NSCC cancels pub crawl over 'Get Smashed' T-shirts

Nova Scotia Community College administrators have stepped in to stop a student association pub crawl, saying the T-shirts violate the school's code of conduct.

College says slogan violates code of conduct; student organizers surprised at reaction

Student organizers at the Marconi campus of the Nova Scotia Community College thought it would funny — emblazon T-shirts with “Keep Calm and Lets Get Smashed” for their upcoming pub crawl.

But that isn’t sitting well with the college administrators who cancelled the event. The school said the slogan violates NSCC’s code of conduct, and the student association didn't follow proper protocols when it organized the event.

But the student association said they are surprised by the fuss. The slogan is a play on the British World War II motto “Keep Calm and Carry On.”

“A shirt isn't going to make people drink more, by any means,” said Jennifer Spinney, the student association vice-president of activities.    

Spinney said she's organized three other successful — and safe — pub crawls.

There's no bar on the campus or even a residence, she said, so this was a social event to get the students together.

“I don't blame anybody for thinking that it would be the wrong message being sent. Like I said we are an adult school. I think we can all drink responsibly,” she said.

"Words do have an impact"

But NSCC felt it had to step in, according to Fred Tilley, the principal of the Marconi campus.

If a group of students want to organize their own pub crawl and make T-shirts, that’s their own business, he said.

But the pub crawl was put together by the student association, he said, which is linked to the school.

“While we recognize it is just a shirt, the wording and the words do have an impact,” he said.

“It’s our responsibility to the students and the public that we’re not seen as condoning inappropriate behaviours, either intentionally or unintentionally.”

He also said the school doesn’t condone the term “pub crawl.” It prefers something like “downtown social.”

The student association has already sold 35 shirts, but they're not allowed to sell anymore.

The profit from the shirt sales, along with a donation jar, were to be given to Crossroads Clubhouse — a program for people with mental illnesses. 


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.