Laurier serves up virgins: Campus club promotes pure education
By John P. Noonan
An on-campus bar at Wilfred Laurier University is out to prove students don't have to drink to have fun.
Due to an increase in the number of underage first-year students caught drinking on the campus, a club called Boosting Alcohol Consciousness Concerning the Health of University Students, launched a project to have non-alcoholic beverages served at Wilf's Laurier's on-campus bar.
Harry Manson, coordinator of the club at Laurier, came up with the idea for virgin drinks. "We're going to provide creative ideas towards pure education," he said.
Instead of run-of-the-mill drinks like pop, coffee or tea, first-year students not yet of age could have a choice of non-alchoholic cocktails. Out of various recipes and a couple of ideas, the club chose 12 concoctions which caught their attention.
A marketing survey which offered free samples allowed them to tailor the selections to six cocktails now known as the Shirly Temple, Spring B. Shake, Mocha Shake, Sweetheart, Virgin Caesar and Safe Sex. "We came up with 12 recipes, some from books, a couple we created on our own," Manson said.
David Playfair, manager of Wilf's, said although the project has only had a moderate start, when the new menus come in, the pub expects a strong response and will continue to be supportive.
Playfair said the club has also tried to make the cocktails fun by having students suggest names and pre-try the drinks which can also eliminate any negative stigma which may become attached to virgin drinks.
Scott Armstrong, assistant manager of The Spoke at Western, said the bar already offers virgin drinks. "The Spoke staff and management encourage the presence of designated drivers, as well as virgin cocktails for wet/dry events," he said.
Sandra Thom, coordinator of the London-Middlesex chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving liked the initiative. "It's a great alternative other than coffee, water and pop. It gives first-year students and designated drivers more choice," she said, adding this will encourage younger students to socialize and students may feel more comfortable to hold the virgin cocktail rather than a cup of coffee or a glass of water.