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BSD is best attended SU event every year.
the Gauntlet

BSD in financial straits

SU tries to make event sustainable with Quality Money

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With construction of the Taylor Family Library displacing Bermuda Shorts Day from its usual location, the Students' Union is hoping to use Quality Money to cover additional costs.

This year's BSD is facing financial problems because of the downturned economy and the construction of the TFL.

Historically, BSD is held in the grassy area to the south of the MacEwan Student Centre. This year it was forced to move, as the construction project is in the way.

Unfortunately for the SU, this means that BSD will cost almost $24,000 more than 2007. All current estimates are based on a worst case scenario.

In order to pay for this cost increase, the SU is turning to Quality Money, asking for $30,000 per year for the next three years.

Quality Money is a fund allocated to the SU by the U of C board of governors that is tied to tuition. The fund now totals $1.4 million each year.

"With our change of venue combined with our limited resources, we felt that looking to Quality Money for funding would be an appropriate avenue, as [BSD] is by far the most popular event among our students," said SU president Dalmy Baez.

Baez noted that funding BSD with Quality Money adhered with the program's mandate to improve the student experience, given that it is consistently the most well attended event of each academic year. Others are not so sure.

Social Sciences faculty representative Teale Phelps Bondaroff questioned whether Quality Money should be used in such a way.

"Quality Money is specifically from tuition and it is not appropriate to spend on a party," he said. "That's like taking your inheritance and blowing it on an alcohol-fuelled weekend in Vegas with your friends."

This year's projected revenue for BSD totals $88,000, while the expenses near $136,000.

Phelps Bondaroff maintained that, though BSD is a worthwhile event and should be continued, the funding for the event should come from sources other than Quality Money.

He also raised concerns about the proposal asking for three years of funding instead of just one.

"That means that you are projecting to budget deficits for three years," he said. "This year we messed up. Fine, next year we know better. Why ask for three years? That's just irresponsible. If BSD is such an important event, then why are we becoming reliant on university Quality Money which may not always be available?"

Baez said the SU was seeking the three-year Quality Money grant because they know the event will be displaced for at least two or three years and anticipate that the financial situation will remain difficult for the foreseeable future.

She added that it was common for Quality Money grants to be sought for multiple years, as this aided in their financial stability.

Phelps Bondaroff is aware that something will need to be done to fund the event, but held that the resources should not come from a Quality Money grant.

"Nobody wants to be the president or VP events who charges first for wristbands or raises beer prices, but there definitely are other options," he said. "One of those is out of the operating budget. There are other funds that are there for a rainy day. What's a worse day than BSD not being run?"

While Baez agreed that BSD could probably be financed in some other fashion, she felt that doing so through Quality Money is the best possible option.

"I'm sure there are the options of charging for wristbands and what not, but we're not sure that would be acceptable by students at this point," she said. "Our goal is to ensure we provide a free, safe and fun event for our students to celebrate the end of the year."

If the Quality Money is not entirely needed to run the event, the remainder would be put back into the Quality Money fund.

The issue will be voted on in Student Legislative Council, which is open to the public, Tuesday.

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Comments

Like the awful cover band that is booked to play on the main stage year after year (while worthy long-time CJSW DJs like Sideshow Sid play on the kiddy-stage), this issue further demonstrates the SU executive culture of knowing what's best for students without bothering to ask.

This is a complete and utter waste of QM funds, especially when compared to other worthy quality money projects that improve the student experience for MORE THAN FIVE HOURS. Adding further to the irresponsibility of the SU, Baez wants this to be on a term of three years without even having a fucking clue what the financial (let alone spatial) situation will be next year or the year after that. Hell, Baez won't even be around by the end of this term she is lobbying for!

Say, aren't events like this under the control of the VP Academic, Luke Valentine? If this is Valentine's event, why is Baez speaking up about this for him?

So, I don't really drink, many of my friends don't go to U of C, the campus goes into total lockdown mode during the day and most of my classes become a write-off because everyone is drunk in them. Seems totally worth the $48,000 in expenses the event is expected to accrue.

I think I actually agree with Teale on this one...

Dear Bladek,

Since you purport to be some type of representative, don't you think you should know the name of your Vice President Academic?
Also, what exactly have you done this year other than alienate your constituents?
Perhaps you should examine your own irresponsibility before you condemn well-meaning people.

Phelps Bondaroff - Big mouth no action -
One year funding for BSD may have been a wiser choice - I'll give you that!
BUT what have you ever done on behalf of the social science students?
You have been the Faculty Representative for the Faculty of Social Sciences for two years now?

Wait a minute, is SS Representative Teale Phelps related to Fred Phelps, from Westboro Baptist Church?

Wait a second. Isn't quality money for "quality of education"? While BSD is a great tradition and a great party how does this meet the objectives of the quality funds?

I couldn't hold back on not posting a comment anymore! The funny thing is that as a non-serious candidate, I talked about students having to pay $5 for BSD to make up for the budget and to start reduce spending.

I have people telling me I should not run or cause shenanigans around election time, but look where the serious political bodies end up. It blows my mind that the candidate no one votes for actually had the back up ideas on serious issues. I'm so glad I did not win though.

At the point, it seem like Teale Phelps care more about the Bermuda Shorts Party than finishing his work on the proposed SS/Humanities student lounge, if his actions speak more than words do.

BSD is about student morale and involvement on campus...you don't go to UofC just to take classes, if you just want to get a degree and take classes, go to Devry
BSD is when students celebrate the end of their academic year, and for 4th/5th year students, it is their last on campus event with their classmates.