Memorial gets free beer, which is illegal here
By Marshall Bellamy
and Allison Buchan-Terrell
Students at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s
have one more reason to enjoy residence life, thanks to the
“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
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
“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.”