Due to the loss of university support, the Edwards Business Student’s Society announced on June 20 that its Little Buddy Big Buddy Barbecue — known colloquially as LB5Q — has been cancelled.
An annual tradition occurring in the opening weeks of each academic year, LB5Q helped to raise funds for both the EBSS and charitable organizations. First held in the 1980s, the event was touted as one of the largest student-run parties in Canada and was considered by many to be a fixture of both Edwards School of Business and the University of Saskatchewan.
ESB retracted its support from LB5Q by refusing to sign for insurance, leaving EBSS organizers with burdensome costs in order to keep the event alive. The blow also meant the loss of PotashCorp Way — commonly referred to as the commerce loop — as a pick-up and drop-off point for buses providing safe transportation to and from the event site. Without ESB’s cooperation, the obstacles ahead of LB5Q planners proved insurmountable.
Support was pulled over concerns that the event’s expansion in scope — LB5Q began began as a small welcoming party for first year students and grew to 4,200 attendees in 2013 — was increasingly putting it at risk of incidents such as binge drinking, sexual misconduct and driving under the influence.
Crediting student leaders within EBSS for excellence in their organizational skills as well as the current generation of students for acting responsibly in prior years, Dean Daphne Taras of ESB explained that the school could not risk its reputation by sanctioning an event that had grown so massive in size.
“No matter how well something is planned, organizers cannot control the after-party behavior of 4,200 students who have imbibed significant amounts of alcohol in a festive night-time environment,” Taras said via email to the Sheaf. “No dean wants to sit in a parent’s living-room and explain how we at Edwards condoned a party that might have led to or been associated with a death, rape or serious injury.”
Despite such concerns from the university, EBSS president Kathryn Le said that pulling support from LB5Q remained unwarranted.
“Nothing major has happened at LB5Q that has reached the media or has reached our concern. So for us to be shot down for those reasons is basically shutting down an event for things that have not happened yet,” Le said.
The cancellation of LB5Q stands as a major loss for EBSS, as fundraising accomplished through the event provided significantly to the organization’s yearly operating budget. In previous years, LB5Q had raised as much as $30,000 for Edwards students. The bulk of these funds were incorporated into the planning and execution of other social events for the college, including its graduation ceremony and formal banquet.
In 2013, the event also raised $2,500 in charitable contributions to the Children’s Foundation.
Despite LB5Q’s primary function as a fundraising event for EBSS, Le said that the cancellation of what has become a fixture at the U of S is an even greater loss to ESB and the campus as a whole.
“It’s more than just an event that raises our operating budget. Obviously that’s a big point… but it’s been a tradition for a long time and for it to [be cancelled] now is upsetting,” Le said. “It’s what sets us apart from other universities. Everyone has their frosh and it’s kind of all the same, but we have LB5Q.”
Taras, however, denied that LB5Q holds a significant place within ESB.
“The brand of Edwards School is not a massive party. It is our outstanding success at business competitions, our students’ integrity and work ethic, and their professionalism,” Taras said. “Students imply that LB5Q is part of our brand, and I reject that. It may be part of the brand of EBSS, but it is not the brand of the Edwards School.”
Though LB5Q in its usual format has ceased to exist, arrangements are already being made to fill the hole it has left on campus.
Although no details have been announced, Le said that the current plan is for a new event to fill LB5Q’s slot in early September and for an official announcement to be made by end of August so as to best capitalize on the back-to-school rush surrounding orientation. With organizers in the midst of planning, Le noted that the new event may skew away from the large, outdoor gathering format that LB5Q was known for.
Taras said that ESB remains open to working with EBSS to find a replacement for LB5Q.
When the cancellation was announced via LB5Q’s Facebook page, an outpouring of comments came in from students who were upset over the loss.
“I don’t know about others, but I would honestly pay double what the ticket prices were before ($10?) if that’s what the event needs to make financial sense,” said Robert Tremblay, an engineering student at the U of S, in reply to the LB5Q posting. As of press time, Tremblay’s comment has garnered 46 likes from similarly-minded individuals.
An LB5Q forum will be held on July 18 at 3 p.m. in the Roy Romano Council Chambers. Members of the community are invited to voice their concern over the event’s cancellation.