Mascotry: Scientists vs Engineers

RCSU stealing the CGCU Mascots

Just another one of Imperial’s old traditions

A few weeks ago, I was sat at home trying to digest some of my Stochastic Simulation course when I received a phone call from the RCSU President, Alex, asking me to come back to campus at 10pm to help steal a giant spanner and bolt from the CGCU office. Now let me provide some context to this.

Most of you will know that Imperial is made up of Constituent Unions (CUs). They are:

The Bottom of Theta
  • Royal College of Science Union, RCSU (This is the one I’m in and is made up all science students)
  • City and Guilds College Union, CGCU (This is the one with the engineers)
  • Royal School of Mines Union, RSMU (Materials, Geology and Geophysics students)
  • Imperial College School of Medicine Students’ Union, ICSMSU (The medics)
  • Graduate Students’ Union, GSU
The RCSU’s Jezebel

Each of these CUs has it’s own mascots. Some of these can be stolen and some can’t be. The RCSU has an old fire engine called Jezebel which can’t be stolen and then a 7ft metal thermometer model called Theta which everyone is at liberty to steal. Likewise the CGCU have a Spanner and Bolt which we are free to steal.

The RCSU has not participated too fully in these traditions in the past with our mascot Theta being stolen on a fairly regular basis. But this year we decided to step it up. We hid parts of Theta in various places across campus, retaining only one piece in our office.

CGCU with their mascots

The engineers assumed we had no intention of stealing their mascots, which were left guarded by only a keycard entry door and a locked glass cabinet. This meant that all we needed to steal Spanner and Bolt was a committee member’s key card. The RCSU President decided to go hang out in the CGCU office one evening, only to end up “borrowing” one of their keycards.

We arrived at the CGCU office at 10pm, lock picking tools, “borrowed” key card and apology letter to hand. As soon as we got into the office we realised that some of the committee’s bags and coats were still in the office indicating they were still on campus and adding an additional time pressure to our task. In our team of 3, one was tasked with picking the cabinet lock, one in charge of ransacking the office and littering RCSU merchandise everywhere which left me to try and find the key for the cabinet, should lock picking fail. I won’t embarrass the CGCU President by disclosing the super obvious place that the key was kept, but long story short, I found it in 30 seconds. After a quick selfie in their office, we replaced the mascots with the letter and made a run for it.

Mission Complete!

We stopped for a quick photoshoot with our prizes before hiding their mascots and eagerly awaiting the moment they realised what we’d pulled off. Moments later our little keycard stunt was discovered and it was a job well done for the scientists.

In order to have their mascots returned, the CGCU President, Tom, has signed a Ransom Contract with some fairly interesting conditions that include Tom wearing an RCSU tie and blazer at the CGCU Welcome Dinner and reciting a speech of the RCSU’s discretion. There was also a request for the Bolt bearer to shave his head, however this unfortunately didn’t happen.

We very much look forward to seeing this pan out and watch the CGCU pay for their moment of weakness.




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