No ID? No problem, frosh say

Despite sanctions, many underage frosh are drinking alcohol in residence

Underage frosh stock up for Friday night outside Leonard Cafeteria.
Image by: Ian Babbit
Underage frosh stock up for Friday night outside Leonard Cafeteria.

Though the majority of frosh are underage this year, many are still able to get their hands on alcohol, and are drinking it in residence.

“It seems like there’s no problem getting alcohol,” said Paul Hershaw, ArtSci ’08. “There’s [liquor delivery]—that doesn’t ID.”

Hershaw was on his way to a keg party Friday night. Parties are a popular alternative to trying to sneak into bars with fake IDs, said Tom Leung, ArtSci ’08.

“We don’t have to worry about dons or bouncers,” he said.

Hershaw said his don is lenient about letting under-age students on his floor drink in residence.

“Officially we’re not allowed, so [my don] doesn’t want to see you do it,” Hershaw said.

Rahim Manji, a don in Victoria Hall, said dons will not overlook underage drinking.

“We enforce underage drinking, so if I know a person to be underage and I see the alcohol then it’s a minor incident,” he said.

The severity of the punishment depends on the number of offences committed, Manji said.

“The first time it’s a written warning, the second it’s a $25 bond, and the third time the bond is cashed and it’s a $25 fine,” he said. “In general it is just to make sure [the students] know underage drinking is not acceptable in residence.” Manji said underage drinking occurs in residence, despite the sanctions.

“In general the policy is that if you don’t know a person is underage you don’t treat it as an incident unless they give you some reason to draw attention to them,” he said.

Students who are 19 or older are able to drink in their residence after providing their don with proof of their age.

“We ask people to self-identify if they want to drink,” Manji said. “During the first floor meeting, if they are 19 they give us ID and that allows them to drink on the floor.

“We have a good idea who is of age and who is not.”

Michael Dunlop, Sci ’08, said his don was “not strict.” “We get of-age people to buy us alcohol,” Dunlop said.

Leung said his don did not want people on his floor drinking if they were underage.

“When he’s on duty he can be strict,” he said.

Jenna Kewin, ArtSci ’08, said her don allows her floor to drink as long as they don’t do it out in the open.

“Our don says, ‘What happens behind closed doors stays behind closed doors’,” she said.

Kewin was on her way to all-ages night at Stages with others from her floor.

All-ages nights at Stages and The Cocamo were popular in the first two weeks of school, said Alex Kelley, ArtSci ’08.

“It’s the only option if you want to go out,” she said, but added it’s common for underage frosh to have fake IDs.

Hershaw said many people he knows have fake IDs.

“A lot of people have bad ones,” he said.

Kewin said the majority of her floor didn’t own fake IDs, and that they find things to do apart from drinking and partying.

“We watch The O.C. all the time, we watch movies,” Kewin said. “We went swimming a lot in the lake.

“It’s just fun, we weren’t drunk,” she said.

Leung said his don signed his floor up for the Terry Fox Run, and the floor gets together to do other activities when they are not going out and partying.

“I have N64. We plug it in and play in the common room,” he said. “We play poker and board games.”

Dons run programmed events each month, Manji said.

“Some of them are social programs and provide students an opportunity to get together without alcohol,” he said.

Manji also organizes small events for his own floor.

“I’ll have milk and cookie nights on my floor … we threw a pizza party last week,” he said. “Usually the MCRC will run bigger scale events like the MuchMusic Dance Party.”

Even when nothing is planned and there’s nowhere to go out, Kelley said no one gets bored.

“There’s always plenty of reading to do.”

—With files from Sarah Solomon

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