SUDS Closes Doors After Farewell Drink The Bar Dry

A frosted glass window on the side of SUDS, in the Knowles-Douglas Centre's basement hallway. (Credit: Ashlyn Pearce/The Quill)

Victim: SUDS.

Murderer: Well, that’s more complicated.

After 30 years of operations, Brandon University’s Student Union Drinking Spot shuttered it’s doors for possibly the last time in the early morning of Saturday, April 8th as the annual event, Drink The Bar Dry came to a close.

Earlier in the week a press release was distributed on behalf of the SUDS Board, stating that the business would be shutting down after it’s concluding event. While some students are undoubtedly upset by this turn of events, the decision for closing operations was “not made lightly” as the press release states. Going into the determining meeting, the SUDS Board was aware that the business had not been profitable during the preceding five years, and that as of March 28th, 2017 the establishment had incurred a deficit in excess of $40,000. Something to bear in mind with regards to this deficit, was that SUDS did not pay any fees to the Knowles Dougles Commission for rent, and even was granted a yearly stipend as a portion of students’ KDC Levy was given to SUDS.

“[The deficit] can be broken down into two parts,” said Trevor Poole, Vice President External for BUSU and Chair of the SUDS Board, “one is we bought the same amount of [supplies, such as food] as we have in previous years, and the other is we’ve seen much less traffic in SUDS than we have in previous years.”

As of Friday, April 7th, decisions had still not been made as to the fate of the newly purchased equipment which was part of the renovations to SUDS over the summer and fall months. Poole said that the only item which had to stay in the location was the fume hood (a rather large purchase), but that other, more movable, items could either be purchased by BUSU or the KDC to help recoup some of SUDS’ deficit, they could remain in the SUDS location, or they could be sold off to local businesses.

The SUDS board is not looking to file for bankruptcy at this point, and BUSU is hoping to maintain the brand so that should a future council want to revive the business they are able to. Any costs that SUDS cannot recover will have to be supplied by BUSU from their 2017/2018 budget. It is unknown at this time where this money would be pulled from the budget, however it could mean that events such as Crash The Courtyard and Orientation suffer next year. Poole did not say that these events would not run, rather he commented that “larger events” such as those previously mentioned may have to be scaled down.

Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 107, Issue 29, April 11th, 2017.