By Matty Hume, July 4 2018 —
During the July 3 Students’ Legislative Council meeting, Students’ Union vice-president operations and finance Kevin Dang stated that the 2018 Bermuda Shorts Day event ran a $98,000-plus deficit.
“It was slightly over $98,000,” Dang said, responding to an inquiry about the event’s deficit from SU business representative Ananya Ayachit. “I think a big factor this year was the weather.”
Bermuda Shorts Day is an event that has taken place at the end of the winter semester since 1961, the University of Calgary was still a branch of the University of Alberta. The festivities have been the responsibility of the Students’ Union since 1989. In 2017, the SU lost over $88,000 hosting the event, which includes the cost of the parking fair for every stall in Lot 32 — where the event is hosted — as well as traffic workers, security and signage. For BSD 2018, the SU implemented an entry fee for the first time, charging students $5 per ticket.
SU medicine representative Jarin Thundathil raised concerns regarding the future of BSD, considering the over-$98,000 deficit from the 2018 event.
“I know it’s very early, but are there certain changes that you guys are discussing right now?” Thundathil asked. “Are there talks about scrapping it potentially even though its drastic and we wouldn’t want to?”
SU president Sagar Grewal responded by saying the SU is exploring a variety of options.
“Cost from the university’s side have gone up and have being going up for a very long time,” Grewal said. “But rest assured, SLC will hear from us whenever [something changes] and you will be consulted on all of this.”
Grewal also cited the construction of the forthcoming Haskayne building, Mathison Hall, on Lot 31 as something that may affect BSD moving forward.
In an interview with the Gauntlet, 2016–17 SU vice-president external Tristan Bray said the implementation of a ticket cost in 2018 would be detrimental to the event’s future.
“Five or 10 years down the line, it’s gonna be very, very hard to even justify having and holding BSD,” Bray said. “I think the first step of charging students to enter is the first step to that decline.”