Looks like Udoka Okafor took down the “McMaster Engineering Songbook.” I’m glad, although the damage has been done.
I have other problems with the McMaster administration’s method of dealing with it, but the part that really made me sad was the shortsightedness of the solution. If you read through the book, the inscription says it was started in ~2005 and last edited in ~2010. The book’s creators (again, in 2005) said they started it because they wanted to write down songs they remembered singing and didn’t hear anymore. This was capturing a dying art form (for some definition of “art,” of course, which you’ll know when you see), and last edited in 2010. Waterloo Engineers spend (minimum) five years in school, but McMaster Engineers spend a minimum of four - that means that an entire generation of students had completely passed through the school since this was last touched. I asked friends at McMaster (both Redsuits) if they’d seen the songbook before and they said no, although they’d heard some of the songs before. These songs are dying out, they’re part of an older kind of humour that some people still appreciate, but definitely not in public anymore. You have to be careful who you make jokes to these days, which sucks a bit but reminds everyone that there are people who might be really uncomfortable around them, and good neighbours try to make the fewest people uncomfortable.
I’m not going to deny that I’ve heard “Chicago” or “Yogi Bear” (although I’ve only ever heard them sung on the bus to/from DUSTED), but I know for a fact that fewer people join in when they’re sung every year. Similarly, the drinking culture gets more removed from the official school functions (POETS is licensed less often, and *OT parties are dry more often than not, now) every semester. Similarly, Women in Engineering gets stronger every year, mentorship programs get more popular, the ambassador program is huge. I hear similar stuff coming from all over, and I know McMaster Engineers are doing the same thing; Redsuits are involved in so much good work (and have always been), and it’s great seeing them get better every year.
They took a long, hard look at themselves a few years ago, and this could have been an opportunity to keep that progress going and really air out problems that happen. Instead, they were shut down, and all you’ll hear is silence. Where there could have been progress, there’s nothing.