Police disperse sledding WVU students

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — As winter weather struck Morgantown Monday night, West Virginia University students’ well known winter antics, were alive and well.

Not long after all of WVU’s classes were moved online as a result of a cold front that brought several inches of snow to campus, students began to participate in impromptu snow day activities around North Spruce and North High street respectively. At the peak of the evening activities, both streets were packed with students with some going as far as to sledding down both streets in unusual sleds such as old refrigerators and kayaks. Fortunately, no injuries or property damage was reported at the time WVU Police arrived and the crowds were dispersed not long before videos of the activity were later spread to various forms of social media.

“We had a report of people gathering and sledding on the road,” said WVU Executive Director of Communications April Kaull describing the events. “Officers showed up to make sure nobody got hurt, and they also asked that the group disperse,” she said.

According to WVU officials, over 100 students were around “Frat Row” when WVU Police responded to reports of the activity. Once they arrived, they were urged to disperse while being reminded of COVID-19 pandemic policy as well as other concerns. Close to an hour later, the students dispersed from both of “Frat Row’s” major streets without any incident and according to WVU Police, no reported arrests or resistance.

“They complied without any incident so there were no problems with any of that and they went home,” said Kaull in regards to student behavior after WVU police arrived.

According to Morgantown Communications Director Andrew Stacy, they have filed charges against two suspects for Both will be charged with throwing objects and another will face additional charges of public intoxication, open container, underage possession of alcohol, obstructing an officer, and littering.

This new slate of winter weather activities, settled down significantly smoother than previous incidents in the past. Exactly two years before this round of winter activity, WVU students confronted both Morgantown police and WVU police who were trying to disperse hundreds of students partying around “Frat Row.” That resulted in several officers being pelted with snowballs and other debris with some officers being reported injured and several students being disciplined. The nearly night and day comparison of the events was not ignored by school officials.

“We want to thank everybody for responding to the officers, listening to their instructions, safety really is the top priority,” said Kaull.

As of Tuesday afternoon, WVU police as well as WVU officials, did not announce any charges being pressed against those participating or any claims being filed for potential property damage. According to Morgantown City officials, two warrants are out from the incidents but with no confirmationon on if they involved direct interactions with police. Regardless, WVU is reminding students that despite a low COVID-19 positiveity rate in the student population, that social distancing measures are in place and are asked to urge caution when forming any gatherings, impromptu or not.

“Our main concern is making sure that nobody gets hurt, and that everybody stays safe and healthy, and that’s the way the night ended last night,” said Kaull.