36 Inches of Winter Wonderland

Patricia Oprea

“Three feet, I’m telling you they said THREE!” said a student in Bartels, insistently trying to convince his friend, who scoffed in disbelief; the time was about five in the afternoon on Thursday, Feb. 7. By the same time 24 hours later, the inches of snow were progressively turning into feet, as layers and layers kept piling. Light flakes turned into bigger flurries, which turned into hail, and eventually ice by late Friday night.

Entrance to Bartels blocked by a mountain snow after Storm Nemo.

The time was 9:30 p.m. on Thursday night, the long awaited message from Ronald Quigliani had been sent—school was officially closed on Friday. Facebook statuses erupted with cheer for the cancellation. This is the time of year when you can truly tell what coast students are from, a time when many Californians question why they ever came here when they could be at the beach instead of struggling to walk to Bartels for dinner.

Ironically, meteorologists have dubbed this storm Nemo. This is quite the misnomer because everyone must realize this all-destroying blizzard was no cute clownfish with a one too-small fin. It was ferocious, invasive and smothering.

Plowers stayed over in the German Club Friday night and police remained near Winchester because the weather conditions made it unsafe to leave campus. A too-enthusiastic undergrad could easily disappear within the mounds of snow for days at a time. According to one of the cashiers in Bartels, as of Saturday evening a total of six ID cards have already disappeared in the snow.

Now for some, this may have put a damper on the weekly clubbing schedule, but others took advantage of the mounds of snow accumulating by the minute, either by cozying up and watching a movie, or braving the winds and doing snow-related activities. These included the typical snowball fight and speeding down the hill near Harugari on makeshift sleds.

Freshman Victoria Stearns and her friends were among the many spending time on Harugari; their sleds of choice were the tops of Tupperware bins. Freshman Liz Jaikes and her suitemates made sleds out of cardboard boxes and garbage bags and went sledding at midnight.

Snow plows were found around campus at all hours of the day, yet they initially did not make too much progress, as the piles of snow seem never-ending. Eventually, dump trucks had to be called to carry the extra snow off campus.

Aleks Sharakov was one of the many students returning from RA process during the peak of this storm “Nine p.m. Friday night with hail, wind, snow and nothing plowed”, she said. “Good times.”

Students made their daily walks to the dining hall with snow boots and layers upon layers of clothing, as if trekking to a school located in the depths of the Canadian wilderness.

Bartels was the main dining location open, and at times the accumulation of show would not allow the Campus Center’s door to close. Snow had invaded the structure and poured in through the side door. On the other hand, some doors in Ruden were actually blocked by snow, and students reportedly circumnavigated their building trying to get in before they finally got ahold of their roommates.

Saturday morning greeted students with 36 inches of snow. There was “no cable in Botwinik,” said Scottie Iwaneic, describing his “hissy fit” as a result. No area of UNH was left untouched by the vicious Nemo. However, more people could be seen walking around campus on Sunday and Monday. Some incited friendly snowball fights in the quad while others proceeded to build snowmen.

The students of Ruden 15 took advantage of being snowed in Saturday and all contributed to make a home cooked meal. “All of us did some part with our dinner. One made garlic bread, one made olive oil dip, another made the bacon and I made the pasta and sauce; we had bonding time!” said freshman Marcos Jimenez.

Throughout the storm, the Rec Center was opened minimal hours, but many students improvised by trekking through the snow. Jennifer Denman took advantage of the snow as a workout by making her roommates go through the three feet of snow near the Rec Center instead of walking on the shoveled path.

One anonymous sophomore described his unfortunate motor vehicle incident during Nemo. “My car got stuck and I was stranded at school wearing only shorts and a T-shirt (my gym outfit), and I was stuck there for three days,” he said.

Freshman (and California native) Landy Muniz described that the change in weather was one of her deciding factors on where to go to for college. “I’ve worn an extremely large amount of layers when going outside just because I have no idea what to expect when I step outside. Oh, and I can’t stop taking pictures of all the snow!”

On Feb. 2, Groundhog Day, the groundhog was reported to not have seen his shadow, which meant that spring was supposed to be nigh. However, given the blizzard that just rocked the Northeast, it will be more winter for now.