Ikea and umlauts to dominate campus

On Aug. 26, 2000, the Den perman ently closed its doors to the students and staff of the University of Calgary, or so we thought. Sometime this summer a new "Den" will reopen in MacEwan Hall upon the ashes of the old Den and what was once the Black Lounge.

So continues the misguided naming experiments of our beloved Students’ Union.

Do you remember McQ’s Convenience Store? After declining to renew McQ’s lease in favour of operating the store themselves, the SU held a well-intentioned contest to gather suggestions for a new name. During the interim period that the contest ran, the name "Stör" was used. Upon completion of the contest the winning name, "Bad Kitty’s Snack Emporium," enjoyed a painful death at the hands of the Students’ Legislative Council. Declared offensive, Bad Kitty was not used by the SU. Ironically, the old name "Stör" now hangs over the SU-run establishment, which in the end resembles McQ’s–save for some slightly cheaper prices.

MacEwan Hall expansion and redevelopment are now in full swing. A new campus bar will soon exist which we’ve heard will be christened using the same name as its predecessor, the Den.

Let’s have a little more review for those who didn’t get to experience the drinking mecca that was the Den. Somehow, over the 42 years of its coloured existence (it opened in 1959), the Den remained a place everyone loved. Despite the atrocious condition the bar was in, it continued to produce favourable drinking memories (or as the case may be, the lack thereof). For instance, the Den’s carpet was infamous for its stickiness and sweatiness on Thursday nights.

More recently the SU held a silent auction in which they peddled a piece of Den carpet in a bag labeled "Biohazard" and believe us when we say that assessment is correct. The carpet had character–the kind of character a new Den will never have even though the SU plans to install old furniture from the Den.

For this reason, our newest campus watering hole should not be called the Den. Old drinking memories should stay behind the old Den’s locked doors. The newest bar on campus will never be what the Den was. A quick poll among Gauntlet staffers produced suggestions such as the "Deuce." By using this name we could respect old traditions, but give them a new spin or a "second-time-around" so to speak. Thus the name "Deuce." At any rate, the SU should be more creative with a new name while they still have the opportunity to change it, regardless of whether "Deuce" is a silly name or not. What they should not do, however, is hold another contest. Can you imagine "Kute Kitten’s Liquor and Leather?"

Simultaneously, they must also stop the infiltration of Ikea-style names onto our campus–we will not tolerate "Bärr" or any derivative thereof. Heck, why doesn’t the SU set up another exclusivity contract with Ikea and rename everything on campus? We could call the Gauntlet "Införmativ," or we could call the SU "Ineffektiv." At least we’d have a stylish campus.

Seriously though, our new bar will hopefully produce memories for another 42 years. Let’s not confuse these with our memories of the Den.

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