U of O activists want to officially remove month from the calendar

Photo:Rémi Yuan

Hundreds of University of Ottawa students have camped out on Parliament Hill over the last couple of days in the hopes of bringing about radical calendar reform.

These students may have different motivations for doing so, but they are all united under one common goal: to officially remove the month of January from the Gregorian calendar in Canada.

“To put it bluntly, January is just the worst,” said Adrian Parker, a U of O sociology student and leader of the protest. “It’s cold, everyone’s suffering from holiday withdrawal, and it always serves as a stinging reminder that we are all going to die. So, yeah, I think we can do without it.”

Unlike popular protest movements like Occupy Wall Street, this group of protesters has a specific plan to set this kind of change in motion. In an exclusive interview with the Tomato, Parker expressed the idea that the month of February should completely absorb January, resulting in a 59-day “super-month.”

“Some might say that we are not solving the problem with this kind of ‘super-month’ strategy, but they are missing the point,” said Parker. “The very name ‘January’ is a symbol, a symbol of misery, depression, and shrunken testicles. Without this poisonous label on our calendars, the beginning of the year loses a lot of its evil power.”

Although Parker’s group of calendar reformists started out with only modest numbers, the size of the protest at Parliament quickly swelled to hundreds after the hashtag #BanJan became a trending topic on social media.

One of the largest demographics that joined Parker’s group consists of students who celebrate birthdays at the very beginning of the year.

“Whenever my birthday comes around, I always feel like some kind of leper,” said Jason Burns, a human kinetics student. “No one wants to hang out at the bar because they are shackled to their New Year’s resolutions to drink less and eat healthier food. It’s a real bummer.”

Another large part of the protest group consists of members of the Revolutionary Student Movement (RSM), who took a break from launching passionate crusades against student tuition hikes to tackle issues that really matter.

“We firmly believe the month of January is a tool of oppression, used by powerful groups to forward a hierarchical and unjust capitalist agenda,” said an anonymous RSM representative. “Plus, you know, all the movies that come out during this month are total garbage.”

Members of Parliament have yet to officially meet with the leaders of the protest group, possibly because none of them are sure who within the government is actually in charge of managing measurements of time.

Despite this initial setback, Parker and the rest of his ardent calendar reformists remain optimistic about the future.

“Today I had a really constructive talk with U of O president Allan Rock,” said Parker. “Turns out he’s sympathetic to our cause, and is looking to install a new rule where the winter school semester can begin no earlier than February. Now that’s what I call progress.”