than usual." She also did some homework.
With the University of Maryland College Park campus closed for six days, starting last Friday, students found reasons to appreciate but also worry about the back-to-back blizzards that gave them a rare gift: free time.
During even the iciest conditions this week, some College Park bars lining U.S. Route 1 remained open. Thirsty Turtle kept its normal schedule all week, and RJ Bentley's and the Cornerstone Grill and Loft were both open while the campus was closed.
“Our days were busier than our nights," said Brooke Chambers, a student and Thirsty Turtle employee.
On Saturday, students orchestrated via Facebook a campus-wide snowball fight on McKeldin Mall, the school’s grassy recreational area. Thousands signed up to attend.
Students reported digital communication with their professors, too. “My teacher changed the whole syllabus around,” said Sierakowski.
But some began questioning how the university will recover the lost week of a planned 15-week semester.
“There will be further communication with faculty next week about possible arrangements to make up for lost classroom time,” Provost Nariman Farvardin wrote in a campus-wide e-mail.
“I heard a rumor that the university will change spring break," said Jane Ibeh, a junior public health student. "If they did that, I’m sure no students will come to class,” she said.
“It’s not our fault; it’s Mother Nature’s fault.”