February 17, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 76  

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USC to Wave hello again to Wet/Dry?

By Dan Perry
Gazette Staff

Though the Wet/Dry Program is gone for now, underage students could be back partying up in The Wave as early as the first week back from Reading Week.

According to University Students’ Council general manager Mark Sellars, the USC is in talks with Western’s administration regarding a new initiative to allow underage students to enjoy the restaurant at the same time as those over the age of majority.

“We’re working with the university right now to establish some parameters to run all-access events — Wet/Dry — in The Wave one night a week, commencing in late February or early March,” Sellars said. “We’re trying to bring in physical separation by making the upper floor wet and the main floor dry.”

According to Western’s senior media relations officer Marcia Steyaert, administration is prepared to work with the USC on the matter.

“Admin is working with the USC, and some meetings have been scheduled to discuss the Wet/Dry Program,” she said, adding the first meeting may come as early as the end of this week.

“The upper mezzanine level is currently under construction; we’re adding a wet bar upstairs to facilitate liquor services, and the bottom level would be dry,” explained Dan Smith, the USC’s bar manager. The “all-access” name, he added, was used over the “all-ages” label to escape the latter’s “high school” feel.

Smith also noted this was an experiment to assess the viability of such an initiative: “This year is trial and error — we’re trying to get the students back. We lost a lot of business because we couldn’t offer residents Wet/Dry. We’re trying to get some of that business back.”

Smith also specified the renovation’s time frame. “Our goal is to have the bar up to all-access capability when we get back from slack week,” he said, noting he could not confirm which night of the week this would be.

Sellars said the USC’s other initiative for dealing with dry programming on campus — the proposed half-million dollar renovation of The Spoke set to be discussed at this Wednesday’s USC meeting — was unlikely to be affected by the new plans for The Wave. “This has nothing to do with The Spoke.”

“It’s not going to be the same Wet/Dry [Program] as people knew it before, but it’s a step in the right direction,” said USC President Paul Yeoman. “It’s a start, and we’re going to see where it goes. We’re really excited to be offering Wet/Dry on campus again and we’ll see where it takes us.”

There is still one way the rug could be pulled out from under the USC initiative’s feet, but the effects will not be felt until next school year. Steyaert confirmed the university will proceed to court Feb. 23 regarding the potential suspension of its liquor license, and added hearings have been scheduled for June 8 and 9.



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