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Baez chills out on the future site of BSD. She hopes the lot will have space for more students.
the Gauntlet

BSD finally has a home

New parking lot location raises safety concerns, costs

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Students may need to look at their campus maps to find the new location for Bermuda Shorts Day this year. The Students' Union announced the event will be held in Lot 32 on the corner of Crowchild Trail and 24th Ave.

The traditional spot in front of MacEwan Student Centre is overrun by construction for the Taylor Family Library, so efforts began last year to find a new location for the big event.

SU President Dalmy Baez explained that the main challenge was making sure the space worked for everybody. Other possible locations were too close to classrooms, too small or booked with events already.

The grass by the C-Train was once an option, but it was deemed too disruptive to the children due to its proximity to the childcare centre.

"When changing a venue, especially because we've had it in the same location for so many years, there are a lot of challenges at hand here," said Baez. "[We are] talking about sufficient space, ensuring it doesn't disrupt any academics, ensuring that we consult all the appropriate stakeholders-- the university administration, faculty members, campus security, residence services and what not."

SU vice-president events Luke Valentine thought the final location was a success.

"We have been working on it since last BSD," he said. "We had three or four spots that we thought would be good, [but they] didn't work out. Stress is alleviated now. We have a space confirmed and everything is ready to go, finally."

Baez pointed out that the new location has many benefits including more space. Between 7,000 and 8,000 students typically attend the event, but Baez thought the larger venue could allow for the distribution of more bracelets.

"We are still waiting on confirmation of what our capacity is going to be," explained Baez. "We know for sure it won't be reduced. Some of the venues proposed to us would've seen a significant reduction in capacity, which wouldn't have been acceptable to us."

Valentine agreed that the new location will result in some positive changes. He predicts with a bigger capacity, the line-ups will be shorter and students will be able to enjoy the music and beer gardens instead of watching from the outside.

The new location will also increase the costs, the SU predicted. To maintain safety, more preventive measures are required to help keep the event attendees from running into the street. Due to the last minute booking, the prices will be higher.

"We are definitely going to need additional fencing, that's going be quite costly," explained Baez. "[We need] additional security, additional red shirts, city police, those kinds of things. We suspected it will be a somewhat pricey event this year, but we certainly don't cut corners around safety."

In order to help pay for BSD, the SU is spending $30,000 of Quality Money, a new initiative in place to avoid charging for wristbands.

The bands this year include the Wet Secrets, Calgary's Smalltown DJs, the Dudes and DJs Mike Roberts and Rob Faust. All acts will play on different stages throughout the day.

"[Music] defines BSD," said Valentine. "[Last year] the atmosphere where the music was, was fantastic. The atmosphere outside while you're waiting in line was dismal. BSD without any music is just a bunch of people drinking."

Wristbands can be picked up from April 13-16 in the north courtyard of MSC. Entrance to BSD will officially open at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, April 17.

Only students from the university will be allowed to attend the event.

"A lot of it has to do with safety issues," said Baez. "We actually have seen less safety reports since we've limited it."

However, not all will be the same. This year, the SU hopes to avoid last year's snowfall which forced events to be moved inside MSC.

"We think it's going to be a fantastic BSD this year," said Baez.

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Comments

Wow, we sure got our $90 000-of-our-tuition-money-worth *blank stare*.