Volume 91, Issue 76

Thursday, February 12, 1998



Greek display damaging to gallery

By Donna MacMullin
Gazette Staff

Western's greek community brought their latest exhibit to the London Regional Art Gallery recently – a display of unacceptable behaviour that is.

At last night's InterFraternity council meeting, members discussed the unexpected outcome of the Jan. 31 greek ball, which had to be shut down early due to concerns over patrons violating policies involving smoking and alcohol.

Trevor Telfer, chair of Events Staff at Western, was employed at the event as extra security staff and said he fully supported the decision made by the gallery's security and IFC President Scott Graham to end the evening early by shutting down the bar at 12:30 a.m..

Telfer said the decision was made after patrons insisted on smoking in the gallery itself, rather than in the smoking room provided for the event. "There were people smoking upstairs where the paintings were and putting out cigarettes on the carpets – which is extraordinarily damaging," he said.

Security had to repeatedly ask people to not smoke in the gallery, but even after announcements through the DJ, some didn't stop, Telfer added. "There were a few instances where people were abusive and continued to smoke."

There were also infractions involving alcohol as Telfer said many patrons did not present identification. In a letter written to the gallery services coordinator, Philip Ireland, Telfer stated that he "personally witnessed several patrons taking full bottles from behind the bar; not only a violation of gallery policy but of the liquor licence act as well."

However, all infractions were dealt with and there were no instances where the police needed to be notified, Telfer added.

Ireland said the greek ball was one event of many held at the gallery by fraternities and there have not been problems in the past. He also said the outcome of the Jan. 31 event would not deter the gallery from holding IFC events there in the future. He refused to comment any further on the matter.

IFC President Scott Graham said he was disappointed the event did not work out as planned and at last night's meeting he wanted to explain to members why the decision was made to end the evening early. "We shut the whole party down because we didn't want to pose any further risk to the art gallery," he said.

"We've held formals there for the last three years, so people were upset and that's understandable," Graham said.

In order to compensate for the damages incurred the night of the greek ball, Graham said the IFC and Panhellenic Society will be holding a charity Karaoke event on March 4 at The Ceeps where money raised will be given to the gallery.

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Copyright The Gazette 1998