November 19, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 45  

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Wet/Dry Program in perma-limbo

By Marshall Bellamy
Gazette Staff

Minors craving a good time at Western’s on-campus bars during the evening will just have to wait — and at this rate, likely until they’re 19.

Approximately two months after the suspension of the University Students’ Council’s Wet/Dry Program, all parties involved appear to be in a holding pattern. The program was suspended after an Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario inspection at The Wave on Sept. 19 discovered underaged girls with alcohol.

According to USC general manager Mark Sellars, the university, which holds the liquor license, and the USC will have to meet with the AGCO in order to come to an appropriate solution, but a solution will not come until the spring of next year.

“The university has asked us to just put on hold any potential [changes] to The Wave until we hear from the AGCO,” noted USC President Paul Yeoman.

“We’re reviewing everything; [the AGCO] could suspend the license — but that’s all hypothetical right now,” said Ab Campion, spokesperson for the AGCO.

According to Campion, information concerning the incident in which two minors were caught drinking underage is being investigated by a review committee. “We’ll be reviewing this as soon as possible.

“Our role in all of this is enforcing the Liquor Licensing Act,” Campion explained, adding the AGCO will concern itself with the administrative side of the incident while the London Police Department will be concerned with the possibility of laying charges.

Sellars pointed out there are several approaches for renovating The Wave to accommodate all ages events; one is building physical barriers to separate drinkers from minors — which is expensive. The other solution is moving furniture and strategically placing security staff to ensure the two groups are separated. He added the USC has not looked into any of these proposals seriously because the AGCO needs to be consulted.

“Part of the problem and delay that has arisen is because of the small number of [AGCO] agents,” Sellars explained, citing the agents are needed to consult on any potential renovations for The Wave.

Mike Eagan, a spokesperson for the LPD, stated an investigation is underway over the incident and charges could potentially be brought, adding he could not comment further because the investigation is still in progress.

“We’ve got to come up with some options — this is going to be a long-term issue,” Sellars added.



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