The Tomato

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New club brings students together to complain about the weather

Long-Term Forecast, a new club for weather complaint enthusiasts, is capturing the attention of hundreds of students at the University of Ottawa.

The club, whose mandate is to “provide a safe and encouraging space for students to discuss and bitch about weather-related issues in Ottawa,” was formed at the start of the winter semester, but its founders are already finding its weekly meetings packed beyond capacity.

“We’re going to have to expand to twice weekly meetings,” said the club’s president Ned Schneebly. “Two hundred people showed up to our last meeting, and while we appreciate the enthusiasm for complaining in the community, we just didn’t have the space to give everyone the experience they came for.”

Billy Bishop, a self-proclaimed weather commenter since age eight and Long-Term Forecast club member, felt the volume of membership has taken away from fundamental principles of the club.

“The whole point is to have a roundtable complaining about weather,“ said Bishop.

“But because of the amounts of people at last week’s meeting we switched to a format of one person going up to the front of the room and complaining into a microphone while the rest of the group had to listen quietly. It really took away the organic feel of weather talk.”

Still, the founders of the club recognize that having too many members is a good problem to have considering its recent creation.

“Our university community has really embraced us,” said Justin Gripes, one of the six founding members of the club. “Ottawa offers such a great environment to complain about. The humid springs and summers, damp falls, and freezing cold winters really provide a strong base for discussion.”

He continued, “Last week, one of our newest members gave this inspiring complaint about how she didn’t bring a scarf to school because it was warm, but by the time she went home for the night it had really become cold and as a result she was cold. That’s a story people need to hear.”

Patrick Markus, vp social for the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa (SFUO), believes the club might set a precedent for a new wave of conversation clubs.

“Yeah, it’s a club about weather,” said Markus. “Seems like people are going to their meetings, so we’re trying to see if there can be more like it”

One club under consideration is called Dream On, which, according to the club’s proposal, will provide “an encouraging environment for people to discuss extensive details about their previous night’s dreams.” The club would be dedicated to those who need a forum to explain dreams in “unnecessary detail.”

But Dream On faces stiff competition for club funding from Red Light, Green Light, another discussion-based club that would focus on traffic-related issues and debates over directions.

One thing is certain, for Long-Term Forecast and other discussion-based clubs, the sky is the limit.