In the beginning, there was… Science. At the time, UBC had only two faculties, so everyone else was in Arts. But unlike today, Arts included all pure sciences, commerce, and everybody else who couldn’t handle the real world. That left all the applied sciences: Forestry, Agriculture, Nursing, and of course Engineering, in one big faculty called Science.
“The Sciencemen”, as they were called, had already become renowned for their incredible efficiency during Freshmen initiation. In fact, their amazing thoroughness prompted a campus-wide vote which halted official university initiations. However, this did not stop them from giving their own private wet welcomes to the yearly influx of prospective Engineers (a large number of Artsmen, doubtless mistaken for first year Engineers, were given the same privilege).
In 1919, when the UBC campus consisted of two huts located in Kerrisdale, the Engineers of UBC banded together to form the Science Men’s Undergraduate Society (SMUS). The president was J. R. Kingham. One of the first acts of this new society was the establishment of the finest tradition at UBC, the Engineer’s Ball. The first one was held Friday the 13th of February, 1920, at the Hotel Vancouver. It was hailed as the social event of the year. The decorations surpassed anything that had been seen at any campus event, as did the entertainment. The whole evening, in fact, was first class. This tradition has continued, and today the Ball remains unparalleled; a night of unmatched pageantry, combining hours of dedicated work with incredible ingenuity to create an unforgettable experience, the apex of the entire year.
In 1926, the campus was moved to its current location. In an effort to ensure the survival of the new campus, the Sciencemen organized events to bring the entire campus together and encourage business and government to invest in the institution. The SMUS continued to be the largest, best organized and most powerful group on campus.
Today, the EUS proudly remembers its long history and involvement at UBC, even as we seek to continue to write history with new events, a new Engineering Student Centre (in progress), and a larger and more diverse student body than never before! To the Engineers: The future of this mighty society is in your hands.