Terri-Jane Yuzda

Fun to U of C, Cash to Charity

University of Calgary
Student Contributor

It was the first day of classes in the first semester of 2004. The hallways at the University of Calgary were quiet and peaceful, almost serene.

Then the engineers came out.
Eng Week 2004 started on Monday, Jan. 12, with a boisterous parade through the engineering building – audible even in the basement. This set the stage for the annual weeklong event that is Engg Week (a.k.a. Engineering Week).

The five departments – electrical, chemical, civil, mechanical and geomatics engineering – compete each year for honour, glory and points, with each group trying to outdo all the others and win the coveted title of Winners of Engg Week.
Each department has a theme. This year’s themes are Nightmare on Chem Street (chemical), the People’s Democratic Republic of Civil (civil), MarGeo Brothers (geomatics), Made in Mechxico (mechanical) and ZOOBAR (electrical engineering, a.k.a. Zoo).

A brief digression on why electrical engineering is known as Zoo. Once upon a time a professor went into the electrical homeroom to teach a class and made the comment, “It’s like a bloody zoo in here!” The name just stuck.

The Games

The ZOOBAR banner is proudly on display.

There are far too many events during Engg Week to list here, but I will describe some of them.

The Scavenger Hunt sends the departments out to scrounge for strange things, such as a working Apple IIe or Commodore 64 computer, and not-so-strange things, such as a charity item for the Calgary Women’s Shelter and lunch for the judges.

The Key Clue event is one of the most contested. Clues are given out every day of Engg Week, and the department teams, usually at least two or three dedicated people, spend the week doing tasks and trying to solve clues in order to find the key. It’s hidden somewhere in Calgary, and false keys are nestled away to throw the teams off, making the game even more challenging.

Snow sculptures are the longest lasting evidence of Engg Week. How long they last depends on the weather (which in Calgary means five minutes, five months or anywhere in between).

Each department makes a snow sculpture and spiffs it up with biodegradable paints. The most impressive sculpture wins.

Sweet Civility
Civil hopes to claim its second consecutive Engg Week victory. Since civil also won the Frosh Week event in September, it would be all the sweeter.

But the other departments have their own plans.

Electrical hopes to end its drought of Engg Week victories. Mechanical hopes for some payback after coming in second during last year’s Engg Week. Geomatics and chemical also want the win, of course.

But at the end of the day, everyone knows it’s all about fun. And charity.

Engg Week always raises money for a specific charity, and last year the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter received just over $5,000 from the engineers.

This year’s charity is the Children’s Wish Foundation. The foundation grants a favourite wish to a child afflicted with a high-risk, life threatening illness. These wishes can be anything from a trip to Disneyland to a laptop to the perfect puppy.

The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada was founded in 1984, and since then the Alberta and Northwest Territories chapter alone has granted 640 wishes. This is a very worthy organization, and the U of C engineering students are proud to support it.

For more information about this charity, visit www.childrenswish.ca.

As of The PEGG’s deadline, Engg Week is still going on. With several of the biggest events to come, including the scavenger hunt and Key Clue, victory is still up for grabs.

Check back next month for the final results!

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