By Ryan Laverty
Signifying the end of the year, Bermuda Shorts Day is a chance for students to put school on hold and kick back with friends just before the rush of exams. It’s also the day many students risk all they’ve worked for by drinking and driving.
"BSD is a really scary time of year for us," said University of Calgary Students’ Union Vice-president Events Alix d’Archangelo. "We’ll do everything we can to make this year as safe as possible."
In addition to the large number of security redshirts that will be present, the SU has contracted a Calgary security company to ensure BSD events go as smoothly as possible. The SU will also work with Campus Security and Calgary Police Service.
"There will be six paid police officers on campus, on top of all the other security we have," explained d’Archangelo. "Checkstops will also be set up just off campus to deter people who have been drinking from getting behind the wheel."
Campus Security will also be doing their part to ensure a safe and happy 2001 BSD. "We will be inviting taxis to come onto campus throughout the day, and we have let the companies know they can park in the loop in front of Reeve Theatre," said Campus Security Manager Lanny Fritz. "This is a change from years past and is a direct way of combating the continuation of the Calgary Transit strike. "
According to d’Archangelo, taxis are not likely to be a viable alternative to the lack of public transportation.
"Most people will be looking to leave campus around 5 p.m., but this is rush hour and most cabs will be downtown. The likelihood of cabs waiting at the university is not great," remarked d’Archangelo. "We are counting on people to take the responsibility themselves by appointing a designated driver."
Stickers will be handed out that provide drivers all the free pop, water and food they can hold.
"The biggest problem in getting people to act as DDs [designated drivers] is that it was easier to get a beer than to get anything else," said d’Archangelo. "This year we will have water available in the beer gardens so people don’t have to go anywhere to get non-alcoholic drinks."
Another precaution to be taken to curb the level of inebriation of students is the direct sale of alcohol by bartenders. In past years, students could get a drink anytime they had a drink ticket.
"By getting rid of the beer tickets, and making people pay cash for each beer, the bartenders become more responsible for who they serve and how much. They will have more control over the drinkers," said Fritz.
The SU will post signs around the university early next week to inform students of alternatives to drinking and driving, including the Park & Party passes and the Driver’s Alternative.