How do you unite hundreds of Sciences Po students from around the world? Is it through a common desire to overthrow the global super bourgeoisie or a shared hatred of the dysfunctioning campus coffee machines? (I am deeply disappointed – but not surprised – to report that after my most recent article attempting to dismantle the monopoly these broken machines have over us, absolutely nothing has improved on the caffeine front.) While these methods of unification certainly stir up strong feelings, there is nothing quite like the universal language of sports to bring together people from all backgrounds. From November 11-12, Sciences Pistes from all seven campuses traveled to Nancy to compete in this year’s WEIC or week-end inter-campus tournament.
With eight different categories, there were many opportunities for the students of Sciences Po to prove that they are more than just overeager bookworms. Athletes took to the court and the pitch to compete in volleyball, football, basketball, rugby, and cheerleading. Reims, the only campus with two teams, EURAM and EURAF, did very well with at least one team placing in the top three for every sport and EURAM placing second overall.
Despite a 5 AM departure on the morning of the 11th, bus troubles on the drive to Nancy meant that Reims arrived a bit late, but still with enough time to warm up and cheer on other teams. A general lack of sleep threatened to dampen the Sciences Pistes’ performance and energy (Menton campus, for example, had endured a 13 hour overnight trip to Nancy), but the athletes persisted. Their enthusiasm created an atmosphere inside the gymnasium that was described as “explosive and electric” by Remy Huisinga and Susan Rickman.
In between matches, students braved the cold weather and donned their campus colors to cheer on the football and rugby teams, while inside the gym, the sounds of referee whistles, and campus chants echoed off the walls. WEIC is one of the few annual opportunities students from every Sciences Po campus have to gather together and display their campus pride, so the buzz of excitement was palpable. After the first day of intense competition, students changed out of their campus uniforms and spent the evening mingling at a local club night.
Any hope of rest or healthy vocal cords was cast out the window by the start of the second day which marked the start of the semi-finals for the teams that had strong performances on day one. The stakes were higher and the cheering was louder, as every win at this phase gave each campus a better chance at securing the coveted WEIC trophy.
Here are the final results for the EURAM and EURAF teams in every sport:
In volleyball, EURAF placed 3rd after defeating EURAM in pool play on the first day. EURAM finished between 5th and 7th.
In men’s football, EURAF placed 3rd and EURAM placed 1st after not conceding a single goal the entire tournament.
For women’s football, EURAM finished in 1st and EURAF between 5th and 7th.
In men’s basketball, EURAF placed 4th after a tough loss in the semi-final, but EURAM dominated the court the entire tournament and finished 1st.
In women’s basketball, EURAM finished 2nd and EURAF placed 4th
For women’s rugby, EURAM and EURAF were combined into one Reims team, and they placed 3rd.
In men’s rugby, EURAM placed 3rd and EURAF between 5th and 7th
Finally, in cheerleading, EURAM finished in 3rd and EURAF placed 6th. All of the students gathered in the gym at the end of the first day to watch all of the cheerleading teams perform their routines and campus divisions melted away as everyone cheered for the impressive stunts.