February 2002

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U of C Helps Chart Future for Engineering Students

University of Calgary

The 34th annual Canadian Federation of Engineering Students' Congress in Halifax was hosted by Dalhousie University, Sexton Campus, Jan. 4-9. About 36 of the 46 member schools and 250 students participated in the congress this year. University of Calgary engineering students Jeremy Baretto, Allison Haggerman, Brant Moyr and Dave Damberger attended.

CFES is currently the only body representing all of Canada's engineering students. Together, the voices of engineering societies from the Pacific to the Atlantic can be heard. Therefore, it brings forth concerns and ideas to better the engineering student experience.

The CFES also hosts an annual presidents' meeting, which was attended last November by Christine Johansan, University of Calgary Engineering Students' Society president. The organization is also strongly supported by the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers.

The CFES Congress provides students with an opportunity to explore various current issues that are of interest, facilitated by discussions and debates, guest speakers, which this year included Chris Hadfield (the first Canadian astronaut in space), industry tours, and workshops on the student programs.

In addition, engineering societies are able to vote on the issues they deem of great importance, to pass mandates to improve the function of the CFES. This year, among the mandates passed were the continued pursuit and emphasis on information sharing via the Internet, such as the creation of an online job fair, listing career opportunities across Canada's vast nation. Also, CFES will design a summer school program to foster an initiative to experience various Canadian universities.

The lasting effects of the congress are best stated by Dave Damberger, vice-president external of the Engineering Students' Society: "The learning experience was not only tremendous, but it was also a lot of fun!"

Pie Throw

It all began at lunch hour Nov. 26, when a large circle of students gathered in the middle of MacEwan Hall Students' Centre. As the students looked on (some wearing white coveralls with the letters, "p squad" on the back and armed with rolls of paper towel and plenty of garbage bags), the president of the Students' Union, Barbara Wright, took a pie in the face.

Oohs and aahs and laughter were also heard mere moments later as, in the Engineering Students' Lounge, Dean of Engineering Dr. S. Chan Wirasinghe, P.Eng., was pied in the face as well. And that was the start of the days that followed called Pie Throw, another outstanding engineering tradition.

The rules are simple: A pie can be bought by anyone for the price of $5 or more. It is then the choice of the intended "victim" whether to (a) redirect the pie for another $5 in or (b) to take the pie in the face. This year, more than $3,100 was raised for the Calgary Urban Projects Society. However, as vice-president of events Kim Johnston says, "We couldn't have done it with out the support of the student volunteers, faculty and corporate industry."

Squad teams raced around the city to deliver chocolate or banana surprises. Again this year, SMED International was among the many companies that participated in the buying and redirecting of pies. In a few hours, SMED employees contributed to $1,300 of the total amount raised and in the process benefited a worthy cause, all whilst having tons of fun. Five-dollar pies seemed to transform into pies worth as much as $135.

All in all, those who decided to have some fun or seek that little bit of revenge had a great time. The Engineering Students' Society thanks all the individuals, companies and others who helped make this event such a success.

Mary Grace DeGuzman has completed her third year of manufacturing engineering and is on internship until September with the wireless communications company Research in Motion. Reach her at


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