Queen’s Commerce Dean implementing one-drink alcohol policy

Change to apply to graduate and undergraduate student events

Image by: Curtis Heinzl
Club highlights current harm reduction strategies.

Smith School of Business is moving towards a one-drink policy at Smith sanctioned events.

The policy departs from the standard two-drink policy outlined in the Queen’s University Alcohol Policy (QUAP). The QUAP applies to all students, employees, alumni, visitors, and guests.

The University said faculty deans have the authority to implement the QUAP as they deem appropriate. Wanda Costen, dean of the Smith School of Business, is implementing a one-drink policy, citing the importance of creating safer and more inclusive environments by de-emphasizing alcohol consumption. 

“Dean Costen has shared in recent communication to student groups at Smith that business education must evolve to meet the changing expectations of organizations,” Queen’s University, said in a statement to The Journal

The University said this change aligns with their commitment to harm reduction, risk mitigation, intervention, and enforcement strategies

The University said the change to a one-drink policy would apply to all Smith undergraduate and graduate level students. When getting future events sanctioned by the AMS—or the Dean’s office, in the case of graduate students—students must adhere to the policy.

“As part of the approval process, Dean Costen or the Smith facilities team will meet with each student group to discuss their event and consider any requests for exceptions to the one-drink limit where appropriate,” the University said. 

Tara Rezvan, president of the Commerce Society (ComSoc), told The Journal that ComSoc has had early discussions on Smith’s new approach to alcohol consumption. 

“Once we get more clarity from administration on their perspective regarding the problem at hand and how they hope to see Comsoc make adjustments to operations, we will turn to our student body for voice,” Rezvan said in a statement. 

“We do not want to be the sole decision makers here, which is why we are assuring no decision will be made for ComSoc sanctioned events without the mass input of students.”

Rezvan said the ComSoc executive will reach out to students for input once they receive all the facts from the faculty. She added students could contact the team if they have concerns. 

At the ground level, clubs are preparing for the implications of policy changes.

In an interview with The Journal, Katie Durnford, co-chair of Queen’s Conference on International Business (QCIB), shared the importance of a “wine tasting” event at the conference.

“It’s always the part of QCIB that delegates honestly reflect on the most as being the most fun and the most memorable,” Durnford said. 

The conference relies on sponsorship from alcohol-affiliated companies such as Labatt Breweries to run conferences. Durnford said the one-drink policy would impact the conference’s relationship with sponsors, like Labatt Breweries.

“Especially for [company] representatives at the conferences, I think that it’s nice for them to know that they’re able to come and enjoy a glass of wine, and especially during the networking events,” Durnford said.

According to Durnford, QCIB has current policies to mitigate the risks of underage and binge drinking through the use of a drink ticket system. Only delegates of legal drinking age are given two drink tickets, barring underage consumption. 

“This is very strict. We only budget for two drink tickets and we only give two drink tickets […] We ensure that throughout the whole process, nobody is going to be binge drinking. And if you don’t want to drink, there’s absolutely no pressure at all,” Durnford said.


Alcohol, AMS, Commerce, commerce society, Event sanctioning, One-drink, Smith, Smith School of Business

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