Volume 96, Issue 1

Thursday, May 23, 2002
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Western's new athletic model brings some tiers

Western loses zoning battle:

Athletics fall was inevitable

The lovely smell of fresh sawdust is in the air

LHSC cash to boost patients' comfort

News Briefs

New Western policy, drunks not consulted

Confirmation of the obvious: students pay too much

Docs say we're not all going to die

New Western policy, drunks not consulted

By Emmett Macfarlane
Gazette Staff

Western's new campus alcohol policy may make it a lot harder to co-ordinate events, or it may simply be a legal safety net overlapping laws and policies already in place.

The policy, which was approved at the May 9 Board of Governors meeting, applies to students, faculty and staff for both on and off-campus events.

According to the policy, those wishing to hold an event where alcohol will be served must apply for approval from an Alcohol Policy Review Committee. Events must have a monitoring system in place in which organizers ensure they abide to provincial laws.

University Students' Council president Chris Sinal said the policy represents an effort by the university to consolidate provincial laws and existing university rules regarding alcohol under one policy. "I think it's a natural evolution in the way the university is going," he said.

All universities are finding ways to protect themselves from legal liability, Sinal added.

According to Western VP-administration Peter Mercer, the policy is not intended to be disciplinarian. "There have been incidents at events all over Canada where alcohol [resulted in injury]," he said.

"Most of the students coming in will be a year younger [with the elimination of OAC]," he added.

Both Sinal and Mercer said if someone were to break the policy, the nature of the discipline would depend on the circumstances.

"More likely than not, if they're in contravention of the alcohol policy they're in contravention of USC policy and so we have measures in place [to ensure] they abide by the policy," Sinal said. "If they've contravened a number of different policies, I think we'll work with the university."

Mercer said those who break the policy will likely be suspended or prohibited from holding future events. "It's the responsibility of the person in charge of the event," he said.

Scott Belton, an undergraduate BOG representative, said his original concerns that there was not any room for student feedback have since been alleviated. "[The policy is] not unilateral in any way," he said.

"If we discover that it is too cumbersome, it'll be addressed," Belton added.

According to Mercer, the volume of events being held at certain times during the year, such as Homecoming, will not pose a problem for the review committee. "We don't expect that we'll review all events," he explained.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002