Students’ Snow Structure Carries Social Message

Elise Foley

By Elise FoleyThe Daily Northwestern

Students found somewhere cooler than a bar or party to hang out in on Saturday night: an igloo. When Patrick Fennig, a Weinberg junior, checked on the igloo he made and slept in the night before, he found nine students inside.

“I was really excited last night when I came in and people were sitting and having a good conversation,” Fennig said. “It’s a good gathering place.”

Fennig said he created the igloo to raise money and awareness for the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which aim to reduce world poverty by 2015. The money will go to the Canterbury Northwestern Episcopal Campus Ministry to be donated toward the development goals. Fennig said he raised about $90 but that highlighting the U.N. goals is more important.

“A lot of people don’t know what the Millennium Goals are,” Fennig said. “It’s letting people know that there are people that are dedicated to them, and they can be dedicated as well.”

Fennig also said it was about having fun. He slept in an igloo during his freshman year and has wanted to do it again since, he said.

“I was so excited about it,” Fennig said. “I bought all these supplies and was trying to come up with ways to do it better.”

Fennig and several helpers started building the igloo at about 9 a.m. Friday and finished at about 3 a.m. Saturday. Inside, the ceiling reached about 4 feet 6 inches.

Graduate student Clark Alexander helped Fennig build the igloo but did not sleep inside it Friday night.

“Me and Eskimos, well, we’re cool, but I’m going to sleep at home,” Alexander said.

Another friend, Rob Grohman, said he was there for “moral support.”

“I probably wouldn’t have the determination to do it myself,” the Weinberg and Music junior said. “I think its great how many people walk up and are just gawking (at the igloo).”

The structure, a hollowed-out pile of snow, technically is not an igloo, Grohman said, but Fennig can call it what he wants.

“Let him call it an igloo,” Grohman said. “He’s spent all day building it.”