This past Thursday in Leacock 132, the Department of Linguistics kicked off one of the most exciting Arts Undergraduate League (AUL) drafts in recent memory by using its first overall pick to select La Citadelle’s Adriana Giordano. The pick came as a heavy shock to the numerous fans and experts who had tabbed Linguistics to select either Justine Fitzpatrick (Molson) or Zain Khalil (Douglas), highly considered to be the most talented undeclared U0 prospects available.
“When they picked Giordano, it caught me totally off guard,” said AUL analyst Jill Barnwell of rantland.com. “I mean, looking back at her scouting report, you start to see the logic—dad’s an Italian diplomat, speaks four languages, good ear for dialects—but her GPA is mediocre and she’s planning to join the Rowing team next year, which will drain her free time and take away a lot of her immediate upside. It’s too early to tell how she’ll pan out, but I think Linguistics had a chance to make a big splash this year and they probably blew it.”
Despite picking frequently in the top five over the past decade, this was only Linguistics’ second top overall pick ever and first since 1973. The draft order, which consists of 20 departments, is created by the AUL’s Competition Committee and is determined based on which ones are most in need of academic talent and intangible skills that can benefit the department; for example, becoming an executive in its association, getting dope internships in the field, and selling samosas. Nina Sun, president of The Syndicate of Linguistics Undergrads at McGill (SLUM), defended her department’s choice.
“Obviously a lot of people are shaking their heads, but she graded out really highly for us and we’re really excited about the way she fits our system,” explained Sun. “When we took her out to SNAX for a pre-draft interview, Adriana just blew us away with her natural ability. We showed her some words in Bengali—a language she had never spoken before—and she was identifying proper syntax structure by the time she was done with her bean salad.”
Before leaving the classroom to go celebrate at Bar des Arts, a teary-eyed Giordano discussed the feeling of going first overall.
“Honestly, when I didn’t declare a major during free agency and realized that I was eligible for Arts Draft, I didn’t really care that much where I went,” she admitted. “But then when Commissioner [Eva] Loo called my name, it was just such a special moment. I phoned my dad and told him I didn’t hate him anymore for making us move so much. I’m so blessed for that, and for SLUM and the professors putting so much faith in me. I know that I have to work on my study habits, but I’ll put the time in—I do not plan on being a bust.”
After the Giordano pick, the surprises continued as Canadian Studies traded its eighth overall pick and a package of assets—next year’s first round pick, this year’s sixth and seventh round picks, and a departmental scholarship—to Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies so it could move up and select Fitzpatrick. Arts Draft attendee and U2 Canadian Studies student Callum Nelson praised the decision.
“Sure, we gave up a lot to get her, but from what I’ve heard, Justine’s the surest thing in this draft,” said Nelson. “Apparently she was president of Molson Hall, so you know the leadership skills and social presence are there—not to mention she’s rocking a 3.8 GPA. I think she could give Canadian Studies some much needed relevancy.”
Political Science was on the clock next, picking in the top 10 for the first time since 1968 and capping off a difficult degree cycle that saw them lose several key free agents to International Development Studies. They took T.J Adams from Outremont, an avid debater and the consensus top prospect among this year’s CEGEP crop.
Immediately following that pick, Loo walked back up to the podium to announce the second trade of the day, a deal that resulted in Geography selecting Khalil.
“They saw the opportunity with the French Language Centre picking at four to go and get [Khalil], so good on them for getting it done,” said Barnwell. “And they only had to give up a second rounder and access to a room in the Burnside basement to get it. Pretty good value if you ask me.”
East Asian Studies rounded out the top five by selecting Otto Wright from Solin Hall, beginning a run on Solin prospects that saw Erica Byrne-Bilson go to Anthropology at six and Robert Hong to Jewish Studies at seven.
This year’s “Mr. or Mrs. Irrelevant,” the title awarded to the last student drafted, was Dave Barton from Gardner Hall, who was scooped up by Classical Studies with the 171st overall pick in the ninth round.
This story is a work of satire and appeared as part of our April Fools Issue 2015.
Thanks for the shout-out!
Liam (SLUM president emeritus 2013-14)