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Ice, ice baby: A winter wonderland for students

Ice, ice baby: A winter wonderland for students

Lauren Durham ’22 March 05, 2021

On Saturday, Feb. 20, the University of Dayton became a land of ice and snow.

giant snow globe with Rudy Flyer insideSponsored by Campus Activities Board, UDLATENIGHT, Campus Recreation, UD Dining and numerous volunteers from the Division of Student Development, Winter Wonderland brought more than 600 students out of their dorm rooms and houses and onto snow-covered Kennedy Union Central Mall and Stuart Field.

“The Winter Wonderland event has a huge success,” said Jillian Van Auken, assistant director for student life. “I hope students had the opportunity to de-stress, be in community with each other (in a safe, socially distant way) and got a glimpse into a ‘normal’ night on a college campus.”

The recent addition of a 4,300 square foot ice skating rink on Stuart Field provided opportunities for multiple winter-themed activities. Students participated in curling, inner tube shuffling, snow globe making, building a bear (or penguin) and, of course, ice skating.

“Everyone struggled to walk on their skates, let alone stand upright on the ice,” said Sydney Knape ’24 in a story in the Flyer News. “My friends and I successfully made it across the rink multiple times, to our surprise. It was a great experience and environment that was created, filled with lots of friends, laughs, cold and winter fun.”

Thanks to of UD Dining Services, an array of complimentary sweets including hot chocolate, s’mores and carnival-themed food was enjoyed by students.

The large-scale event would have been difficult to plan during a normal school year, let alone during a pandemic. Van Auken and her colleagues had to be extra creative in order to make the Winter Wonderland event a reality.

“[Campus life] looks a little different, but we’ve put on our thinking caps to provide students opportunities to engage with each other virtually and in person in an effort to provide students a somewhat normal experience in light of the pandemic,” Van Auken said.

“The campus community has really come together to adapt student life to fit the current COVID environment.”


Photos by Kat Niekamp ’21

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