Re: “Kipling pranks: enough’s enough” by Rachel Harvey [Published March 28, 2013 in Opinions]
By Renata Tracey
As a female civil engineering student who helped build the “maze of shame,” I am writing in response to the article “Kipling maze: enough’s enough.”
People of different genders, races and sexual orientations helped build this prank. None of them found it offensive. What was offensive, however, was when a professor screamed in protest at my fellow classmate. My classmate’s mother and his twelve-year-old sister who witnessed this argument later expressed to me how uncomfortable they were when the word “penis” was screamed in his face during her incomprehensible rebuttal. I am happy to say that the professors in my faculty of civil engineering are respected professionals who chose not to turn our posters into something offensive. The posters were not made out of frustration with our faculty, rather they were meant to express that our relationship with them is good enough that we can make such jokes.
I will now address accessibility. Environmental & Occupational Health Support Services (EOHSS) approved the design of our maze prior to its construction. It was also approved upon its completion. Moreover, there were many alternate routes around the maze. Students had a choice as to whether or not they entered it.
After doling out some verbal abuse, protestors decided to take our project into their own hands. The word ‘destroy’ most accurately describes what they did. Carrying out the prank required a large amount of time and effort on our part, yet it did not last through more than six hours of daylight. I don’t think that this was an appropriate decision to be made by those who ruined it.
The ring above our maze which was destroyed is a symbol of the Kipling ceremony where we swear our oath to be socially responsible and respect those around us.