Where's the party? : Administration strips pub posters
By Sara Marett
Students in residences who are wondering what is going on this Homecoming weekend may have a hard time finding out as posters advertising any event where alcohol is involved have been taken down.
Susan Grindrod, director of housing and food services, said they asked residence managers to remove posters advertising off-campus events, such as pub crawls. Residence council presidents, however, claim they have been told to remove any advertising of alcohol-related activities, including an on-campus pub planned for Saturday night.
"We told the residences to remove posters advertising off-campus pubs because of liability concerns," Grindrod said, adding the university has concerns about safety issues when students take bus trips to bars.
These pubs are organized and promoted by the residence councils, but if there were to be an accident, it is the university that is ultimately responsible if legal action is taken, Grindrod said.
Western's VP-administration Peter Mercer said the university is facing a big problem with off-campus alcohol-related events as there are no measures of administrative control in place as of yet.
Delaware residence council President Dan Phillipson said the council has been told by the residence manager not to advertise any pubs, whether they are taking place on or off campus. "Some housing staff within the building even physically removed posters for the [on-campus] Homecoming party," he said.
"We are being censored," Phillipson said. Housing feels they have the right to curtail the information we are able to pass onto our residents, thereby infringing on our freedoms, he added. "There is a lot of confusion among students as far as what events are planned for the weekend."
It was also passed down from housing that the residence councils would not be permitted to sell tickets for Saturday's on-campus pub in the residences, Phillipson explained.
Saugeen-Maitland council President Ricardo Mathison said he was also told by his residence manager they were not to advertise any alcohol- related event, on or off campus. Although the residence managers apparently received a memo from housing and food services, Mathison said he never saw this memo.
"The rumours around here are flying," Mathison said. "Students aren't sure what's going on, if they are allowed to go to [Saturday's] pub or what." He said they have been trying to inform students of the weekend's events, which are still scheduled to take place, by word of mouth now that the posters are down.
Homecoming commissioner Heather Armstrong said she was not informed by housing of this decision. She said it is unfortunate that students may be uninformed as to the weekend's events and pointed out the University Students' Council planned all Homecoming events on-campus and promotes responsible drinking on their posters.
University Students' Council President Ryan Parks said there seems to be a communicative problem within this issue. "It would be nice for housing to sit down with student representatives and lay it on the line tell us the truth with no misconceptions, then we can discuss the issue and come to some kind of decision."