Engineers push their “bug” across the finish line

(Leslie Walker/ The Ryersonian)

(Leslie Walker/ The Ryersonian)

Despite a snowy start and extreme cold weather warnings, Ryerson engineering students pushed their Volkswagen Beetle across the finish line seconds after the clock hit 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.

“It’s a big relief to be done for sure,” said Mahamudar Kalam, fourth-year Ryerson engineering student. Kalam, who is also co-chair for the Ryerson Engineering Student Society (RESS), had been in and out of the Ryerson quad since the event started at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

“The Bug Push” is an annual event run by the RESS to coincide with National Engineering Month in March. Engineering students take turns pushing a 1950’s Volkswagen Beetle around the quad for 24 hours to raise money for Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. This year’s goal is $4,000.

This year, the students faced unusual weather for the event.  One volunteer told Kalam this was the coldest weather he had ever pushed the car in.

“The hardest part in terms of the actual pushing was definitely around the middle of the day yesterday when it was just snowing so hard,” says Kalam. “We rented a Zipcar and we bought bags of salt, and we were just driving slowly in front of the car just salting the road trying to keep it from getting stuck over and over again.”

Despite the weather conditions, Kalam said this year was one of the best volunteer turnouts for the event.

“With the cold you can’t be out there as long, but then there’s a lot of people itching to go back out,” Kalam said. “A lot of people stepped up, a lot of first year students… so it was a big plus to see younger students wanting to come out, as well.”

The Society has raised $2,000 so far, half of their goal. They are hoping that Ryerson president Sheldon Levy continues to support the fundraiser and helps them get closer to their target.

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