Preserve the Greasepole

It appears the Greasepole is no longer what it once was.

The Frosh Week event challenges first-year Applied Science students to work together as a team to capture a tam that rests atop a tall pole covered in grease. To those who have never participated, the event may appear strange and unappealing, but to those in the Faculty of Applied Science, the event is nothing less than a rite of passage.

The Faculty of Applied Science has a culture unlike any other at this University.

No other faculty drenches themselves in purple from head to toe during Frosh Week, no other faculty takes as much pride in their jackets—affectionately referred to as Golden Party Armour, and no other faculty seems to match the engineers’ tight-knit sense of community.

The Greasepole is a large part of that culture and has a long tradition at Queen’s. Unfortunately, it seems as though that tradition may be undergoing significant changes. If that happens, it will be a shame.

The administration, as well as many student leaders, have always been concerned with student safety, which itself is entirely appropriate, indeed expected. However, the difficulty of the Greasepole is a large part of its appeal. The more difficult the challenge, the more satisfying it is to overcome it.

Throughout Frosh Week, upper-year students tease and order around the frosh. The Greasepole, though meant primarily for the Applied Science frosh, is also meant to unite Applied Science students of all years in a few hours of difficult, but good-spirited fun. Because the Greasepole was completed so quickly this year, that didn’t happen the same way it has in past years.

Safety is very important, but if the Greasepole becomes just another watered-down event like almost everything else in Frosh Week, then it will lose its meaning.

If changes are made to make the event safer, it shouldn’t be at the expense of having a good time.

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