By Chris Kerr
With a fancy, splashy new bar, come fancy, splashy new problems. You may notice that you now only have until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights to purchase alcohol in the Den. On Thu., Jan. 10, a special meeting of the Alcohol Policy Committee (a university committee) was called to address some issues involving violence surrounding alcohol on campus. Since September 2001, there have been a number of assaults on Campus Security officers. Violence is completely unacceptable on this campus, especially acts of violence against the people who work every day to ensure the safety and security of the members of this campus. Both the Students’ Union and Administration recognize this as a serious concern, and are now taking measures to ensure the safety and security of all patrons.
In the APC meeting, a motion was made in an effort to alleviate these issues that have arisen in the past few months. The motion was to reduce "last call" at the Den to 12 a.m. Monday through Saturday. After a lengthy two hour discussion, the APC voted 3–1 in favour of reducing the "last call" hours to 12 a.m. Monday through Thursday, and 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
While this may seem like an inconvenience, or just a simple annoyance, it is much more than that. Think of it as probation. The SU and Den management are now taking measures to ensure the safety of all people in and around the Den, and around campus on a nightly basis. You can expect to see some changes in the bar, you can expect to be required to show your ID every time you go in, regardless of how well you know the doorman. You can expect to never be served one second past last call, and most importantly, if you are causing a problem, you can expect to not come back to the Den for a long time, and you may face other disciplinary action. This may sound harsh, it may sound militant, and if it does, good.
The simple fact of the matter is that this is serious stuff, and by the APC voting against the original motion, and amending it to read "1 a.m. Friday and Saturday" they essentially have given the SU, and everyone in the Den, one last chance. If I sound like I’m threatening, I am, because I don’t want to have further restrictions placed on students because a few stupid people made some very stupid decisions.
So remember this ladies and gentlemen-while your drinking time has been cut short by an hour on the weekend, it could have been cut short by two hours. I, along with the Vice-President Operations and Finance, the SU Facilities Manager, two Den managers, and the SU Programs Director, did our best to convince them that we could solve this problem proactively. So think about your actions, the actions of those you are with, and the impact that those actions could have on everyone that enjoys the Den responsibly. Don’t prove us wrong.