Later this month, UVic Engineering students will don the robes of the Order of Pi for the 22nd year to help raise money for the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island and the Mustard Seed Foundation. From March 9–13, the Order of Pi will be accepting $20 donations in exchange for a pie in someone’s face.
“We like to give back,” said Peter Kazakoff, a fourth-year Electrical Engineering student who has been an active member of the Order in previous years. Aiming to raise $4 000 this year, pies can be ordered, or rather charges can be laid, via an online forum. Creative charges are encouraged — Kazakoff suggests such heinous crimes as using too much hot water, or leaving dirty dishes out.
The accuser provides a time and location to find the accused who then has the opportunity to “plead innocence” by raising the original donation by five dollars, or take a ceremonial pie to the face. “In the end, the order always gets its just desserts,” said Kazakoff. “The pie will end up on someone’s face eventually, but it can build and build and build.”
No pieing can be anonymous so the accused always has the option of redirecting it to the original sender. However, Kazakoff stressed, “We only do it with people who are good-humoured. So it’s on the people who make the initial donation that whoever they are sending the pie to can take a joke. We’re not going to pie anyone who doesn’t want to be pied.”
Leigh Borrett, a third-year civil engineering student who is organizing the event this year, said that anyone who wants to help out or get involved is welcome to, and that the Order is not limited to engineering students alone.
“We’re trying to reach out this year and challenge other schools to get them involved,” said Borrett. According to Kazakoff, the event originated at the University of Saskatchewan in the ‘90s and quickly spread to universities across Canada. However, the charity has fallen out of favour with other schools, which is why Borrett wishes to bring it back.
Alexander Laing, a second-year Mechanical Engineering student and the Director of Communications for the ESS, said, “[Last year] was a lot of fun. It was, for me, the best kind of fun and that’s sort of a constructive fun. You’re not only doing this goofy thing that everyone can laugh at, but you’re also raising money for charity. So it’s the best of both worlds.”