Snowballs flew across Bascom Hill Thursday night as students fought for victory in the annual Battle for Bascom.
Southeast residents stood on the side nearest their dorms, while Lakeshore residents stood ready to fire on their respective side. Students living off-campus also came to support their comrades from their previous living spaces.
The 2016 snowball fight occurred—for the first time ever—at night, under the lights of Bascom Hall. The first wad of snow was thrown at about 8 p.m., and the battle raged for about five minutes.
Lakeshore students crowned themselves the champions, which was mostly determined by the fact that they largely outnumbered the Southeast side.
UW-Madison sophomore Alec Schultz organized the event with help from his friends. Students lead the event each year, since the first official Battle for Bascom occurred in 2009, according to Schultz. Along with several friends, he unknowingly accepted the challenge this year.
The group noticed the absence of a Facebook page for the battle, and decided to make one themselves. To their surprise, the likes piled up like snowflakes in a blizzard, and thousands of people showed interest in the event.
UW-Madison’s social media department contacted Schultz and assisted in setting the time and organizing the battle.
Schultz said the abnormally warm weather made planning the snowball fight difficult.
“We kept an eye on it for basically the entire season, and we didn’t have any snowfalls that seemed worthy,” Schultz said. “We were lucky with this last snowfall, but the challenge was dealing with the high temperatures and having to wait until a night where more people could come.”
The winter’s warm weather did not stop a large crowd of people from gathering near Abraham Lincoln and tossing the few inches of snow on the ground at one another.
“There wasn’t much snow, and Southeast got hammered, but it was a really good time,” said Southeast participant Mike Smale.
Most students came prepared for the weather and many even carried dining hall trays to use as sleds. However, Lakeshore fighters Colin Knight and Mills Botham braved the cold in only American flag Speedos.
“I’m feeling a little cold and very patriotic,” Knight said. “This is the seventh year in a row Lakeshore’s won, and I don’t see that record changing anytime soon.”