Volume 93, Issue 24

Wednesday, October 13, 1999


Administration reinstates suspended engineers

Reversal of eviction averts Saugeen protest

USC VP removed from office

TV host bashed

Enrollment at top of COU agenda

Raver's death doesn't spook London scene

Crime doesn't take a holiday


Caught on Campus

Raver's death doesn't spook London scene

By Leena Kamat
Gazette Staff

Although deaths from drug overdoses have recently affected Toronto raves, London ravers do not have great concern.

A Saturday night rave in Toronto has left a 21 year-old Ryerson Polytechnic University student dead, the Toronto Police Service confirmed. Sgt. Jim Muscat of the division of corporate communications said the student, whose name is not being released, died of an apparent drug overdose.

At approximately 3:30 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 10, Toronto police were called to an underground parking garage in the St. Clair and Jane Street area, where the rave was taking place, Muscat said. The male was taken to a hospital where he died later that day.

"The premises were filthy and had minimal lighting or washroom facilities," Muscat said. He added there were also violent attacks and thefts at the rave.

Det. Chris McCoy of the London Police's Vice and Drug Unit said London does not appear to have the same concerns with raves in comparison to Toronto. "[Raves] are few and far between," McCoy said. "There haven't been any serious incidents or complaints to date."

McCoy explained raves are built around social drug use where man-made drugs, such as ecstasy or speed, are popular. The danger lies in the mix of certain drugs with alcohol, which can lead to serious medical problems such as an overdose. McCoy added there are not a lot of reported rapes and thefts at raves.

Deputy Mayor Anne-Marie DeCicco said she was not aware of any concerns about raves going around city hall. "It's not an issue raised at city hall. It's still a police matter," she said.

Christine Law, a second-year economics student at Western, said some people go to raves for the drugs and some for the music. Law said she felt raves have a safe atmosphere and people who attend are generally friendly. "I love the London ones because there are a lot of good venues. The Toronto ones are too big and too commercialized," she said.

Second-year administrative and commercial studies student Mike Tissenbaum agreed with Law. He said the solution to safer raves would be to provide better venues for them. Holding raves in halls and convention centres would be safer for everyone as there would be water, and washrooms as well as other safety measures in place, he said. "If they had safe venues, there would be less deaths."

Ryan Charmichael, a second-year social sciences student at Western, said he felt raves were safe because ravers generally attend the parties with groups of friends and not alone.

Western sociology professor Mike Whitehead said the main problem with raves is the incentive for people to drink heavily before they leave for the venue. "People try to fuel up before going in," he said.

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Copyright The Gazette 1999