By Charles Paddleworth and Ashley Petersen

The intimidating shredders

We all go through times in life when we feel left out. Fortunately, there are so many groups and clubs on Western’s campus that everyone can find something that piques their interest and connects them to a community of like-minded individuals.

Skiers have reigned supreme on Western’s campus since the legendary Billy Barr was but a wee lad collecting snow samples on his tongue. The skiers, historically, have been followed in stature by the boarders. Together, these two cohorts account for 98.7 percent of the school’s population.

They shred Mt. CB or Monarch daily, intimidating professors into canceling class on pow days. Even Dean of the Shredding Students (DSS) Perry Shredson has been known to call in sick on Mondays and Fridays to extend the viable shredding period (VSP).

These shredding squadrons run the school, and a rivalry has formed between them; but the only
thing these clubs dislike more than each other are the passively lackadaisical ice climbers,
mountaineers, ice fishing folk, and snowshoers (I mean why even bother stepping outside).

That’s not even to mention the dreaded snowmobilers. This has led to a divide on campus between the overwhelming majority who shred, and the distressed few who do not partake in the daily shredfests.

The isolation felt by the poor, shredless 1.3 percent has led them to found their own club for the non-shredders; the students that neither ski or snowboard, the social pariahs. “I just can’t understand a person who doesn’t shred. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Like what would you even do in the winter?”, said former President of the Freeride team, Crazy Spielson.

One member of the Society for Non-Shredders (SNS), Gladsbury Miller, retorts, “You might understand us if you only gave us a chance.” Miller says they learn the lingo, add “gnar” and “send it” to their vocabularies, and sometimes go as far as to purchase an Epic Pass just to complete the façade and ward off the judging stares.

What started out as a club for non-skiers and non-boarders has turned into a full-fledged emotional support group. These students finally have a space where they feel comfortable being their nonshredding selves. The group offers free counseling for students that feel alienated and alone, in conjunction with Western’s new PhD program in Outdoor Leadership.

The group also does outdoor activities together. Last month, they went ice climbing for the weekend in Ouray, and just last week they went ice fishing out on Blue Mesa, with hot chocolate provided by the Dean of the Non-Shredding Students (DNSS) Garish Peerman.

They would like their fellow students to know that there is more to them than just their non-shredding nature. The Society for Non-Shredders empowers these students and helps them realize that they are not alone in their sedentary nature.

Ultimately, the SNS helps these students feel empowered and helps them realize that although there aren’t many, there still are other students like them.