A scuffle at the Den is leading to questions about alcohol and violence at the beloved campus watering hole.
On Thur., Nov. 2 a fight broke out involving five Den patrons, all believed to be university students. The combatants were escorted out by bar staff, who then called Campus Security as well as city police. No charges were laid, but those involved are barred from the Den for a year.
"This is a typical type of disturbance that we go to," said Campus Security manager Lanny Fritz. "We get one of these about two or three times a week."
In an effort to curb bar violence, the Den has several security measures in place.
"We have 'Secure-card' [an ID scanner] and well-trained bouncers," said Students' Union vice-president operations and finance Cody Wagner. Wagner also mentioned this years' rise in the price of beer on student appreciation Thursdays may dis- courage excessive drinking.
"The Den is the safest bar in Calgary," said Wagner.
Fritz agreed with Wagner.
"By and large, the SU bar is well-managed," said Fritz. "If we were to compare them to a similar size bar downtown, we have minimal problems, and that's due to management and staff being well trained."
Some students are less assured, particularly those who witnessed the fight.
"Because it's such a close-knit environment, it was kind of scary," said fourth-year music major and Den patron Marchella Mafrica. "I felt a little threatened, but the security was good, they acted quickly."
Fritz noted campus would be safer without alcohol.
"Wherever people consume alcohol, the risk factor for everything increases," said Fritz. "Slips and falls, over consumption, assault. Any event where alcohol is consumed increases our concern."
The SU and Campus Security encourage students to be on their best behavior while knocking back the pints.
"Fighting is completely unacceptable at the Den," said Wagner. "We'll take whatever measures we have to ensure the Den remains the safest bar in Calgary."