Oh what an O-week
By Brendan Howe
After a bomb squad visit, a motorcycle accident and controversy over the word "Frosh", this year's Orientation week came to a fiery conclusion Sunday afternoon.
Authorized pranks performed by the engineers included putting a clown wig on University Students' Council President Ryan Parks during opening ceremonies Sept. 2 and throwing objects which looked like explosives amongst the crowd.
Later that day a package resembling a bomb was found on the hood of a Brinks truck located near the Stevenson-Lawson building, said Insp. Bob Earl of the University Police Department. They secured the package in a safe location and promptly called the London City Police bomb squad.
"The package was destroyed and the remnants were taken back to the bomb squad lab. At this point we don't believe it to be a bomb," Earl said.
Orientation officer Kevin Tribe was disappointed with the unidentified prank saying it was something the USC had no control over.
A plastic figure resembling an engineer plunged to the ground from the roof of Talbot college during the closing ceremonies Sunday. This prank, unlike others was not cleared with the USC, which is standard policy.
"It was a spur-of-the-moment thing," said Todd Anderson, engineering head-soph. "We had a mannequin and we wanted to do something with it," he said, adding he did not believe the prank was in bad taste.
Tribe denied the prank took place. "That didn't happen. Every prank the engineers did was cleared with us," he said.
Thursday morning as students began classes, an accident occurred at Lambton and Western Roads involving a stolen motorcycle colliding with an oncoming car, said Const. Wendy McGowan of the University Police Department.
The driver of the motorcycle, 21-year-old Camillo Delpellaro, immediately fled to the engineering building, but was later arrested with possession of stolen property and failing to remain at the scene of an accident.
This year's O-week was also shaped by programming changes. Organizers were forced to obey an administration decision to have all O-week programming take place on campus, explained Tribe, adding this decision forced them to increase the price of the frosh kits by $5 to pay for facilities to accommodate all students such as a tent on University College hill.
"A lot of head sophs found it tough to organize events, but I think it was good, it got the different constituencies mixed together," Tribe said.
Other changes to O-week this year included phasing out the word "Frosh". Tribe explained the term is considered demeaning by the USC and they have had several complaints about the use of word, adding his disappointment with the usage of the term on the cover of The Gazette's Orientation paper.