Written by Paige Riding
This week, students took a moment away from studying to process a big epiphany: thanks to the COVID-motivated ban on large gatherings in BC, overwhelmingly underwhelming events like the annual Fall Kickoff are officially illegal. Marking the third consecutive year in which Fall Kickoff has been derailed, ruined, and/or hosted in a parking lot, students from all over the world have come together to reminisce on Fall Kickoff, in memoriam.
Would the SFSS have even wanted to host Fall Kickoff this year anyway? Are these students’ memories and claims even true? Does it matter? Who knows and who cares? The Peak reached out to six students to submit their reflections on the annual budget hemorrhage.
6Nicole, fourth year English
“Fall Kickoff always really got the school spirit going for the year. It meant posters tastefully plastered on every surface on campus. (Those posters made the coal mines we traverse to go to class feel like home!) It meant clogging social media with its promise of an artist that will give you that coveted “yeah, I AM Indie” pass. And it meant that that artist would inevitably have a name that sounded like my 2011 Roblox username. Without that Nickelback electronic cover band’s cover band to give me meaning in September, what will I do? Where will I be?”
5Jessica, second year labour studies
“I still remember those volunteers with the fun shirts. Tabling amidst blaring music as their bones screeched the stories of their underappreciation . . . Take a flyer. Please. Just take it. Wherever those magnificent bastards are now, I hope they’re OK and getting the goddamn respect they deserve.”
4Janet, third year political science
“Fall Kickoff is more than the general consensus that it isn’t that great anyway. For one thing, it is followed through with, unlike the results of many student surveys that reveal actually crucial university-related concerns. Fall Kickoff is how the Simon Fraser Student Society says, “We love you. We hear you. We just don’t care that much.” And I just don’t know if I can come to terms with the risk of being listened to this year.”
3Amanda, third year contemporary arts
“The question was on my mind for a while. What does the pandemic mean for the future of the beloved failed money gra— err, guaranteed leech of fund— uh, the concert resulting in no audit despite a $105k defici— you know, the event? And I mean, if you really think about it, COVID-19 made the most out of a horrible time for us. Three ruined Fall Kickoffs in a row? It’s brave . . . It’s performance art . . . It’s pandemic.”
2Layla, second year communication
“It’s still fresh in my mind: the lonely 144 bus driver wheeling you up the mountain slope, the huge speakers echoing in the emptiness of a school that truly can’t afford them, the hungry, vastly underwhelmed customers pawing at the poke shop’s closed doors at 1 a.m. It was the epic end of summer event you absolutely had to pass up on.”
1Dani, first year undeclared
“I heard a rumour that this year, they would have given away door prizes to every tenth attendee. The biggest gift basket would have contained a single empty Menchies cup, one of the chairs that’s always stored and thus unusable from the James Douglas study space, and a Student Union Building puzzle with three missing pieces to keep up the theme. But you didn’t hear it from me.”