Despite the cold and snow, students from across campus gathered to paint the engineering E in rainbow colours.

Photo by Yunmeng Cui
Photo by Yunmeng Cui

Students braved the snowy, sub-zero weather to paint the engineering E in rainbow colours March 3, encouraged by the complimentary Tim Horton’s donuts and coffee courtesy of the EngiQueers. The event was hosted by the EngiQueers, a students’ group created to foster an environment of queer-inclusivity within the engineering community and UBCO as a whole. According to Michael Neilson, one of the organizers, the event is just one of a larger series of events that will be held throughout the beginning of March for Out Week.

“Grace and I were the main organizers and we just sort of made a Facebook event and bought a bunch of paint and brought some people out here to paint [the E],” Neilson says. “We saw that there wasn’t very many queer engineering students, or that queer engineering students didn’t seem to have a place to hang out, so we were like, ‘hey, let’s just make this group.’”

Wielding paintbrushes in wind-numbed hands, students climbed the E and painted it with the level of precision you would expect from engineering students. At one point, engineering student Rhys Herzberg became stuck after mounting the middle of the E to paint the uppermost section red. With the help of several nearby students, however, Herzberg was able to descend from his perch unscathed, save for the paint that inevitably got in his hair.

Outside EME, the rainbow E now stand as a physical symbol of the EngiQueers’ welcoming presence on campus, signalling to all students that engineering is for queer folk too.