Drinking on Campus
Labour Day Weekend was a dry move in for residents
Contrary to the popular motif that connects entrance to college with excessive, yet strangely glamorous binge drinking, Residence Services at the University of Regina instituted a ban on alcohol for all new and current campus residents during the Labour Day weekend.
“dry weekend” was in place from the beginning of Aug. 31 until the end of Sep. 2; it affected new and current residents living at North and South Residences, College West Residence, and La Résidence. Luther College residence was not included in the dry weekend.
Currently, there are “just under 1000 students living in residence.” Excluding Luther College, this means approximately “650 in North and South Residences, 250 in College West, and 50 in La Résidence,” says Lindsay Robertson, Assistant Manager of Residence Life at Residence Services.
Robertson has been with Residence Services for five years. As Assistant Manager, she’s responsible for “assisting Resident Assistants (RAs),” and ensuring “any discipline issues or student issues are taken care of in a timely manner.”
She says for the dry weekend, “students moving in [to residence] weren’t allowed to bring alcohol,” and “if [students] already lived here, we asked them not to consume alcohol in residence that weekend.”
In addition to providing “safety and security,” Robertson says “the purpose was to make sure that students who were underage felt welcome and included in the activities [of the first weekend in residence]. That’s why we did it.”
Behind Robertson’s desk hangs a Positive Space banner; it promotes the inclusion of sexual and gender diversity: its white background is framed by pride rainbow colours.
Carson Behiel also praises the sense of inclusion and community initiated by the dry weekend. He has worked as an RA at the North and South Residences for one and a half years.
“It developed more of a sense of community; there was more effort to build a community [among residents],” says the fifth year History major. “That was positive.”
Behiel thinks the dry weekend was successful,
“I could go hang out with first year [students], and it wouldn’t be uncomfortable for them. I wasn’t allowed to drink and they weren’t allowed to drink so it was fair all around. It seemed more inclusive from the student side. It was more inclusive for first year students, which was great,” he said.
Because Behiel has lived in residence for five years, he’s able to compare this year’s dry weekend with previous years, when alcohol was allowed right from the first day of moving into residence.
“Last year [Sep. 2012], because alcohol was allowed, there were a lot of first year [students]; everyone thought it would be a party. Whereas this year, because it was a dry weekend, [we felt] let’s go party without alcohol, and get to know people at these events that Residence Services or whoever else has organized,” compares Behiel.
Robertson confirms that events hosted by Residence Services over the Labour Day weekend saw an increase in participation when compared to previous years. These events included a welcome party on the Lloyd Barber Academic Green, and an outdoor movie night.
The Carillon contacted Campus Security for an interview about drinking in residence and the dry weekend, but Campus Security declined to comment on the matter.