The long rivalry between engineering students at the University of Toronto and Queen’s has been reignited by the theft of the Grease Pole.
The theft was announced in an Instagram post posted by @mariobaker263 on June 24 and accompanied by a letter addressed to engineering students at Queen’s. The post stated the Grease Pole has been taken hostage by the Brute Force Committee (BFC).
In a statement posted to their Instagram, Queen’s Engineering Society (EngSoc) confirmed the Grease Pole theft. They discouraged engineering students from partaking in any acts of retaliation.
“We have been in active communication since the [June 18 theft] to reach a solution. Please refrain from any acts of retaliation until this has been resolved,” the statement said. “Rest assured; [the Grease Pole] will be returned.”
BFC’s letter, which is full of innuendos, refers to the Grease Pole as “Steve.”
“Despite the great care and affection, we are gracing over Steve’s girthy length, we know our star crossed romance cannot last. Steve must return home to welcome new youths,” Mario Baker, Da’Chief, wrote in the letter on behalf of The Brute Force Committee.
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Every September, first-year engineering students attempt to grab a tam by climbing over a grease-covered pole in a pit of mud. The event—known as the Grease Pole—is part of engineering orientation.
The Grease Pole was stolen in 2016 by the BFC, which allegedly consists of engineering students at the University of Toronto.
In the same Instagram post, the pole thieves listed six demands as the Grease Pole’s ransom. The demands must be completed by 2:63 a.m. on June 29 to ensure the Grease Pole’s safe return to Queen’s.
The demands refer to several engineering traditions at Queen’s including the creation of “twenty jacket bars with the words ‘lubricated Steven’ embroidered on them.”
The thieves’ third demand is “one comprehensive 26.3 step plan to better secure the birthday boy and keep him cozier in the cold winter nights,” according to the letter.
“In order to secure the return of The Grease Pole to his home expeditiously, all items listed above must be completed,” the BFC wrote.
The Grease Pole is kept off-campus at a secure location during the year. Few individuals at Queen’s know the exact location.
The Grease Pole tradition has been longstanding, starting when Gaels stole a goal post from the University of Toronto during a football game.
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