Family Drinking Day sounds good

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

While most Ontarians might use Family Day to catch up on quality time with the family, many Western students pledge to use the day off for important things " like keg parties.

The Ontario government instituted a new holiday in February called Family Day to allow Ontarians to spend some much-needed downtime with their loved ones.

The public holiday will occur every third Monday of February, landing this year on Feb. 18.

Despite the government’s lofty intentions, Ontario students are unlikely to travel home for the weekend, third-year political science student Jillian Simmons said.

“I think it’s fair to say people [at Western] won’t be using the time off for that purpose.”

Instead, some university students have chosen to catch up on some much-needed party time.

“For me, my birthday is Feb. 17, so having no class after my birthday makes me pretty darn happy,” Simmons said. “I can see my family another time.”

Third-year biology student Alex Chorley said he would certainly use the time off to get his drink on.

“I was talking to a roommate and we discovered St. Patty’s Day is on a Monday this year.

“Since I have exams that week, me and my friends were thinking of having a theme party the night before,” Chorley explained, adding that Family Day could potentially be the new St. Patrick’s Day this year.

Richard Cuttler, president of the Purple Spur Society, was skeptical of the idea.

“It’s not the best drinking day in the world,” he said. “If Family Day happened to be a Friday I’d maybe reconsider.

“Western kids love partying on a Thursday night,” he added.

Still, Cuttler said he would not use the time for family bonding either, because his relatives live in Toronto.

Western administration may have already discovered the Family Day phenomenon and have made changes to the academic calendar to compensate.

Back in December, the Senate decided to move conference week to coincide with the newly approved holiday.

“Family Day is for employees of institutions,” Jane O’Brien, associate vice-president human resources, explained. Students will not be able to reap the benefits of a public day of rest.

“This looks like the only year to capitalize,” Chorley said.

Whether you plan to party or not, Family Day is a great opportunity to catch up on the things you have been missing at school. Chorley recommended bonding with roommates and school friends.

“As opposed to spending time with your actual family, I think it’s a good idea to spend Family Day with your family at school.”

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