By Jan Creaser
In its wake, Engineering Week leaves us able to eat our chow mein without the threat of a tennis ball bombardment and the disturbing knowledge that Darr Maqbool went for $350 at the bachelor auction. However, don’t fret over the lack of weekly entertainment; the administration god has outlined its plan for us all in the powerful book of student knowledge. Yup, that’s right, your oversized Students’ Union day timer is the bible of what I would like to term “theme weeks.”
As university students, we need to be kept apprised of such important issues as religion, academia, condoms, and Canadian culture. After a fall semester devoid of theme weeks, Winter 1999 more than makes up for the lack with a variety of week-long informational blitzes. For example, by the time you read this, Spiritual Awareness Week will be winding to a close. Now, before you start picturing happy youngsters attempting to save your soul, take it with a grain of salt. Other than the Campus Crusade for Christ, who I’m sure will be camped out in the foyer of Old Mac Hall, chances are you won’t even realize it’s going on around you. If you do, then take a moment to cleanse your soul of negative energy and prepare to take a worldwide journey during International Week.
I know! The fun never ends! But I’m stumped when I consider the University of Calgary’s social climate. After being subjected to American university propaganda for most of my childhood (ie. Animal House, Revenge of the Nerds, etc.), I admit to being mildly disappointed with the lack of school spirit displayed on our campus. Yes, some clubs rally with their 15 or so active members for the occasional wine and cheese, but there’s never been anything of a magnitude to involve more than 0.5 per cent of the student population at a time. Even the craziest of student political campaigns fails to grab you people and suck you in. Your lack of passion disturbs me, making me fret for the future. All I see are minivans full of Stepford children and soccer balls bouncing off garage doors.
“The Dinos? Are they a sports team?” Insert scream of frustration here.
So, despite ineffectiveness, I say bully to the powers-that-be who decided we should have these exciting theme weeks to foster school eagerness for socially relevant ideals. Last Friday, several friends and I unwittingly contributed to Condom Awareness Week by unloading our vast knowledge of our latex friend on an NUTV reporter. You’ll have to wait until Feb. 8 to truly understand our depravity. Still, do we really need a week devoted to condoms? Assess yourselves and ask how much more you need to know about condoms by age 18. My guess is, you already know quite a bit more than your parents or the administration suspect.
Well, if that’s too much fun for you, Academic Awareness takes place in the same week as the consciousness-raising condom exposé. Did we run out of weeks? I think Mar. 15 – 19 is open. Oops, no, sorry. That’s Canadian Culture Week. Still, I guess condoms and academic awareness are a perfect combination for those of you who like to discuss Kantian ethics after a steamy session in the sack. Who knows? It could be enlightening. I wonder if they’ll show hockey games for Canadian Culture Week, eh? Better yet, we could all just pile into the Den on, oh say, Thursday night, and drink Molson products ’til we puke. To truly experience regional diversity, we could try Kokanee or Keith’s for a change.
Wild university? Let’s give it a whirl. We should have a Faculty Awareness Week where the Social Sciences beat the crap out of Engineering to make them aware of their presence. Maybe the Humanities could take on Management in a debate about the immorality of embezzlement and sleeping with your executive assistant. To compete with the rowdiness of Engineering Week, each department in the Faculty of Fine Arts could hold a paper maché sculpture contest to raise money for charity. My money’s on the Art Department.
The potential for hubbub and fuss during these weeks is high, but, as is typical for the University of Calgary, most things of import have happened before the ineffectiveness of the advertising is realized. Overall, I can only assume these theme weeks will prepare us for the real world where they do this stuff by the month. That is, Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Breast Cancer Month, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera There’s something unequivocally scary about educational events that are only available for those who can afford a cable connection. I’ll take campus condom awareness over that any day.
“Yeah, Trojans are all right, but I prefer Sheik.”
Jan Creaser can be reached at email@example.com.