News  Faculty Olympics a success

SSMU hopes to institutionalize event

SSMU’s Faculty Olympics wrapped up this past Sunday after a successful four days and nights of events.

Events kicked off last Thursday night.  420 people on 13 teams from almost every faculty participated. Points were awarded for each event and the winning team, Zeus’ PEKer – representing Phys. Ed. and Kinesiology – was announced at the closing ceremonies on Sunday.

Throughout the Olympics, participants competed in a variety of events including dodgeball, trivia,  a spelling bee, chocolate wrestling, scavenger-hunt and flip cup tournament.

Captains for each team were recruited from the different faculties and worked with the organizers to plan and run the event.  There were also 17 volunteers who helped to make sure that everything ran smoothly.

“There were five volunteers who each ran an individual event and twelve others who helped out.” explained Kate Barker, one of the head volunteers. One of the goals of the Faculty Olympics was to encourage inter-faculty interaction.

“When can we all compete against each other? We never can. This gives us that opportunity,” said SSMU VP Finance Nick Drew.

Christina Sfeir, one of the co-chairs and organizers of the Olympics, celebrated how well the events achieved this goal.

“The reaction from participants has been great. … Many teams have been speaking about having reunions because they enjoyed themselves so much and have been brought closer together with their faculty,” she said.

Expenses for the event were expected to be approximately $21,800 with returns expected to be $17,600.

“Given the events we wanted to do we knew that we would have to spend money for it to be a success,” explained Drew.

The biggest expense was the closing ceremonies, which included a power hour. However, organizers were able to save about $1,700 on the power hour when difficulty getting a liquor permit led to a last minute location change from Circus to Le Drugstore.

Despite losing approximately $2,000 on the event, Drew said that everything went according to plan.

“It was budgeted to lose money,” he said “ We need to spend money to make sure [Faculty Olympics] is something that will last.”
This is not the first Faculty Olympics, however it is the first one to be considered a success.

“The First Faculty Olympics to our knowledge was in 2007 and there has not been one since due to its unsuccessful outcome,” said Sfeir.

As a result of the 2007 failure, this year’s Olympics had to be organized from the ground up, as there was no previous framework to build on.

SSMU’s goal is to make Faculty Olympics an annual event, much like Management’s Carnival or Engineering’s Eng-games.  Carnival has been running annually since the 1980s and generally breaks even.

Sfeir linked Carnival’s economic success to the fact that it’s been running for so many years.

“We are extremely excited about next year and the ideas for new contests are already flowing,” she said. “It will bigger and better with each year so get ready, because Faculty Olympics is here to stay.”