DSU’s first foray into beer gardens is a huge success
By Greg Waldock, Web Editor
On September 6, the Douglas Student Union (DSU) hosted a beer garden and carnival outside the student lounge. Running from 2:30 pm to 6:30 pm, the event offered pizza, popcorn, carnival games, and three options for alcoholic beverages. The event was a first for the DSU and an experiment in offering beer on campus. With a larger-than-expected student turnout, it looks likely to happen more often over the next few semesters.
The drinks on offer in the beer garden were a Steel & Oak pilsner and two Nude Vodka Soda flavours, a sugar- and gluten-free carbonated vodka drink. Drink tickets were selling for three dollars apiece, cheap enough for staff or students of drinking age to enjoy a few cans during the warm afternoon.
The DSU had started research on making the beer garden legal and safe long before any other planning for the event had begun. Working through British Columbia’s notoriously difficult public drinking laws and ensuring security and a comfortable environment were absolute requirements for the event. The beer garden had on staff two bartenders, two police officers, and campus security.
The DSU also supplied carnival games such as air hockey and Skee-Ball, as well as a DJ and free popcorn, pizza, and soda. The British Columbia Federation of Students (BCFS) was present as well with a table sharing information about their Open Textbooks Now campaign and collecting petitions to help with their legal battles. Open Textbooks Now is a student-led initiative working with BC college and university faculty to publish free, open-source textbooks for classrooms in response to rising costs of physical textbooks and a lack of regulation on publishers. The campaign has already been met with significant success and next year certain intro-level courses at Douglas will roll out free textbooks for all students.
The beer garden event was considered a success by the DSU organizers, with a large student turnout and enthusiasm for the beer garden. Despite the concerns and legal hoops involved in hosting an alcoholic event, it ended up being a safe and fun environment for everyone and organizers are optimistic more events like these will happen in the near future. The DSU also hosts pub nights every month and “Welcome Back” pancake breakfasts, as well as movie nights, exam study days, and many other events throughout the semester.