Editorial Board 1999-2000
To crawl or not to crawl. That is the question.
Saugeen-Maitland Hall attracted the attention of Western's senior administration again this week, amid rumours the residence was planning a pub crawl.
As a result of the dissolution of Saugeen's residents' council last spring, student run Saugeen pubs are no longer sanctioned by the university and are, therefore, forbidden. Although other residences may organize pubs, pub crawls are off limits to any residence under the rationale that they promote excessive drinking.
All this became an issue when Mindy Hubbard, a former member of Saugeen's disbanded council, attempted to organize a pub crawl scheduled for this Saturday. The possibility of this event prompted administration to tell housing and ancillary services to call several downtown London bars and inform them the pub crawl was prohibited.
The questions raised then become, did the organizer tout this event as a Saugeen pub and consequently, was housing justified in notifying the bars?
The answer to the latter question, regardless of the answer to the former, is yes. Hubbard denied she told bars this was to be a Saugeen pub, while at least one bar says she spoke to them on the residence's behalf. Administration cannot be faulted for protecting their interests when tricky issues such as liability and accountability rear their ugly heads, since they often due when organized events involve alcohol.
However, a justifiable reaction can only be taken so far before it becomes questionable. In addition to calling the bars repeatedly, housing sent out a letter further stating their stance on the forbidden pub crawl to insure there was no confusion. Fine, point taken.
Next, housing took the issue straight to its source. Upon finding Hubbard in Saugeen yesterday, they had her physically escorted from the premises based on the understanding the police would be notified if she returned. All for her role in the promotion of the pub crawl.
At what point is enough, enough? Administration has frowned on Saugeen's party image for years and in a legitimate move, did not hesitate to remove their council when they broke one too many rules. But now, it is almost like there is a vigil to abolish any kind of merry-making from the halls of the residence.
Maybe Hubbard did promote this as a Saugeen event and maybe she didn't. The truth on that one might never be known. The point is, the slightest whiff of a pub resulted in a city-wide letters to London bars, a slew of phone calls to impart the same information on the letter, a forced removal from a residence and a threat of future police involvement.
Does this seem extreme to anyone? Credit administration for watching their backs and steering clear of legal pitfalls, but question anyone whose justifiable reaction borders on a personal vendetta.