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Bermuda Shorts Day to move indoors this year

By Ashar Memon, March 14 2019 —

The annual Bermuda Shorts Day event will be moved indoors this year, according to the University of Calgary Students’ Union.

BSD, an end-of-year student tradition at the U of C dating back almost 60 years, will be held in MacHall AB and the Den this year. Since 2009, the event has been held outdoors on Lot 32.

Students will not have to purchase a ticket to enter BSD. Last year, the SU implemented a $5–10 ticket cost, aimed at reducing the deficit incurred by the event.

Those wanting to attend will have to pick up a free wristband between April 8–11 in the North MacHall courtyard. According to the SU’s website, same-day wristbands will not be issued.

The website for the event cites the increasing cost of holding the annual party, as well as unpredictable weather, as factors in the decision to move BSD inside.

“Most of our costs are linked to security and safety, including previously paying for security guards and Calgary Police Service presence all over campus, not just at our event,” the website states.

A maximum of 5,000 wristbands will be handed out, though MacHall AB only has a capacity of 1,867 people and The Den & Black Lounge has a capacity of 800. The website added that a wristband will not guarantee entry into the event.

In 2017, BSD ran an approximately $70,000 deficit. At the time, the SU blamed the U of C for increasing costs. The SU began renting out Lot 32 from the university to hold the event in 2009.

“The university says they support BSD, but their increasing costs and everything else seems to suggest otherwise,” former SU vice-president operations and finance Ryan Wallace said.

Attendance at the event decreased sharply last year, dropping to a six-year low, while the deficit expanded to nearly $100,000 despite implementing the ticket cost.

UPDATE: This story has been updated to include a statement from Nabila Farid, SU vice-president student life

“We made the decision to move Bermuda Shorts Day inside because the cost to hold the event in lot 32 continued to increase while revenues continued to spiral downward. We hope that students enjoy the changes including more options for food, drinks and music as well as some new activities. It was important was us to make the event free and accessible to encourage attendance,” Farid said in an emailed statement to the Gauntlet.

This story was also updated to reflect capacities for MacHall AB and The Den & Black Lounge. Previously, this story listed the capacity for MacHall AB as 1,000, as sourced from the MacEwan Centre’s capacity chart. According to the SU, the capacity of MacHall AB is actually 1,867 and the capacity of The Den/Black Lounge is 800.

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