With the beginning of September, students must prepare for school and the requisite back-to-school festivities. But at the Edwards Business Students’ Society, preparations have long been underway for the University of Saskatchewan’s largest fall celebration, known colloquially as “LB5Q.”
The event takes place each fall and gives birth to as much criticism as drunkenness from attendees — the often hours-long line to board the bus to the secret location is among the most loathed aspects of the event, though the dearth of hard alcohol is also a top contender. LB5Q is a staple of many students’ return to school. Textbooks, course syllabi, getting lost in a new building, LB5Q.
For a few days commerce students dot campus, playing raucous music in the Arts Tunnel and entreating students to buy tickets. Then, when you finally decide to buy one, they have none left.
To most students outside the EBSS, this is all LB5Q means: lines and frustration followed by beer and, finally, happiness. But the event is one of unparalleled importance for the EBSS.
EBSS president Jay Brown explained that the party “creates [their] entire operating budget” for the school year. It is expected to bring in about $25,000 for the students’ society, which will go toward both operating costs and charitable donations. It is this income that allows EBSS not to make a profit off most of its events; with the exception of LB5Q, EBSS events, from the business formal to the graduation ceremony, charge only enough to recoup the costs of that event.
All of the money from the food tent will go toward charity, as it has in years past. Last year, the food tent alone raised almost $12,000 for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan. With their other fundraising efforts, EBSS raised $15,000 for EGADZ and $60,000 total for CHFS.
In other words, the success or failure of LB5Q determines how much students will be charged for the business formal and the Edwards School of Business graduation, among other events.
Clearly, then, the event is paramount to EBSS’s functioning over the year. To ensure its success, the students’ society has made some changes to LB5Q for its 2011 incarnation.
“About 10, 15 years ago it started to morph into what it is now,” Brown said of the party. It has remained largely unchanged in that time, featuring a set of bands on an outdoor stage and a DJ playing in a separate area.
“The biggest thing we’re changing is that we’ll be serving hard alcohol all night,” Brown said. In years past, there was a limited amount of hard alcohol and it often ran out long before the beer. Non-beer-drinkers have found all the liquor sold out hours before the party was over.
“We also got rid of the bands,” he added. “Instead, we’ll have four DJs this year, playing on a 360-degree stage.”
Over the course of several decades — no one actually seems to know when LB5Q began — LB5Q has evolved from a much more college-specific tradition wherein older commerce students would take freshmen out “to like a bush party,” according to Brown. It has also become Western Canada’s largest university-run party, which might help explain why the lines are so long.
And in case you’ve read this far only to find out what LB5Q stands for, here you go: Little Buddy Big Buddy Barbecue. Tickets go on sale September 6th in the Arts Tunnel.
graphic: Brianna Whitmore/The Sheaf