The Humanoids: Guide to O-Week 2011

It’s that time of year again for the soon-to-be denizens of The University of Western Ontario. Time to load up the overly expensive SUVs and move into residence for their first year at UWO. That means Frosh Week is here again. Of course, the frosh don’t have much of an idea of what they’re in for over the next stretch. Having done this once before and witnessing it on three more occasions, I think I have a handle on what’s important for the frosh to know as they head to London and UWO.

When and where do I party?
We all know by now that Western was on Playboy’s top party schools in North America list. It’s #4 in the whole of North America and #1 in Canada. So the question really isn’t if you’ll party but where you go for your drunken debauchery. The good thing is that you’re in rez first year. People are always going to be going out on Fridays and Saturdays so it’s a matter of meeting the right people. Also, there are parties in rez on a weekly basis somewhere in your building. You’ve just got to find them. If you live in Saugeen, all you have to do is open your door to find a party. It is Saugeen after all. Just watch out for the camera following the stripper. Everyone will see those pictures when the media blows it out of proportion. Just ask the guy in the Saugeen Stripper pictures who was caught looking away.

Off campus, your best bet is to hit Richmond Row. Richmond from the train tracks down the whole way (though I seem to recall it thins out south of Victoria Park) has bars. At the far north, there’s The Ceeps. That’s London/UWO’s most famous bar. Everyone that went to Western has done a night at The Ceeps. Don’t try to fight. Just embrace it. In fact, try to get down to Barney’s Patio next to The Ceeps during September while the weather is still warm. But go early because it’ll be packed. Richmond Row is also the place to be on St. Patrick’s Day and Homecoming if you’d rather not do the USC tent on campus. Stick to rez and Richmond and you’re guaranteed to see why Playboy called Western Canada’s top party school… And you’ll also require a liver transplant in four years but don’t worry about that now.

What happened to the foam party?
I also noticed that the annual foam party wasn’t on the schedule. Jackie told me that it’s been cancelled for a couple of years now. In my first year, they hired a heavy-duty foam cannon to kick the party up another notch. Now, there’s no foam cannon on Friday night and no concert to go with it. Back in 2005 (which sort of makes me feel old writing that), we had The Joys (a London band that seems reasonably popular on a larger scale) play the foam party concert. This year, it’s a faculty programming night. That’s just not nearly as fun.

I want to close this section with my favourite foam party story: A friend of mine was working as a soph supervising the foam party mosh pit. He was wading through the foam when he got kicked in the face. He turned around and there was a woman straddling/wrapped around a guy. I think you can guess what they were up to. And no one would have known what/who they were doing if she didn’t kick a soph in the face.

Is it worth it to go to as many Mustangs games as possible?
Except for the playoffs and Homecoming games, all the games are free. So the only thing you’re spending is your time at these games (and money on tailgate food/booze and food/booze at the game). Despite student union (At Western, they’re called the University Students’ Council [USC]) subsidized tickets, I was still fielding complaints from people I know who seemed to think I could do something about the $20 tickets to football playoff games.

The thing to keep in mind is that the Mustangs are going to give some bang for your buck. The football team has won three Yates Cups in the last four years. With most of the core of the offence retained, they’re in good shape to contend again this year. The men’s hockey team is a perennial contender. They’ve been to the OUA final four each of the last three years and made it to the University Cup tournament in two of the last three seasons. And the women’s basketball team is among the best in Ontario. Trust me, it’ll be well worth the time to watch the Mustangs play every chance you get.

You do remember that there are classes that you have to attend in between partying, drinking and football games?
And whatever you do, don’t try to mix any of the above with lectures. It will end badly. Like the time the random drunk guy in my first year poli sci class (Poli Sco 020 was what it was called back in 2005/06) who said (or rather slurred) to the prof “Hey you! Hey you! Fuck you! Fuck you! You gotta lighten up a bit! You gotta tell some jokes!” He was then asked to leave and shockingly obliged. That was the first time I ever saw a professor get a raucous ovation from a lecture theatre.

Anyway, you are apparently at Western to learn. (Really, you went to Western to either party or to get away from your parents… Or both.) The thing you have to remember is that attendance at business faculty lectures is always mandatory. Attendance at labs and tutorials are also fairly mandatory if I recall what my science friends told me. Everything else is pretty optional. Lectures at Western are too big for attendance to be taken so you can get away without going to lectures. However, that doesn’t mean you can skip all lectures. You should always go to the first few lectures to find out if the prof reads readily available slides or the textbook verbatim and adds nothing else. Those are the lectures that are more optional than others. Of course, sometimes they’ll drop hints about what to study for exams so you might want to at least get to October before skipping every lecture.

And, for the love of god, don’t sit near the front. You don’t want to get caught falling asleep in the middle of your Comp Sci lecture. That’s why I stuck to a seat closer to the back, usually about three-quarters of the way from the front. That’s also advisable if you plan on playing sudoku for the entire lecture (which, by the way, is the only worthwhile reason to pick up The Gazette).

Do you know who John Hughes is?
Every year, Beloit College releases a list of facts about the general life and times of the year’s incoming college/university class. This year is the Class of 2015 who were born, for the most part, in 1993. The one item on the list that jumps out me the most was #2: Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could be their parents. That’s the sort of thing that makes me wonder if these kids would actually know a good John Hughes movie if it bit them in the ass.

For example, the last good Hughes movie was 1994’s Miracle On 34th Street for which he wrote the screenplay and produced. Before that Hughes wrote or directed such great movies a National Lampoon’s Vacation, Sixteen Candles, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. That’s not to mention everybody’s favourite Hughes movies The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Home Alone (Okay, clearly Home Alone isn’t in the same league as The Breakfast Club and Ferris but it’s my list and I’m putting it up there).

There are two questions that this year’s frosh must answer if they expect me to acknowledge their existence: 1) Did you know that Hughes wrote or directed The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Home Alone? And 2) Have you actually seen half of those movies (and yes only counts if you’ve seen my pick for Hughes’ big three)?

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