Western Business Games gone wild!

Intoxicated, rowdy, g-string clad business students ran amok in the usually upscale Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise last weekend, resulting in several RCMP and Emergency Medical Services visits and the arrest of a University of Calgary student.

The festivities were part of the Western Business Games, an annual business-networking event which ran Nov. 3-4. The event, planned by two U of C students, brought together 230 business students and alumni from Western Canadian universities to engage in friendly competition, much of it based around alcohol and drinking games.

Early Saturday morning officers responded to complaints of disorderly students walking through the halls wearing only underwear and g-strings with open alcohol and portable stereos, according to a Lake Louise RCMP report. Around 10:30 a.m. the same day, RCMP returned and seized magic mushrooms, marijuana and drug paraphernalia from four rooms.

On Saturday around 3 p.m. EMS were called to attend to a UBC student who fell two storeys after attempting to jump from one railing to another. The intoxicated student had been drinking since 9 a.m., but did not suffer any major injuries.

Sunday at midnight, an intoxicated U of C student was arrested for uttering death threats to both an RCMP officer and hotel security. His name has not been released. There were also complaints of students chanting and yelling in a hotel restaurant.

The Western Business Games were planned by Paradigm Promotions, an event and party planning company run by Haskayne School of Business students Kevin Collins and Andy Jackson. Both students said the events of the weekend have been blown out of proportion by both the media and RCMP.

“The media attention has been a bit of a black eye for Haskayne,” said Collins. “There is no ill-will from Fairmont towards Haskayne, and I think it’s unfortunate the media has brought Haskayne into this.”

Jackson is also the president of a Haskayne club, but he reiterated that even though there were approximately 40 U of C business students in attendance, the event had nothing to do with his club, the U of C or Haskayne.

“My actions as [The Social Exchange club] president have nothing to do with this event,” said Jackson. “It’s been going on for 16 years so people know about it. Not everyone in attendance was from TSE, maybe half of the [Calgary] delegates were from TSE.”

Though the U of C did not sanction the event, Haskayne interim dean Dr. Vern Jones said he is taking the matter very seriously.

“We’re very upset,” said Jones at a press conference Mon., Nov. 6. “We certainly don’t condone this kind of event at all. This reflects badly upon the university and the [Haskyane School of Business]. Nevertheless, I should point out this is not a university-sponsored event.”

Jones said he is in the process of speaking with students involved and will use non-academic misconduct to punish students if it is appropriate.

“In this case, there are a series of penalties that could be assessed, anything from suspension for a term to probation or to expulsion from the university if it was considered serious enough,” said Jones.

Lake Louise RCMP Corporal Mark Kay also expressed his disappointment with the students’ behaviour.

“As the RCMP officer in charge of the Lake Louise detachment, and a business school alumnus myself, I understand the importance of team building and networking opportunities,” said Kay in a release. “At the same time, I am disappointed with the behaviour of individuals connected with this event whose actions incurred avoidable costs in emergency services manpower and resources.”

As for the future of the Western Business Games, this 16th year may be the last.

“Currently I’m working with the deans to resolve this issue,” said Jackson. “I’m going to go ahead and say it won’t run again.”

The schools in attendance at the Western Business Games were the U of C, the University of Lethbridge, the University of Alberta, the University of British Columbia, the University of Regina and the University of Northern British Columbia.

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