Welcome to the world of the Queens
...a realm of strange custom and bizarre Ritual... or so believe those uninitiated. To
those within our ranks, the rituals quickly become an integral part of our collective
Apart from our golden-tipped tams and purple
pride, Queens has a unique means of testing the worthiness of the
incoming freshman class. Of course, since you're looking through this CD, you know
Im talking about the Great Greasepole Climb held during the annual
Orientation Week. If you're already acquainted with the Pole, skip ahead to the history lesson, but for those new to the whole
Greasepole thing (who really shouldn't have their hands on this CD), here's an
introduction to what the Pole and its ascent is all about.
We'll start with a riddle. What is long and rigid, well lubricated and is so
intensely desired, it has Frosh scrambling over each other to go up and down it?
if you did not answer THE POLE, then you have obviously stumbled
upon something beyond your comprehension and must immediately remove this CD-ROM from your
computer (hint: it is in the title of the game).
How tall is the Pole anyway?
You were always told the CN Tower was the tallest freestanding structure in the world
and that the Great Wall of China is the only human-made structure visible from space.
Little does Guinness know that Queens Engineers have been ascending a more
impressive structure for over 40 years.
As any Engineer should instinctively reply, the pole is sooooo high!
And the pit: sooooo cold, of course! Ah, the wonders of
The exact dimensions of The Pole are shrouded in mystery (and hard to come by
considering the Pole is hidden for 364 days of the year), but I can tell you, the Pole is
somewhere between 4 ½ frosh high and the height of a satellite in low earth orbit.
It does, however, fit into a Rider truck, so you do the math.
Why on Earth do we climb it?
History, tradition, "just because"
there are many reasons. Which
you're given depends on who you ask. It's certainly a rite of passage: the Frosh are
not considered to be a Science Year until they have retrieved the tam (or a suitably large
piece of it) from the top of the Greasepole.
Check out Reliving the Legend for
some of the more poetic descriptions of why we go to great lengths to ensure the Pole
remains an Engineering tradition.
About the Pole Legends Section
The Pole Legends section of this CD was compiled and composed by McKay Savage, Sci '99,
Thanks to all those that helped me in my research and writing. When things came down to
the wire, I couldn't have done it without your help: Prof. George Richardson, Gen Okita, Philippe Lavoie, Naomi Brunemeyer, the nice people
down at Queen's Archives, Greg McKellar, and Nancy Reid.
Pole Photo compilation & final edit by Robert Burke, who can't
thank (or praise) McKay enough for his hard work on this section.