By Joel McNally
"Happy hour" might become a regular feature at the Den if a recent proposal is approved by the Students’ Legislative Council.
The proposal was brought to the SLC by Academic Commissioner Dan Skitch and if passed would return the price of a pitcher of Molson Canadian to $6.25 on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 3 and 6 p.m. In addition, the proposal calls for a five per cent discount on food prices for students during the new happy hour.
"It’s not just about beer," said Skitch. "I passed the Den [one afternoon] and noticed that it was really dead. Students don’t get involved in their community and this could be a step toward reducing student apathy."
The cost associated with the change generated several questions at the Feb. 12 SLC meeting. Financial uncertainty resulted in the motion being tabled until further research could be conducted.
"Pubs all over the city do it, so I don’t think that it will be draining the revenue," Skitch speculated. "If people are there between three and six, they’ll stay and drink until seven or eight."
Not all members of the SLC were so positive that happy hour pricing would be financially positive for the SU or that they could even afford to provide it.
"We’re capable of it, but it would be very tight," said SU Vice-President of Operations and Finance Natasha Dhilon. "We hardly make any money on food and so we count on pitchers to stay afloat."
Recent safety issues at the Den, such as those that have motivated reduced weekend drinking hours and the imminent adoption of a card scan system, are also concerns when considering a system of happy hour pricing.
"Already our alcohol is some of the cheapest in Calgary," said Dhillon. "If it got any lower it will be the cheapest pitcher in Calgary. If that was the case, I assume that we would be attracting off-campus people."
Not all SLC members believe that such inexpensive alcohol would attract unsavoury characters.
"Because we’re limiting the time when it’s going on it will be mostly students taking advantage," Skitch said. "We’ve seen that it is mostly non-students causing problems."
Skitch was confident that his motion would pass SLC when the final numbers are analyzed.
"They voted nine to five to table the issue," Skitch said. "And I got three notes saying that if the numbers worked out, they would change their votes."
"It depends on each council member and how seriously they take our financial situation," Dhillon said.