No plans to extend ban

First-year student Ariel Senegal says the alcohol ban in residence meant more students would look for parties off campus.
First-year student Ariel Senegal says the alcohol ban in residence meant more students would look for parties off campus.

Alcohol-free residences during Frosh Week were implemented this year to discourage alcohol consumption on campus.

First-year student Ariel Senegal lives in Gordon Hall and is legally able to drink in Ontario. She said the ban meant students left residence to drink.

“At night it was more about going out to the Ghetto and trying to find places for a kegger where they could drink,” she said. “[It] stopped people from drinking as much in residence, but I don’t think it stopped people from drinking in general during Frosh Week.”

Senegal, ArtSci ’15, said that first years living in residence found ways around the ban, choosing to drink in their rooms with doors closed.

Associate Vice-Principal and Dean of Student Affairs Ann Tierney said the residence alcohol ban meant increased student participation in dry residence orientation events.

Based on discussion with campus security and Residence Life staff, Tierney said there was a decrease in peer pressure to drink in residence.

“We have anecdotal evidence … that the first years were relieved that all the events were alcohol-free and that the residence was alcohol-free,” she said.

Tierney didn’t have statistics on attendance to Frosh Week events.

“This is very early days. We have not yet done a comprehensive, evidence-based review of this policy,” she said.

The alcohol-free policy was introduced as a pilot project over the summer. Though Tierney said the week was a success, Tierney said there are no plans to extend the ban beyond Frosh Week.

Other universities have also made significant changes to rules regarding alcohol, she said. The University of Guelph has also implemented an alcohol-free residence policy.

“Universities across Canada have really recognized the changed demographic and worked on ensuring that we have a range of events that are very inclusive and community-building for everyone and don’t draw distinctions based on age,” she said.

Teryl Adam, Nurs ’13, was a volunteer at the Campus Observation Room (COR) for Frosh Weeks 2010 and 2011. Adam said there are no statistics available on the number of students who visited the COR this year.

She said Frosh Week was busier than last year.

“From a personal opinion, I feel that there was an increase [in students visiting the COR.]”

Adam said the ban was unsuccessful in decreasing the number of alcohol-related incidents.

“It was a good move on Residence Life from their point of view for safety reasons, however I don’t think it was very effective,” she said.

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