Volume 95, Issue 47
Friday, November 23, 2001
Western talks booze policy
Failed 'Festivus' demonstrates need for rules
By Joel Brown
In response to the controversial cancellation of an engineering Homecoming event last September, Western's administration has decided to create a school-wide alcohol policy.
Earlier in the fall, the Undergraduate Engineering Society had to cancel its "Festivus" party days before it was set to run, due to pressure from administration.
Western administration felt the event presented too many liability concerns. According to the UES, the cancellation cost them between $5,000 and $6,000.
At yesterday's Board of Governors meeting, VP-academic Greg Moran admitted the university should have been better prepared to handle disputes over alcohol-related events run by student associations .
"We were forced to do a lot of reactive work, which was necessary, but we need to be committed to developing a policy," Moran said.
It was announced at the same meeting that a committee, headed by acting VP-administration Susan Grindrod, will create the new guidelines.
"Hopefully we'll have something for the next councils so we don't have the same problems as we did this fall," Grindrod said.
"I think they realized it wasn't handled as well as it could have been," said Andrew Bell, University Students' Council engineering councillor. "But what the end result will be, I don't know."
Bell said he hopes any new alcohol-related polices will ensure graduate students, faculty and alumni are held to the same standards as undergraduate students.
BOG undergraduate student representative Scott Belton said he believes the move by administration to form a committee is a step in the right direction.
"It was a big step by administration to recognize there is a need for this sort of policy," Belton said. "I think they're clearly committed to ensuring students have a much better understanding of their alcohol policy."
Other discussions at the BOG meeting included:
¥ Don McDougall, chair of the property and finance committee, presented architectural plans for a new building, to be located between the Labatt Visual Arts Centre and Delaware Hall, that will be home to the information and media studies faculty and some biology departments.
¥ A meeting at London's Lucas Secondary School between students, parents and Western representatives indicated many high schoolers are concerned about the double cohort and the effect it will have on their chances to be accepted at Western.
Copyright © The Gazette 2001