40 years and counting…

April 1, 2006 marks the 40th anniversary of autonomy for the university of Calgary. Not surprisingly, the date also marks 40 years of student opposition to fee hikes, student debauchery and construction due to infrastructure shortages. The more things change, the more they stay the same. The following has been compiled from the Gauntlet‘s own 45-year archives


Calgary Normal School (on what is now the SAIT campus) gets renamed University of Alberta, Calgary Branch (UAC).


Construction begins on the current location of campus. First two buildings were the Arts and Education Building (what is now Administration) and the Science and Engineering Building (now Science A).


1,082 students with 400 more expected in the following year.


Current U of C English professor Dr. Maurice Yacowar founds the Gauntlet. Forced to resign later that year for a “questionable” editorial decision. The legacy begins…

UAC gets “computor.” Unwieldly machine occupied a small room, but only cost $2,000/month to rent, $30/hr to run. Even then, we were at the top of the game with only three “computors” in Canada.


Students protest tuition.

Also, UAC Alumni Association founded.


Two male students discovered by dean with “distinct odour of liquor” about them; would have been expelled if booze had actually been found.


The birth of an era. UAC gains full autonomy from U of A, renamed the University of Calgary; gets an independent Students’ Union due to legislation.

Construction was rampant in the mid 60s. The existing buildings included the Dining Centre, University Theatre, Science B, Rundle, Kananaskis, Engineering E and the Red & Gold Gyms. (see below)

Rez rules were also relaxed, allowing women to visit men’s residence lounges for the first time. Of course, there were sign-in and curfew restrictions, but the kids probably found ways around those.


Mac Hall opens named after John Walter Grant MacEwan, Lt. Gov. of Alberta. First debate at Speakers Corner focused on the pros and cons of… marijuana.

Sept. 1968

Gauntlet poll shows 76 per cent of male students and 69 per cent of women support U.S. action in Vietnam.

Sept. 1970

Frosh week event goes $11,500 over budget. SU resigns en masse and all expenditures frozen.

Nov. 1970

Dinnie’s Den opens; serves 1,000 students in four hours in bar designed for 300. Beer sells at three for a dollar.

Jan. 1976

Students protest tuition.

Mar. 1978

Students protest tuition, again, but this time to the tune of 4,000 people outside the Alberta legislature. U of A administration joins protest. WTF?

Oct. 1981

SU sanctions mud-wrestling event in Red Gym. Despite seven appeals, event goes on. Women beat men, but men surely let them win.


MacEwan Student Center completed (everything west of Black Lounge). Tuition roughly $550 per year.

Dec. 1986

Student hero Michael O’Reilly falls six floors down open elevator shaft in Kananaskis Hall. Breaks multiple bones, but helps direct rescuers with beer in hand.

“I don’t know anything about elevators,” he said. “But I think they’re not supposed to open unless there’s an elevator there.”


SU organizes rally to protest funding cuts by the provincial government. Protest grows to 5,000-strong throng, stops traffic on Crowchild. Police break it up.


Car hung from the Chinook Arch by engineers. Perpetrators call for free parking.

May 1988

BSD goes without beer gardens.

Apr. 1991

U of C Board of Governors raises tuition by 16.7 per cent to a whopping $788 per year. Students plagued with apathy.


University celebrates 25th anniversary, celebrates 20,000 grads to date.

Mar. 1997

SU signs exclusive deal with Pepsi behind closed doors. SU rakes in dough for 10 years. Agreement expires 2007.

Mar. 2003

Students protest tuition. Students erected approximately 100 tents, and proved their dedication to the cause by basically throwing a large party in front of MSC.

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