By Maximilian Moore
Hundreds of Algonquin students, accompanied by thousands of post-secondary students from four other Ottawa schools, flocked to IKEA after hours on Sept. 10 to attend the annual IKEA Madness event.
A fleet of reticulated OC Transpo busses pulled into the parking lot and unloaded a sea of students, each representing their school colours, into the largest IKEA in Canada. Whooping and hollering, they climbed the staircase onto the second floor and were met by IKEA workers in yellow and blue, dolling out scavenger hunt sheets and high fives.
“IKEA hosts the event for the purpose of giving new students deals on furniture and a place to have fun as the academic year begins,” said Chelsea Murray, communications responsible at IKEA.
With megaphone in hand, Murray was yelling across a horde of students in green, red, blue, black and orange. Over 40 prizes in gift cards were handed out to those who could win Murray’s games.
“I loved winning the gift cards because I’m all about that broke life,” said Jeffrey Fernandes, an electrical engineering student at Algonquin. “Savings on savings.”
As students from all over Ottawa roamed the decorated hallways of the store, they picked up products and compared prices. Fernandes bought a landscape photograph of Venice to put in his dorm room.
There were over 2,300 students in attendance, according to Murray. This “great success and excellent turnout” varies in attendance each year, but also does the behaviour of the students attending.
In 2012 the event was “real mad”, according to Cole Gordon, business marketing student at Algonquin who has attended IKEA Madness three times. This year however, Murray said nothing went awry.
“My first time going was insane,” said Gordon. “There were people crowd surfing, running around with chairs, and throwing food at each other.”
In the checkout area of the store Murray hosted games like ‘build it to win it’ which according to Ben Dinh, events officer of Student Support Services, Algonquin is notoriously good at winning.
“Students from different schools work as a team to build the chairs,” said Dinh. “If they win the race, that group takes home all the chairs.”