Penn parties, streaks, studies and sings its way through the storm

With classes cancelled on Monday and Tuesday, students took advantage of unexpected free time

· October 30, 2012, 11:30 pm

Joshua Ng | DP

On Monday afternoon, students took advantage of the day off from classes to spend some free time outside in the Lower Quad.


Across Penn’s campus, streakers, studiers and singers all used the time off during Hurricane Sandy to their advantage. Despite being stuck inside for most of Monday and Tuesday, students passed the time in a variety of ways — some more unconventional than others.

Many students — particularly upperclassmen — took the storm as a chance to extend their weekend partying a few days longer.

In an off-campus house on Delancey Street, for example, six juniors and seniors gathered for a “Monopoly, Scrabble, wine and beer” party Sunday night before the storm.

“This has definitely made my week a lot more fun,” said Wharton senior Maddie Vincent, one of the house’s residents. “I was worried about doing some work, but can now just sit around the candles and play board games with my friends.”

Monday night, Penn’s swim team was also eager to take advantage of the two extra days.

“Swim practices got canceled, so we held a party in the swim team’s residence,” said Wharton junior Will Hartje, a member of the team. The party lasted until about midnight and was held off-campus at 39th Street and Baltimore Avenue.

Others were a bit more daring.

At around 1 a.m. Tuesday, a crowd of about 50 students gathered at Shoemaker Green in front of the Palestra to watch a handful of men strip down and streak through Penn Park.

Around the same time at the other end of campus, music pulsed from the DJ booth at Smokey Joe’s as about 30 students stood scattered around the booths and dance floor.

“It felt like stolen time — such a wonderful two days,” said College senior Carolyn Vinnicombe, who was at the bar with friends that night.

In addition to partying, other students chose to lie low throughout the hurricane.

At 4041 Locust Street, eight seniors rose early Monday to shop for groceries at the Fresh Grocer. They made pancakes, hash browns and eggs and huddled together to watch CNN.

“We’re all just having nice bonding time,” said College senior Jake Stock, who lives in the house.

Food proved to bring together many others throughout the storm, as well.

For instance, College sophomore Julia Sigman spent one night having a chocolate-covered pretzel party with her roommates at their off-campus house.

Back on campus, College senior Haftom Khasai and his three roommates invited their hall to an Insomnia cookie evening Monday. The students ordered the cookies the previous night, in anticipation of Insomnia’s closure on Monday.

Together Khasai’s hall — the International Residential Program in Harnwell College House — ate cookies, drank milk, listened to music and watched the winds blowing across the high rise green, all while strobe lights flashed in the background.

Others used Hurricane Sandy as an opportunity to get caught up studying.

College sophomore Madeleine Brown had her archeology midterm postponed to Wednesday. Apart from venturing outside briefly, she spent the majority of the two days inside studying.

“I am glad I had this extra time to study,” Brown said. “I felt a little underprepared for the midterm.”

As the storm grew Monday, College senior Maddy Dopico planned to work for as long as she had power in her room on 41st and Pine streets — or at least until she had to leave for Off the Beat rehearsal at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter house at 3 p.m.

Off the Beat, the a cappella group of which Dopico is president, will perform its first fall show Friday, and is anxious to cram in as much practice time as possible

“We’re all going to get on our rain boots and hoods and try to get over there to rehearse,” Dopico said as she sat in bed with her laptop splayed in front of her, surrounded by textbooks and candles.

Though the group members were ultimately unable to trek to SAE later that afternoon due to worsening weather, they were eager to compensate for lost time by practicing for seven hours the next day.

“We’re not going to put anyone in danger for the sake of a cappella,” Dopico said. “Unless we fear for our lives, Sandy can’t stop us.”

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