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Anthony Yim for Spectator

With classes canceled for the afternoon, students took to sledding their way across the frozen campus. Columbia's Ski and Snowboard club held an impromptu meeting on Low Steps, where they packed on snow for a jump.

On any other Wednesday afternoon, Micha Thompson, BC '13, would have been hunched over lecture notes in class, but yesterday she spent the afternoon with friends, skidding down Low Steps on a wood plank. "It's so exhilarating!" she said. "It goes so fast." Yesterday, in the midst of the city's blizzard, Columbia canceled all classes and activities following 3 p.m. for the first time since 2003. While some professors decided to hold class regardless of the severe weather alert that left many commuters stranded, most followed the University's recommendation or taught to near-empty classrooms. Thompson said she hadn't heard from her professor yet about whether class would be held. "I have a class at four, so I don't know if my professor's gonna go, but I can assure you none of us will be there," she said, gesturing to the hordes of students pitching snowballs across College Walk. A few feet away on Low Steps, about 15 members of Columbia's Ski and Snowboard Club began packing snow onto the steps—skis, old lift tickets pinned to their jackets, and all. Raphael Graybill, CC '10 and the club's president, said they were building a jump. "This is a Ski and Snowboard tradition that the War on Fun thwarted last year, but we've been doing this a long time and we actually have a lot of snow this year," he said. Last year Public Safety had asked the club to move off campus, so they built their lift in Riverside Park, member Brianna Morgan, CC '12, said. She said that is this year's back-up plan if they meet with resistance from the university again. "The University's closed, so there's no one we can really petition to," Graybill said jokingly. Eliot Wycoff, SEAS '11, said he spent the afternoon building an eight-foot snow tower on College Walk with other students after he heard his 5:40 class was canceled. "At first I wasn't so excited that class was canceled, because I have a lot of studying to do for exams next week, but getting out and playing in the snow has changed my mind," he said, before running off to pitch a snowball at a friend across the Sundial. Despite the merriment outdoors, Butler was bustling yesterday afternoon. Snowball fights and sledding didn't stop Tanya Braun, CC '12, from keeping her usual study hours in Butler. "I'm just catching up on work, I guess," she said, adding that even though she wasn't interested in playing in the snow, she was glad classes were canceled. Columbia and Barnard classes are back on for Thursday. leah.greenbaum@columbiaspectator.com

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