Julianne Attai

External: Skule™ Archivist

One of my favourite weeks of the year is Godiva Week. I experienced for the first time in 2019 as a doe-eyed frosh, and saw it evolve during my second year online. Over the holidays, I reached out to Kirsten Koehl, the inaugural Godiva’s Crown in 2001 for an interview to find out more about how the competition started, and how it has evolved in the past 20 years.


What was Godiva Week back when you were in school?

Godiva Week was just a lot of fun back then and there weren’t a ton of rules – we were there to have a good time. We still had the chariot races, Mr. Blue and Gold, and Cannonball always finished off the end of the week. Godiva’s Crown was thrown in my third year, which was 2001. So that would have been the first year that it actually ran.


How was Godiva’s Crown invented and what was the first competition like?

I don’t know if it even started as a bit of a joke in the grand scheme of things. We were all given these like typical masculine tasks to complete. Each activity was timed, so how long did it take you to cut through the two by four, how long did it take you to hammer in the nail, how long did it take to drill a row of screws type of thing. It was us power women doing these male tasks and showing them what we’ve got, that’s kind of how I saw it.

They put on music for us, and then we just had to kind of go and perform on the spot. In my case, I was a former gymnast so I walked on my hands and spun around and did some cartwheels. We still bribed the judges just the same as Mr. Blue and Gold did, and we had an interview part where we stood in front of the judges and explained why we should win.


Why did you decide to compete?

Because I like competition [laughs]! And it was really fun – I really liked being involved in Skule™. It wasn’t stressful at all, and we had people cheering us on as we moved from activity to activity in the Pit.


What was that experience like?

I had so much fun at Skule™, I never felt down. In fact, it was when I got involved that it became more fun, because in my first year I commuted. That was just brutal. I’d fall asleep on the train sitting on the stairs because it’s so jam packed.

So then, when I started hanging out but getting more involved in second year, that’s when I really started to have fun. Then third year just kind of went to the next level; we got into our specialties and it just kind of takes a little bit more of that pressure off because you’re now doing stuff you kind of want to do. It just made the whole environment more fun. Getting involved in Godiva’s Crown, Cannonball, and all those things just made it that much better.


What was your connection to Mr. Blue and Gold?

Mr. Blue and Gold and I were friends outside the roles, but the only thing we did was dance at Cannonball together. Mr. Blue and Gold also gave Godiva her crown, but the next year I gave it to the next winner. Our Spirit Head roles had no other connection whatsoever.

Mr. Blue and Gold was a fun representative of the Skule™ community, so he had a much bigger role. He would do events like F!rosh Week and wear his cape. Godiva’s Crown on the other hand was so new since I was the first one. No one knew what it should look like.


Do you know how the heel click and Queen of [suits] traditions start? According to Skulepedia, you would’ve been the Queen of Clubs.

Well, I think, for me, I had to drink for that year everyone said Godiva [laughs]. I never had to heel click. I don’t distinctly remember anything being set out as the Queen of Clubs, but maybe the top part of the crown was a club? They took a gold hard hat and then literally used a saw to cut out a shape, but it was such a botch job it was funny. They had to put a blue material inside to try and fill it out so it didn’t look so bad.


What was Godiva’s Crown like the next year?

Mr. Blue and Gold always has to come back the next year to introduce the start of the next Godiva Week, so I ended up doing the same thing. I pulled in three friends of mine, and we did a dance to the Backstreet Boys. It was quite fun, we even did the dance at Cannonball in our dresses, it was really quite fun.

It ran pretty similar the next year, though people could pick their own songs. You could tell some people had stuff prepared, but there were others who just kind of got up on stage and went for it. It was still new and they were trying to get people involved, so anybody could join last minute.


What was your favourite part about being a Spirit Head?

You’ve got your younger years, who are looking up to you and know who you are, so you become someone that they can come to and ask advice and things like that. And of course you’re showing others how to get involved and have fun. It’s really important to be involved in some way, because otherwise, you can get too consumed in the academic portion, and then get lost and stressed and overwhelmed. You need to have an outlet, and so it was just good to be able to to show that you can do that and still be successful.


What values did you feel were important to embody as Godiva’s Crown?

It was almost like showing the guys that we could do things they could do, it was a very positive position to hold. Just showing the world that girls can do anything .. that was sort of my vision with that and that you can still have fun at the same time while doing well with school and being involved.


How did you see Godiva’s Crown and her legacy going forward in the future?

I really hope that Godiva’s Crown would kind of become the leader of Mr. Blue and Gold in a way. [laughs]


She is now [during 2T1] actually, so I think you got your wish.

Well, there you go. I imagine he would be at her beck and call sort of thing, and that she would be that strong leader. That would be my vision.


Last question: any other advice for future Godiva’s Crowns?

Have fun. Be strong. And rule the world.


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