A weekend of games, alcohol, and excitement brought together eleven groups of young geoscience students from across Eastern Canada to 1848, the University of Ottawa bar, on the evening of Jan. 23.
Sporting different team colours to separate the schools, the students were there to host this year’s University Geology Games at the University of Ottawa.
GeoGames is an event set up to allow fellow geoscience students to meet, form connections for future careers, compete and have fun. This year, University of Laval took home the trophy.
“This is the biggest the games have ever been and it was a real logistical challenge to maintain the growth of the games facilitating the new attendees from Laurentian, Queens and Carleton,” said Matt Bunce, a fifth-year geology and geomatics student and event coordinator.
The three new schools added another 100 participants, bringing the total to over 300 students.
The games began with students flooding into 1848, for an opening ceremony. With such a large group joining, the bar had opened up the large room just outside its entrance for the students to sit on rows of tables and chairs.
The fresh smell of pasta and meatballs filled the room. But before going to the food the students had to quench their thirst with pitchers of beer from the bar, some students taking a pitcher to themselves and going back for seconds after eating.
When all seats, glasses and plates were filled, school teams began their chants, shouts and table rumbling. The fun officially began and the ceremony was forgotten. After teams had eaten and drank, they were each funneled into a room for group quizzes on identifying minerals in rocks and memory questions on companies and company logos which sponsored the event. The alcohol did not help the teams.
When the quizzes were done the teams went back for music, dancing and more drinks. At this point, control was all but forgotten as students began crushing plastic cups, soaking the floor with leftover beer and leaving a slippery gleam across the floor.
The next day brought a hangovers and a dodgeball competition, followed by over 70 boxes of pizza for lunch, a geocaching game with geology questions to toughen the game, which let the students see the sites of Ottawa such as the Rideau Canal and Parliament Hill. Then a talent show was put on in the lower-level of the University Centre at the University of Ottawa where each school brought their own talent, each of varying extravagance such as Carleton which involved three parts, fitting a stick into a roll of toilet paper with only their legs, shaking balls from an empty Kleenex box strapped to their waist and force feeding another player pie.
The fun ended with a closing ceremony when they announced the winners and danced the night away at Patty Boland’s.
“The culture was definitely different given that more universities were involved which is great. Overall I think it was a success,” said fourth-year geology student Martin Desormiers. “Pretty much everyone had fun even though the industry isn’t at its peak, making it hard for companies to get involve.”