Discussing alcohol

Working Group’s draft expected to be developed in the fall

A new draft for an updated Queen’s alcohol policy is slated to be developed this fall.

Tristan Lee, AMS vice-president of operations, said he is “cautiously optimistic” about the upcoming draft after joining the Alcohol Working Group in May.

Lee took over former Vice-President of University Affairs Kieran Slobodin’s role as AMS representative on the working group, which was created in 2007 to review the University’s current alcohol policies and recommend improvements.

“I think the tone of the group has changed from how it was in the semester previous to this summer,” Lee said. “I found that most of what I said so far has been received quite well, I would just hope that that’s actually reflected in the policy itself.”

The 17-member working group is currently working off of a discussion document that was created in January by the Alcohol Working Group in consultation with campus bar and pub stakeholders. The document was developed based on best practices research, which was directed by the Coordinator of Health Education and Health Promotion.

The working group added comments to the document over the winter. The Journal obtained a Feb. 14 edition of the document in which group members had added comments, suggestions and questions in the margins.

The current working group has discussed many aspects of the document, but a subsequent edition hasn’t yet been created, Lee said.

In April, former Alcohol Working Group member Kieran Slobodin told the Journal he was concerned the draft would be implemented over the summer when students were absent from campus, without allowing them to provide input.

“If the changes are too restrictive then it won’t bode well … students are going to feel blindsided and ambushed,” Slobodin said.

But Lee said since he joined the working group in May, the discussions have been productive and open to input from its student members.

The Alcohol Working Group is divided into three subgroups: Advertising and Sponsorship, Liquor Licenced Establishments and Events. Lee said he is the only member to sit on all three groups.

The entire working group has met monthly over the summer, Lee said, and he’s met with the Advertising and Sponsorship group twice and the other two groups once.

He said the information they discuss regularly flows up to the main group.

“And then what is sort of proposed right now is that there would be a draft finished by September/October this year,” he said.

The biggest challenge of the working group is its size, Lee said, as it’s sometimes “difficult to get a lot accomplished because there [are] so many people talking at the same time.”

Queen’s current alcohol policy was created in 1997 and was last revised in 2004. The working group’s discussion document states that in the future, a “full policy review and revisions will occur after 1 year of policy implementation, and then every 2-3 years following.”

After the new draft is developed in the fall, the Working Group will seek feedback. There isn’t currently a timeline for implementation of what will ultimately become the new alcohol policy.

Alcohol Working Group discussion document

The Alcohol Working Group is currently working off of a discussion document that was created in January. Sections include Education and Training, General Regulations, Residence, Athletics, Advertising/Sponsorship and Policy Violations.

Here are some of the recommendations of that document:

  • Service is restricted to one drink per person per order after 12 a.m.
  • Shots must be served at the bar or in the presence of service staff
  • Spirits must contain no more than one and a half ounces of alcohol (comparable to Carleton’s one and a half and the University of Toronto’s two ounce policy)
  • The time to stop serving alcohol has been left blank, with a comment asking “What is a reasonable time?”
— Holly Tousignant

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