By Jason Herring, March 21 2019 —
Police will be making an effort to curb off-campus partying during the last day of classes this year, according to the Students’ Union.
The move comes as one result of the Last Day of Classes Neighbourhood Task Force, a group formed last September to address concerns about campus partying spilling into the neighbouring community of University Heights on Bermuda Shorts Day. The neighbourhood contains student-rented housing where revelers celebrate ‘D-Block.’
The task force is comprised of members from the University of Calgary, the City of Calgary, Calgary Police Service, the University Heights Community Association, Campus Security, the SU and the Graduate Students’ Association.
SU vice-president student life Nabila Farid says that a police presence will be established at D-Block early.
“The approach that I can give you that I’ve heard CPS talk about is that they’re going to be there early and they’re going to try to stop it from growing as early as possible,” Farid said. “I don’t know what that’s going to look like, they haven’t actually discussed that. But they’re going to be the first ones out there and they’re going to stop D-Block from growing.”
At last year’s D-Block parties, CPS officers established a presence and monitored the partying but did not put an end to the festivities.
Farid said that SU’s approach to the task force was making sure that any decisions made prioritized student safety.
“We don’t want D-Block to become something that’s like what we’ve seen happen at universities in [Eastern Canada],” Farid said, making reference to unsanctioned events like FOCO at Western University in London, Ontario. “Basically, we’ve just expressed our concerns with the growth of D-Block, asked about its popularity and asked CPS what their steps are going to be this year in order to ensure that students are safe.”
The SU holds their own end-of-year celebration on Bermuda Shorts Day. This year’s BSD event will be held indoors in MacHall and The Den, a move meant to mitigate the event’s high price tag.
“I hope that some of the students that would have normally been driven to D-Block this year can look forward to the changes that we’ve brought to BSD and use it as an alternative for safe drinking and celebration of the last day of classes,” Farid said.
Other members of the task force, including U of C administrators, requested to speak to the Gauntlet after the final meeting of the task force to be held on April 5. The Gauntlet will publish a follow-up story at that time.