Scott Ramsay 13/01/15

Cha Gheil. Those words meant very little when we first arrived on campus, and even today it is something just yelled at Gaels games. I remember being told that Highland Warriors would run into battle yelling Cha Gheil, but that was a long time ago. There are no Highland Warriors on our campus, so why should anyone here care what it means?  They are just words we feel like we have to say. Something expected of us without really understanding the why.

I have always felt that this saying should mean something more to me, that somehow I was missing out by not feeling an attachment to them. ‘No Surrender': how can someone who has never been down ever understand what it meant to never surrender? Yet they are sung in unison across faculties and generations. It was not until looking back at my time at Queen’s that I finally began to understand why these two simple words have such meaning. They are about the coming together for a common reason and working towards the same goals. They are about pushing onward and not against each other. They are about legacy.

Queen’s students have achieved amazing things over the past few years. We have seen records broken, the birth of new clubs, and new alumni go on to make the world a better place. But between your first time on campus and your last as a student, what will be left behind? For me, it has always been academics. That is what we are all here for is it not? But at the end of the day, Queen’s needs to be more about individual gains and what we do to help build each other up. Sadly, this has been absent from our beloved school as of late. Overheard has gone from a community of funny pictures and stories that brought students together to that of a battlefield that divides students. And while this debate could be healthy, rarely do we look for solutions and a common ground that allow for peace. Rather, we wait. We wait for things to disappear and become irrelevant. But why? Is it that we no longer care or that we are no longer willing to leave something better than when we received it? The answer, sadly, is not as simple as one would hope.

Even if the answer is not clear, we still have the power to keep making a difference at this school and the ability to do something that truly matters. It is time to stop thinking about the individual and put the collective needs of others at the forefront. I send this challenge out to you. Find something, no matter what it is, and work to make it better for others. Do something that leaves an impact bigger than any 4.0 ever could. But most importantly, change the question from “what are they doing wrong?” and start focusing on “What can WE do to make things better?”.

Cha Gheil


Scott Ramsay is a Co-Editor-in-Chief at the Queen’s Tartan