[This week’s update is brought to you by our friends at The Warrior Wiki]
The year was 1987 and the university had been written up as the school without spirit in publications like the Toronto Star. It seems the University administration decided to solve the negative press with a renewed focus on a traditional cheerleader squad. This however did not do much to excite the student population, some of whom felt that the traditional cheerleader team “just didn’t seem to represent the true spirit of the University of Waterloo.”
“It was all very peppy, very preppy, very administration-approved.”
Several students got together and decided they were going to do something about it. They choreographed a synchronized dance routine to the song “Nine to Five”. [Editor’s note: Which one?] During half-time at the Naismith Classic basketball game, they marched out unannounced and unauthorized and performed, as the band (who was in on it) provided the music.
The stunt was a huge success with the students (and administration it seems) and it went on to perform many times.
They were all invited back to the university in 1997 as part of the university’s 40th anniversary celebrations.
The names of some of those involved:
Angela Chambers, Ken Jones, Chris Kitowski, Suzanne V. Langdon, Peter Houston, Dave Till, Steve Hayman, John Sellens, Heidi Leblanc, Brian Dickson, Peter Coo, Peter Carette, Linda Carson, Paul McKone
Check out a more detailed version of the story here, or on The Warrior Wiki.
Here is an article we stumbled across while investigating the history of The Natural Log. It details the aftermath of the brawl that occurred between math and engineering students, and the first theft of the log.
A confrontation between UW Mathematics and Engineering students took place near Engineering 1 and 2 in the early afternoon of Tuesday December 1, during a procession reminiscent of the engineering parade held in early November during Engineering Week.
This time, the parade was staged by mathematics students, and a log on a table – “the natural log” on “the log table” – was carried around campus, in the manner of the engineering mascot “the ridgid tool”.
Ron Heath, who has been elected as next year’s Engineering Society (EngSoc) President, said he saw signs advertising the parade posted around the Mathematics Society (MathSoc) office, and decided to “welcome the mathies appropriately.”
Walter Steinman, a MathSoc councillor who claimed to be an “innocent bystander” to the event, estimated that about 60-100 engineers greeted the parade of about 20 mathematics students.
According to Heath, the “welcome” consisted of an indoor water attack and an outdoor snowball barrage. He stated that the mathematics students brough paint with them – which ended up on various people.
Lumps and bruises were suffered by both factions. MathSoc President Mark A. B. Garson, fearing a detached retina after his eye was struck by a “snowball,” went to the hospital for X-rays. Several engineers complained of paint on their coats, Heath commented, and threatened “capital punishment for the mathies responsible,” but Heath said he “talked them out of it.”
“The log table” is still in the possession of MathSoc, but “the natural log” was taken by engineers who used a pari of bolt cutters to remove the log from chains which secured it to four mathematics students.
“The natural log” is, in any case, not the official “mathscot” – this honour was awarded many years ago to “the pink tie” which, although it has been seen during last year, is now reported to be “lost, half its original length, and moth-eaten” according to “unidentified source” Tracy Tims.
by Laurie Cole
Imprint December 5, 1980 (Page 3)
The mascot of the Mathematics Society is The Natural Log. It is a 2.5 foot long (roughly) section of wooden log, with the word ‘MATHSOC’ burnt into it.
The Natural Log was originally created in late November 1980. Earlier that month, as part of Engineering Week, the engineers had paraded their Ridgid Tool around campus. Presumably this caused some mathies to discuss the possibility of MathSoc getting its own “mathscot” that could be paraded around. Apparently Prabhakar Ragde heard them and jokingly suggested a “natural log”. The mathies took him seriously and procured the log from an unknown source.
On December 1st, 1980, The Natural Log was formally unveiled to the public for the first time. The Mathies chained the log to a table (the Log Table, just a standard table that was soon forgotten) and paraded their new mascot around campus.
The First Theft
As the math students paraded the log near Engineering 1 (now Douglas Wright Engineering), they were attacked by a large group of engineers. A small brawl ensued. Paint, snowballs, and fists were thrown. The chains holding the log to the table were cut using bolt cutters, and the log was stolen. One student went to the hospital for x-rays.
We are uncertain what happened to the log during this time. Presumably, the log was returned within a few weeks. At any rate, The Natural Log was back in the hands of MathSoc by the year 2005.
The 2005 Theft
In 2005, the engineers once again stole The Natural Log. This time, the log was defaced using permanent markers and spray paint. After some time, MathSoc negotiated for the return of the log.
It then sat in a corner of the MathSoc Office, neglected and graffitied, for several years.
In 2010, a mathematics student named John Stevenson noticed the log and realised that he had the skills required to clean and restore The Natural Log. Taking it home, he carefully removed the graffiti, and added a layer of shellac to the log. Returning it to MathSoc, the log was given a new home on display in the 3rd floor landing of the Mathematics and Computer building. MathNEWS had a field day and created a whole new mythos surrounding the log’s creation.
The 2010 Theft
In late November 2010, The Natural Log was stolen once again, this time by NEAC. As always, the details are sketchy, but NEAC claims that it gave the log “as a Christmas gift” to the environment society. There was a ransom demand made of $500 dollars (later reduced to $400) for the log, but when MathSoc arrived with a [voided] cheque, the captors failed to show up to the meeting.
The log’s location was then sold to the highest bidder by a person wearing the Environment Banana costume at the Colour Me Educated dumpster event on January 26, 2010. It appears that the Faculty of Arts was the highest bidder and came into possession of the log shortly after. However, after the Arts Student Union president change, all credible leads as to the log’s location and captors seemed to disappear.
On September 21, 2011, a Facebook account by the name of “TheMath Log” appeared, with owners of the account claiming to be the current captors of the log. After actively friend-ing everyone related to the Math Faculty in January, an ultimatum was given on February 2nd. If students didn’t vote in André Magalhães for VPEDucation in the upcoming Federation of Students Election, the log would be burned. Otherwise, The Natural Log was to be returned safely. This ultimatum was rapidly removed from the account the following day. The election occurred and Adam Garcia got the position.
Now, well into March, no word has been given as to the log’s whereabouts, nor has a bag of ash been delivered to MathSoc. Indeed, the Facebook profile has apparently been deleted or banned as of today (March 11).
Who knows what will become of MathSoc’s long-time mascot, but we’ll provide updates if any happen. If you have an idea of where it is and want drop a tip to The Spirit of WTF, you can message us here.
Cafe ex-manager jailed for theft
The former manager of a University of Waterloo eating spot was given a 30-day jail term when he appeared for a sentence on a theft charge.
Adrian Glasgow, 23, of New Hamburg, pleaded guilty previously to dipping into receipts at the Wild Duck Cafe and stealing $5,220 over several months. He was charged after the theft was discovered last November.
Glasgow, who has repaid the money, received what assistant Crown attorney Marg Janzen called a “glowing” pre-sentence report and was recommended for temporary absence.
May 19, 1989 KW-Record
Campus life too hurried, students tell UW board
By Julia Ann Easley
University of Waterloo students need more time to think about what they’re learning, the president of the Federation of Students told UW’s board of governors Tuesday.
Ted Carlton said heavy workloads mean students don’t have the opportunity to complete their studies with broader educational experiences.
“We’re looking for more of a balance in the university,” Calton said in an interview after giving a presentation on the quality of student life at UW.
His comments were vased on the preliminary findings of a study begun two years ago by the federation’s student life committee. A report is expected to be released soon.
Some alumni approached during fund-raising campaigns have noted the good education they received at the university but said they missed out on the rest of university life, Carlton said. For some, it’s been their reason for not donating.
He also said students are too segregated by faculty. He suggested the university consider introducing mandatory core subjects in which students from various faculties would be mixed. “It’s something we could be looking at.”
The federation has introduced a September orientation program that encourages students from different faculties to interact.
Students in co-op programs often find it hard to get involved in campus activities and then maintain a sense of belonging. Many of the student clubs have difficulty with continuity because executives and membership change every four months.
About 60 per cent of the university’s more than 15,000 full time students are in co-op programs, in which they alternate four-month work and school terms.
“It’s hard to get a sense of rhythm of the institution and really feel at home,” Carton said.
Students are also concerned over the quality of undergraduate teaching. There is a perception, the federation president said, that it is considered second class compared to graduate instruction and research.
“We’ve go to do a better job of recognizing and rewarding better undergraduate teaching. We have to reward good teaching as much as we do good research,” he said, alluding to criteria considered in the advancement of proffesors.
He said the recent construction of the 100-unit Columbia Lake town-house project, which accomodates 400 students, has helped alleviate the student housing shortage in Waterloo and the opening of the William G. Davis Centre has freed space in various faculties for study areas and student lounges.
The federation ais hoping the next fund-raising campaign will target money for the construction of an addition to either the campus centre or the physical activities complex.
KW Record - January 27, 1988
It’s interesting to see the list of complaints that the student body had some 23 years ago. Some of the problems have changed, while others will still ring true for students today.
With the University administration’s take over control of the Federation Hall on everyone’s minds, we thought that we’d post a few tidbits about the building:
Federation Hall originally to be used by the undergraduate students at the University of Waterloo as a night club. Currently it’s thought to be the largest student-owned bar in North America.
Over the years the hall has been host to some big name concerts:
- k.d. lang
- The Jeff Healey Band
- Spirit of the West
The solar panels on the roof were the result of the Sustainable Technology Education Project student group and were added to the building in 2004.
Finally, we end off with an article we came across last week during our research:
June 21, 1989 — UW Federation Hall architects win award
The architectural firm of Dunlop Farrow Aitken Cansfield Inc. has won an award of excellence from the Ontario Association of Architects for its design of the University of Waterloo’s Federation Hall.
The architects were lauded for their successful combination of high tech and traditional materials and for the design’s “elegant” detailing and craftmanship.
[This is part 2 of a letter, claimed to be sent by the Tie Liberation Organizationin 1997. It is unconfirmed whether it was actually the T.L.O.]
The Tie told a terrible tale of being adrift at sea for days before finally being washed up on the coast of a foreign land. A kindly lighthouse keeper spotted the tie, and, after nursing him back to health, informed him that he was in Canada.
Though many would have been downhearted in the face of this disaster, the Tie remained optimistic. The lighthouse keeper told him that if he wanted to make enough money to send for his fiancee, he should head to Ontario, possibly even get a University degree, and find work there. Thus the Tie continued his trek west. He decided on pursuing higher education, and hearing about a professor by the name of Ralph Stanton,
who had founded a faculty at the University of Waterloo, and his love of pink ties, the Tie headed there. However, shortly after being on campus, he was rolled for his OSAP money by several students, who, in a prank of unprecedented cruelty, hung him for the roof of the building. Many of these students were involved in a liberal political known only as the Society and, being delighted with their fiendishness, made a yearly pastime of this. He suffered until we liberated him a decade ago. At this point the Tie broke into his tears at the memory of his past. We ordered him another triple expresso and he soon regained his composure and continued.
It seems that the over the last ten years, his relationship with Mathsoc improved, but he also did a lot of thinking. He realized that he still cared for the Tie he had left behind and so, late last year, after another round of wage negotiations between Mathsoc and him broke down, he planned to escape and seek employment elsewhere. Patience paid off, and he was able to slip out unnoticed.
However, he shortly realized that though he had a basic understanding of social skills, thanks to the T.L.O’s rehabilitation program, he did not have any real world experience at finding a job. Remembering some of the destinations that we, the T.L.O., had taken him on his last excursion, such as the Giant Nickel, Ottawa and the Engineering Tool’s weight lifting room, he decided to start there. He quickly ruled out begging the Tool for a job, since he’d never hear the end of it. He also quickly discovered that the inflation in the last ten years had been greater than expected when he visited the Great Toonie.
This left Ottawa. He made plans to visit his local MP. He was warmly greeted at Parliament hill, and thanks to some help, a job interview was set up the next day fro him as a tour guide of the Ottawa region. The pay was not incredible, but the Tie enjoyed his work. His appeal to the people was genuine. His guy language classes helped his dealing with the men, and he explained that since he is pink, a sensitive and revealing colour, women know he is a man of the nineties. He could laugh, he could cry. He was in short, a Tie of the people.
Like all good things, this job couldn’t last forever and it was with a tearful goodbye that he returned his uniform at the end of the tourist season. He took up babysitting on the side, but soon felt that the kids he was sitting were just a bunch of pumpkin-heads anyway. He pulled out the tattered copy of his Guy Etiquette Handbook and sought help with the situation. He realized that he should try a more manly job. With winter approaching he knew just the thing. The company was pleased with him at first, but disagreements amongst the players meant that it wasn’t long until the Ottawa Senators also let him go. Feeling rather discouraged after this latest rejection, the Tie took a job as a dropcloth. we were shocked that he had had to resort to such a demeaning form of employment. Our faith was restored when the Tie told us that he had snuck a clause in his contract that gave him a 10 percent return on all projects he was affiliated with. When the OC Transport repainted it’s buses, the Tie claimed a ten percent cut of all transit fares, claiming it was his masterful skill that had allowed the painters to attract new patrons. After winning the case in court, the Tie was awarded $27,000 in royalties.
Finally, the tie had enough money to call home and send for his fiancee. We expected that this was the beginning of happy times, but the Tie slouched in his chair and starred off into space. After a moment he spoke again. It seemed that his fiancee had grown tired of waiting for him and had decided to seek love in the arms of a goat herder from a neighbouring village. The Tie quit his job that very day and began to spend his time in bars. As the money he had earned went down, so did the class of the establishment he visited. He soon had to find money just to support his drinking habit. He returned to his roots and took to gambling in the
However, the T.L.O. serves as a testimony to the fact that nothing is impossible and that one’s limitations are bounded only by the limitations of one’s imagination.
Before the Tie returned home to MathSoc, he met his arch rival, the Tool. The Tie and the Tool were still unable to resolve their debate about which faculty had done more for the benefit of mankind but their meeting was productive.
A contest was suggested to determine their superiority. The Tie suggested a match of chess however due to their time constraits, from their busy schedules, this was not practical. The Tool challenged the Tie to a bench press contest, secretly realizing his dominance in the sport (he used to be known as “the Ridgid One” back in his competition days). In a gesture of good will, the Tie accepted. After all, it isn’t who wins or loses that matters but how much fun you have, right?
Well, it turns out the Tie bowed out well under the 100lbs mark despite Kelly’s help. This was still a very respectable showing for the “Pink one” (weighing less than fifteen pounds).
The Tie’s proposed Peace Plan was accepted in principle by the Tool. The plan suggested an on going competition between the two faculties which would determine which one is superior. The arena of competition would include all faculties activities which are already existent. For example, in athletics, both faculties would be expected to prepare all-star teams which would play against each other. Each victory would be worth points towards the grand total. This would also include other activities such as boat racing, debating, chess, euchre, century club or any other activities where there is enough interest. All these points would be accumulated and an annual winner declared. No longer would there be any doubt about which faculty is best (not that there is any now).
Admission could be charged at large matches and the proceeds could be donated to local charities or to a special scholarship fund (supported solely by the challenge) so that others may experience U.W .. The two agreed this would help fight their mutual enemy, apathy. After a test period, the competition could be opened to other faculties. Although the talks didn’t remove the animousity between the two leaders, they both left with a strenghtened respect for the other.
END OF COMMUNIQUE
TO : MathSoc and Math Students and all Students and Staff
FROM : T.L.O.
SECURITY CLEARANCE : General
RE : A final Note and the Tie’s Peace Plan Revealed
The University of Waterloo is a great place, filled with interesting and exciting people. Academically, it is second to none. However, it is people which make the difference. Education comes in many forms and some of the most valuable learning experiences come through the interaction of people. One potential draw back to experiencing a full and rewarding education is apathy. Indifference and unconcern limits any learning experience. To overcome this, it is important to get involved, and become active. The experience of becoming part of a team or group has countless benefits. The responsibility of being depended on and the satisfaction of seeing one’s efforts converted into results are invaluable to one’s development.
However, it is very easy to become too focused and to get stuck in a grove. Homework, assignments, and small everyday problems can be distracting. People become occupied with their busy lives and time is hard to find. Before we realize it, time has passed us by. Our time here is precious and limited, so we must make sure that it is not wasted, no matter what we’re doing. It is important to take some time, even if its just a minute, to slow down, relax and enjoy life.
The T.L.O. noticed that the average student at Waterloo is under a great deal of stress. We also noticed that generally the campus can be a boring place. We realized that even a small event could pick people up. We felt that a project like that of liberating the Tie could help create a sense of faculty unity. We hoped that by using humour, we could make a difference to the mood on campus and hopefully we have.
It is unfortunate that “the Adventures of the Tie” went almost unnoticed by the students. It seems people became very uptight about the whole event even though it was intended to be harmless. It seems the media lost their nerve and that censorship dominated.
The Pink Tie in “Engineering Tool’s weight lifting room”