By Mary Chan
They came. They saw. They took over in a really noisy way. Engineering Week overwhelmed campus again as University of Calgary engineering students increased their spirit while raising money for a charity.
"Engineering Week basically has two goals," said fourth-year Civil Engineering student Kevin Stefan. "One is to promote engineering spirit and have a good time, and second is to raise money and awareness for a charity."
The week began on Monday morning with a parade across campus. Other events include a scavenger hunt, tug of war with the Faculty of Management, snow golf, and snow sculptures.
This year, as with the last few years, proceeds from Engineering Week will go to the Calgary Urban Projects Society, or CUPS. According to Stefan, one reason for the choice is that the money isn’t wasted on a large administration.
"They don’t have a lot of overhead, not a lot of bureaucracy," said Stefan. "They do a lot of good work. They help put people back on their feet, help them break the cycle.
Last year, the Engineers raised over $10,000 for CUPS.
"It’s really important to talk about how socially conscious [the engineers] are," said CUPS Executive Director Lorraine Melchior. "They have the most wonderful spirit. They work hard, they play hard and they care about other people less fortunate."
CUPS is a community health centre that offers a health clinic, outreach services, family resource centre and an aboriginal program.
"People are also able to have showers and get warm clothing and eat–basic needs all of us have," said Melchior.
The main fundraisers for the week are the bachelor/bachelorette auctions and the week-ending Charity Ball. Also, the Engineers are holding Buzz the CJAY 92 bird ransom.
"We stole him," said third-year Chemical Engineering student Andy Snead, who said he began drinking at 5 a.m. Monday morning. "I can’t release details. We expect to raise money out of them."
A hotline has been set up at CUPS for anyone wishing to make a donation to free Buzz. The number is 294-8794.
Engineering Week began in what Stefan called "the bad old days" as a pageant week, in which each department selected a queen. According to Stefan, however, the competitions promoting each department took precedence.
"By the late ’70s it was based more on having a good time and promoting your department," he said. "It’s been growing ever since. Most of the week it’s the departments competing against each other."
Stefan said that he does get complaints.
"A lot of them don’t understand it," he said. "Some of them don’t like us having spirit and pride and being belligerent and in their faces."
Stefan added that other students have told him they wished their faculties had something similar.