After reports of damages and inappropriate behaviour, BurMac 2017 has been cancelled a second time by The Students’ Union and the university.
The house cup was poised to be held the weekend of March 25, at the Keating Millennium Centre after being successfully planned by the university, The Students’ Union, and working members from both Burke and MacIsaac.
However, after reports of damages within MacIsaac that took place over previous weekends, the Students’ Union along with university administration has decided to cancel moving forward with the plan and the cup itself.
The game was announced a go on February 15 after heavy deliberations were held by the university, The Students’ Union, and coaches of both Burke and MacIsaac. Yet certain conditions were needed to be met by residents of both Burke, MacIsaac and those associated with the game – residence damages being one of them.
As a result, the announcement to cancel the game was made by SU President Taylor Chase and Bob Hale, Head of Student Services, who met with MacIsaac the night of March 14 - almost a week before the games date.
The announcement to Burke was made separately by Joelle French VP of Residence Affairs and Director of Student Life Jacqueline De Leebeck.
Chase mentioned in an interview with The Xaverian that the initial response was one of understandable frustration.
However, a member of the MacIsaac hockey team who wished to remain anonymous also issued a statement to The Xaverian, expressing disappointment with the decision:
“Ever since we first heard last spring, everyone showed their disagreement with the decision to cancel the game which resulted in a petition signed by over 1500 students in 3 days; which goes against the Students' Union's (and StFXs) comment saying this cancellation was in the students best interest.”
The member went on to claim that the team went through numerous preparations such as ordering jerseys, making roster adjustments and paying for ice times. The member also praised the hard work of the original coaches, who spent several months trying to get the game back only to have it cancelled.
“We are confused as to why the university would make us jump through several hoops to get this game back only to cancel it 2 weeks away. And all this coming a day after an article was released bashing MacIsaac hall and all the residents that have lived or live in it,” the member said.
However, Chase firmly stated that the conditions and specific environment surrounding the game were clearly communicated to residences of both houses. Chase personally delivered notes to each room in Burke and MacIsaac outlining the situation, hoping it would prevent any undesirable actions that would jeopardize the game.
Chase also stated that the decision to cancel the game was mutually exclusive from said article recently written in The Xaverian regarding the culture of MacIsaac.
Chase acknowledged the fact that not everyone in the residence is responsible as well.
Yet the MacIsaac player disagreed with the decision regardless:
“I don't see it fit to cancel a 38-year tradition, based on the actions of a few individuals. Everyone who has been impacted positively by BurMac the past 38 years far outweighs the negative incidents that have occurred recently.”
Burke is also disappointed with the decision.
“It’s a shame to see the hard work of so many be destroyed by so few, but it was one hell of a fight,” Carl Miller, current President of Burke said in a statement to The Xaverian.
“I want to thank theU exec, Uni execs for giving up so much time and effort to this cause, it means a lot to us and we can't thank you enough for not giving up on the dream,” Miller added.
According to Chase the future of the game depends on changing the culture and atmosphere surrounding not only the game but the residences too:
“We need to spend significant time and energy to create a plan promoting the positive focus of the houses and university…once we reach that, then the game can happen.”
Chase continued by saying “moving forward this is difficult for all parties involved…It was a difficult decision that had to be made, but there were some great parts that came from the game…The two houses have planned a bottle drive. I cannot stress enough how important this is…”
Chase concluded by offering that If any students have any thoughts or comments about the present or future of the game, they are encouraged to contact the Students’ Union or Chase personally.