If the University of New Brunswick opts to move forward with proposed amendments to its existing policy for alcohol on campus, it appears it will do so without the support of the larger campus community.
One detail from the proposed regulations, which were presented to the UNBSU Council on Sunday – the suggestion that alcohol sales on campus be limited to two drinks per person – was particularly contentious. This restriction would mean that visitors to campus drinking establishments would only be able to purchase pitchers or fishbowls if they are sharing it with others, thereby placing the onus on waitstaff to monitor the amount of alcohol each patron is consuming.
Pat Hanson, operations manager of The Cellar Pub, the campus bar, said he has not seen the proposed regulations but does not believe new restrictions are necessary.
“If we want to teach people how to make responsible choices, I don’t believe that enacting policy rules regarding legal behaviours is the way to do that,” Hanson said in an interview with The Brunswickan. “Adults should be free to make their own choices within the framework set out by the law of the land, not by the law of the University.”
UNBSU president Richard Du said parts of the proposal, including the two-drink maximum, are “neither constructive nor beneficial” to the goal of providing a safer drinking environment for students.
“These regulations simply make their jobs harder, not easier, to keep track of potential overconsumption,” Du said.
Hanson said outlawing legal activities on campus will encourage students to leave campus to drink. He said this could be a safety issue.
“On-campus students have multiple layers of security to help to keep them safe, such as safe ride, campus patrol and campus security,” Hanson said. “Those added layers of security do not exist off-campus.”
Du said there is time for the university to further develop the policy and there will be opportunities for students to voice their opinions in the coming months.
“Instead of adhering to these proposed hardline regulations, the UNBSU believes in proactive campaigns focused on fostering awareness and education around the topic of responsible alcohol consumption,” Du said.
Vice-president of student services Mark Walma told The Brunswickan that the university is still in the process of consulting with stakeholder groups and considering feedback. He declined to provide further comment.
Editor's Note: A previous version of this article misstated Pat Hanson's position at The Cellar Pub. Hanson is the operations manager of the bar, which is student owned.