It was an icy kick-off to the new semester, Jan. 24, as almost 100 students joined in for throwing snowballs and sledding at California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB).
Winter Wonderland at CSUMB was a welcome back week celebration as students returned from break to start the Spring semester. About a ton of snow was piled on the lawn in the middle of the main quad for students to play in.
Dan Burfeind, senior coordinator for student engagement leadership development at CSUMB, explained the event’s aim was “to build more of a tradition and commonality between the programs that we do for our welcome back weeks and Otter Days.”
And what better way to do it than with snow?
“We’re in Marina we don’t get snow,” Burfeind said, “so it helps combine the two.”
Participating students had fun during Snow Day.
“I liked this event. It was really cool and unique,” said Akani James, a transfer student. “I’ve never seen anything like this before and would want to see it return.”
This was the first time the school has put on the event and officials hope to make it a tradition.
“Different individuals that work with this program brought a semi-truck full of ice and a big woodchipper,” Burfeind said. “It took about an hour and a half to get it all prepared, where they then blew it all out into the main quad.”
Not only were these organizers prepared with sleds, but they also had snowman molds and shovels, which made things more interactive. Costs were covered by student fees.
“I went to the snow during the break, so it’s fun to have another one,” said first-year Samantha Snell.
There were also food truck options, which encouraged more individuals to come.
Along with this event, there was also the Winter Ball on Jan. 27 to go along with the theme of the welcome back week, which is hoped to continue as the years go on.
This was to help students have a good time and give people the opportunity to make more connections, organizers said.
“There was music playing and everyone was having a good time, so I walked over and signed my waiver,” said fifth-year Riley Romero.
“I grabbed one of the sleds and went down the hill, which was really cool,” said Romero. “It was nice to see everyone there having fun, and a great event to get students involved.”