University moves forward with plan to limit shots at campus pubs

Despite AMS efforts, limitations could still be set for shots at campus pubs

University releases draft of alcohol policy.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo
Updated for the first time since 2012, the University has published a draft of the campus alcohol policy, which currently seeks to limit the consumption of shots at campus pubs and during popular drinking periods like Homecoming and St. Patrick’s Day.
 
Published on Sept. 23, the new policy outlines changes to the sale, service, and advertising of alcohol on campus. Despite concerns raised by the AMS Executive, the new policy will include limitations to the sale and consumption of shots. 
 
The policy stipulates that shots be limited to one per consumer, per transaction, and shall not be served “back to back” without a “reasonable timeframe” between service, suggesting 30 minutes as an appropriate wait time.  
 
In a previous interview with The Journal, William Greene, AMS vice-president (University Affairs), said he was concerned limiting shots at campus bars would push students to more “dangerous” drinking establishments in the Hub.
 
“It has always been our view that we have the necessary restrictions in place to provide an atmosphere that is both safe and provides students with choice,” Brendan Robson, AMS director of communications wrote in a statement to The Journal on Sept. 26. 
 
The statement also said earlier iterations of the policy limited customers to one total shot per customer, per visit at any campus pub, and that the new “reasonable timeframe” limit reflected the outcome of successful negotiations with the University.
 
A timeframe for consuming shots is not the only limitation the University is seeking to impose with the updated policy.
 
According to the draft, shots won’t be served on campus during “peak periods of alcohol consumption,” including Homecoming weekend and St. Patrick’s Day.
 
Further limitations on the sale and service of alcohol include prohibiting the sale of pitchers of beer to less than two customers, prohibiting the sale of hard liquor by the bottle, and a limit of two alcoholic beverages per order, per customer.
 
The policy will also require on-campus facilities to provide and advertise free non-alcoholic beverages for individuals who identify as a designated driver.
 
A further AMS concern, as stated by Robson, is the policy’s requirement that Orientation Week events for all students be dry and substance-free, and that any on-campus or off-campus sanctioned events are not permitted to provide, serve, or encourage the consumption of alcohol. 
 
The Society’s statement expressed concern that the policy would also impose a “dry” week for graduate students and NEWTS. “We advocated for NEWTS week to remain as is, as there is one event where students who are of age have the option to consume alcohol.” 
 
Additionally, the Society’s statement reflected concerns regarding restrictions on graduate student alcohol consumption at sanctioned Orientation Week events.
 
“We are still concerned that graduate students, who are oftentimes ‘mature students,’ will not have the option of consuming alcohol at the various networking and social events designed to welcome them to their new home in an inclusive environment,” Robson wrote in the AMS statement. 
 
The new policy also introduces minor changes to the advertising of alcohol and alcohol-related events or venues.
 
For example, the new policy prohibits the promotion of drink specials or promotions that explicitly encourage alcohol consumption. The old policy had a similar stipulation, but allowed those advertisements as long as they were “paired with food or menu choice.”
 
The updated policy will also require on-campus licenced facilities to submit an annual promotion plan for approval by the Liquor Licence Holder Delegate and prohibits advertisements which refer to the price of alcohol, unless they are posted inside a licensed area.
 
The comments period for the current draft of the alcohol policy will end on Oct. 8. 
 

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