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Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 1am

Edwards School of Business Students Aim to Keep Party Alive: MBA News

Edwards School of Business Students Aim to Keep Party Alive: MBA News main image

An annual party, known as LB5Q, staged by students at the University of Saskatchewan’s Edwards School of Business looks set to continue despite university officials withdrawing their support for an event seen as damaging to their brand as a business school.

Kathryn Le, president of the Edwards Business Students' Society (EBSS), which is responsible for organizing the event and which survives on the money raised by it (with some left over for charity), said that the university had proposed making up for the potential loss of funding through LB5Q, but that her fellow students decided against it. Instead, they want to find alternative means of putting on the event which will ensure the society remains self-sufficient.

Scale of LB5Q worried University of Saskatchewan officials

LB5Q, which stands for Little Buddy Big Buddy BBQ, began life as a small barbecue, but over the years it has morphed into one of the largest student-run parties in Canada – attended by more than 4,000 University of Saskatchewan students.

The sheer scale of the party and its associated risks of drink-fuelled activities among some of its younger students, including impaired driving, seem to have been what scared off official support from Edwards School of Business.

Having announced its intention to withdraw its support for the event in March, negotiations ensued before being reluctantly confirmed by the EBSS last month.

“I think that this is one of those things where people are sad to relinquish a tradition - and I get that- but it is no longer healthy for our brand as a business school,” Daphne Taras, dean of the Edwards School of Business, said at that time.

The University of Saskatchewan’s Edwards School of Business sits just inside the top 10 business schools in Canada for employer reputation, according to the 2013/14 QS Global 200 Business Schools Report and ranks among the top 50 in North America.

The Edwards School of Business dean clearly has an eye on the potential damage any negative headlines emanating from the event, last organized by the school’s undergraduates, could have on the school’s reputation as a whole, as well as the wider University of Saskatchewan community. Indeed, Taras reportedly noted that it was fortunate that there had been no serious incidents connected with the event to date.   

It is likely that any LB5Q event run this year will be on a smaller scale to what has been seen previously, but its organizers are seemingly adamant that its traditional fall event won’t just go quietly into the night.

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Tim is a writer with a background in consumer journalism and charity communications. He trained as a journalist in the UK and holds degrees in history (BA) and Latin American studies (MA).