Aside from being able to hold a fork, there are a few things that York students have in common and know to be true. While you may have heard about our successful engineering programme and our huge student population, here are some things that Yorkies consider normal and dare I say it, traditional.

1. Bingeing at Popeye’s

The Popeye’s in York Lanes is the crown jewel of York’s dining options, and the comforting fried chicken that pours out of the place is exactly what dishevelled Yorkies crave for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Of course, the more experienced student will know to get the Manager’s Special, but it has become quite natural and expected to spend most of your meal plan on Combo no.5 and an extra biscuit. There are no friendships like the friendships built waiting in line at that little grease box. Bonus tradition: trying to get your cajun fries out of the paper bag without your professor noticing, mid-Marx rant.

2. Karl Marx getting mentioned in every lecture, regardless of course.

It made sense talking about Karl Marx in my first year communications class. It even made sense mentioning him in the economics portion of my humanities courses. In my natural science course, I was like, “oh hey Marx, you again eh?”. In my technology course, I had to ask, “really, Marx? You’re back?”, and by the time I had finished my sports history course I was convinced that my life’s mission would be to complete a class at York without talking about my old pal Karl. Lo and behold, this has proven to be impossible so far- a fate shared with all of my fellow Yorkies.

3. DJ Rexall

Incoming York students will never have the pleasure of experiencing DJ Rexall and his booming voice during exams in the Rexall Center. But until 2015, Yorkies have had exam regulations engrained in their heads by the campus-famous exam proctor. Many students now speculate he is due to release a mixtape, perhaps featuring tracks titled “Take Off Your Hat” and “Cellphones Off!”. DJ Rexall’s retirement from his throne this past school year has broken many young hearts and has left many Yorkies wondering, “can I even get through exams anymore?”.

4. Waiting for your prof to figure out the classroom technology.

Some lectures are scheduled with a 15-20 minute grace period, given that it takes that long for most professors and TA’s to figure out that the projector must be turned on. Nonetheless, York students know to appreciate this window of time: grab that Timmie’s double double, race to Popeye’s for the third time that day, or actually talk to classmates without the fear of missing some crucial exam info. Luckily we know to get the pens out once the IT guy walks into class, fixing the problem by pressing “Power”.

5. Shaking your head wondering why Tim Horton’s only takes cash.

Another phenomenon incoming students will never know is the pain felt due to the fact that all Tim Horton’s on the Keele campus only accept cash or YUcard. Let’s be honest, nobody around here walks around with wads of cash in our wallets (we know better!), so what ends up happening is thousands of long faces passing by, smelling the French Vanilla, and accepting defeat. No matter how many times we say we’ll bring cash, we York students know our OSAP- heavy consciences will stop us. And if we ever do find $3 in our pockets, it’ll be the best day of the school year. PSA for freshmen: at least one of the locations will be accepting debit starting this fall.

6. Schulich students wearing suits to class.

While all of us Kine and PoliSci students slump to class in our Roots sweats, Schulich students are committed to showing us up not only with their Facebook profile pictures (y’know, arms crossed leaning on the Schulich walkway), but also by wearing finely pressed business suits to class every day. It’s an enigma unlike any other, whose answer is perhaps only uncovered in a strategic management course. Dear Schulich students: why? Did some of us miss out on an acceptance from this prestigious business school based on our lack of exemplary suits? Us regular York folk will never know.

7. Living at Scott Library…

We’re all guilty of buying four packs of Twizzlers, hauling all our textbooks over and melting into one of the chairs in Scott Library’s “Quiet Zones”. Though that name should be taken with a pinch of salt, Scott is our home away from home. Sometimes leaving it feels unnatural and painful. Finding a seat, however, is an ordeal of its own, much like trying to find a parking spot on campus for which there is no fee. That said, when a York student finds a seat of any sort within the coveted Scott Library, this student abandons all public etiquette: expect to see shoes  kicked off, full meals spread out, and even peers fast asleep.

8. … But avoiding the fifth floor

Now for some, the aforementioned luxuries are quite enough for a university library. Mind you, these activities are strictly carried out on the first four floors! The fifth floor of Scott Library comes with a rather raunchy stigma and even more scandalous rumours, so it is recommended that those who intend to be academically productive avoid it. However, those with more risqué endeavours in mind probably have a few stories they could tell you about that fifth floor. NB: Some unknowing York students accidentally ventured to the fifth floor while searching for a place to sit- they then realized how important it is to be aware of York’s secrets.

9. Strikes.

A rather touchy subject for any York student whose been trying to complete their studies in the past five years, strikes are referred to as either “vacations” or “hell”. While the causes of the past few strikes have been avidly supported by students, it is the academic outcome and the impact on our GPAs that we really care about. Traditionally, strikes can have one of the following effects on courses: final exams get cancelled, students rejoice; final exams are modified, students rejoice; final exams continue as planned, students wonder what the point of the strike was; the course is cancelled and the credits are not earned, York students feel Yorked. Bonus tradition: all the Excalibur strike headlines.

10. Discovering the Glendon campus

For most York students, thinking about the Glendon campus is similar to thinking about Atlantis or life on Mars: confused, skeptical and almost ignorant. Does it exist, or is it an old tale meant to pique the interest of outsiders? Well, approximately 35 minutes away via YorkU Shuttle, the Glendon Campus stands pretty and quaint, bathed in sunlight (weather permitting) and emitting French prose. Most York students will only ever have classes at the larger Keele campus, so they will forever be left wondering about what Glendon really offers. Courses can be taken at Glendon by all York students, and is quite beautiful in the Fall.

11. “Spotted at YorkU”

This Facebook page is essentially the personals ad of York University. Students send in confessions of love or frustration, which then get posted anonymously to the page. With over 10000 followers as of this month, Spotted has helped YorkU students share a laugh and build a community since its inception a few years ago. Spotted is also an excellent source for either a)boosting your ego if you’ve been spotted, b) writing a creepy message to that cute girl in your psych class, or c) learning to keep a low profile because someone WILL spot you.

12. YorkU Security Bulletins no longer surprise us.

It’s not that York students don’t take security warnings seriously, but when our inbox is hit with about 4 of these emails a month, we learn to finish what we were doing before opening them. YorkU has a pretty shady stigma in terms of security issues, but what outsiders do not realize is that many of these include someone running across campus screaming with inappropriately few articles of clothing on- an understandable reaction to exams, for example. Yorkies know that it’s good to stay informed, but panicking is rarely necessary.

13. The Berries and Blooms Diet

Eating Popeye’s every day can leave a Yorkie feeling sluggish, so every now and then, we decide to post an Instagram picture of our Berries and Blooms broccoli salad and caption it “New me”. We like to think we’ll stick by this diet of fresh fruit, veggie mixes and pressed juices but York students are far too weak in the knees for a cajun sandwich. That’s why we have so much respect for our fellow peers who eat at Berries every day, and never ‘accidentally’ take a wrong turn and head to the Hero Burger next door.

14. Freshmen photoshoots by the fountain.

University is an exciting part of life, where you learn new things, are encouraged to challenge the normal standards of thinking, and find out more about yourself. But when your university has a huge front lawn with a photogenic fountain, the cameras come out and the hashtags fly. Freshmen are especially guilty of this, treating school like a fashion show and re-enacting poses seen on America’s Next Top Model featuring the fountain. The older students usually don’t mind, as long as we aren’t asked to be your photographers. Besides, this will all be over once the first wave of midterms hits.

15. Getting Yorked.

If a student goes to York and doesn’t get Yorked, did they ever really go to York? No. Getting Yorked is a hard concept to explain, and many don’t believe in this curse until it happens to them. Think about it this way: “yorked” is the polite way of putting it. Example: you slave away on all your assignments, actually do all of your readings (ok, you skimmed the first 7 pages), submit your essays on time and participate in tutorial! You feel nervous before the exam, but leave feeling satisfied, like maybe you didn’t waste your money on all those energy drinks. You cringe a bit thinking about how much you brown nosed this semester, but man it will be worth it. Look! Grades are posted! It’s a …. C+?? You’ve been Yorked. Other examples of getting Yorked include not being allowed to register into a required course, strikes ending badly and getting a parking ticket during class.


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