By Chris Battaglia
For the past few years, Ryerson University’s frosh week has been a dry one, but this year’s frosh promises to be the driest one yet.
“We wanted to provide the new students with the most authentic dry frosh experience in history,” said Ryerson Frosh Director Ken Gorbleman. “So we have banned all liquids from campus for the entire week.”
Dry frosh became the norm at universities across Ontario after grade 13 was eliminated from the province’s high schools, causing an influx of underage freshmen. Traditionally, a dry frosh means that alcoholic beverages aren’t permitted.
“But why stop there?” asks Gorbleman. “We’re taking the ‘dry’ in dry frosh to a whole new level. We’ve even shut off all of the university’s water. You couldn’t even drink toilet water if you wanted to, because there isn’t any water in any of the toilets. We’re working towards our next project dealing with bladder failure! Brilliant, isn’t it?”
The week has been dubbed ‘The Mirage’ and scheduled activities follow the desert theme, including a 20km walking tour of downtown Toronto in the midday sun without any rest breaks, food, and — of course — no water.
“The desert theme really gives the week an identity,” said Chief Frosh Coordinator Patty LeSaunders.
“It should help the students really connect with the week and make it their own.
“Yesterday, a student came up to me pleading for water. It was so validating to see that students like him were really embracing the spirit of this dry frosh, so I gave him a pebble to suck on and sent him on his way.”
But not all students are fully committed to the idea of a dry frosh. Many have resorted to smuggling water, Gatorade and grain alcohol onto campus in order to quench their thirst.
“I’m not going to go a week without water or booze. Screw that,” said a student who wished to remain anonymous. “A friend of a buddy of mine knows a guy who has some water, but I need to keep it on the down-low, so don’t tell anyone.”
“We are aware of the bootlegging problem. Unfortunately, when you try something innovative like this, there will always be a few bad apples out there trying to spoil the experience,” said Gorbleman. “Ryerson security is working hard to catch these troublemakers and put them in the Ted Rogers Dry Frosh Detention Centre, generously donated by Ted Rogers of Rogers Communications.”
Despite health concerns from parents and law enforcement officials, both Gorbleman and LeSaunders feel that frosh week has been a huge success so far.
“I am confident this will be a frosh experience these students won’t soon forget,” said LeSaunders. “Especially the 17 currently hospitalized with severe dehydration.”