After news broke of the cancellation of classes last Monday, residents of St Monica’s and Katharine Hall on South Campus took to the street to engage in a spirited and competitive snowball fight, competing for pride and dorm supremacy. At the heat of the battle, the contest numbered over a hundred students.
The conflict began with a call to arms by resident-assistants from both dorms in the morning, immediately after the news broke that classes were cancelled. Students from both sides began preparing for combat, and twenty minutes before the battle was scheduled to commence, a sizable contingent from St Monica’s was stationed outside their dorm, preparing snowballs for the initial barrage.
Five minutes later, a small but spirited gang from Katharine began their own preparations. Although severely outnumbered, the Katharine kids had faith that reinforcements would come, and by the start of the fight, Katharine had made up their numerical disadvantage.
However, St Monica’s immediately seized the upper hand. By running around the back of Katharine and flanking the side of the building, St Monica’s had the Kathys pinned in.
“We wanted to wreak havoc,” St Moe’s resident Brian Breen said of their initial strategy. “I think we succeeded.”
However, the first attack was launched by Katharine, and they drove St Monica’s back into the street, regaining territory and pushing St Monica’s back to their porch.
After the first skirmish, there was a brief pause as both sides resupplied themselves with ammunition. Katharine rallied around Student Government Senator Tom Dessoye, while St Monica’s replied by targeting the leader.
“Having a predisposed bounty on my head was scary, yet exhilarating. I’m honestly surprised they were able to recognize me with my hat and mask on,” said Dessoye. Much of the ebb and flow of the battle was dependent on him, as the senator turned general led numerous strikes on St Monica’s. However, the attacks took a toll, and by the conclusion Dessoye was soaked. Briefly, his Wildcard was even seized as a trophy of war.
Both sides utilised multiple strategies to achieve the best results during the battle. Both snuck around the buildings to lead raids from the opposite side, and masks and winter gear allowed for many opportunities to blend in with the opposing dorm. St Monica’s used a squeeze water bottle on their snowballs, which maintained their form much better than those of Katharine, but Katharine used a foldable chair as a catapult to some success.
After nearly forty five minutes of near constant warfare, Dessoye and members of St Monica’s negotiated a truce, hoping to limit any possible spread of COVID from the massive battle, although mask wearing was ubiquitous. “Ultimately, the goal was to end the fight by convincing them that COVID was the ultimate enemy,” Dessoye said. “Unfortunately, they didn’t agree with us, and they believed they won, but that’s not true.”
Max Sallee, whom many Katharine residents nicknamed “General” for his actions during the battle, was more confident. “We won by a lot. We might have taken a couple casualties, I took a couple shots to the head, but I also nailed a couple of them.”
However, the soldiers from St Monica’s told a different story. “I’m happy we won, because it’s obvious that we won,” Ed Marisi said. “Tom Dessoye is covered in snow… it’s just a great win for the team, a great win for St Moe’s, and a great win for the lobby, a great win for, I think, all of Villanova to be honest with you.
“Not only just Villanova…. America.”