If you haven’t heard, LB5Q has been cancelled.
The Little Buddy Big Buddy Barbeque is an annual fundraiser for the Edwards Business Students’ Society, with money going to the Edwards School of Business graduation banquet and other activities.
Surely, administration must have had good rationale for essentially banning the event?
The administrators are concerned with risks associated with binge drinking — but the cancellation of the event does not make students safer. In reality, it could expose them to more risk than they would have experienced at LB5Q.
The StarPhoenix reported LB5Q would no longer receive university support, “due to concerns about binge drinking, sexual activity, and impaired driving.” These concerns are either downright misinformed or overblown.
Acting completely indifferent to student experience, administration refused to sign off on insurance for the event and then blocked an attempt to obtain insurance through a third party by prohibiting the commerce loop from being used as the traditional pick up point.
Last year’s LB5Q saw over 4,000 attendees and students look forward to the party every September. Taking place at an undisclosed location to prevent impaired driving, shuttles are provided between the U of S and the location. It is an extremely well organized event with on site paramedics and security.
The ESB dean Daphne Taras was reported saying LB5Q “is no longer healthy for our brand as a business school.”
Clearly then, the administration could have allowed for third-party insurance to be obtained but liability is not the issue. When administration says that they don’t want unpleasant things to happen, they are not concerned about students. They mean that they don’t want to deal with consequences to their image if something bad were to happen.
What university college is actually judged by its students’ parties? Generally universities have more important things affecting their public image than social occasions. How about massive, non-transparent cuts in programs or firing dissenting staff? But the U of S doesn’t have a problem with those things, right?
Cancelling one party will not end or reduce binge drinking. Instead, the cancellation of LB5Q might endanger students more. A U of S student — preferring to remain anonymous — was adamant that LB5Q felt safer than going to a bar. Students will find other ways to blow off steam and the YOLO generation will party anyways if the safe parties are ironically deemed too unsafe to happen.
The university administration citing “sexual activity” as a precursor to sexual assault is a somewhat exaggerated concern. These kinds of situations are just as likely to occur at LB5Q as they are anywhere else. Consensual sexual activity should never, ever, ever be a concern of administration and it is damn insulting that an event that allegedly spawns student sex be rebuked because of it.
Even more bewildering and nonsensical is Taras’ worry about the potential for mass murder at LB5Q. She drew a connection between the University of Calgary’s Bermuda Shorts Day — another student social event — and the tragic murders of five students on the same day at an off-campus house party.
Bermuda Shorts Day is an example of violence at an unregulated party that likely could have been prevented if it had half the organizational rigour of LB5Q. Additionally, according to the Calgary Herald there is no reason to believe the murders had anything to do with the party or alcohol.
Taras also went as far as attributing higher rates of mental illness among youth as part of the reason why students are not responsible enough to consume alcohol. Seriously.
Danger is always a concern when making decisions, especially decisions where a lot may be at stake. But a downright backwards perception of risk is often more harmful than the original risk itself. LB5Q is not a dangerous event and has been held since the 1980s without major problems. There is no reason to believe that these issues will spontaneously appear. Regardless, the U of S administration has done all they can to stop LB5Q from happening.
It seems to me that administration sees U of S students as only three beers away from devolving into writhing masses of mentally unstable criminals who fornicate so much that it’s a public health concern. Oh and all this can be prevented by cancelling LB5Q.
As said by the Beastie Boys, “You gotta fight for your right to party!”
There will be a LB5Q forum on campus July 18 at 3 p.m. in the Roy Romanow Council Chambers. Students are encouraged to attend to show support for the event.