Students Set To Scream

Sarah M.J. Welch

Bobby DeAngelis tries to keep warm while working at Nini’s Corner newsstand. “It helps,” he said of his two heaters and layers of clothing.

About a dozen intrepid exhibitionists said yesterday that the blast of Arctic air enveloping the region will not stop them from baring all at midnight tonight for the annual pre-exam run around Harvard Yard known as “Primal Scream.”

Mather resident John Paul M. Fox ’04 said he and his blockmates have had a “perfect streak” of running every Primal Scream since they were first-years and don’t intend to break it tonight.

Fox said he will probably wear a hat and gloves in addition to his traditional sunglasses.

“Once you get the adrenaline going, you don’t really feel the cold,” Fox said.

Even though today is forecast to be slightly warmer than yesterday, meteorologists are predicting that today’s cold will smash a record low set in 1920. As of last night, about 300 schools across Massachusetts had cancelled classes, rather than have children risk frostbite.

At midnight tonight, meterologists predict the mercury will level off at 10 degrees—and with wind chill, it should feel like a frosty -8. Meteorologists warn that exposed skin could develop frostbite in as little as 30 minutes under such extreme wind chills.

Dr. John Vanderpool, medical director

of After-Hours Urgent Care at University Health Services (UHS), warned students against going through with the run.

“I really can’t encourage students to go through with this under any circumstances,” Vanderpool said.

Vanderpool urged runners to abstain from drug and alcohol use, emphasizing that both have the potential to numb students’ ability to feel frostbite’s warning signs, which include tingling limbs and dizziness.

“Friends might not be able to distinguish your odd behavior from that of a drunken person,” Vanderpool said.

Some students said they’d had second thoughts about the midnight streak after hearing the frostbite warnings, but most said they plan to run anyway.

Mike Tucci ’06 said he passed on the run last year and was looking forward to taking the plunge this year.

“I’m 75 percent sure that I’ll run this year,” Tucci said while trying to warm his trembling hands in the fierce wind.

He added that he’s more focused on the doom inherent in looming test dates than on that whipping through the frosty air.

“I can handle the cold,” he said. “It’s finals that I’m worried about.”