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'Sense of childhood nostalgia': Students enjoy the snow despite impending finals

Finals begin Wednesday morning, but that didn’t stop Duke students from enjoying a snow day Sunday.

Several inches of snow came down on campus during the night, with snow still falling Sunday morning. The University went under severe weather policy beginning at 7 a.m. Sunday and will remain under the policy until Tuesday at 7 a.m., according to DukeAlert.

Dean of Students Sue Wasiolek noted in an email to students that she was “a bit disappointed that given the timing, classes are not impacted.”

However, students still found time for winter fun in between studying.

Sophomore Kaitlyn Boncaro participated in a snowball fight with her friends.

“We went outside at Swift and built a snowman and had a really great snowball fight and it was super fun,” she said.

Other students made a snowman for freshman basketball player Zion Williamson, which he posted on his Instagram story.

Although Boncaro had a great snowball fight, sophomore Anna Go’s snowball fight did not go so well. Her friends wanted to have a snowball fight when it was already raining.

“We went outside and had a snowball fight for two minutes, and got really wet and really cold and went inside,” Go said. “So that was short-lived winter fun.”

First-year Catherine McMillan also participated in the “obligatory snow photoshoot” with friends. 

“It was especially fun because some of my friends, particularly [international students], have never seen snow,” McMillan wrote in a message. “So seeing their reactions instilled a sense of childhood nostalgia.”

Boncaro had also never seen snow.

“I’m from Florida, so I basically have never seen snow—well, before last year,” she said.

For some, this translated into a lack of preparedness for the cold and the snow. Go said that she wanted to be outside, but as soon as she went outside, it was too cold and she wanted to be back inside.

“I was not prepared for the snow,” McMillan said. “I didn’t have a proper snow jacket so that cold was utterly miserable, but spending time with my friends was still fun.”

Some, indeed, spent their Sunday morning inside with friends. Sophomore Sam Miezio spent hers in the Mosaic in Keohane.

“Since all of the local churches were canceled, a group of my friends and I got together and had our own church service, and we sang and worshipped,” Miezio said.

The snow won't stand in the way of final exams, though.

In an email to The Chronicle, Provost Sally Kornbluth explained that unless the severe weather policy is still in effect through the Wednesday exam period, which begins at 9 a.m., there will not be any changes to undergraduate final exams.

"If the severe weather policy is in effect through the Wednesday 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM exam period, we will reschedule that exam period to Saturday (December 15th) during the 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM reading period," she wrote. 

Jake Satisky and Bre Bradham contributed reporting.

Correction: This article was updated Monday morning to correctly attribute the information about possible final exam changes. The Chronicle regrets the error.


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