2018 Rail Jam to bring a social scene to the annual winter sports showcase

Despite tight budget, CSU is sure this year’s event will be bigger and better than before

ANNALISSE CROSSWELL // CONTRIBUTOR
Illustration by Valeriya Kim

What began as a school project in 2013 is now one of the most highly anticipated events at Capilano University. The annual Uncapped Rail Jam is an opportunity for skiers and snowboarders to put their skills to the test on a makeshift obstacle course in the Cedar courtyard and students to come out and watch. This year though, there’s a new organizer at the helm.

The Capilano Students’ Union (CSU)’s Vice President Student Life Yats Palat is coordinating the event with help from the Outdoor Recreation Department. Specifically, Instructor Chris Carnovale and CapU students Christian Nordgard and Kate Boddington, who will be involved in bringing in snow and rails and setting up. This year’s set up ensures proper equipment installation due to the implementation of enhanced safety protocols.

Palat emphasized that the event will be about much more than just the winter sports. “We’re also going to add a social side to it,” he said. He is confident that there is plenty of money left to cover the cost of the event, even though the CSU’s back to school party in September, CAPtivate, cost 80 per cent of their events budget which had been set aside for the entire academic year. Following a referendum last spring, the CSU raised their fees, which allowed for a new outdoor recreation budget that will cover the Rail Jam. The increased funding means that the CSU can “build [events] to be bigger and make them more engaging” said Palat.

There will be DJs at the event and Palat is seeing that space heaters are put up. A beer garden will also be open until 4 p.m., although Accessibility Justice Coordinator Andrew Dillman raised his concerns at a board of directors meeting on Jan. 12 that the CSU might be promoting a drinking culture by beginning to serve alcohol at 11:15 a.m.

Every year, the CSU partners with a local charity to put on the event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. on February 1. They are partnering with local charity Warming the Homeless this year. The North Vancouver-based organization aims to provide packages of warm clothing to Vancouver’s homeless in the cold winter months. Although their presence at the event is not guaranteed, the CSU encourages donating to Warming the Homeless, and will put in place donation boxes across campus over the course of the next couple of weeks.

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