April 7, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 99  

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Memorial gets free beer, which is illegal here

By Marshall Bellamy
and Allison Buchan-Terrell

Gazette Staff

Students at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s have one more reason to enjoy residence life, thanks to the wonderful brew.

“Molson and Labatt have formal sponsorship deals with residences — Labatt offered 50 dozen cases per term and Molson offered 150 dozen cases per term,” said Cleetus Flaherty, VP-internal for Memorial University of Newfoundland Students’ Union, adding the vast majority of beer is used for controlled house parties, which are supervised and have security.

There are 10 residence houses on campus and approximately 80 to 90 people live in each residence house, Flaherty said, noting Molson sponsors seven residence houses and Labatt sponsors three.

“I have to say, I have never seen any real problems with it [and] the house executives also deal with it in a mature fashion.” Flaherty said, adding alcohol-related problems are non-existent at Memorial.
“It’s not illegal; we control alcoholic beverages given to licensees,” said Gene Healey, director of enforcement for the Newfoundland Liquor Corporation.

According to Healey, the breweries are not restricted in distributing; the residences are considered students’ homes under the law, allowing them to do almost whatever they want.
“It’s not complicated at all,” he added. “If there is a problem, it isn’t our problem — it’s a problem of the university’s bylaws,” he said.

“In Newfoundland, the market is much different — it is legal to use promotional beer to sponsor events,” said Dan Crummel, Molson’s sales manager for Newfoundland and Labrador, adding that if there is an off-campus event the companies will provide free beer.

“Everything is under tight controls and regulations,” he said, noting Molson is not doing anything to encourage drinking or exacerbate underage drinking beyond what occurs naturally.

According to Peggy Wakabayashi, director of residence life at Western, 20 years ago there were deals made between residences and breweries, allowing the residences to get free beer after a minimum order of cases. “Well, that’s illegal and the university intervened.”



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