Canada: Students Cheer as University Violates Free Speech

McMaster Bans Song Book; Hypocrisy Be Damned

McMaster University administrators in Canada have effectively banned a book they find immoral, and many students support the school’s oppressive decision.

“When we discovered this book and saw its contents,” admitted David Wilkinson, McMaster’s academic provost and vice president, “we took immediate and swift action to indicate a book with this kind of content in it is unacceptable.”

The book — which contains approximately 25 cheers that touch controversial topics such as rape and murder — is part of a long cultural tradition of rhymes with bawdy content. People enjoy singing about taboo subjects, mostly because they know the subjects are taboo. In other words, their participation in reading the book generally involves agreeing with the taboo themes, and disagreeing with a direct interpretation of the text. To read or sing such a book with others is a cultural bonding experience, encompassing their societal values.

But the university does not understand this. Instead, it has suspended students who have read the book, most of which are members of a group called the Redsuits. McMaster has also reprimanded the McMaster Engineering Society, the much larger body of which the Redsuits are a part.

featured-mcmaster-students

Members of the McMaster Redsuits march in the Hamilton Santa Claus Parade last November. The engineering student group has been banned from campus activities. Source: McMaster Engineering Society.

The decision to suspend the group is not only inconsistent with free speech principles, but it shows that the university — as well as the students who support the book ban — is intolerant, exclusive, insensitive, ethnocentric, anti-intellectual, oppressive, moralistic, and power hungry.

They are intolerant and oppressive by condemning what they don’t approve of. They tolerate neither the book, nor the people who read it, and cheer their punishment.

They are exclusive because they preclude anyone who is part of a group that reads the book from fully participating in student life. They are morally exclusive of those who engage in expression they find immoral, singing words they denounce, for example.

They are insensitive, ethnocentric, and anti-intellectual by failing to show any understanding that some people have cultural norms other than their own; many cultures have long held traditions of using bawdy language. Again, such language is often meant to be ironic, in order to support more “wholesome” values. But even when it is sincere, such language is fully protected by free speech principles. It is not, in and of itself, harassing or discriminatory, even if some find it off-putting.

They are moralistic because they decide what is right or wrong. Even though a great university should be a marketplace of ideas where all expression deserves objective consideration, they prefer an environment that decides ahead of time, for everyone, regardless of any moral theory to the contrary, what is good and bad, beautiful and ugly.

They are power hungry because they abuse their institute-given authority to stamp out ideas they disapprove of, rather than encouraging the peaceful power of persuasion.

A lot has changed at McMaster since just one year ago, when the school was pretending to be a champion of free expression. In 2013, defending a professor’s personal opinion, the university claimed that it supported not only academic freedom, but also individual free speech. The school’s Statement on Academic Freedom reads:

McMaster University affirms the right of the academic community to engage in full and unrestricted consideration of any opinion. Beyond this commitment to teach and learn unhindered by non-academic constraints, the University strongly supports the exercise of free speech as a critical social good. . . . Because of our respect for individual freedom of speech . . .

Add hypocrisy to the list of charges against McMaster in 2014.

For these reasons, McMaster University, and the students who support the university’s choice to oppress others, have brought shame to the idea of a free university.

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28 comments
sweetadversity
sweetadversity

@Nishant you're living proof that highly educated individuals are far from immune to ignorance. 


You don't seem all that upset about the "potential" of some naive college kid using a cheese grater on some poor gals genitals - you seem pissed off that this story might make you, an Engineer, look bad. 


You said: "It will ruin the image of an engineer. WE ARE NOT the stereotypical uneducated labourers who work all day and drink and gamble and beat their families at night. " 


Of course you're not hunny. Maybe you drink and beat your families during the day, and attend lectures for smart folk in the evening. lol


Based on your comments, and the fact that you come across as both ignorant and completely self-absorbed, it is my semi-educated opinion that you just might be a sociopath, who doesn't play well with others, was never allowed to join in and sing from the engineers dirty little secret book, and it's a good thing you didn't, because its kooks like you who sing dirty songs and wind up wind up with a freezer full of penis parmesano.


Maybe kids should stop singing Ring Around the Rosie. If we ban all violent images, violent speech or dialogue, we can say good-bye to TV, movies, music, art, and most especially - the Internet!  

Kimmie
Kimmie

even when 'free' speech' is morally reprehensible? i.e. chants that condone brutal blood violence against another person? i.e. one chant explicitly involved a cheese grater and grating a part of a woman's body?


or is that OK?  Is physically harming another person in speech okay?  As long as they don't act?  Well, what if they do act?  And we don't know. 

This is what McMaster University is trying to prevent. 

HonestAlumni
HonestAlumni

@Kimmie =I was a Redsuit for 4 years, I did not even know about S&M man. It is not sung.


Ever.

Apparently it's only in that book because it was sung once, in 2005, to a group of 5 or so who asked to hear the most offensive cheer ever, and someone reached and grabbed one from Rugby culture. 


And now everyone is intimately familiar with it. Much more familiar with it than me and my engineering friends i can assure you. I couldn't even read it I was so grossed out.


By separating itself from the Redsuits before an investigation, the University has branded us guilty, as filthy, violent sickos, when none of it is true. Even if an apology is issued, to the ignorant media consumer, we will always be filthy.


What a clusterfu*k.

amyalkon
amyalkon

@Kimmie The answer to speech you find morally reprehensible is more speech, not shutting down the speech you don't like. This is a slippery slope, because soon, your speech could be the speech others find objectionable. It is, in fact, objectionable speech that needs the most protection and having all speech open and free makes for a better society because problems can be discussed and debated rather than being hidden.


As for the notion that engineering students are so dim that they can't see that this is parody, well, that seems a really rude and insulting claim, but I sure wouldn't dream of denying your freedom to make it.

Adam Kissel
Adam Kissel

@Kimmie Thanks for your views.


It is a mistake to imagine, as I mentioned, that singing the chants actually means condoning the acts--in fact, it is most likely the opposite, not just by common sense, but because people sing about taboos exactly because they are taboos and the singers agree with the taboos.


"Physically harming another person in speech" is totally unlike actually harming someone. By this standard a huge amount of literature, art, and film would be banned.


The slippery-slope argument "but what if somebody goes ahead and does what the chants say" holds no water from a free speech perspective. In a free society we punish actions, not speech, except in extremely narrow and rare circumstances where a person directly and immediately caused an action by means of speech. 


Beware of giving the authorities the power to make such arguments to ban speech.

Kimmie
Kimmie

@amyalkon Agreed.  But when speech is morally reprehensible to a multitude of people, this is no longer about 'me'.  

I agree free speech should be out in the open and there is no wonder why this book was never openly published.  It was meant to be passed down through voices alone.  Which means they have something to hide.

Parody?  Read @Nishant  's reply.  THIS is a problem and NOT a mere 'boys will be boys' banter in the locker room.

Nishant
Nishant

@Adam Kissel How are the taboos you are talking about related to engineering?


Why must engineering students carry the banner of such talking about these taboos?


Why do they not form a club and limit the discussions and chants to that club?


What has any of this got to do with engineering?

Kimmie
Kimmie

@Adam Kissel Thank you for responding.  


I do not agree.  There is a time and place for everything.  (I have yet to find a scenario where chanting about mutilating a woman's vagina with a grater is acceptable).  A university is not a place for that type of speech.  Perhaps misogynistic speech would be acceptable at a sporting event or amongst your peers.


But this is a University.  A place which wants free expression but not at the cost of another person's physical wellbeing.  Ultimately this song book reflects very bad on the University's Engineering program.  And the fact they acted swiftly and banned the songs shows charisma.


This is not about giving authorities banning power. 


Perhaps the mutilation chant can be a part of CSI which involves a sick psychopath.


McMaster University (I think) does not want outsiders or even it's students to think sick psychopaths who chant about mutilating another human being walk among the halls.

amyalkon
amyalkon

@Kimmie @amyalkon Who gets to judge what's "morally reprehensible" and doesn't get to be heard? 


What if I -- and even many people -- judge your speech to be morally reprehensible?


Why should speech be banned at all? If you are offended, don't read it or listen. (You could call that "adults will be adults.")


The healthy thing to do is to allow all speech so it can be discussed and debated. This is an adult society -- a free society. You're arguing against a free society, free speech, and civil liberties. (Once a few start being yanked from people, the rest quickly follow.) 

Adam Kissel
Adam Kissel

There is an engineering song about the dangers of technology, but some people might not like the lyrics to that one either. In that song the engineer does not intend to hurt anyone--quite the opposite--but his invention goes horribly awry.

Adam Kissel
Adam Kissel

Hi, @Nishant -- on a moral level this is a great debate. But official university censorship & punishment is a totally unacceptable alternative to moral persuasion. It is not the university's business to tell engineering students what they are allowed to say when they gather socially. Social life is not the classroom, and the university can't and shouldn't police speech 24 hours a day.

sweetadversity
sweetadversity

@Nishant  MY GAWD- Nishant I think you could use a drink for two my friend. Since you still turned out to be this amazingly brilliant man, who managed to pack the entire history of scientific achievement into four years of study, even despite the drunks at the door, or the secret lab parties...did they kick you out of the lab to have these parties? 


The annoying guy who sits in a theater and talks about his amazing relationships with alcohol and girlfriend is completely inappropriate, BECAUSE most people know you need to shut up so everyone can enjoy the show. 


BUT when you join a frat house, secret society type organization that likes to drink beer and sing songs, than you know you'll be drinking beer and singing songs. 


Now, if this secret society shows up at your front door, like Christmas carolers, wanting to sing about Va J J, that is wrong. But if they get together on their own time, in their own space - they should be free to do whatever the hell they want. 


Are you really comparing frat boys naught sing-song to the slave trade? I thought you was edumacted? 


Note your own contempt for these people, these beer drinking, "savages", "pigs", people relegated to the "back-waters" of engineering. These poor soul must act as lackeys to the real smart folk like you. 


Maybe calling people savages, comparing them to people involved in the slave trade, pigs, not to mention you thoughts that labourers a merely uneducated people who drink, gamble and beat their families....maybe all this venom you've thrown out there should be seen as hate speech. 


To should especially be considered hate speech when it comes from a brilliant mind that ought to know just how ignorant, and self-centered, and BITTER he sounds.

sweetadversity
sweetadversity

@Nishant  Me, Me, Me , Me, Me....the struggle...

Nobody knows the trouble that I've seen

Nobody knows my sorrow
Nobody knows the trouble that I've seen

Nishant
Nishant

@glennbeck  


Take responsibility of the culture that you are supporting. Just because you have not heard of a particular song does not mean that they do not exist. Would you have the guts to stand up against such barbaric songs if you did heard them?  I think you would just clap and endorse it in the name of how "ridiculous it is and hence find it funny". 


You are standing on thin ice supporting a culture that promote engineers doing violent and barbaric things and consider them funny. You and your group of barbarians are the one endorsing these things- not me.


The songs and mentality you endorse do not belong to engineering so take it else where. That is my point.


As far as you are concerned, I suggest that you stop blindly supporting redsuit culture to prove that you are outgoing. I assure you that there are many other REAL outlets for being outgoing and all of them do not include getting drunk and getting new students drunk and signing gory songs along with friends. Real outgoingness is about taking up issues and standing up against it. That requires guts and principles. You are coming across as a cry baby who has been removed from the play area because you are creating a mess for others. 


If new students did not need guidance and did not need to be told what to do with life then why are they coming to university to learn and get instructed by professors? The reality my friend is that they come with a mentality to learn and are open to new ideas and you red suits corrupt them in the first week itself. In this very post that is a redsuit engineer who claimed to have got derailed from education due to excess partying. What more proof do you want?


You are standing on thin ice and the ice is beginning to crack. Your lack of empathy does not surprise me. I am warning you to stop blindly following barbaric redsuit culture, it is obvious that you are oblivious to what so many engineers think and feel. You will sink into the bottom of the ice cold water with the weight of all the hideous things you call amusement, out-goingness and fun. 

Mitch Z
Mitch Z

@Nishant


I'm not going to lie, "You will sink into the bottom of the ice cold water with the weight of all the hideous things you call amusement, out-goingness and fun." sounds like death metal to me. I'm totally going to use that for a song because it depicts dying, drowing, looking at the daylight shining through the ice but lungs are filled with water, futility in reaching for the top, frozen and dead. 

I'm even thinking of making the song a barbaric viking tribe battle that occurs on the ice. Men savagely beating and spearing others in the head. Blood rushing out. Crimson stained glass-like ice. But when the battle is said and done, the feast in Valhalla will occur and may the warriors feast on Odin's dime with plenty of beer and slain meat.

Nishant
Nishant

@glennbeck  Their are many engineering concepts that you may have never heard about or are talked about alot but that does not mean that they do not belong to engineering. 


Take responsibility of the culture that you are supporting. Just because you have not heard particular songs, it does not mean that they do not exist. You are standing on thin ice supporting songs that promote engineers doing violent and barbaric things and consider them funny. You and your group of barbarians are the one endorsing these things- not me.


The songs and mentality you endorse do not belong to engineering so take it else where. That is my point.


As far as you are concerned, I suggest that you stop blindly supporting MES culture to prove that you are outgoing. I assure you that there are many other REAL outlets for being outgoing and all of them do not include getting drunk and getting new students drunk and signing gory songs. If new students did not need guidance and being told what to do then why are they coming to university to learn? They come with a mentality to learn and are open to new ideas and you red suits corrupt them in the first week itself.


You are standing on thin ice and the ice is beginning to crack. Your lack of empathy does not surprise me. I am warning you to stop blindly following barbaric MES culture, it is obvious that you are oblivious to what so many engineers thing and feel. You will sink into the bottom of the ice cold water with the weight of all the hideous things you call amusement, out-goingness and fun. 

glennbeck
glennbeck

@Nishant 

As has been stated already, that song is never sung. Never heard it. And I don't think all of them are funny but that is not the point. I assure you I am mentally just fine, and you should really work on your name calling if you have any intention of being constructive.

So to be clear the Engineering Society that you paid for exists, it is called the MES, McMaster Engineering Societyand the Redsuits are not the same thing. Redsuits (not a club) are the group of people selected to run frosh week, for one week, that is it, which is rooted in the days when students were of legal drinking age when they arrived at school. Many if not most people who arrive at school do want to drink and/or party at least for frosh week and back 8 years ago, there were school sanctioned drinking events. That should give you an idea of what Redsuit culture is founded in. You presume its a club because Redsuits go out to pretty much every event, and are everywhere, but after frosh week people only wear there redsuits for pride of being a part of that group, we aren't hiding behind anyone. Moreover, if you look at what redsuits do when they aren't out having fun on their nights off they are a tremendously positive force in the community and you will understand what we really promote.


Now it is no coincidence that the most social and outgoing people who aren't there for just study study study are the majority of the people who even bother to apply to be a frosh controller (Redsuit). Most of the more socially outgoing people also happen to drink, however there are many redsuits who do not drink and there are moderates too. 


You also seem to be confusing, people singing rude and funny songs with promoting the ideas in them. They are intentionally RIDICULOUS, which is what makes them funny. If you cant see that, then fine, but there are many many many people who do. Do you watch violent movies? If you do then by your logic you must agree with killing and violence. Game of Thrones, well there is torture scenes in that so you must be endorsing and promoting that too if you watch it.


The bottom line is you are painting a negative picture from your own unfortunately negative experience at Mac. You clearly havent had much exposure to how the MES works or what the redsuits actually are or do so I wish you all the best and farewell.

Nishant
Nishant

@glennbeck @BConW  Also, I did not feel marginalized. I felt cheated. I paid for an Engineering student society - NOT for a woman-bashing-alcoholic-tribe.

Nishant
Nishant

@Nishant @glennbeck @BConW  Also since when is singing about torturing a woman humorous and a way to have a good time *(even if no one is getting hurt)? How is it related to engineering culture?

Nishant
Nishant

@glennbeck @BConW  Hey, freedom of speech entitles me speaking my mind too. If you cannot comprehend my argument, then that is not my problem.


My question is how is what the redsuits promote related to engineering?


Those who want to exercise their rights to free speech by promoting alcoholism, bestiality and any other gory ideologies should do so by forming a new club. Why are they doing it hiding behind the Engineering student society. 


Why do they not make a new club separate from Engineering where such ideologies can be promoted. 


If Engineers want to join that club than they can. Why subject all engineering students to such gory ideologies by default? Do you understand that I paid for an engineering student society not a woman-bashing-alcoholic-tribe. 


Also since when is singing about torturing a woman humorous? You are a mentally-sick psychopath. 



glennbeck
glennbeck

@Nishant@BConW 


I am astonished that as an Engineer, you would indulge in such blatant speculation about the consequences of people singing songs. We Engineers are supposed to deal with facts you know. Don't build a hypothetical narrative to influence our perception of the world. You sound like fox news.If you were truly concerned about domestic violence, you would be looking into how to solve poverty and substance abuse, not people singing intentionally ridiculous songs to have a good time.


Secondly, just because you don't like what other people do, doesn't mean you should be able to control it (if no one is being harmed). If you really think that highly educated young minds can be brainwashed by singing and don't have the internal moral compass to tell them what's right and wrong, then I don't want those people to be the Engineers I am supposed to trust with all of the things you have mentioned anyways. 

My own personal principle is that I don't want people telling me how to live my life, so I don't tell them how to live theirs (again as long as no one is being harmed). Being a Redsuit and attending drinking events is something people choose to do, they are not forced to. If you don't enjoy crude humor, violent movies, rude comedians etc, that is fine, but many people do and as long as they aren't harming anyone than they have every right to enjoy themselves as far as I am concerned.


You also seem to be unable to decouple personal and professional lives. Just because someone enjoys things that would be unacceptable at work, does not mean that they are incapable of being professional on the job. 


I am sorry you felt marginalized by the greater Engineering community at Mac and that you couldn't find enough like minded people. I am glad that you shared your concern, however please refrain from using hyperbole and arguments not based on facts to supports an opinion you hold. 

Nishant
Nishant

@Mitch Z  Mitch, I know you are an ardent redsuit. 


I only have 1 question, how is the culture that redsuit promote related to Engineering? 


If the book and the alcohol promoting ideologies have no direct relation to engineering then it must not be a big part or should I say a central part of Engineering Students lifestyle. 


Those who believe in such non-engineering related thoughts, ideas, things can form a different club that focuses on those things. Let the society and law judge the club or praise the club accordingly. Why hide behind"Engineering Students Society" to promote bestiality, alcoholism and other such gory stuff? Why use the name of engineers?


You cannot say that you do not endorse racism, sexism, or violence and then take offence on me when I label those you know as savages for endorsing racism, sexism and violence. 


Either stand firm behind what your friends believe and support them or tell them that you do not stand for the things they do and try to reason with them to see the light.


Why take offence at me when I label something the redsuits promote? If you want to take offence then take it out at the redsuits promoting non-engineering ideologies. Redsuits promote alcohol and do it from day 1. There is no argument about that. 


Promoting alcohol leads to naive students drinking more alcohol and collectively behaving like savage. I have seen this first hand.  Such behavior is acceptable these days and in fact is even promoted. Alcohol is known to do that and their is no argument about that.  I have seen savage like behavior being promoted at Mac. 


I am not calling student savages, I am calling their behavior after drinking excess alcohol. Redsuits make drinking alcohol a non-taboo concept so I blame their ideologies for the poor quality education that Mac is providing today. 


Finally, I seriously wish to see that those who want to talk about alcoholism, racism, sexism, voilance and any other gory ideologies  stop hiding behind the engineering society and form a different club and hence leave engineering students with what they paid for. 


If an engineer wants to participate, he can join that club. It must not be the other way around that such ideologies are forced upon all engineers from day 1. 


I hope you can see the reason in my points. You do not need to be sorry for my time. If you do care then please try to understand that as an international student, I paid top $'s to come to study at Mac. Try to understand why I am trying to promote a pro-studying atmosphere. Is that to much to ask from a students point of view? 




Mitch Z
Mitch Z

@Nishant  I'm sorry your time at Mac was less than exhilarating than what it could have been. Yes, we are challenged to find choices in what we must become as an adult and entering university is a time when one must explore their options. I will not answer your questions at the moment but I assure you many of them have answers rooted in merit but of course I cannot speak for all of them. 


We served on the Eng Phys Society council together and I was pleased in your efforts in helping run events. We definitely could have made it better experience for us and more importantly, the students - it always can. But as you pointed out, we're at Mac for a reason and that is to receive an education. I felt that my time at the school was phenomenal and I won't look back. I take with me the lessons learned throughout my years and try to apply that to who I am now. I'm an exceptional fan of personal growth - we must be one with spirit and with intellect if we're going to survive the challenges of the 21st century. As those who have ventured through the rigors of an undergraduate engineering education we must feel comfortable to take on new challenges that the world places upon us and be 'good to go' when called upon for our knowledge.That's just my take though.


In the end however, I must stress that personal freedom must be maintained. What is mankind without limits? There must certainly be some limits of integrity and moral value because otherwise the world would be chaotic. Last time I checked, the Redsuits were not in chaos and I feel that censorship is not the way to approach this matter.


I will say that I do not endorse racism, sexism, or violence.


I will also say that I do take offense for labeling me and many other great human beings who I have known over the years as a "savage". You could correct me if I'm wrong but that's what your words say.

Nishant
Nishant

@BConW  So now one persons free speech and point of view does not matter?


Yes, I had half urges. That is my point exactly. In an environment where I should be studying, I was presented with a new concept of glamour through excess alcohol and and I had to fight these new environment induced urges to go back to my plan to study. 


Why should a new student search for like minded people? I came to study and was shocked to that like minded people were scattered and not easy to find. However, as I said, I spent a year as VP social and it was futile. Above all I had to study as that was why I came to university. You may not respect my money, but I do.


You yourself learned the lesson of too much partying in second year. Thank god you did not fail out and you are still in engineering. I know many who failed out. This is a common treand. Why must we all learn this lesson during our crucial years? Why can't better culture and lifestyle be promoted instead from Day 1?



You know what I mean about the image of redsuits, it is a "lets drink like pigs" image mostly in line with males. You may have new statistics but the image remains the same. Get over it, don't take a U-turn on what the redsuits believe in with some cheap statistics.


You want me to read out lines from redsuit chants to prove that a milder version of the chants will very well imply beating the family?


Instead of teaching patience and virtue you are teaching students gory things. Tomorrow in their career when they face challenges, how will they deal with the frustration? Most probably the same way they dealt with it during engineering -With alcohol. What will alcohol remind them? The Redsuits and their chants. When they get home to a concerned family what guarantee is their that they will not follow the redsuit chants?


Who else will enjoy such singing such gory songs? Only someone who was trying to project their bad experiences would write something like the redsuit chants. 


Since when is alcohol such a big part of engineering? Why the bias towards drinking excess alcohol? And you are calling me biased? 


Do you want statistics of what alcohol can do to families? How dare you are calling me ignorant?


Yes I had a bad experiance in Engineering at Mac, there is need of empathy to understand my concerns. 


Btw, Engineering is not related to alcohol in anyway except in chemical engineering where they learn how about chemical plants, etc. to make alcohol. 

BConW
BConW

@Nishant  Your individual experience does not reflect the experiences of every other individual. The fact that you had to "try to get away from them" can only mean you haf urges to want to try, and or you were interested in participating but had to convince yourself not to. I know of many, many students who we're next to oblivious to the actions of the redsuits, as well as many others who knew, but had no interest.

That being said, I am redsuit myself, and I had an easy choice to make when it came to drinking and partying. I did a little too much of it in second year engineering by my own accord and learned my lesson. I was still involved, participating in welcome week among other events, while keeping my party life to a bare minimum so my studies could remain at high priority.


There are many 'like-minded individuals', you just failed to actually seek them out. 


At no point in time were you forced to, or told that partying is the only way to succeed. Nor were any of these cheers turned into action (half of them I have never seen before, nor does anybody even know about S&M man)


"We are not the stereotypical uneducated labourers who work in the day and drink and games and beat their family at night"

Who ever stereotyped engineers as being completely irrational, vulgar, 'UNEDUCATED' Wife beaters? Where are you getting this?


"I always found the redsuit promoted childish and barbaric attitudes to play up the rough and macho male image" Redsuits are 50% females.


Keep your ignorance and failure to grasp a social life to yourself. Your opinions are skewed, biased, and probably a projection of some bad experience you had once.

Nishant
Nishant

@Kimmie  The painstaking progress of all scientists and engineers from the last 2000 plus years is to be learnt in 4 years! Can we start to talk about that tradition instead! The learning process will obviously be painstaking and needs the right environment. That is far off compared to what Mac is providing today. 


Many serious engineers go to school to study and not have a party. What about our expectations and our value for money? 


We accept  4 years of hell to become what we aspire to become. Can you imagine how tough it becomes when instead of finding the right environment, we find some engineers who are socially looked up upon due to positions in redsuit and other societies promote savage like behavior. 


Just to give you an example, in the frosh week all first years are made to chant that we want free beer. I don't want free anything, I can pay for what I want otherwise I don't want it. I don't drink beer either. So am I supposed to walk away and be considered antisocial or do I just witness so many students  accepting that they like free beer? As freshers in a new environment, the peer pressure is enormous and can make you say or do things you would not normally. So when I return home after frosh week, all I am left with is that  all engineers like free beer. Sub consciously it has effected me. Instead of devoting my energy into studying, now I am arguing if I should start drinking beer. 


Inevitably, students who do not want to behave like savages become second class and wander in the back-waters of engineering. We are the ones who are working hard and upholding engineering for what it really is and some guys who are behaving like pigs are roaming around proudly calling themselves engineers? Is tha


As VP social for the engineering physics club, I know the tradition being talked about. It includes stealing sign posts, having secret-rebel keg parties at university labs. There is more but I have witnessed this first hand only so I talk about them. All in the name to be considered cool and accepted into the societies we have talked about.  Such traditions are becoming more illegal by the day and need to be changed. Just because it is a tradition does not mean it works. Slave trading was a tradition but it was abolished. 



As far as free speech is considered, their is a place for everything. Imagine going to a movie to have the guy sitting in front of you screaming about his amazing relation with alcohol and girlfriend. Is that not annoying? Is that value for money? That is how I felt during my time at Mac Engineering. 


Can it be ignored? Yes. 


Is it tough to ignore? Yes! Especially when its thrown at your face from day 1 and when students like you are scattered and do not have resources to speak up to an organized group like redsuit. We never stood a chance.


Did I pay for this? Not at all! 


Did I try to change the system? I tried for a year, it was futile. To join these groups you have to demonstrate that you are like them. There is lack of transparency and due to this mcmaster management cannot intervene to have better selection criteria into such societies. I decided it was best to keep my head down and finish my degree instead. 


I am not against free speech but is it not wrong to rant about how good it was to drink alcohol like a pig and puke all through the night right at the entrance/center of the engineering building? If you do that at a pub I would not say anything, but in the engineering building? 


Would it be okay if I said the same thing at the center of a nuclear reactor? Would you trust me to operate the reactor then? Would it be okay to say such things in the center of parliament? Or maybe at a children daycare center? You have to learn to behave. PERIOD. 


Engineers are supposed to sophisticated and well mannered. They are to be trusted with tools and machines and buildings and bridges and trains and planes and nuclear reactors and rockets. 


This obsession of proving to be a macho alcoholic pig needs to find a some other place else where it can be satisfied. 


Kimmie
Kimmie

@Nishant  Thank you Nishant for posting this.  I know a lot of engineers are saying two separate things to the media...one "Oh no that doesn't represent us" and the other Engineers telling me this has been a tradition for over 20 years...all the chants.

Nishant
Nishant

As a graduate of engineering physics (nuclear engineering) from mcmaster, I always found the redsuit promoted childish and barbaric attitudes to play up the rough and macho male image. This was taken to unacceptable extreams and I am not shocked at this news article. This book may have very well been the seed of such insensitive attitudes.

Promoting such attitudes brainwashes naive engineering students to think such acts are permisble and they may even carry them out. It will ruin the image of an engineer. We are not the sterotypical uneducated labourers who work in the day and drink and gamble and beat their family at night.

Least to say my time at engineering at mcmaster was not what I expected. Instead of finding like minded individuals who wanted to learn I had to be strong and stay away from beer chugging vulgarities to actually learn something. I was not alone in this struggle.

I hope mcmaster management takes serious action and instills a more academic focused environment in engineering students societies such as red suit.