Campus LifeNews

Students’ Union spends $145,000 on Break the Record, future attempt “is feasible”

The UASU president said there is a high feasibility of doing another attempt to break the record in the future.

UPDATE: Since this article was published, an audit committee meeting was held on October 28 and more detailed information was released. An article on the meeting was published October 31.

On September 23, the University of Alberta attempted to break the world record for the largest dodgeball game. The Students’ Union president said the event totalled costs of $145,000, and that a future attempt “is feasible.”

The U of A first took the world record in 2010 with a dodgeball game of 1,189 participants. In 2011 the Break The Record player count increased to 2,012. In 2012 the player count reached nearly 5,000. Currently, the University of California Irvine holds the record with 6,084 participants.  

In 2015, the Students’ Union (UASU) put off plans to host a Break The Record game because of associated costs. At the time, UASU executives planned a dodgeball game for 7,000 students with projected costs of $75,000 to $100,000.

This year, they planned for 6,500 students at Varsity Field but fell short by 1,117 players. Part of the $145,000 event costs was subsidized by sponsorships.

The Gateway interviewed Bill Flanagan, U of A president, and UASU executives at the Break The Record dodgeball game.

Students’ Union president said Break The Record was a “huge win” 

Abner Monteiro, UASU president, said that although the world record was not broken, Break The Record was a “huge win” for the Students’ Union, university and the U of A community. 

“We obviously wanted to break the record, but we wanted people to have fun, to see the U of A campus as a place where they can come to enjoy themselves,” Monteiro said. “We want people to have a reason to come to campus, to stay on campus, to build relationships.”

Monteiro said that the feasibility of holding another attempt to break the world record is high.

“Talking to the university after the event was over, they thought it was a huge success … so many people were happy about doing it on campus that it’s something they’ve expressed that they would be interested in wanting to do again.”

The Break The Record event was put on by the Students’ Union in partnership with the U of A, Alumni Association, and Graduate Students’ Association (GSA). According to Monteiro, the overall cost of the event was around $145,000. However, $5,000 of the total costs went to students in tuition prizes. 

The biggest cost of the dodgeball game was the t-shirts and the dodgeballs, at $70,000. Monteiro said that the remainder of the $145,000 was spent on bleachers, tents, rentals, and the cost of the grounds.

The U of A and the GSA took on about $90,000 of the event costs. Monteiro said that “the rest of [the costs] were paid through sponsorships and other things too.” 

The Gateway asked for clarification on how much of the event costs were covered by UASU student fees. Monteiro said that student fees make up one third of the overall operating budget, but that the Students’ Union does not track costs at that “granular level.”

“We don’t have a direct number of how much of that 30 per cent students are paying in fees are going to towards each individual department.”

The UASU president encouraged students to check the UASU website for future events, and also for students to check their faculty associations for events.  

Monteiro said he wants to continue to build culture on campus. He also invited students to reach out to the UASU with any ideas. 

“I love and care about community so much on campus. I want everyone when they come to the U of A to feel like they’re part of the community while they’re here,” Monteiro said. “Take the friends you made at [Break The Record], bring them with you to another event … and keep building that culture on campus.”

With files from Lily Polenchuk.

Martin Bendico

Martin Bendico is the former 2022 - 23 News Editor. Martin has a major in business economics and law and a minor in strategy, entrepreneurship, and management. He is also working towards a certificate in real estate and a certificate in innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition to news, Martin also covers sports, photojournalism, videography, and podcasting.

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