By Cristina Paolozzi, March 24 2022—
In a statement published on March 21, the Students’ Union (SU) has made the decision not to host Bermuda Shorts Day this year.
Celebrated annually by undergraduate students at the University of Calgary, Bermuda Shorts Day has been a long-standing tradition meant to celebrate the end of the semester, and the beginnings of better weather in the city.
Over the past two years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the SU has cancelled their Bermuda Shorts Day activities in the interest of student safety. However, there has been a marked decline in student interest in Bermuda Shorts Day pre-pandemic, as the SU announced festivities would be taking place indoors in 2019, and the introduction of a paid ticket upon entry in 2018.
Pre-pandemic, the SU had also been struggling financially to host the event. In 2018, it was reported that the final result of the SU’s revenues and expenses for Bermuda Shorts Day that year was a loss of $98,646.87.
While the university has made the decision mid-semester to welcome students back to campus for the last few weeks of winter term, the SU has officially made the decision for a third year in a row, not to host Bermuda Shorts Day.
The statement reads that the SU understands students have had a difficult academic year, but that their advocacy remains with at-risk students in mind.
“Throughout the pandemic, the SU has prioritized its advocacy on keeping students safe. While health measures have been lifted across Alberta, and many measures have been lifted on campus, the SU cannot justify hosting an event that includes thousands of students in very close proximity to each other,” read the statement.
In an Instagram post made by the SU regarding this decision, more than 70 comments were shared of students’ disdain not only with the SU’s decision, but for the SU in general. There has also been a petition circulating to “bring back Bermuda Shorts Day” that already has over 500 signatures at the time of publication.
While the student body’s reaction on social media has been largely negative, the SU is still encouraging students to celebrate the end of the semester in their own way.
“We encourage all students to celebrate the last day of classes safely and we hope that we may be able to hold some type of BSD event in future years.”
To read the full statement, visit the SU’s website.