As the cold spring air brings Montreal more snow, and students retreat to their beds in the short break between midterms and finals, some students refuse to relax. McGill’s Forgotten Freshmen refuse to be complacent in their own misery.
The group started in order to “[raise] awareness of the pitifully broken McGill Community Facebook group,” resulting from a glitch in Facebook’s system that didn’t allow certain students with McGill emails to join the university’s online community. Now, the Forgotten Freshmen have metamorphisized into a political movement. Tired of being left out of McGillrelated memes and notifications about the nearest samosa sales, the 817 members have decided to march on Service Point on Apr. 5 at 12 p.m. sharp, and stage a sit-in until they’re added to the official community.
When asked why being a part of the McGill Facebook community mattered, Matthew Hearty, U1 Management, brought to light the underlying problem of discrimination.
“I failed a class last semester because the professor was useless and the student study groups were a part of the Facebook community,” Hearty said. “But more than academically, it has affected me socially. I was three days late to the whole “hygiene de vie” joke, and by that time it was already dated. Whenever I referenced it, I got eye rolls and scoffs, instead of the laughs that early adopters generated. My boyfriend broke up with me because of my outdated humour. With bad grades, no friends, and no significant other, what do I have left? The McGill Facebook community has taken everything away from me.”
A peek into the Forgotten Freshmen offices, located in the basement of the University Centre—they haven’t yet been told that it’s closing down—shows extensive preparation for this march. Signs bearing slogans like “we will not be forgotten” and “I’d rather be a bumblebee” litter every corner, while a list of ways to get into the community—legal and illegal—hangs behind the door. One of these, “talk to Facebook execs,” has been crossed out multiple times, perhaps due to the failure of their last attempted revolt; on Feb. 8, they decided to shout at the Facebook representative at Techfair, as reports indicated that that representative was personally responsible for the glitch due to a rumoured grudge against McGill’s own Suzanne Fortier.
“Yes, I do remember the very vocal students who attended the fair,” the Facebook representative said. “Unfortunately there seems to be an error in the McGill system itself. McGill should perhaps consider looking more deeply into this issue which seems to plague hundreds of McGillians.”
Compared to that previous attempt, this uprising seems different. For one, all 817 members are attending, at least according to the Facebook event, though staff assume that about 400 will actually turn up. Additionally, Second Cup will provide refreshments. “People often forget about us as well,” said a Second Cup customer service representative. “Starbucks and Timmies take up all the media attention; we know what feeling left out looks like, and so we’re sponsoring this event, in the hopes that marginalized voices will finally be heard.”
This article is a work of satire and is part of the Tribune’s 2018 Joke Issue.