The first week back from the break was one of the most unique ones of the year. Along with a close friend and former Orientation TF, Michael Schlegelmilch, I co-captained a team in AntiFreeze. Our ten-person team was, in my opinion, the team with the most personality (and the best hair) in the entire competition. Although we started off very slowly in the first three days of the competition, our last two days marked a major comeback. In the span of forty-eight hours, we climbed from 21st to 12th, then to 8th and finished 5th.
You might wonder why the VPA participated in AntiFreeze: isn't it way too much of a commitment, and aren't there better things to do? Well, it is certainly a big commitment, but I would say no to the latter question. I think that we're starting to see a shift in the way that SU execs communicate with students. In the past, I've seen many SU execs spend inordinate amounts of time in their office. That's not good. The way I see things is that SU execs now need to be more energetic than ever. If you sit in your office all day, you become lethargic and lose touch with your peers. By doing AntiFreeze, I met tons of incredible students and had so much fun throughout the week.
AntiFreeze is one of the SU's premier events, and we owe a huge thank you to Jenn Wanke, Brennan Murphy, Arlo Grundberg, David McBean, Butters and the many volunteers that organized the event. They work tirelessly behind the scenes, and many of us take their efforts for granted. We have the luxury of showing up to events and competing. They have to create schedules, organize judges, update the standings, referee events and so on. Having done the Undergraduate Research Symposium, I definitely know how fast-paced these events can be. The SU Programming definitely did an outstanding job this week.
On a related note, I was delighted to see the Bears and Pandas enter a team in the competition. They placed 4th overall, and maintained a top 5 position throughout the entire week. On top of this, they won the Spirit Award, and $300 in gift certificates at RATT. Our VP (Student Life), Colten, has started including Varsity results in his VPSL reports, and I'll start doing the same. Varsity sports is a huge part of the University of Alberta’s identity, and we happen to have the best Athletics Department in the nation.
Congrats to everyone in AntiFreeze and I'll see you all in 2013!