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SU students skate, sled and struggle through historic winter storm

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Syracuse University students have made their way back to campus for the spring 2022 semester. Upon their return, there have already been multiple winter storms that have coated the campus with ice and snow.

It is well known that Syracuse is prone to intense winter weather, but what may be less understood are the different approaches students take to keep themselves entertained in these often undesirable conditions.

For Maggie Lefebvre, a freshman television, radio and film major, it was easy to become accustomed to Syracuse’s winter weather, as it often snows in her hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania. She recalled an evening she had with friends at SU following a day stuck inside due to on-and-off snowstorms.

“We had a little snowball fight just on the Quad,” she said.

Later, Lefebvre took part in one of the campus’s most beloved traditions: sledding down the Crouse Hill. She said that she had not been prepared for the speeds she encountered while going down the steep slope.

“I did not realize how fast I was going to go down the hill,” Lefebvre said.

Such experiences are common for students who take on the challenge of sledding down the hill for the first time, with many ultimately being unable to stop themselves. Lefebvre said at one point, her sled slid into the road at the bottom of the hill. Despite the seemingly chaotic nature of the activity, it is a tradition many students hold close to their hearts.

But not all students have adjusted to the city’s colder climate, especially when that means potentially being stuck inside for long periods of time. Kyra Zabretsky, also a freshman television, radio and film major, said that despite being ready for the snow herself, many of her friends have had different experiences.

“Most of my friends here come from the South, so they aren’t that into the snow yet,” Zabretsky said.

Regardless, she’s planning a ski trip for her birthday that she believes will help change their perspective.

Even with various activities to partake in after a heavy snowstorm, some may still opt for indoor affairs due to some outdoor conditions being unbearable. This does not mean they are completely throwing away the winter spirit, though.

A freshman history and political philosophy major and Syracuse resident, Abi Greenfield explained that they would rather go ice skating with their friends than venture outside. Thankfully, the opportunity to do so is not so far away.

“My friends and I go ice skating at Tennity instead of going out in the snow,” Greenfield said. “I really just enjoy being able to practice skating because it’s a nice little brain break.”

Tennity Ice Pavilion is located on SU’s South Campus and is home to not only multiple ice-based sports, but free, open skating for students with their SU ID. The facility also hosts weekly Late Night Ice, an ice skating event that features music late into the evening.

When they are not out with friends, however, Greenfield passes the time by studying in their room.

“I like to take the time I have indoors to get my work done,” they said.

In spite of all the fun activities the SU campus has to offer this winter, both inside and outside, many newcomers to the snow may be overwhelmed by the change of scenery.

Luckily, Greenfield was able to offer some advice for those who choose to go outside during periods of winter weather based on their own personal experience of growing up in the area.

“Always dress warmer than you think you need to be,” they said, “because it’s easier to take off layers if you get too warm.”


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