An ideal VP Events attends to the recreational lives of students on campus and the community. Arranging and promoting Bermuda Shorts Day, concerts, performances and other activities during the academic year is a large part of the portfolio. Other less event-related aspects include Safewalk and relations with residence students and other on-campus groups.
Looking ahead to Bermuda Shorts Day, Students’ Union Vice-President Events Richard Bergen says the annual year-end festivities will be “nothing new and super exciting.” Sadly, this description perfectly characterizes Bergen’s term to date.
To Bergen’s credit, events have run smoothly, some better than in years previous. Overflow, the Big Can of Fun (the SU’s contribution to Frosh Week), the U of C 101 presentation spoofing the Matrix, Shinerama and Cinemania have all seen excellent participation and attendance. The month of September was ripe with events, and he’s done a better-than-average job communicating some of these with students (witness the filled-to-capacity Cinemania screenings this year).
Bergen has worked to ensure the continued operation of Safewalk, and has solidified a relationship with them through new, more specific terms-of-reference. The SU is on better terms with Dinos Athletics, too, which was one of Bergen’s campaign promises.
Unfortunately, there are few new initiatives Bergen can take credit for. Most events to date are continuations from last year. Two new events Bergen names, the Beat Lounge and Waffles Against Tuition, were commissioner ideas. While Bergen is using his commission effectively, he should be contributing more himself.
Another big event Bergen points to, the performance of My Dick & Other Manly Tales, was already on tour when it stopped on campus.
He has put in effort creating and implementing Rez events, like the outdoor Rez movie night and the Rez Cabaret. For this, Rez students are undoubtedly thankful, but his Rez focus should complement a broader scope.
Bergen isn’t without communication problems either. Recent confusion regarding the potential renaming of the ballroom was the result of his not understanding a meeting during the summer and not seeking clarification. During Shinerama, an MLA offered a cash donation in a public presentation. With the VP External and the Shinerama coordinator both out of town, it fell to Bergen. Granted, he says he was not given the proper resources or information, but it ultimately failed because he lost interest in the hassle.
For the rest of his term, there are no major events confirmed. There are ideas and suggestions (which he asked not be printed, because they were simply that: ideas and suggestions, not plans), but nothing concrete. If Bergen doesn’t get creative and quick, the rest of the year will be familiar and stale with nothing new to offer.
He’s already come to terms with an uninventive BSD, perhaps students should too.