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This Is What It Looks Like When an 800-Lb. Snowball Slams into a College Dorm

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Reed Magazine/AP

Plenty of schools have seen snowball fights this winter, but only Reed College has seen a snowball crash.

On Feb. 8, two math majors at the Portland, Ore., liberal-arts college spent their Saturday night the way any other college student would: By attempting to build the largest snowball ever. As their snowball grew, so did their fame; A parade of onlookers assembled around the pair, convincing them to roll it down a sidewalk to increase its size.

The plan worked: Like an alpine Katamari Damaci, the snowball grew and grew the farther it traveled.

The Reed College snowball
Reed Magazine/AP
By the time the students inevitably lost control of their creation, it was 40 inches wide, and weighed somewhere around 800 pounds. It was also, crucially, above a hill that led down to Reed’s Grove Quad dorms, which the snow-packed wrecking ball soon crashed into.

The damage visited upon the dorm: One broken wall, ripped off its studs by the force of the impact, which will cost upwards of $3,000 to repair.

View from inside the affected dorm room
Reed Magazine/AP
Reed College spokesman Kevin Myers says the two students who built the snowball will not be punished, as they have learned a far greater lesson about toying with the forces of nature. According to the Associated Press, the pair “didn’t intend to cause the damage and feel awful about what happened.”

The students whose room was damaged by the snowball will not have to move.

Additional reporting by the ASSOCIATED PRESS

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