October 2, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 20  

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NEWS

No quick fix for Wet/Dry problem

By Anton Vidgen
Gazette Staff

With the suspension of the Wet/Dry program at Western due to illegal, underage drinking, The Wave has been forced to look at alternative arrangements for accommodating underage and of-age students - something that could take the rest of the school year to work out.

"The biggest thing is we have to make physical changes to separate the Wet and the Dry," said Jeff Armour, site manager for The Wave.

He said ideas discussed among The Wave's managers have ranged from expanding and refurbishing the upstairs bar area to sectioning off a glassed-in area on the main level.

Other plans include having all-ages nights where alcohol would not be served, Armour said. "We're looking for every available option," he added. "Obviously the sooner we can fix it the better for [students]."

Mark Sellars, general manager of the University Students' Council, said although a final proposal has not yet been submitted, construction will be a lot less than $100,000 and will most likely be half that. Sellars acknowledged any financial figures are only estimates at this point.

Regardless of cost, construction will have to happen to allow for Wet/Dry programming in the future, Sellars said. "That's going to have to be a precursor to any event that's all-ages," he added.

Armour said major construction will not actually start until a report has been published by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the organization which discovered the illegal acts in the first place. "The timeline we've been given is varied," he said. "Having [the report] loom a little bit creates a bit of awareness of what [the AGCO] is doing."

"Whatever we do will be ready by next year," Sellars said, adding most changes will probably be implemented after Christmas.

A final proposal of all the changes to USC bar operations - including construction and Wet/Dry programming - will follow the AGCO's ruling so everything is taken into account, Armour said.

The Wave's management will also meet with representatives from the London Police Department to discuss their concerns, Armour said.

"There hasn't been so much understanding that [Wet/Dry] is a privileged program," said USC President Paul Yeoman, adding Dry programming is still important to the USC and they will continue to accommodate underage students in their events.

 

 

 

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