St. FX's BurMac Cup can't be saved from rowdy students

St. FX's notoriously rowdy intramural hockey game, a four-decade-old tradition called the BurMac Cup, has been cancelled for this year after students failed to meet conditions of good behaviour during the school year. 

The County of Antigonish withdrew its support for the match between the university's Burke Hall and MacIsaac Hall student residences, after unruly student fans caused over $5,000 in damages to the Antigonish Arena last year.

In February, the school's student union pitched a proposal to move the event to a rink on campus. Student union president Taylor Chase said the plan's aim was to provide a "healthier, positive residence culture" to address the rowdiness.

In essence, the students at the two residences were told to behave themselves in the lead-up to the event, tentatively scheduled for the end of this month.

"But unfortunately the conditions put in place were not upheld. Specifically, we saw excessive damage done to MacIssac," Chase said.

The student union ultimately decided the BurMac Cup would only have "a negative impact" on campus culture after the university reviewed overall student conduct since the fall.

Chase said he met with residents of MacIssac Hall on Tuesday night to discuss the cancellation, and while students were disappointed, there was a "shared frustration" about the reputation of the campus. 

Rebecca Charnock was a resident assistant at MacIsaac Hall last year. She said she's disappointed the BurMac Cup has been cancelled this year because it was an opportunity for past and current students to show their pride. 

"It's the largest event for all the alumni to get together," she said. "What if you had an annual family reunion — which is exactly what [BurMac] is — and then because of one rogue thing that happened, it got cancelled. Wouldn't you be upset?"

Party school

"I know Macleans [magazine] had ranked us as the Number 1 party school," student president Chase said.

"In regards to that kind of culture, I'm not sure if it's systemic across all of our campuses [and] the reason for it being cancelled."

If it is systemic, then he said the student union wants to be a leader in fixing the problem.

Chase's term as president will end in two months, so he couldn't speak to the future of the BurMac Cup, but he said that for the time being the student union will be focusing on "the more positive aspects" of student living at St. FX. 

He said the union will look to revisit the game after it's addressed the ongoing conduct issues.