By Saima Asad, March 28 2017 —
Once again, The Den and Black Lounge will not be open on Bermuda Shorts Day this year. The Den has been closed on BSD since 2009, when the year-end celebration was moved to Lot 32.
Last year, then-Student’s Union president Levi Nilson attempted to open the Den on BSD. The University of Calgary stopped the plan when they said they would revoke the Den’s liquor license for BSD. The SU had to close the venue, as it would not have been financially feasible to open the Den without serving alcohol.
BSD falls under SU vice-president student life Patrick Ma’s portfolio. He said security concerns are the main reason for the Den’s continued closure on BSD.
“The university’s safety concerns have to do with BSD and the Den being significantly far apart,” Ma said.
Having the Den open would split security between two locations, which the U of C sees as a safety concern. The SU would not be able to provide security for both locations due to the expense.
“We simply wouldn’t be able to pay for those costs,” Ma said. “We are paying the [maximum] amount that we can just because we’re paying quite a bit for BSD.”
Over 30 per cent of the SU’s budget for BSD is dedicated to security. One hundred security personnel — including Calgary Police Services — will be on site this year.
Ma also said having the Den open on BSD was not a priority for the SU this year, as their energies were focused more on the actual event.
“I think it’s been more of our focus on BSD this year,” Ma said. “A focus on adding more non-alcoholic beverages to the event, more food trucks — focusing on the food and festival aspect.”
Students looking to avoid the long lines at the beer gardens can attend the alcohol-free UCalgary Strong Festival in the Jack Simpson Gymnasium.
BSD will take place on April 12 in Lot 32 behind Scurfield Hall.