Upon graduation every engineering student (in Canada) is encouraged, nay expected, to partake in the “Ritual Calling of the Engineer.” At this ceremony, overseen by the Corporation of the Seven Wardens Inc., these graduates receive the famed “Iron Ring.”
The ring has much lore and history and most engineers look forward their entire degree to getting this symbol of their commitment to the profession of engineering.
While not required of engineers, the ceremony is attended by the vast majority of graduates, and the faculty and peers highly push students to partake in the event.
Today I took a stand and rejected the Iron Ring.
Some background: The ceremony originates from a poem by Rudyard Kipling. It continues what the overseers find to be “traditional” wording and the obligation (see slide 26 of this presentation) all Iron Ring wearers take contains the following that I object to.
…I will henceforth, not suffer or pass, or be privy to the passing of, Bad Workmanship or Faulty Material in aught that concerns my works before mankind as an Engineer, or in my dealings with my own Soul before my Maker.
This passage I could let pass as I see the intent behind it, but the following (which is at the bottom), which they refused by request to strike out, was the dealbreaker:
Upon Honour and Cold Iron, God helping me, by these things I propose to abide.
They claim to have debated this wording before but have decided to stand firm and reject calls for change. As such I reject the calling and urge you to as well (or at least ask any friends you have in engineering).
If I can take a stand for the convocation at the University of Alberta, I will take a stand here.
Update (23/07/2013): I’ve closed comments on this post. If you really want to express your frustration, inability to understand the above, or better if you agree, email me. If you think this post was a waste of my time and yours, get on with your life.