If York could adopt one characteristic from another university, what would it be?
York is a great school, and one of the best parts about it is its diversity, and the fact that it is ever-changing and improving.
Although this is a great aspect of York, I feel at times that as a result, students miss out on some of the school spirit that comes from the maintenance of tradition.
Out of all the schools that I have had the opportunity to visit, I have spent a lot of time at Queen’s university (my girlfriend goes there), and the one thing that I found really cool was the great value placed upon tradition, and the pride that came to students through upholding the various traditions at Queens. Whether you are a commerce, engineering, nursing, or art-sci student, there are a number of traditions that require your attention, and breaking from tradition can sometimes have grave consequences – example: if you put on your class jacket before finishing your last exam of first semester, upper year students will rip off the sleeves (which will win them free beer for a year at the pub)! Some other traditions include jacket slamming, purpling, collecting bars for your jacket, and much more (although I don’t think I do them justice simply by naming them – you really have to experience them)!
Although sometimes a little extreme at Queens, it was clear that students enjoy being a part of the traditions. It not only gives students fun activities to take part in, but also makes students understand the rich history of their institution, and makes them feel like they are a part of it.
I think students at York would benefit from a little tradition – although taking into account that York is only about a third of the age and over twice the size of Queens U (York was established in 1959, Queens in 1841; York has over 55 000 students, Queens has just under 24 000), it may be tough to have as tightly-knit a community and as rich of a set of traditions as Queen’s has. However, I still think that York can easily adopt its own traditions while still respecting and maintaining its diversity.
So, in summation, if I could adopt one thing from another university, it would definitely be the history of tradition that some other schools like Queen’s have!