Sipping a new vino at Laurier
By Alex Chiang
Students at Wilfrid Laurier University now have a new way to toast their school pride. Yesterday afternoon, a red and a white wine were unveiled at a ceremony held at Wilf's Student Pub.
The new wines were made by Pillitteri Estates Winery of Niagara-on-the Lake in cooperation with the Wilfrid Laurier University Students' Union and bear the school's Golden Hawk emblem on the label.
Wilf's manager Dave Playfair is confident the wines will be just as successful as the school's two brands of beer, Hawkeye Gold and Wilf's Celtic Ale, which were created last October. Laurier is a good test market for the beverages because of its strong school spirit, Playfair said.
WLUSU President Stuart Wong said they had no difficulty getting approval from the university administration and he encouraged other student governments to look into the possibility of developing their own brand of school drinks as well. However, Wong also recognized that the idea may not be suited to all universities.
"Some campuses would be more sensitive as to how they distribute alcohol, but Laurier has an excellent safety record," he said.
Wong felt the drinks will help encourage school spirit and did not feel the adoption of alcoholic beverages under the school's name would encourage alcohol consumption.
Western's University Students' Council President Ryan Parks, however, expressed concerns regarding Western following Laurier's lead and adopting an alcoholic drink. "It depends on how it was marketed it's not right to promote Western beer to all the first-year students."
It would never happen with the administration's support, Parks said, adding it could potentially damage the school's reputation. However, both King's and Huron colleges at Western have their own brands of wine.
Mark Wellington, manager of the Wave, said that although the USC would not require the administration's approval, the university would likely charge a seven per cent royalty fee if any drink bearing the words 'Western' or 'Mustangs' were used on the label.
"Every year [business] 257 groups come to us with the same idea and I explain to them that it's not necessarily a winner or a big idea," Wellington said. "Laurier is very spirit driven and their campus bars don't have the same degree of competition."