Smash tourneys and chariot racing: What does it take to make E-Week happen?

For a long time, E-Week has been one of the most impressive events of the winter session. Besides having entertaining activities, E-Week serves as a week-long competition among the engineering faculties and clubs. But before all the fun starts, months and months of work go in to making sure the week goes perfectly.

The week features many different kinds of events. Traditional events, such as the outdoor barbecue and chariot racing, have been an integral part of the activities for more than

60 years, tracing their roots back to the 1960s. With games like fEUSball or finding fallacies only engineering students could spot in films, E-Week proves to be a great opportunity to showcase engineering spirit as well as faculty pride.

But before students can show off all that pride, much has to be planned. For organizers, E-Week is a year-long project of hard work.

“E-Week planning starts at the beginning of the summer,” said Gillian Chiu, the VP Spirit of the Engineering Undergraduate Society (EUS), who oversees all the E-Week events.

Usually, for most events, the planning process begins in August and goes right up to the week before E-Week officially starts. Big events — such as the Engineer’s Ball, the finale and so-called gala of E-Week — take even longer, where the EUS has been in the planning process for the ball since March.

All that planning is not just a one-person-job.

“We have a lot of involvement from the executive team. So all seven executives commit a lot of time throughout the actual week to run every single event,” said Chiu.

A clear organizational structure with specific task assignment facilitates the overall workflow for planning. Together with Chiu, there are two additional directors within the EUS team who are dedicated to event planning.

The faculty departments are also a crucial part of the process. A major part of E-Week is the competition between 14 teams. “Every single department or club has at least one representative [where] they have to attend meetings held by myself and my director,” said Chiu. “Then they relay all of the other information to their student body and then they also have to coordinate their teams.”

Since teams are predetermined by the departments or clubs for some events, every department has the autonomy to prepare its part before the week starts.

“It’s up to them to organize who’s participating in one event,” said Chiu.

The procedure of the competitive events shifts some of the pressure away from the EUS team in terms of preparation. Although the organization process involves a lot of people, thanks to the representatives, the organizers have reliable people to retain their focus and keep other work going.

Not only does the planning of E-Week takes a lot of work, the actual facilitation of the events does as well with over a hundred volunteers participating. The incentives behind the active participation reside with the games’s procedure: to reward volunteers. The competition gives points for teams whose volunteers help with the events. For new event, like the Super Smash Bros. tournament, there are creative ways of winning participation points.

“We’re also getting some teams to bring in televisions and then they get extra points for bringing them in and taking them out,” said Chiu.

After all that planning, the week creates good opportunities for students to get to know each other better.

“It’s definitely a bonding week ... it’s a good opportunity for people to get to know each other within their departments. Some departments have really strong bonds and it takes a bit longer for those to form because they’re massive,” said Chiu.

“So it’s become a nice way to create a nice sense of community within departments and also within the faculty as a whole.”