Another O-week is over; Tommy has Trashed and all condom bets are closed, but its atmosphere will linger, at least until Homecoming. Brock University’s veritable honeymoon phase is ending and whether or not you enjoyed it, you should really appreciate it.
While the events and fanfare of orientation may not have floated every first-year’s boat, you’d be hard pressed to find a willing participant who would go unstimulated. The fact is that this year’s BUSU executive and their teams put together a packed schedule of events that either helped students ease into campus life or simply gave them a good time. It’s something worth acknowledging when orientation can go off without a hitch, let alone a catastrophe; the sheer number of people being considered makes it a nightmare to coordinate. Furthermore, when you consider what happened at St. Mary’s University this past week, that’s when you really start to appreciate what Brock has.
Located in Halifax, St. Mary’s O-week began with student leaders — including the student union president — chanting a traditional song about underage non-consensual sex to roughly 300 first-years students.If that doesn’t add to your perspective of our on-campus culture, I don’t know what will.
Approximately 80 student leaders chanted in unison “’Y’ is for your sister, ‘U’ is for underage and ‘N’ is for no consent”.
Student union president Jared Perry stated that the chant was a tradition for frosh week at St. Mary’s. He has since resigned from his position, and two other student union members who organized the rally are being disciplined internally by St Mary’s.
If that wasn’t enough, two student union members from the University of British Columbia resigned this week due to the fact that a nearly identical cheer found its way into their orientation programming.
This rather frustrating instance tells us a few different things. First, that traditions are far too often simply indulgences that are overlooked because they’ve always been taken. This kind of philosophy – especially when posterity is considered – is detrimental if not downright incendiary to a progressive culture. Whats more, these are institutions based around educations, something that has always been prone to stagnation but requires consistent adaptation. Traditions are at best an acknowledgement of our past, but only when what’s being remembered is actually worth it; anything less is a step backward.
St. Mary’s was established in 1802; while not the oldest University in Canada, it beats out any school from Ontario by a few decades. 162 years after St. Mary’s welcomed first-years and began to develop its traditions, our university got its start. Their culture so much older, so much more sustained and in some ways stubborn.
As such, we should feel honoured to be a part of Brock, even now, just before its 50th anniversary. I don’t know about others, but I can’t name too many tradition Brock songs or drinks and I like to think its because we’re still making them.
When the chance arises, be a part of something here at Brock, because you never know the legacy you might be starting.
Even at nearly 50 years old, this place has so much potential and so little baggage. We should appreciate that.