Written by Zach Siddiqui, Humour Editor
This Tuesday, countless TAs discovered to their horror that it might not be possible to hold icebreaker activities for their students this fall. If SFU’s foremost environmental science professors are correct, global warming has advanced to the point that there’s actually no ice at SFU left to break.
“The melting of the world’s glaciers, now that was easy enough for people to understand — or to choose not to understand, if you’re from Alberta,” explains Dr. Callie Plantain, a geography and environmental science professor. “But global warming has moved past the physical plane of reality. It’s actually started to melt away the emotional, spiritual coldness that divides us from one another.”
“It’s an abomination, is what it is.”
Curiously, Plantain elaborates, nowhere is this “social warming” effect more pronounced than within SFU’s own walls. No longer will TAs make a difference in their students’ lives by asking friendly questions about their names, majors, or how many cats they own. In a post-warming era where the ice is long gone, these questions have been left powerless and purposeless.
But while social warming has left the icebreaker obsolete, the melting of the ice doesn’t actually seem to have changed much about student-to-student relationships. Plantain referred The Peak to Maria Hail, a second-year communications student, who spoke about her experience in a socially warmed classroom.
“Before, we all thought it was the ice that was dividing us,” Hail explains. “But today, we learned the biggest lesson of all: we don’t ignore our classmates because of the ice, we ignore them because we just hate them.”
Sure enough, social warming seemed to have little effect on the students’ interpersonal relationships at all. As another example, Plantain laid out her findings from a Tuesday morning CMNS 110 tutorial. The tutorial’s first year students, as usual, made little effort to remember each other’s names, relate to each other on any personal level, or be at all interesting to talk to.
Plantain believes that this might be a clue that icebreakers, in fact, never accomplished much at all.
The complete lack of change to the status quo has also opened the door for social warming skeptics to speak out against SFU’s findings.
“There is no social warming emergency at SFU,” stressed Maxie Garnier, a second-year majoring in political science. “No reason to panic or be anxious. No consensus supporting the melting of the metaphysical ice. No justification for SFU to be spending our tuition dollars on researching such an ambiguous, ephemeral concept.”
However, Garnier capped off his statements by saying that as someone who wasn’t a part of the Faculty of Environment, he had “no opinion” on the topic of climate change, “in any sense of the term.”