Editor, the Gauntlet,
Re: "Apologetic Geer," Jan. 17, 2002,
We have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Last week, a fellow Engineer wrote about his displeasure with the Engineering Anthem, attitudes and our reputation on campus. I wish to take this opportunity to inform you of a few things that most students, and apparently some engineers, don't realize.
Singing the Engineering Anthem is a proud tradition at engineering schools across the country. It is effective in spreading spirit, camaraderie and goodwill. Beyond this, like some good books, it should not be interpreted literally or perhaps it should not be interpreted at all.
We are not a drunken band of hooligans. Some of us drink and drink well, while others don't drink at all. The tired "egotistical jock," "computer nerd" or "male" stereotypes (or any other stereotype for that matter) cannot adequately describe the hundreds of engineers who come out to events.
Our annual parade that kicks off Engineering Week has, in the past, raised upwards of $10,000 for deserving charities. This year we supported the Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter by holding a silent auction, a charity ball and a pancake breakfast, to mention some of the many events. Engineering schools in Western Canada raised over $100,000 for charities last year, far more than any other region of the country. The Engineering Students' Society also holds an annual Haunted House, Pie Throw and a Loonie Walk to raise thousands more for charities such as UNICEF and the United Way.
So what is the best way to cure "Lot 10 Syndrome", that mysterious phenomena that sees most U of C students hightail it home five minutes after their classes end?
Let's kick up some rivalries. Get your faculty to dress up in costumes, form a marching band, and parade into the Engineering building singing chants. If parades aren't your thing then think of something new. Taking pride in your faculty should not be misinterpreted as showing off your ego. It's all in good fun.
So why do 'geers have a bad rep? I attribute it to a little bit of ignorance and a little bit of bliss. Sure we enjoy telling everyone about how much we love our profession and bugging Management about their lack thereof. However, we also love raising money for charities and promoting spirit and involvement in our social activities. My advice to the disbeliever would be to "come along with us" and find out what being an Engineer is all about.