Author: Yudi Yang
Here at Western, traditions such as Rick Nights, and Eng <3 Charity brings us all closer together as one big family. Whether it be yelling out the callbacks to American Pie while decked out in our infamous leather jackets or standing in stone cold silence on UC hill during OWeek, these are the memories that we will never forget and will carry with us through our adult lives. Traditions are what make us unique and defines who we are as a faculty, and as a school. Passed down from generations of engineers, our rich history and love (and hate) for what we do creates a bond so special that no words are worthy to describe it.
One tradition that is currently widespread throughout all other engineering faculties, and is just beginning to spark in ours, are boilersuits and patches. You may have heard of them briefly before, but let me tell you, boilersuits and patches are probably going to be the single most valuable thing you will have earned upon graduation. Boilersuits can be obtained through collecting stamps on station books (available for free in the UES!). Once you have a suit, you earn the right to stab your fingers trying to sew on the copious number of ridiculous patches that you have earned or traded with others. Each patch will spark your memory of an experience you had, or a place you’ve been to, or a person you met.
Some patches are rare; such as the triple school euchre tournament patch. Some patches are funny; such as the Lakehead patch which proudly states, “Come for the Lake, stay for the Head;)”. And some patches are just important; such as having a Western Engineering patch since you are a Western Engineer.
Now here is a confession; before this ESSCO conference, I did not value boilersuits, or patches, or even understand the significance of this tradition in any way. However, sitting in the hallway of a hotel at 2am on a Saturday night, watching everyone trade patches like they were Pokemon cards, and watching people cut off their boilersuit sleeves and pockets just to sew someone else’s on, made me realize how much I wanted this too.
Did you know that kidnapping and stealing are all legal plays that follow the Engineering Prankster’s Code? Otherwise known as human relocation and mascot capture, these activities will not get you thrown in jail - or worse, kicked out of engineering. In fact, they have been done many times before.
If you haven’t pulled a good prank, you cannot call yourself a true engineering student. So long as they follow The Code, pranks are not prohibited, but rather encouraged. Here is a general outline of The Code; read it well and take it to heart, you never know when it will come in handy.
- The Prank shall be clever and innovative, and not fully enraging.
- The Prank shall not use physical violence, or harm personal property.
- You must be accountable for your actions (if any accidental damage or fees occur, YOU must be willing to repay them).
- Confirm approval from the engineering council first.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY: The Prank shall be REVERSIBLE. This means whatever prank you pull, you will be able to return everything to its original state as if nothing had ever happened.
There are an infinite number of great pranks that have been told through history. This story, however, is one of the most recent ones, and it is a good tale to tell. Once upon a time, at the 2018 ESSCO conference, a shining, golden pineapple was brought forth and deemed the new ESSCO mascot. No first-year student is to touch the pineapple, and all were vowed to guard it with their lives (kind of). “Protect the Pineapple!”, students would chant. One night… the second night of the Olympic Games… the last night before the students left Thunder Bay and returned home… the night of the prank, the Pineapple was stolen. Right out from underneath the noses of the ESSCO representatives, a group of first year students made a grab and dash; replacing the luxurious, golden Pineapple with a pineapple from Metro. Of course, to abide by the rules, a cloth was placed over the Pineapple to avoid actual contact and touching of the sacred ESSCO Pineapple. An email was sent following the incident, demanding a new tradition be formed, as well as a bounteous number of rare patches be delivered to their doorstep.
Let this story, and other legendary stories that can only be passed through the grapevine, be your inspiration. Western Engineers: show your creative side today and wow the world with the next great prank that will be talked about for generations!