Over 6,000 first year students were present at the Imagine Day pep rally, held yesterday in Thunderbird Stadium.
The event was hosted by third-year Sauder student Braden Fong and included speeches from Interim President Martha Piper and AMS President Aaron Bailey.
In keeping with the title of the day, Piper’s speech was dominated by references to the theme of imagination. After asking students to imagine a world without sexism, poverty and climate change, among other major global issues, she told them to “go ahead and imagine. Let your imaginations run wild!”
A notable moment for older UBC students was when Piper introduced the first years to her imaginary friend from her childhood named Bort.
In his speech, Bailey reminded the audience that the AMS is turning one hundred this year. “We’re the reason this place exists,” said the AMS president.
Notably, Bailey also mentioned mental health in his speech. “Where your mind is at can make a huge impact on your time here,” he said.
“There have been days when my mind is clear and nothing seems impossible. There have also been cloudy days, places and times where my mind goes to a darker area. This is normal. This is ok.”
He also drew attention to the recent allocation of $2.5 million that the university made towards improving mental health initiatives on campus.
“When we are sick, we ask other people to help us get better. When our minds aren’t in the right place, it’s ok to ask for the same help too,” said Bailey.
Vice President Students Louise Cowin also spoke at the event, reminding students that although UBC’s hashtag is #iamubc, students are stronger when they think of it as #weareubc.
The youngest student present at the Imagine Day pep rally yesterday was 14, while the oldest was 63.